Work experience in LINCS

Two students from Saint Margaret’s Academy in Edinburgh recently joined us for some work experience here at LINCS. Below is a short interview about their experience.

What are 3 facts you didn’t know about languages?

– The population of people in the world who learned English as their second language is larger than the population of native speakers.
– The Cambodian alphabet is the biggest in the world (74 characters).
– Studies have shown that learning a second language can improve your memory.

– Spanish has several words that can’t be translated into other languages, such as sobremesa, which means that you stay at a table after a meal to share conversation over coffee or wine.
– About 2⁄3 of all languages are from Asia and Africa.
– Over 20,000 new French words are created each year.

What are 3 things about working and studying in a university that you didn’t know?

– Most of it is up to you and life can be more flexible (studying).
– I didn’t know how many places there were to study. It motivates me to study more.
– I didn’t know that University professors’ salaries were public as most people like to keep them private.

– Studying in a university is much more independent than I thought it would be.
– Around 95% of students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.
– Higher training, higher employment.

What is your motivation to study a language (or languages)

As my family only speaks English at home, we tend to speak English when we go abroad. Although we make an effort to speak in the country’s language when saying things like hello, thank you or please, I feel ignorant as the people in that country can always speak a lot of English. I want to make other people’s lives easier.

My motivation in studying languages comes from my future plans in travelling the world and being able to speak the language of the country that I plan on visiting or living in. It’s very motivating for me.

What are your career plans, and what role might languages play in that?

I have always been interested in law and politics. I like watching global conferences where many languages are spoken, and it has drawn me to look into translating. I was thinking of possibly studying law and the Spanish language, or even just Law and politics. This could lead me to interpreting in a political field which would touch on both of my interests.

In university I am interested to learn further about languages and possibly learn a new one like Chinese so I would be studying a language and then going to study interpreting and translating right after. I would like to interpret for business purposes and medical purposes.

My career plan is to become an interpreter or a translator in the future because I enjoy languages, and being able to translate and interpret text and conversations to another language.

What is your favourite thing about studying languages?

I enjoy seeing my progress in languages. This time last year I only knew very basic Spanish but as I started the more in-depth Nat 5 course, I have seen a lot of improvement. When I am out in my daily life or even watching a Spanish show, I am noticing how much more I can understand. I could probably give a brief summary at the very most, but it shows progression. It motivates me to continue learning the language as the outcome could be very useful.

My favourite thing about learning languages is learning new words and slowly being able to have a conversation in that language. It’s a very rewarding feeling that I treasure.

Where do you think languages can take you?

Knowing another language can open up so many opportunities for you. If you visit a different country, for example, knowing only one language limits what you can do as there is a low chance that everyone can speak your language. Knowing a second language doubles your chances of being able to communicate with other people.

Studying a language and knowing one opens up lots of opportunities and work placements in the future. Learning a language also opens up the ability to being able to communicate with people all around.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying a language but are unsure?

It’s easier than you think. It does require a lot of work but once you get the gist of the language and how sentences are structured, it is very enjoyable. It’s a very rewarding experience as well. Once you get the hang of something it is difficult to forget it, so it strengthens your knowledge of the language and makes learning new things easier.

Studying a language can be very intimidating for someone. I still remember coming into Scotland for the first time and not being able to communicate with anyone and it felt like I could never learn English; but with time, you will be able to learn it and understand it. Make sure to not force yourself and take it at your own pace is my most important advice.

Metaphor Translation Workshop

Are you a language student or professional interested in exploring new theory and practice in the field of metaphor translation?  

The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University invites you to participate in a 1-day training workshop on Saturday 9 April, 9:30 am – 4pm on our Edinburgh campus. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  

The workshop is free of charge as it is part of a research project funded by a Heriot-Watt University ‘enhancement themes’ grant to investigate a collaborative learning approach to teaching translation. At the end of the workshop, participants will be asked to complete a detailed feedback form about their learning experience to inform the research. Ethical approval for this project was granted on 13/9/2020 under ref no. 2021-1480-4597. 

This workshop is a fully accredited CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training and all participants who complete it will receive a CPD Certificate. 

