Educational interview with a Professor of Psychology

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Interview 9 (40mins)

  1. What percentage of your work time is spent on research?

40%

  1. What is your highest educational qualification?
  2. PhD in Applied Psychology
  3. What is your primary discipline or field of study?

Department of psychology, Faculty of arts and social sciences

  1. What is your position?

In-charge/Assistant Professor

I: Could you please give me some details of your background and research experience?

S: I did graduation from Lahore College for Women University and MSc in Psychology from Government College. I was awarded K.B. Nanak Buksh Silver Medal, Roll of Honor and Certificates of Merit for standing first in MSc Psychology. Recently I have completed PhD in Applied Psychology from the University of the Punjab. I am teaching undergraduate and MPhil Classes. My research work is in developmental, educational and on social issues, and currently working on psychological articles and also conducting seminars. I am doing teaching and research for 15 years and my administrative responsibilities include being an advisor of psychological society, BSc Coordinator, member of the departmental undergraduate committee, member of the departmental purchase committee and In charge of departmental computer lab. Due to the extensive load of administrative responsibilities my research work has become stagnant. Our department creates opportunities for individuals to apply the knowledge that they gain out of their academic experiences.

I: How is the research work important to this University?

S: I think it is the role of a university and the university is in the process of motivating researchers in doing research, but within this institution, I may not put more emphasis on the quality of work, as no one would do research. But if someone can produce a qualified research, it is quite appreciable. When a research is carried out it is important that the researcher should be put under supervision of the relevant faculty member. It is our job to facilitate them with all the essential directions and strategies.

I: How is the research environment at this University?

N: Our department of psychology gives sufficient chances to work together with the international community. We encourage our students and faculty members to take part in the seminars and workshops it is arranged at both the levels i.e. at national and international every year you can say

I: What is the distribution of your responsibilities towards research?

N: I have published 20 articles in the HEC recognized journal of social and clinical psychology and currently my two books are in the pipeline for publishing. In my opinion, having publication is a good thing because it can be an evidence for promotion. It is good to realize how these researches can be utilized in the practical way. Some researchers don’t publish their works. Having said that actual is administrative responsibilities, we as professors have high work load so it gets difficult to finish our research work that is why publications are due for quite some time.

I: How much incentives you have available for conducting research?

N: As social science is a dynamic system, it gives us more opportunities to do research because of its changes. Our thoughts right now may be changed in the future. Therefore the change of ideas can be the research topic itself. We should not limit our projects for studying current events in Pakistan, but look forward to the future or backward to the past, as well as observing other mysterious parts. In fact, the restriction of research is how people utilize research results for their monetary benefits. Some people understand that research in social sciences produces no monetary advantages. Therefore, we do not receive as much incentive as for other disciplines.

I: How important is the collaboration with the international scholars?

N: International exposure is very important if we want to excel as a nation. We do get opportunities to interact with foreign faculties for academic and research purposes. There are few universities abroad that have collaboration, capacity building and research development association with our university.

I: How being an instructor, you judge the research work?

N: Research plays a part in everything and we have projects to enhance research knowledge. The dean and administrative staff also support research activities. We have training programs about classroom research for developing teaching and research activities. Academics, which have no time to do research during working hours, have to do research as an overtime job. We encourage academics to do classroom research by beginning with small projects then moving to bigger ones later. We set classroom research training in the year 2004 and gained good response from our staff. We invited a qualified person to be a guest speaker and also did assessments after we finished the training course. We did this after 6 months to see whether academics had any research outcomes or not. We have never stopped helping academics to prepare for research funding. Moreover, at the beginning of May 2005, we provided training courses about how to write a qualified research proposal. We invited a national researcher from the research fund regional office to teach and to inform us about the sources of funding. There were so many academics participating in this training course, and at least 10 lecturers who planned to submit their research proposals.

I: What are the changes in the research situation from the past to the present?

N: I think there is no difference between the levels of education. The level of education academics have, if they are interested in doing research, searching for answer, and utilizing the knowledge, then they have the ability to do research. The level of people’s ability to do research may differentiate because academics have inadequate fields of experience. Individuals who have more experience can see the world wider than the less experienced one. Therefore, the doctoral graduates usually have more knowledge than the lower qualified individuals because they have more opportunity to discuss with their advisors and other people. It drives those individuals to produce more research work, on the other hand when examining the quantity of work we cannot justify the claim that the doctoral graduates have more amount of work than the lower one. It depends on personal interest thus, it can be concluded that lecturers who have different levels of education may have different level of research. Doctoral graduates do research for finding new knowledge, while the lower graduates may do research for utilizing knowledge and researching something that surrounds them.

I: What is the impact that you think research can eventually make on your professional development and your institute?

N: Psychologists are needed where there is a human factor involved. Our industry needs psychologist to ensure extended support, counseling and to encounter conflicts and then providing resolution. The researcher should not stop creating ideas because if he stops, he may not reach the desired destination of contributing to knowledge. This institute has two main responsibilities. Research is the most important task in introducing new technology and new knowledge, and this can then be shown to the public in the form of academic service. Our institution supports and encourages lecturers to do continuous research projects that bring benefits to institution, agriculturists, other people, and specific private companies who are interested in technological development. Therefore, research is a main duty for institutional development.

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