Call for students to engage with community-based research projects focused on health and wellbeing
Social science students are encouraged to apply to take part in the 2019 ‘Our Health’ projects, working with communities to set real-word research questions around wellbeing
The community-based ‘Our Health’ research programme is looking for students studying social sciences to join local projects in July 2019.
The projects run through the whole year and students can join at the start of each semester and summer.
Contact Helen at Helen.Szoor-McElhinney@ed.ac.uk if you are interested in taking part in Our Health projects.
Putting community groups first
The first Our Health projects launched in July 2018 and ran for seven weeks across the summer break. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from across all three colleges enrolled onto two separate projects and formed interdisciplinary teams with two community partner groups, the Cheyne Gang Choir and Breathtakers.
Philosophy PhD student Emma Husband was part of the research project team working with Breathtakers, a community support group for people with the lung condition bronchiectasis, to research aspects of the diagnostic process.
Being involved with Our Health has been extremely illuminating. It was a privilege to be part of a research process that put the community group at the centre, and to be trusted with helping to initiate ways to make a material difference to the experiences of people getting diagnosed with bronchiectasis.
The aim of the project was to develop ways to improve communication in the diagnostic process. As part of the project, the team discovered that by helping patients become more aware of their physical symptoms and emotions and the language they use to express them, they can play a more powerful role in their own diagnosis and ongoing care.
Rich interdisciplinary research experience
The Our Health projects are an excellent example of patient-centred research. They are led by our superb students from interdisciplinary subject areas across the University. I want to see the University engaging ever more deeply with the community, the city and the public.
As part of the community-focused projects, students receive mentoring sessions on community engagement and collaborative communication by Project Mentor Dr Helen Szoor-McElhinney. The project teams also receive academic support through a network of interested academics, doctors and health care practitioners.
Students participating in Our Health projects are invited to attend the Edinburgh Award reception in recognition of their involvement.
Our Health projects
Our Health is based on the ‘science shops’ model that is used widely across Europe to try to bridge research institutes and wider society.