Academic Profile

Dan Frings

Academic Profile

Dan Frings

Case study

Dan Frings

Dan is a Professor of Social Psychology, based in the School of Applied Sciences. He brings 10 years of Psychology expertise to the SimDH programme, which he has been integral to since its conception.

On top of my teaching work, I co-ordinate impact tracking for the Centre of Addictive Behaviour Research and serve as Chair of the University Ethics Panel. I'm also an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Personally, I always try and look for the silver lining, have a sense of humour about things, and focus on outcomes. I've been described as 'scruffy' by colleagues, friends, my children ....

"It sounds geeky ...but I love being an academic! I can't seriously imagine doing anything else."

I'm not sure that there's such a thing as a typical day for me! One of the amazing things about being an academic is that every day brings something unique. My time is typically spent between teaching, research and academic admin. This involves pushing forward research projects - either by planning or bidding for them; working with team members on ongoing projects; writing the results up for publication, or just spending time tossing some ideas around.

It sounds geeky, but I love being an academic. I can't seriously imagine doing anything else. I'm currently in my early stages of counselling training, and it's interesting developing that side of my professional profile - though I wouldn't mind trying to go 'off grid' and living some kind of nomadic lifestyle ....

As LSBU is an outward-facing institution, I am often out and about talking to Stakeholders or presenting my work at other institutions. After work, I love spending time with my partner and two kids - and any chance to be active outside is a good one for me!

My specialist subject on Mastermind would be social identity. It's my research speciality, so I hope I would have a fair go at that. However, I am absolutely terrible at pub quizzes so I doubt I'd get very far on mastermind at all!

"I'm increasingly taking a mixed-method approach to my work ... This variety of approaches means we can select the best tools for the job."

I got involved with SimDH when I started doing a few one-to-one consultations with small companies in the accelerator camps. When these discussions led to the opportunities for me to add value with more in-depth projects, I got more involved. It's been a fairly natural evolution and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

One of the things that's been really exciting about SimDH is the opportunity it gives me to engage with companies in early stage of development. Things happen really quickly, and it's great to see the advice and services that ERDF offers make a real impact on the evolution of the business. The passion and drive people have in their products and services are often infectious. It's not uncommon for me to reflect on some projects I'm working on in a research capacity in a new way in light of the conversations I have with SMEs.

"Listen to everybody ... but trust your gut."

My background in experimental social psychology gives me a good track record in designing robust tests of services or products. My research focuses on social identities - how the groups will feel were part of influencing the way we understand the world in response to it.

I do a lot of work in the addictions field and around mental health issues. In recent years, I've complimented my experimental background by leading clinical trials and secondary data analysis (for instance, with existing data).

I'm increasingly taking a mixed-method approach to my work - combining hard data and clinical trial type methodologies with more qualitative in-depth explorations of how people are experiencing events in the light and the products that they use. This variety of approaches means that we can select the best tools for any particular job,

My tip for developing a new product is listen to everybody but trust your gut. There are always multiple perspectives on any given idea - the trick is to work out what's useful about peoples' advice and not getting too bogged down in the rest. That, and make sure you don't spread yourself too thin!

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