What is the BeGOOD Work Experience Programme?
This is a 1-2 weeks-long work experience programme at the University of Oxford, taking place in the Summer of 2018. Students work in a small team on projects with the aim to better understand teenagers’ moral views and attitudes about predictive genetic testing for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The programme is offered by the BeGOOD team, which is led by Professor Ilina Singh.
What’s the commitment?
Work experience students work full time (10am to 5pm) for ten days during the summer.
Who can apply?
15-18 year olds living in the United Kingdom from any school or background.
Do I get paid?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer a stipend. If you live far from Oxford, you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements. Please note that there will only be staff supervision 10am-5pm while you’re on campus.
We would be happy to cover transport costs to a maximum of £100.
Where does it take place?
You will be working at the Neuroscience, Ethics and Society Research Group, which is hosted at the Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford.
What do I gain from it?
Students have a chance to learn about ethics, mental health, and the process of developing research methods. They also have the chance to interact closely with researchers who are doing cutting-edge work in the field. Most importantly, the products of the work experience will help us ensure that young people’s opinions are better understood.
Who is behind the programme?
Gabriela Pavarini, a postdoctoral researcher with a background in moral psychology; Arianna Manzini, who is a philosopher and PhD student with a keen interest in working with young people; Jessica Lorimer, a Research Assistant in the BeGOOD team, and Ilina Singh, who is a Professor of Neuroscience and Society and our research group leader.
What type of research do you do?
Our research focuses on ethical questions that arise from innovations in neuroscience, psychiatry and genetics. We are particularly interested in ethical issues concerning the prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties, including Alzheimer’s Disease. The BeGOOD Work Experience Week will mainly support a project named ‘Citizens: Early Intervention Ethics‘, which is part of a larger research project called ‘Becoming Good: Early Intervention and Moral Development in Child Psychiatry’ (BeGOOD). ‘Citizens’, deals with how young people understand and reason about ethical questions related to early intervention strategies and programmes. For example, some people believe we should identify babies at risk of developing psychiatric conditions (for ex., toddlers who show emotional difficulties or who carry genes that are more common among people diagnosed with certain disorders) and intervene with them to prevent problems from coming up. Although this approach sounds hopeful, it raises several ethical questions. For example, Is it fair to test babies before they are able to consent? And is it stigmatising to give them a label before an actual problem emerges? The ‘Citizens’ project is interested in young people’s views on these and other similar dilemmas.
Do I need parental consent to take part?
Yes, selected participants under 18 are asked to provide us with a letter of consent signed by a parent or legal guardian.
How do I apply for it?
Applications for 2018 are now open. This year we will be working directly with schools. If you’d like to apply, please ask your work experience coordinator to get in touch with Dr. Gabriela Pavarini at email@example.com.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions feel free to ask Gabriela Pavarini and Jessica Lorimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.