Travel Grant Report by Evangelos Ntontis
22.03.2018, by Sibylle Classen in grant report
University of Sussex, UK; Research visit at the School of Psychology of University of Queensland, Australia
I would like to report my experiences on my research visit at the School of Psychology of University of Queensland, Australia, which was supported by a travel grant provided by the EASP.
I am a PhD student at the School of Psychology of University of Sussex, UK. In general, in my research I apply the Self categorization theory to understand how communities respond in disasters. A cope part of my research focuses on the provision of social support, and this was the main idea that placed the seeds for the visit. In collaboration Arabella Kyprianides, a friend and colleague from Sussex Psychology we thought it would be a great opportunity for us if we had the chance to visit the University of Queensland Psychology Department due to its world-leading research in social psychology. Indeed, after our PhD supervisors’ approval, we discussed with Dr Tegan Cruwys on collaborating on a research project around the conditions and impact of social support. After agreeing with Dr Cruwys on the project, in May 2017 we flew from Brighton to Australia, where we would stay for a month.
The visit was a great experience. In terms of the proposed research, we conducted more than we originally anticipated. We designed and initiated the conduct of an experiment with UQ students that we are aiming to continue in the UK. Importantly, we designed and conducted a survey study with student support service users, in which more than 400 people participated, the data of which are currently analysed.
However, the visit was very important for us for further reasons; first, it was a great chance for us to be hosted by people from the Social Identity and Groups Network including Tegan Cruwys, Alex Haslam, Jolanda Jetten and Kathrine Greenaway. The environment they have created is both very friendly and academically stimulating. Second, our discussions led to the development of further research questions that we are aiming to work on in the future. Third, we had the chance to present and get feedback on our research to academics on literally the other side of the world. Last and most importantly, we had the chance to experience life in Australia for quite an extended period, got to know its culture and met great people. Based on the above reasons, I cannot thank EASP enough for its financial assistance in this journey.