Internship testimonials

The Nutrition and Behaviour Unit has many internship opportunities available. Current undergraduates in Experimental Psychology can apply for internships through the research apprentice scheme. We also welcome M.Sc. students, Ph.D. students and students from B.Sc. courses with a placement scheme.

Hear from a few of our past interns below:

Simon Heckenmueller

I joined the NBU as an agricultural scientist (M.Sc.) with an interest in the impact of consumer food choices on the sustainability of the food supply chain. At the time of my application for an internship at the NBU, I had only some knowledge about consumer behaviour and had only gained research experience in Marketing and Consumer Sciences at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Therefore, I appreciated the chance to work at under the supervision of Dr Dani Ferriday and in cooperation with several other members of the NBU. This fact illustrates the unique research atmosphere at the NBU better than I could describe it with words and should encourage everyone to get into contact with its members. My work involved the analysis of three data sets within the topics of oral processing behaviour, sensory-specific satiety, and dietary learning. To my delight, our work will soon be submitted, and these publications will support my applications for PhD studentships in the future. I want to note that I independently applied for and received funding from the ERASMUS SMP+ program of the European Union, which helped me to cover my two successive 6-months internships at the NBU. Hopefully, the European Union will continue to offer funding for research placements in the UK after Brexit. Overall, can highly recommend working at the NBU, especially because of its members and the outstanding support from its three senior researchers (Dani Ferriday, Peter Rogers, Jeff Brunstrom). My internship lasted from October 2019 to September 2020. 

Kevin Berna

I joined the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit as part of my mandatory internship program at the University of Luxembourg where I pursue a trilingual B.Sc in psychology. As a nutritionist, psychology student with the intention of working in research and fan of Bristol as a city, I couldn't resist to apply at the NBU. I loved the appreciation and trust the NBU team gave me during my two months with them. They tried really hard to offer me as many different experiences and they included me in five completely different projects within only two months. I was surprised that I did not only conduct research but also got to be involved in planning study designs and participate in supervision sessions of PhD-students. I even got to work with Virtual Reality during my internship! How amazing is that? If anyone outside of the UK is interested in interning with the NBU, I highly recommend doing so!

Alys Docksey

As part of my Psychology with Professional Placement degree at Cardiff University I worked with the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit.  I was immediately made to feel welcome and I learnt about all aspects of research within the field. I also developed skills outside of academia that I would otherwise not have gained from my degree. I particularly enjoyed attending conferences during which I was able to see how research is communicated between universities. I am very grateful for the opportunities I was provided during this year that improved my confidence in my abilities.

Suzy Parish

For my placement year, I worked at the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit (NBU). Having established a fascination for psychology within the first and second year of my undergraduate degree, I was keen to gain knowledge in an area of research completely new to me, as well as gaining experience in a working environment. The team kindly introduced me to the vast amounts of research being undertaken, as well as allowing me to get involved with running studies myself. I learnt a huge amount about research methods and was able to develop skills which will be extremely beneficial in my final year of university. Most valuably, my colleagues helped improve my confidence tremendously and ensured that my year interning was beneficial, but also fun!

Natalie Evans

I worked with the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit for a year as part of my Psychology with Professional Placement degree at Cardiff University. The NBU were very welcoming when I arrived and I was quickly made to feel like a valuable part of the team. In my time there, I was given the opportunity to work on a number of different research projects, gaining knowledge about the practicalities involved in carrying out research that I had not yet experienced as part of my undergraduate degree. Working with the NBU has improved my confidence in my abilities and I am sure that the experience gained from my time working there will be very valuable as I go on to complete my final year of university. I am very thankful to the whole team for trusting me to work on so many different projects with them, I had a great year!

Sarah Appleton

I am a recent Psychology graduate from the University of Bristol. Part of my undergraduate study involved a Nutrition and Behaviour module taught by Professor Jeff Brunstrom and Professor Peter Rogers. I was fascinated by the cutting edge research that the NBU was generating and applied for a 2-month research internship in the School following my graduation. My experience in the NBU was invaluable; I was able to assist on two projects and was given the opportunity to really get involved in and learn about the many aspects of conducting research. My time in the department was made even better by the friendly and welcoming nature of everyone in the NBU team. Interning in such a friendly and forward-thinking environment was an incredible opportunity that has definitely given me the confidence and inspiration to pursue a career in Psychology.

Liam Hamill

I'm a student at Cardiff University doing a Psychology with Professional Placement degree, which involves spending a year in a psychology-related work environment. I approached the NBU in my second year, and as soon as I arrived I was made to feel welcome. Everyone in the group was extremely helpful and gave me support on a variety of research projects. I learned a great deal about research methodology and was able to cover an area of psychology that was left unexplored in my undergraduate degree. The members of the NBU really made me feel like a part of the team, and over the course of the placement I had many opportunities to provide input on the group’s projects, as well as present my own findings at an academic conference. It was a great confidence booster and really helped me build on my research skills from years 1 and 2, as well as preparing me for my final year and beyond. Many thanks to everyone on the NBU team!

Rory Cutler

I spent a year working in Professor Jeff Brunstrom's laboratory as part of my Psychology with Professional Placement (B.Sc.) degree at Cardiff University. Working with the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit is a great opportunity to learn about the practical aspects of carrying out research and discover/get involved in cutting edge research in the field, while working in a warm and welcoming group environment. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year and I would recommend it to anyone considering postgraduate study or a career in psychological research, especially if they would like to focus on the science of eating behaviour in humans. I am now a Ph.D. student at Cardiff University.

Emmy van den Heuvel

I came to Bristol for a research internship at the NBU lab, as part of my M.Sc. programme Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour at Wageningen University. It has been a wonderful experience in which I got to learn so much. The group has given me such a warm welcome, and have been very helpful with the preparation and execution of my projects. I especially liked the brainstorm sessions and discussions about the projects with Jeff Brunstrom and other members of the group, but also got to learn a lot about very practical things like getting ethics approval, or preparing materials for the test sessions. Moreover, it is a great experience to be in a lab where so many interesting studies take place. I very much enjoyed watching and assisting other researchers, and to discuss the ongoing studies at the NBU lab. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work in a research group that is exploring such interesting new research topics and measurements, and got to meet researchers well known for their excellent work in the field of sensory science and eating behaviour. I am now a Ph.D. student at Bournemouth University under the supervision of Dr Katherine Appleton.

Xavier Allirot

I have just defended my Ph.D. in Human Nutrition at University of Lyon in France. During my Ph.D., I studied the effect of eating smaller more frequent meals on appetite, using physiological, subjective and behavioural approaches. I had the opportunity to spend three months in the NBU, supervised by Jeff Brunstrom. It was a very rewarding experience from a scientific point of view. It enabled me to add a psychological touch to my Ph.D. that was very appreciated by my supervisors in France and by the jury of my Ph.D. defence. I learnt a lot from all the NBU members on the very innovative methodologies developed in the lab for studying expected satiety, flavour nutrient learning, and more generally eating behaviours. Moreover, I really appreciated the way of working in the lab, based on mutual exchanges and on collective brainstorms. I consider that I was very lucky to meet such excellent scientists who are also such nice people. For all this, I want to thank Jeff and all the NBU team.

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