Virtually limitless? Contemplating virtual reality in prevention research

This month, Samuel Tomczyk invites us to take the plunge into his research area of virtual reality, and debunks some of the main myths surrounding its everyday application and its potential use for prevention research. Whether this should be limited to ‘lab work’ is the question asked by the author: virtual reality can provide invaluable training for dealing with the most precarious situations, but is it truly replicable?

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Sexual health promotion in adolescents: From the schools to the shelters

In this post, Dr Alexandra Morales, Assistant Professor at Miguel Hernández University (Spain), shares details of an exciting new project to promote positive sexual health behaviours in adolescents who are living in children’s shelters in Spain. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Espada, Full Professor at Miguel Hernández University; Dr Orgilés, Full Professor at Miguel Hernández University; and Dr Lightfoot, Professor at University of California San Francisco. Alexandra explains this new line of research, why this work is so important, and what the next steps are for the project.

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Come on let’s TWIST again! Early Career Bursaries @LxAddictions 2017

In this post, Dijana Jerković and Larissa J. Maier share their experiences of securing funding through the TWIST project, in order to attend LxAddictions 2017. The aim is to describe the TWIST training and the application process to support other early career researchers who may want to contribute to the upcoming third conference in 2019.

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The challenge of recruiting licensed premises to host prevention research

In September 2016, I embarked on my journey to a doctorate at Oxford Brookes University. Still enraptured having been awarded a studentship, I felt invincible; my study was going to be a trail blazer. Fuelled by temerity, I dismissed suggestions of hurdles, barriers, and walls I would have to climb. After all, my tenacity would enable me to leap higher, push harder and offer a leg-up to propel me over those walls. Oh the innocence!

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ECF events at the EUSPR 2017 conference – a review

The 8th Conference and Members’ Meeting of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) took place in Vienna, Austria from 20th to the 22nd September 2017. As in the previous year, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum (ECF) was represented at the conference with an early-careers event on every day of the conference, including:

  • a pre-conference workshop,
  • a networking event,
  • early-career parallel sessions, and
  • special awards.

As with last year, we also offered members of the ECF the possibility to participate in the abstract review process, so as to help them develop their own abstract writing skills as well as to gain insights into what happens “behind the scenes” once an abstract is submitted.

The EUSPR generously sponsored 15 bursaries to support early-career preventionists to attend the conference, as well as the pre-conference workshop and our networking event – many thanks!!

Below, we briefly report on the various activities that took place. More pictures are available from our Facebook page.

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Activity Report 2016/17

The EUSPR Members’ Meeting took place on 20th September 2017 in Vienna, Austria, prior to the Society’s annual conference. Outgoing/New ECF Leads Angelina Brotherhood & Samuel Tomczyk informed the EUSPR Membership about the activities of the Early Careers Forum in its third year, covering the time span from November 2016 to September 2016.

You can download the activity report here.

How to chair a scientific conference session (and not look like a fool!)

Chairing a conference session at a scientific conference can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time! As we are approaching the 8th EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting, taking place in Vienna, Austria from 20th to 22nd September 2017, we thought it might be useful to highlight seven “top tips” for chairing scientific sessions based on our own experiences.

1. Come prepared

This is an obvious one, but what exactly should you prepare for your role as chair? Continue reading

Representing the voice of early-career preventionists: introducing the new Lead of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum

In today’s blog post, we introduce Samuel Tomczyk, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Greifswald, who will be the new Lead of the Early Careers Forum (ECF) of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR), starting in September 2017. We also say good-bye to the outgoing Lead and initiator of the Forum, Angelina Brotherhood, doctoral researcher at the University of Vienna. Through a written interview, they both reflect on their careers so far and their role within the ECF.

How did you start working in prevention research?

Samuel: Well, having finished my master’s degree in psychology, I was interested in continuing the academic track. Continue reading

Stay Safe @ Uni: Exploring students’ views about safety and sexual consent

In this post, Dr Emma L Davies, Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, shares details of an exciting new project to inform prevention activities addressing sexual violence in University settings. The project takes place in collabration with Dr Sarah Jayne Camp, Psychology Demonstrator at Oxford Brookes University, and Anna-Sherlock Smith MSc, Independent Researcher. Emma explains why this work is so important and is also able to present initial findings from this new research.

How the project started

In 2013, I attended a talk by Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism, where she discussed the problem of sexual assault on university campuses. Colleagues and I felt that we wanted to do something to explore these issues further. However, at the time, I was writing up my PhD thesis and searching for employment and so it was put on the back burner for a while. Last September, a chance encounter with the Head of Campus Security led to a conversation about what approach we should take to tackle issues around sexual harassment and safety on nights out. Continue reading

Informing prevention through big data – The Global Drug Survey

This month’s blog post comes from Larissa Maier, who is voluntarily involved in the Global Drug Survey (GDS) besides her actual job, believing that this engagement can make a difference. In this blog post, she describes how she joined the GDS and shares the very first results from the GDS2017. She concludes with her view on how these results relate to global drug prevention. 

Most early career researchers start their careers by focusing on one main research question to become an expert in that specific area of research. In my case, my PhD studies addressed the prevalence and patterns of substance use for cognitive enhancement. However, after having developed a questionnaire on recreational drug use in Swiss nightlife settings as part of my master thesis, I remained connected to the Swiss projects aimed at early detection of harmful substance use. Having been a regular clubber myself back then, I could link my personal observations in the field to the data derived from the questionnaires. My knowledge about local and national drug use habits of recreational drug users increased sharply. A logical next step was joining the Global Drug Survey (GDS) to understand the superior picture and to put my findings into context. In this blog post, I will tell you more about how I became a member of the GDS Core Research Team and how our findings contribute to the prevention of harmful substance use among youth and adults across the world. Continue reading