The event covers the following language combinations: Arabic<>English, Chinese<>English, French<>English. Proficiency in one of these combinations is required in order to fully benefit from the teaching.  

There are 20 spaces available on a first come first serve basis. 

Click here to register for the event:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. Pre-workshop material and further information will be provided 2 weeks before the event.


Conceptual metaphors exist in all languages and across all genres and text types. For example, the English conceptual metaphor COVID IS AN ENEMY gives rise to expressions such as ‘fighting Covid, shielding against Covid, working on the front line’. However, these conceptual mappings are not universal and might vary across languages.  Consistency in translating these metaphors is especially important when those metaphors are used as behaviour triggers (e.g. stay home to protect lives in the context of the war on Covid). 

The workshop will combine theoretical presentations with discussion and practical group work activities. It will cover:

  • Text analysis 
  • Conceptual metaphor theory 
  • Metaphor identification 
  • Conceptual metaphor translation 
  • Text accuracy and consistency 

Who can attend this workshop: Postgraduate or final year undergraduate students in languages and/or translation; Early-career or experienced translators (Arabic, Chinese, French).

Both students and professionals can benefit from this in-depth exploration to improve their analytical skills and the quality of their translations.

Who will deliver this workshop: The workshop will be delivered by three experienced researchers and translation trainers.

Dr. Sui He is a Lecturer in Chinese-English Translation and Interpretation at Swansea University. She completed her PhD in translation studies in 2022, with a focus on metaphor translation in popular scientific discourse. She is an experienced freelance translator/interpreter between English and Mandarin Chinese/Cantonese.

Dr. Khadidja Merakchi is Assistant Professor of French at Heriot-Watt University. She is a fluent speaker of Arabic, French and English. She completed her PhD in popular science metaphor translation from English to Arabic at the University of Surrey in 2017. She is an experienced professional translator and interpreter, as well as a teacher in both of these fields.

Ms. Juliette Rutherford is Assistant Professor in Chinese at Heriot-Watt University. She is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish and English. She worked as a professional in-house translator for 8 years before joining Heriot-Watt in 2019. She studied conceptual metaphor theory as part of her MSc programme, and is interested in researching this topic further both from a pedagogical and translation studies perspective.

Save the date, SWATI 2022 coming soon!

Starting Work as a Translator or Interpreter

16 and 17 February 2022 on Zoom

Heriot-Watt University’s LINCS department will be holding its 11th annual SWATI event online on 16 February 2022 from 1.30 to 4.30 pm UK time.

We will be welcoming a range of experienced professionals, who will give you an insight into different career paths in translation and interpreting. The event will feature potential recruiters as well as representatives from the main translation and interpreting bodies for the UK. This event is designed to help you better understand these career paths, and to gain valuable advice to help you refine your career plan.

Our event on the 16 February 2022 is open to all students currently enrolled in a Higher Education institution as well as professionals who are considering continuous education in a translation and interpreting programme.

To register for the event in advance, please use this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to join the webinar.

Are you a current Heriot-Watt student or alumni?

You are also invited to the speed networking on the 17 February 2022 were you can have one-to-one talks with our guests and ask all the questions you want about the various career options available to you.

A member from the Heriot-Watt Careers and Employability team will be available to answer any questions about the support available to you to start your search for employment.

(The speed-networking event is exclusive to past and current Heriot-Watt students).


Day 1. 16 February 2022, 1.30 to 4.30 pm UK time

1.30 – 1.40 pm   Opening of the event: career planning for translation and interpreting 

The perspective of potential employers: international organisations, translation agencies

1.40 – 1.50 pm Hannah Riley, Head of Recovery Management & Planning at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels, Belgium

1.50 – 2.00 pm Helen Courtney-Hinsch, Head of Talent Management at the Wolfstone Group, the UK’s fastest growing language service provider

2.00 – 2.10 pm Q&A with Hannah and Helen

The perspective of practitioners


2.10 – 2.20 Rebecca Ritchie – Freelance conference interpreter

In-house Translation  

2.20 – 2.30 Gavin Darroch – Associate translator at RWS and volunteer conference interpreter

2.30 – 2.40 Franziska Mohr – Translation associate at SAP

2.40 – 2.50 Q&A with Rebecca, Gavin and Franziska

Freelance translation

2.50 – 3.00 Fiona Paterson – Freelance translator. She has worked for range of international organisations in Geneva, NY and The Hague.

