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IoPPN Masters student wins Indigogold Award

An IoPPN research project on the effectiveness of workplace stress interventions has won the Indigogold Work Psychology Innovation Award.

Sara M. Estevez Cores of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London impressed the judges by showing how such interventions can bring a return, not only in terms of the wellbeing of employees, but also to organisations’ overall productivity.

The award, sponsored by management consultancy Indigogold, recognises projects based on both academic quality and practical potential for the workplace.

In the UK alone, 11.3 million days were estimated to be lost to work-related stress last year, and Sara’s project, supervised by Dr Matthew Kempton and Dr Derek Tracy, used meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention by management, to provide a clearer understanding of the varying impact of different stress interventions.

'I am thrilled to have received the MSc Innovation Award, and so grateful to have been chosen from so many other great projects,’ said Sara. 'This is a marvellous event, encouraging links between academia and industry, and I really enjoyed participating in it.

'I had the opportunity to chat with other participants about their research and also thoroughly enjoyed talking to all of the judges. It made for a great learning opportunity – to distinguish the needs and interests of different audiences when discussing my research.'

A total of 14 students from six universities submitted their projects for 2015’s Work Psychology Innovation Award, which were held at London’s Haymarket Hotel on 10 December 2015.

Daniel Vacassin, founding director of Award sponsor Indigogold, said: 'All too often, once a Masters project is finished it is rarely read. We want to change this.

'By exhibiting the work to a business audience, we want to demonstrate how academics and practitioners in workplace psychology can work closer together for the benefit of all.

'This is the third year we have hosted these award, and the judges and I are all in agreement that the quality and depth of work has once again been outstanding.

'The awards are also a great opportunity for the students to have a platform to showcase their research to their peers, and to increase their networking opportunities.'

Each year, UK universities prominent in work-related psychology studies are invited to nominate up to three of their best MSc research projects.

The students create a poster summarising their research, and judges from multinational businesses and renowned universities speak to each student about their particular project, before drawing up a shortlist of their preferred projects, based on three criteria:

• Innovation – is the research new?
• Research quality – is the methodology sound, are the conclusions justified by the data?
• Practical application – could this be used in the workplace?

The judges then compare shortlists before agreeing a winner, who receives a £1,000 cash prize. All of the nominated MSc students also attended Indigogold’s annual industry networking event held after the award presentation.

2015’s judges from academia were:

• Dr Christeen George, University of Hertfordshire
• Dr Joanna Yarker, Kingston University London
• Dr Kate Mackenzie Davey, Birkbeck, University of London
• Dr Sara Guediri, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester
• Gilly Wiscarson, King’s College London
• Laura Dean, University of Sheffield

The practitioner judges were:

• Priscilla Vacassin, Non-Executive Director, Indigogold, and former Group HR Director of Prudential, Executive Director of Abbey, and Group HR Director of BAA
• Frank Douglas, CEO, Caerus Executive & Non-Executive Director, CIPD
• Quintin Heath, Group HR Director, AB Sugar