Nicole sent this lovely ‘thank you’ for posting on our website:
I was fortunate enough to receive a travel grant from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia to travel across the world to Plymouth University in the United Kingdom to collaborate with my external supervisors and their students in the Plymouth University Motivation Lab. It was the most exciting opportunity and I couldn’t wait to jump on a plane to fly halfway across the world.
During my time, I was able to attend Plymouth University’s CogNovo workshops about the neural basis of creativity. This week-long workshop was a brilliant display of interdisciplinary work on the cognitive basis of creativity and how creative applications are being used to work on solving real world problems.
After this remarkable workshop, I was thrilled to be able to work with my external supervisors, Jackie Andrade and Jon May in person instead of over emails coming from opposite time zones. We worked together to develop new research ideas, generate direction for future publications, create healthcare intervention scripts and collaborate on current and prospective projects. It was lovely to spend some time getting to know my external supervisors and having the chance to listen to their advice, guidance and stories.
During my time at Plymouth, I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading experts on using social robotics for healthcare applications. Motivation Lab Research Fellow Joana Galvão provided exciting one-on-one training on the programming, development and implementation of social robots in healthcare services, particularly in the area of behaviour change.
I had a fantastic time learning how to make social robots come alive and develop their own personalities! I worked with two of Jackie Andrade’s top students, Leonie Cooper and Lloyd Taylor, who helped me to work towards developing a new motivational intervention delivered via social robots, which will be used in Brisbane, Australia.
During my spare time, I had the pleasure of spending time with PhD students, Sophie Homer, Adam Stewart, and Linda Solbrig, who were very welcoming and organised some entertaining activities to encourage me to experience the food, culture and fun that Plymouth had to offer.
It was an amazing experience to travel to a new country with the opportunity to collaborate with my external supervisors, develop unique research skills, make new life-long friends and work towards opening new and exciting pathways in my professional career.
It was a tough and heartfelt departure but it was an incredible experience, and one I will never forget.
I can’t wait to visit Plymouth University again in the near future.
Thank you to the Plymouth University team for a warm welcome and pleasant stay!