Project management  

3.00 – 3.10 Olivia Andrew – Translation project manager

3.10 – 3.20 Q&A  with Fiona and Olivia

3.20 – 3.30 Break 


3.30 – 3.40 Mark Bradshaw – Project manager at Screen Language

3.40 – 3.50 Karli Webster – Freelance audiovisual translator

The perspective of professional bodies: ITI and CIOL.
Their roles, the benefits of joining and when to join.

3.50-4.00 Aleksandra Chlon (ITI)

4.00-4.10 Fiona Baillie (CIOL)

The academic perspective

4.10-4.20 Considering an MSc? Q&A with our coordinator for the T&I programmes

4.20-4.30 Final thoughts and conclusion of Day 1

Day 2. 17 February 2022, 2 to 4 pm

Speed networking (Heriot-Watt students only)

Platform: BBCU. The information will be posted on Canvas to current students and sent via email to alumni.  

Webinar series: interaction and engagement in museum translation

Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00 UK time)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

Dr. Dorota Goluch (Cardiff University)

Dr. Agnieszka Podpora (independent researcher)

Registration link:

In this session, we first discuss our individual experiences which led us to developing a collaborative project on translating memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Dorota, who has a translation studies background, will talk about engagement with museum employees during a pilot study on translation in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Focusing on her interviews with museum guides, she will reflect on the process of selecting participants, her positionality vis-à-vis the interviewees, as well as the conceptualisations of translation and multilingualism that emerged from the study. Agnieszka, a Hebrew and Holocaust studies scholar, will share her experiences of translating texts for the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Model project, from Polish into Hebrew. She will consider direct and indirect influences that museum representatives and other stakeholders exerted on her work, to then comment briefly on her agency as a translator and on the politics of translating Holocaust memorial texts in today’s Poland.

Afterwards, we will introduce our new project, which examines translation of memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and focuses on the renegotiations between different representations of Polish and Jewish victimhood in museum texts. Alongside textual analysis, the study will include interviews with curators, translators and other stakeholders. Although the work is in its very early stages, we will share our hypotheses regarding translation policies and discuss some of the challenges we anticipate. We shall also explore how our previous experiences inform our interviews design and shape our understanding of the nexus between translation, memory and politics in the context of Holocaust memorial museums.


Dorota Gołuch is a lecturer in translation at Cardiff University. She has published book chapters and articles on Polish translations of African writing and on the reception of postcolonial literature in Poland. She is currently writing about solidarity and translation, as well as conducting research on translation, memory and the Holocaust. 

Agnieszka Podpora – literary scholar and translator. Her interests revolve around Polish and Hebrew Holocaust literature and its impact on the cultural renegotiations of Holocaust memory. Currently, she is working on Polish-Hebrew literary translations in the interwar years.

Webinar series: interaction and engagement in museum translation

Tuesday, 8 March (16.00-17.00 UK time)

Training the Art Translator

Prof. Dr. Monika Krein-Kühle (TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne)

Registration link:

This seminar sets out to explore the situational and textual-contextual conditions and constraints surrounding art translation, a hitherto under-researched mode of translation. It presents the key findings of a survey conducted among art translators in the German-speaking countries to provide a first insight into the field (Krein-Kühle 2021). It discusses the implications of these findings for translator training and presents an art translation module that can be included in translation curriculum design. On an art essay corpus-in-context basis, it also discusses and exemplifies the specific challenges involved in art translation. It discusses specific textual features used in such essays and highlights relevant trends in translation solutions that can be useful for the applied branches of art translation. Moreover, this seminar will explore the more foundational requirements involved in art translation, focusing on the relevance of seeing and on training a translator’s eye that is receptive to the power of visual phenomena and able to grasp the artistic impulse as “an impulse of cognition” (Fiedler [1876] 1949/1978: 76). (Re)learning how to see works of art may be regarded as an indispensable prerequisite for felicitous art translation.

