It is a great honour to receive the Anderson prize for coursework and for best thesis for the Master of Research in psychology course.
I am especially surprised to be bestowed this award given the outstanding level of work and insight shown by my peers throughout the course. Speaking of my peers I would like to thank them for making this year and class what it was. We had excellent discussions of topics in all classes, I genuinely believe I have never been in a class so engaged with discussions of subjects from coding, and Bayesian analyses to ethics in aging research and qualitative interview techniques. This has been a class that would always ask questions, give insight and perspective from each individual, and was not afraid to advocate for themselves when dealing with disruptions to teaching from industrial action, or tough topics with tight deadlines. This fostered a real spirit of cooperation, and I was only able to perform as well as I could as part of an active and helpful peer group. I would also like to thank the school of Psychology both teaching and admin staff who helped the course run smoothly, gave us involved and animated lectures, and were all happy to answer questions where they arose to help guide our curiosity and learning.
Returning to postgraduate study is a novel experience and tests different skills to my time as an undergraduate student. There is a substantial focus on self-motivation, setting your own goals and workflow throughout the year. The level of technology you will be interacting with will also increase substantially, I went from not knowing MATLAB at all to coding and running multiple experiments with it, alongside learning new modelling and analysis techniques to further investigate my results. Because each student’s research project is so different a lot of these skills will be self-taught or assisted by helpful PhDs in your lab, therefore be prepared to have to teach yourself a lot, and troubleshoot extensively, though you can and should still reach out for help when you are struggling.
I also offer my eternal gratitude to my friends, family, and amazing partner for all their help and support throughout the year, thank you!