SURE is a good opportunity to enhance and develop skills and explore new ideas

Qutouf Al Kindi in the countryside leaning against a fence
Qutouf Ahmed Mohammed Al Kindi
SURE summer placement
BSc Psychology
Qutouf spent last summer on the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme — a 6-8-week project that allows undergraduate students to conduct their own research. Qutouf researched how fiction can potentially reduce prejudices around LGBTQ communities.

The title of my Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme was ‘psychological meanings of the term transgender and exposure to transgender characters in fiction: A Natural Semantic Network approach.’

This project looked at the potential effects of exposure to fiction on prejudice reduction towards LGBTQ communities.

The results from this study showed how the Natural Semantic Networks Technique – which is based on the idea that words only have meaning when seen in relation to other concepts – provides meaningful information about differences in attitudes following exposure to fiction, and if it can be proposed as a tool for future studies in the psychology of fiction.

This project provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct research in all stages, and has contributed to expanding my knowledge and critical thinking on relevant topics in social psychology, such as intergroup dynamics and prejudice reduction.

As an international student (Omani), I really want to gain experiences as much as I can from studying abroad and go back home to improve and change my country in a better way.


Interestingly, I was the only undergraduate student and I achieved the second place among all Omani students from different UK universities

Qutouf Ahmed Mohammed Al Kindi

BSc Psychology


I think SURE is a good opportunity to enhance and develop skills and explore new ideas. As a Psychology student, I really need to understand people’s behaviours and thoughts. This will result from analysing many different variables and working with other researchers.

My supervisors were Ligia Orellana and Professor Peter Totterdell. I spent most of my time with Ligia. She was very helpful and she tried to teach me everything from the beginning.

Everything was well organised and we used to meet every Friday to check the progress of the project. As her PhD research is on the same topic, she keeps sharing papers and articles that support LGBT which is really interesting.

This research has helped me a lot in my third-year project. Working and analysing large data and by using a combination of different tests made me confident about using SPSS statistics software and this increases my chances of working in a research field where I can conduct more experiments.

Also, employers are looking for a set of skills and people who are employable and I believe I should contribute successfully as well as making changes to a given organisation.

From this experience, I enhanced many skills which will make me ready to compete in the graduate labour market efficiently from boosting my knowledge and experience.

I participated in the Omani embassy and Omani student council open day. I presented my SURE project in the scientific poster competition. Interestingly, I was the only undergraduate student and I achieved the second place among all Omani students from different UK universities.

SURE opened many opportunities for me and increase my chances of conducting future research. I am also going to present the same project at the BCUR British conference undergraduate research next April.


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