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Helen Foster-Collins

Helen Foster-Collins BA BSc MSc PhD
University of Exeter

I am an early career researcher and lecturer, with academic backgrounds in education, psychological research methods and philosophy. My research interests range from environmental psychology, to the psychologies of sexuality, gender and ageing, and the professional education of teachers and doctors. I also have past experience of working to support young people with additional educational needs in schools and colleges. I have previously used both qualitative and quantitative methods, and am fascinated by research which crosses boundaries of methodology, discipline or professional field.

Currently a Lecturer with the Department of Psychology, and Research Tutor in Clinical Psychology, I contribute to the delivery of teaching and assessment, and the supervision of student research projects, for undergraduate and masters and doctoral programmes. I am also part of a qualitative research group based in psychology, QUERY.

My most recent research role, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Exeter, was to coordinate a project in the College of Medicine and Health looking at the benefits of community-based gardening initiatives (CGBIs) for people with dementia and how such projects might be optimised in future.


Previous to this, I coordinated a collaborative multi-stakeholder project on Optimising Prescribing. Supported by ESRC Impact Acceleration funding, this project aimed to improve understanding of the barriers and enablers to implementing educational prescribing interventions in clinical settings and produce a practical 'toolkit' of resources for clinical practitioners and policy makers.

PhD research, undertaken within the Centre for Research in Professional Learning, explored the support which newly qualified doctors and teachers receive during their first year of practice. This comparative study was undertaken with supervision from Karen Mattick and Vivienne Baumfield, bringing together the fields of medical education, teacher education and workplace learning, to aid transitions for early career professionals. I have also undertaken course and service evaluations, for the perinatal clinical psychology training programme at CEDAR, and for SOFT UK.

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