Chapter 1 People and support

1.1 Lecturers and demonstrators

Jan Derrfuss (Module Convenor)

Jan is a cognitive neuroscientist from Bamberg, Germany. He initially studied architecture in Dresden, quit after a year, then did an internship at the now closed Cotswold Community in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, before returning to Germany to study psychology in Landau in der Pfalz. He completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and has been working at the University of Nottingham since 2013. His main research interests are cognitive control, working memory, and performance monitoring.


Jonathan Stirk

Jonathan is a cognitive psychologist with interests in attention and emotion. He studied Combined Science (Psychology/Biology) at Leicester University, and after a period as a research assistant examining aspects of game theory, he completed a PhD looking at how virtual reality could be used to investigate spatial cognition. He has been an assistant professor at Nottingham for over 15 years!

The demonstrators

Demonstrators are PhD students in the School of Psychology (or are working towards a PhD in Psychology in another school, such as the School of Medicine, Applied Psychology and Psychiatry). Together with the lecturers, demonstrators will answer your questions, give you feedback and mark your work. This year’s demonstrators are:

  • Christina Sapachlari
  • Nick Simonsen
  • Ning Zhu
  • Rachel Grasmeder Allen
  • Vicky Newell
  • Yalige Ba

You can find contact information for lecturers and demonstrators on Moodle in the section “Contact the lecturers and demonstrators”.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions! We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ask if there is something you haven’t understood. Believe us, you won’t be the only one having that question!

Please note that we might not always give you a straight answer. Instead, we might give you hints on how to find an answer. When we give hints, we do so to support you in learning how to solve problems in an academic context, which will be a fundamental skill for your course.

If you’re still stuck after our initial answer, just let us know and we’ll help a bit more. You can ask as many questions as you would like to! To ask a question outside a lab class, please use one of the options listed below.

1.2 Help desk

Help desks will take place on Wednesdays from 12 to 1pm in room A25 in weeks with lab meetings (i.e., there will be no help desk in the careers week), starting in the w/c 11 October. Help desks are run by a demonstrator. You can simply drop in if you have questions and don’t have to make an appointment in advance.

1.3 Moodle page and forum

Here is a link to the Moodle page for the labs. On the Moodle page, you will find links to all quizzes and assignments. You will complete all summative quizzes and submit all assignments on Moodle.

In addition, you can access the module’s forums on the Moodle page. Here is a direct link to the PSGY1001 General forum. You can post on the forum at any time. We aim to respond within one working day. Please also use the forum to communicate with each other. If you can answer someone’s question please do so—an answer from a peer can be quicker and more helpful than an answer from a lecturer!

Students are often reluctant to answer a question from another student. To encourage student answers, this year I’m going to make the following promise: For every (module-related) question answered by another student, I’m going to donate £1 to a charity focused on improving education for children. I posted 165 times on last year’s forum, so there is definitely scope for raising some money before the end of the academic year!3

Adding a new topic to a forum is pretty much straightforward: Just click on the forum name and then on “Add a new discussion topic”. If you would like to reply to a post, click on the post and then on “Reply”.

1.4 Email and personal Teams chat

Lab classes and the forum are the preferred way to ask questions as many students can benefit from the answers given. However, sometimes you might want to bring personal issues to our attention that are not appropriate for raising in the lab class or posting on the forum. In such cases, please do send us an email, chat with us on Teams or come to our offices. You can find our contact details on the PSGY1001 Moodle page in the section “Contact the lecturers and demonstrators”.

1.5 IT support

If you have any IT problems (e.g., difficulties to install a particular piece of software or to access one of the university’s online services), please contact IT services.

1.6 End-of-chapter quiz

Your lecturers are called…

Demonstrators are…

You will submit quizzes and assignments on…

If you have a question that you think is of interest to other students, you…

  1. I’m also going to declare £165 my upper limit!↩︎