The Psychology Research Internship is like my mum’s lasagna

My mum makes the best lasagna. It is cheesy, meaty, and just a little bit greasy. It is also never quite the same each time she makes it. It is constantly evolving.

Disclaimer: this is not a picture of lasagna made by my mum. My mum’s lasagna is much sloppier.

In the internship, much like my mum does with her lasagna, we try to squeeze all the ingredients that make up a psychology researcher’s job into one multilayered delicious dish. After tasting our lasagna, students give us feedback about what they learned, what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they wished they had learned, and we try and tweak the recipe.

The research internship is designed to give students hands on experience with the kinds of activities that PhD students and academics consider part of their job (i.e. writing proposals, giving feedback to peers, designing experiments, collecting data, dealing with statistical analysis, presenting their work).

Much like my mum’s lasagna (which is made up of pasta, meat sauce, and cheese), there are 3 main learning outcomes. In the course of the research internship, you will learn how…

  1. To write about your research, give feedback to others, and use feedback to improve your writing

2. To talk about your research in a conference setting, constructing effective slides and fielding questions from the audience

3. To reflect on what you are learning from your internship experience

In the past few weeks I have been reflecting on what I have learned from my internship experience so far.

I have learned that…

  • designing assessments that tap into students ability to write and talk about their research is easy
  • designing assessments that encourage students to reflect on what they are learning from research is hard
  • creating a learning community when most of the learning is happening in labs is REALLY hard

Perhaps it is possible to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by creating a collaborative space for interns to share experiences and write about them together, no guidelines, no rules. Maybe if I give you ownership, you will create some amazing bubbly crunchy cheesy topping bits.

Your task:

  1. Create a Medium account
  2. Browse the platform, find interesting writers to follow
  3. Read about why other teachers recommend Medium as a writing platform for students
  4. Be brave, try out the platform by starting a new story and writing about why you enrolled in the internship and what you want to get out of it. Publish your piece.

Stop forcing your students to blog, do this instead

Tips and tricks for medium writer