Being a student on the Paul McKeever Scholarship
As a student undertaking an MSc by research as part of the Paul McKeever Scholarship, I am already 4 months into a 12 month programme, as they say time flies when you are having fun! As a group we have been extremely lucky to be addressed by some top class speakers including Simon Guilfoyle, Mike Rowe and more recently Peter Neyroud as well as having representatives from MOPAC and the College of Policing pitching in too. These inputs have been informative, exciting and in some cases challenging for both students and lecturers alike!
We have also received great lectures from the staff at CCCU covering topics such as criminological theory, research in policing and conducting qualitative and quantitative research. Having such fantastic input in such a short space of time makes me wonder what the next 9 months will hold – I am sure I won’t be disappointed.
There is no denying that the task ahead of us is a difficult one but no one said being a fulltime student and a full time employee would be easy. However when I look back at what has already been achieved in the last 4 months, I already know that all the hard work is well worth it.
As a group we have our first assignment under our belt, the Research Proposal, so we know where we are going. We are currently focusing in on the methodologies we will use and soon we will know how our journey will be achieved. We also hope to present our topics and questions to the MPF in the near future as without them we would not be on this exciting journey.
However the most exciting part of the journey it yet to come, well for me anyway, which is the ‘what will we find?’ For me, understanding what your research is telling you is the most exciting and rewarding part of any project although I am under no illusion that collecting the information from which conclusions can be drawn isn’t without its problems, especially in a Policing environment. I am also aware that whilst I am to complete an academic dissertation from this research I also need to present an operational report to offer practical recommendations about my area of research – retention in the MPS.
It is critical to me that the findings from these research projects go some way towards changing Policing for the better and if you get involved you will know that you have had your say. Police officers at the moment often do not feel that they have had their say and therefore taking the research from the bottom up is crucial to all of us as a group.
For those of you reading this blog if you encounter a student who wishes to have 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey or perhaps a little longer for an interview PLEASE take pity on them and help them out because if this programme inspires you and you are lucky enough to become involved in the future, you may be in that students shoes one day.