Canterbury & District

Our Research Group

About the group
Currently there are about 40 active members of our research group. The majority of members are interested in projects related to health, social issues or psychology, but there is also a flourishing bee monitoring subgroup, and we have a history subgroup in abeyance. We have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which establishes our relationship with the university of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church university (CCCU) This extends now to the new Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS). Since lockdown our research activities have been severely limited, but see below for some of our recent collaborative projects with our universities. You don’t need any qualification or experience to join us, just a wish to learn skills such as critiquing students’ research proposals, running experiments, facilitating focus groups, analysing data and, occasionally, writing. It is a very social and friendly group. If you would like to join us, email Rona

KMMS - added 06/04/2021
We have some new opportunities arising to help educate our future doctors in various ways. Watch this space

Creative activities during Lockdown: added 06/04/2021
We have just begun a new project looking at our members’ experience during lockdown. Zoom focus groups have been set up which are facilitated by our research group. The next stage is to analyse the data. We will then be sending out questionnaires to the membership

Carers Create - updated 06/04/2021
Our ongoing collaboration with the Sidney de Haan centre culminated last year with the publication of a research article in the academic journal Dementia. Our members carried out the research, gathered and analysed the data, and wrote the paper, so an excellent achievement. Here is a link: Article in Dementia 2020/06/10

Balance and Cognition - updated 06/04/2021
Some of our members trained at the U of Kent to assist Ian Farr with a study on balance which included U3A members as participants. We recently had a most interesting feedback session on Zoom with Ian

Research Showcase 2019 - updated 27/06/2019
Second Partnership Event with the University of Kent
On 28th May the University of Kent hosted the Canterbury and District u3a in the Gulbenkian Theatre building, at the University of Kent campus. Throughout the day there were short talks, presentations of research, posters to look at and opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas. Presentations included contributions from the faculties of the Arts and Humanities, History, Linguistics, the Centre for Child Protection, the Centre for Music and Technology, Psychology, Science. Also the return of The Moving Image dancers from two years ago.
Most importantly, our own research group presented several projects which they have carried out, some in collaboration with our two universities, and some with other organisations. Few of these members have presented work before in public. It was a real achievement which we were so pleased to celebrate. Members of the National u3a committees were invited and also members of the public.

Monitoring endangered bees - updated 21/10/2019
Would you like to be taught how to identify and monitor bees while out walking? We are now in the second year of this successful project. Alastair Noble, who leads the project, has provided the reports Bee Walking 2019 and Bee Walking 2018. If you would like to become involved in these walks to identify bumblebees please contact Rona for details.

Opening Doors to Research - added 02/11/2018
Some of our members are active in the Open Doors group at the University of Kent where they critique the research proposals of young and upcoming researchers. Our member Jacky Moore has written an article for the National website about other input which is considered very valuable by the university. Do read Jacky`s 2018 article.

Our history group updated 06/04/2021
A number of our members carried out history projects as part of the Citizen 800 project at Royal Holloway University. Our members achieved four articles published on the university website. If anyone is interested in reigniting this group, please contact Rona
Defending Mrs Pankhurst: The Bodyguard.
The Kentish Rebellion of 1648.
The Swing Riots of 1830.

Why it is always Canterbury added 13/07/2018
'Why is it always Canterbury?' protested a member on my left as we sat at a meeting of national research ambassadors a few months ago. They were referring to my offer of running focus groups for the national study on the impact of the u3a on members' lives. Because we have a research team who are trained, experienced and willing, I responded. A few weeks and about 100 emails later, David Clark and Pam Vickers facilitated a group in London while Ann Skingley and Helen West facilitated a group here at Whitstable Castle, with some of our members participating alongside others from Saxon Shore. The national office were delighted. The outcome was a glossy report which was launched on 10th July at the House of Commons. I was invited to the reception, but asked Pam to go instead. This report Learning Not Lonely acknowledges Canterbury and district, and some of the research team.

Recognising emotions in Faces updated 06/04/2021
Eight members of the research group were trained to assist in carrying out an interesting study in Cognitive Psychology about recognising emotions as we age. Marcus gave a terrific feedback seminar on the findings, which can be read on this link: Eye Tracking Study 2018 report.

Memory and Balance in Older Adults added 29/06/2018 updated 06/04/2021
Our members participated in a project running at the University of Kent. Some initial findings are in this report: Memory and Balance 2018.
The u3a National Website has an article describing the experience of participants.

Science? - added 07/05/2018
Some new members have expressed interest in Science projects. If you have any ideas on this please contact Rona.

SE Region Research Conference - added 20/07/2017
The event was held at Royal Holloway on 5 July 2017 and a participant has sent us this conference report.

Research Showcase 2017 - updated 19/05/2021
Event Film - updated 19/05/2021
We have a film of our research focussed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) event at Kent university. Here is the link to a three minute film made by the university - some of us are on it
Research Showcase 2017 Note: this is on the UKC website.

Journal Article - added 14/02/2017
Canterbury and District are in the vanguard - read this article to find out how. 2017 Journal Article.
We are able to publish it here by kind permission of the editor of Education Journal. (NB. The article is published on our site but the journal is an external site. By following the link to the journal you are leaving our website. We are not responsible for any content there.)