Department of Psychology

Maria Mitella

MSc Health Psychology

Placement at the Centre for Pain Research (University of Bath)

Maria Mitella

As part of the MSc Health Psychology, I spent four months on placement at the Centre for Pain Research in the University of Bath. I learned a great deal about the activities that take place within a Research Centre, and I also gained valuable research experience.

During my time working with the Centre I recruited participants for my study, become involved in the Centre’s research activities, and completed my dissertation. I enjoyed interacting with the research staff and it was beneficial to be able to observe their work; which allowed me to gain insight into individual projects and learn from the experience of others.

When I first arrived at the Centre I was very happy to learn that I was going to be working with researchers whose work I was already familiar with and admired. One of them was Professor Christopher Eccleston, whose work on chronic pain and I found fascinating, and I was pleased that I now had the opportunity to talk to him and exchange ideas about his research. Additionally, I benefitted from the supervision of Dr Edmund Keogh, whose main area of interest is the psychology of pain.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to assist with some of the experiments that examine the effects of pain on attention. This allowed me to familiarise myself with some of the electronic equipment used in the Centre and gain an understanding of how it is utilised in experiments. This experience allowed me to collaborate with many researchers and to learn even more about the difficult process of recruiting participants.

My placement helped me learn how to produce high quality research and has enabled me to develop as a scientist. I am planning to become a successful researcher in the field of psychology and believe that my placement at that Centre for Pain Research will greatly aid this cause.