The EFPSA Junior Researcher Conference 2017 took place between 1st and 4th August 2017, on the campus of the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The Conference has been taking place annually since 2012 and is hosted by the European Federation of Psychology Students‘ Associations (EFPSA)
The Conference included multiple goals.
Firstly, the Conference marks the end of the year-long EFPSA Junior Researcher Programme. The Junior Researcher Programme is a project founded by EFPSA to give students the opportunity to start their own research projects. It begins with the EFPSA European Summer School in which around 35 students from across Europe start to work out their own research study in small groups, under the guidance of a Supervisor. The groups then move on to the Junior Researcher Programme to work on their researches for 12 months. At the end of the year the students present the findings of their projects at the Junior Researcher Programme Conference. The groups of this year’s JRP presented research on various topics under the theme of Cognition and Behaviour.
Secondly, for this year’s Conference, psychology students from across Europe had the opportunity to attend the Conference and were free to present their own research – Bachelor and Master Theses were very welcome too.
Furthermore, in addition to the student presentations there was room for presentations from local researchers. This year, researchers from the universities of Dublin and Limerick presented some of their research.
The Conference itself also had a general theme that the scientific programme revolves around.
This year’s theme was “Education and Development“. Talks about social initiatives in Ireland, such as social facilities for individuals with autism were also part of the programme. There were also discussions regarding the inclusion of environmental variables into psychological research and the inclusion of qualitative data into quantitative research.
The Academic Programme Manager of Microsoft Ireland, Stephen Howell, presented his motion controlled open source software with which psychological experiments and motion based games for physical exercises have been programmed in the past. Lastly, there were a number of workshops on different topics – from systematic literature reviews to music therapy and experimental learning.
In addition to a rich scientific programme, EFPSA Events are always lively as a result of the active community that is built through the numerous social events that take place. There is a great emphasis on getting to know students from other European countries and to experience the local culture. Therefore, there was also a great social programme in Dublin with board-game nights, a cultural evening (in which all attendees bring specialities from their countries), an excursion day to the Irish coast and of course a gala night on the last evening.
The Junior Researcher Conference provides great opportunities for participants to experience their first scientific Conference and present their own research, while getting to know psychology students from across Europe and to talk about how psychology is practiced in other countries as well.
Patrick Smela is a student from the University of Vienna since 2014. Besides studying he is currently working as an assistant at the Department of Psychological Basic Research and Research Methods. He also has a history with EFPSA being the former Member Representative of Austria for the 2016/17 term. He participated in the EFPSA European Summer School in 2017 and is looking to present the results with his group at the EFPSA JRP Conference 2018.