Keywords: Art translation, translator training, survey among art translators, exhibition catalogue essays, translator’s eye.


Monika Krein-Kühle, MA, PhD, is Professor Emerita of English Linguistics and Translation Studies at TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, where she founded and directed the MA course in Specialized Translation which is part of the European Master’s in Translation (EMT) network. She has extensive working experience as a translator, translator trainer and as head of the translation departments of major German companies. Her research interests are specialized translation in the field of the visual arts, scientific and technical translation, translator training, research methodology, literary and corpus-based translation studies. She has published widely in all these fields.

Webinar series: interaction and engagement in museum translation

Thursday, 3 March (11.00-12.00 UK time)

Engaging the Visitors: The Impact of Translation in Memorial Museums

Dr. Kyung Hye Kim (Shanghai International Studies University)

Registration link:

As a repository of human experience, knowledge, and values, memorial museums offer a space for visitors to engage with both individual and collective narratives and experience memory, which may lead them to actively participate in social change. Interpretative and affective engagements, in addition to intercultural communication, are some of the most dynamic, and also central activities that take place in the museum space. As such, translation plays a significant role in generating a similar level of engagement from a wide range of international visitors, whose attachment to the messages presented is likely to be different from that of home visitors. The extent to which translation helps memorial museums mediate the international visitors’ schematic process and challenge their established knowledge can be examined by investigating the visitors’ reception, for example, through questionnaires, interviews and close readings of blog posts. However, failing to acknowledge the audience’s diverse spectrum in the interpretation of survey data is likely to return skewed results, precisely because the audience’s schematic and established knowledge and background information ultimately determine the extent to which they engage with museum narratives, and their willingness to be part of social change. For the same reason, the socio-political and historical context in which museum translators are embedded needs to be considered when analysing any significant translation strategies identified. Thus, centring on the methodological issues arising from museum translation research, this talk discusses rigorous and nuanced ways to read both museum visitors’ as well as translators’ engagement with museum narratives.


Deane-Cox, Sharon. 2014. “Remembering Oradour-Sur-Glane: Collective Memory in Translation.” Translation and Literature 23 (2): 272–283.

Valdeón, Roberto A. 2015. “Colonial Museums in the US (Un)Translated.” Language and Intercultural Communication 15 (3): 362–375.

Ünsal, Deniz. 2019. “Positioning Museums Politically for Social Justice.” Museum Management and Curatorship 34 (6): 595–607.


Kyung Hye Kim is Associate Professor at the Institute of Corpus Studies and Applications, Shanghai International Studies University, China, and Deputy Director and co-founder of SISU Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies. She is a member of Genealogies of Knowledge Research Network and an external partner of Global Health at the European University Alliance Circle U. She is also Chair of Nominations Committee of IATIS, the International Association for Translation & Intercultural Studies. Her academic interests lie in corpus-based translation studies, critical discourse analysis, and multilingualism in media translation.

Webinar series: interaction and engagement in museum translation

Tuesday, 1 March (16.00-17.00 UK time)

Initiating and Boosting Stakeholder Engagement around Translation: A Look at the Heritage and Museum Sector

Dr. Sharon Deane-Cox (University of Strathclyde)

Pauline Côme (University of Strathclyde)

Registration link:

This talk will draw on Sharon and Pauline’s experience of working with professionals in the heritage and museum sector, with examples taken from their individual projects and from their joint involvement in the RSE Translating Scotland’s Heritage research network. The first issue to be addressed will be best practice in terms of identifying and establishing contacts, including the need to ensure that research ethics protocols are taken into consideration. The subsequent importance of analysing the needs, interests and expectations (NIEs) of stakeholders who come on board will also be stressed, along with the inherent value of effective communication with non-academic audiences. Throughout, Sharon and Pauline will also draw attention the specific challenges of stakeholder engagement that they have encountered, not least problems associated with timeframes, data availability and other practical difficulties, and discuss how these were handled. Finally, they will highlight how keeping track of the impact of your research and remaining alert to longer-term co-operation are both crucial steps that will serve to maximize the potential of your activities with stakeholders. Overall, this talk aims to provide participants with ideas and tools that will help to facilitate and underpin engagement around translation, in its various forms, within and beyond the sector.


