A diagnostic radiography student has been talking about how a CoRIPS research awardhas helped him to research peer mentoring in higher education institutions.
Steven Cox, a third year diagnostic radiography student at the University of Exeter, has been running Exeter’s Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) within the university’s medical imaging programmes and he wanted to research the benefits and challenges of peer support for both the mentor and the person being mentored.
Steven said: “Having the CoRIPS grant has been an incredibly valuable experience in so many ways. I could not recommend the grant enough to any students with an interest in research. This award has enabled me to work closely with one of my lecturers to investigate a topic I am very interested in.
“I have learnt a lot about the research process; whether that is gaining ethical approval, using the most appropriate form of analysis or presenting research to the widest audience possible. The experience has definitely opened my eyes to the world of research.”
His project, A Survey of the Extent and Impact of Peer Support within Diagnostic Radiography Undergraduate Programmes Throughout UK Higher Education, widens understanding of peer support in diagnostic radiography undergraduate courses. It also looked at the types of peer support currently in use, as well as finding out where it is not used and why, and what HEIs would need to do to embed it in programmes.
Working with Rob Meertens, a lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, Steven surveyed diagnostic imaging staff and students across the UK. They investigated the best ways for institutions to provide peer support, with the goal of forming a network of support programmes, so that students can share feedback and resources.
Steven presented the research results at the Achieving Excellence in Radiography Education and Research Conference and the recent CoRIPS seminar. He commented: “One of the most valuable aspects of this entire process has been having the chance to present my findings across numerous conferences.
“The fact that I can look back at the hard work undergone to transform what was just an idea into real life results, that are of high enough quality to be presented alongside other vastly more experienced researchers, has been a wonderful experience. It has pushed me beyond my comfort zone developing skills I never thought I could achieve.”
“If a student has any interest in a career of research or auditing, this is an amazing experience that will start you on the right foot, providing you with so much, as well as giving you the chance to work and network with people across all aspects of the profession.”
There are four CoRIPS Student Research Awards each year and the next deadline for applications is Monday, 1 April.