Name: Joo Hou Ng (Joshua)

Discipline: Psychology (Social, Environmental and Organisational Research Group)

Location: Washington Singer Laboratories

What is the working title for your research project?

Acculturation orientations shape international students’ performance in socially distinct spaces on campus.

Can you describe your research project in one sentence?

How the physical and social properties of space, and the possible meanings attached to space via identity goals (i.e. towards host or home acculturation orientations), combine to impact individual performance within different spaces

What is a typical day like for you?

There’s four seasons in the UK (every year), hence, my typical day varies according to the four seasons of PhD life, as below:



Components Elements of the day Venue


Reading and research design Curiosity and creativity In my office


Data collection & data cleaning Professional beggar – begging students to take part in my research projects


Out in the field and various study spaces on campus


Data analyses & write-up report


Anticipation of interesting results; scratching my head on how to report the data results


In my supervisor’s office


Presenting and sharing Enthusiastic about the applications and implications of my research projects


Engaging in different conferences or sharing platform

As some days in spring are similar with some days in winter, and the same is for autumn and winter, and summer and autumn, hence there’s overlapping of days of those four seasons.

The best is – PhD life is actually quite flexible – I get to give myself a break (once in awhile), by resting and spending time with friends for one full day, giving my mind a break from all the research details.

What would you say is your proudest moment during your research journey so far?

The audience of my talk/poster understood my sharing and concluded that my research topic is important and interesting.

What do you like to do when you are not researching?

  1. Coffee chat with like-minded people – exchanging stories, sharing the passion.
  2. Watching movies – I find creativity through reflection on movies

If you could start again, what would be your advice to yourself as a new postgraduate researcher?

  1. Don’t be anxious, go with the flow.
  2. Don’t try to be perfect. Just try to be better than you were.

Can you explain your research in 5 emojis?

  1. 🙏 – Folded hands emoji – Uphold all that I am doing to God in prayers; also seek prayers and support from all my friends, as conducting cutting-edge research is challenging.
  2. 😂 – Face with tears of joy emoji – Learning to laugh at my mistakes and learn from them.
  3. 🙌 – Raising hands emoji – Good cooperation with my supervisors and interns in different research projects
  4. 💜💚❤️ – Love heart emoji – Sharing the passion of my research with my friends, colleagues and participants who took part in my research projects, including the cleaners in different study spaces on campus.
  5. 🎉 – Party popper emoji – Celebrate the success of completing data collection and other small progress/improvements.

Joshua was a runner-up in our 3 Minute Thesis 2018 competition. Watch his 3MT here to find out more about his research.