Sharon Deane-Cox is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Strathclyde, UK, assistant editor of Translation Studies, and member of the Young Academy of Scotland. She is author of a monograph on Retranslation (2014) and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Translation and Memory (2022). Key research interests include the translation of Holocaust memory in testimonies and memorial museums, Scottish heritage translation, and interpreter history. She was also PI of the RSE ‘Translating Scotland’s Heritage’ research network (2019 – 2021).

Pauline Côme is a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde. Her research investigates the use and impact of translated materials on French speaking visitors in Scottish heritage sites. She was also the administrative assistant for the ‘Translating Scotland’s Heritage’ research network (2019 – 2021). She previously completed a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies at Le Mans Université (France) and a Master’s degree in Business Translation and Interpreting with the University of Strathclyde.

Museum Translation: Interaction and Engagement

1 – 10 March 2022

A short webinar series

This online event, made up of 4 related webinars held over 2 weeks, is co-hosted by the Training Committee, International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) and The Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), at Heriot-Watt University.

Museum translation, an encompassing term which can be understood as translation activities in their broadest sense taking place in or in relation to museums, has gradually received some attention from translation scholars in recent years. The multimodal and intercultural museum space and exhibitions have provided opportunities for researchers in translation studies to explore new dimensions, and in particular, to work with different stakeholders in this process and space of communication. This event consists of four webinars, with each presenter sharing their experience of engaging with one or more groups of stakeholders, including museum curators and visitors, interdisciplinary research collaborators, translation trainees, and the multilingual community. It is hoped that this event will further studies and interaction with other stakeholders in museum translation.

Tuesday, 1 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Initiating and Boosting Stakeholder Engagement around Translation: A Look at the Heritage and Museum Sector

More information:

Registration link:

Thursday, 3 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Kyung Hye Kim (Shanghai International Studies University)

Engaging the Visitors: The Impact of Translation in Memorial Museums

More information:

Registration link:

Tuesday, 8 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Prof. Dr. Monika Krein-Kühle (TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne)

Training the Art Translator

More information:

Registration link:

Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Dorota Goluch (Cardiff University)

Dr. Agnieszka Podpora (independent researcher)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

More information:

Registration link:

The events will be held on Zoom and are free to attend, but to confirm your place at these events please register in advance. Log-in details and Zoom link will then be emailed to all those who have registered. You are welcome to join one, more or all of the events.

If you have any questions, please contact the event organizer: Dr. Min-Hsiu Liao (

Free online event on 27 January: Roundtable discussion of translation and sciences

The role of Arabic translation in the dissemination of scientific knowledge

The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University invites you to celebrate International Arabic Day by joining our roundtable focusing on the role of translation from and into Arabic in the dissemination of knowledge in the sciences.

Interpreting services will be available in Arabic, BSL, English, French and Spanish.

Click here to register for the event:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar and use interpreting services.

Translation has played and continues to play a pivotal role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge. One of the greatest examples is the translation movement from Latin and Ancient Greek into Arabic and from Arabic into other European languages which played an undeniable role in the development of the sciences geographically in Europe and historically in the Renaissance era (Montgomery 2000, Salama-Carr 1990, 2009). It is also widely recognised that translation from European languages, mainly French, as a global lingua franca, into Arabic, at the beginning of the 19th century played a similar role in the Arabic renaissance (Al-Nahda) in the Arab-speaking world. 

On this International Arabic Day, we would like to reflect on the role of translation in knowledge dissemination and highlight the role of translation from and into Arabic in disseminating and cross-fertilising scientific knowledge. We would like also to acknowledge the impact of this translation activity in enriching the Arabic language.  

Our distinguised speakers are invited to share their knowledge and personal experiences concerning the impact of translation from and into Arabic in the dissemination of science and in enriching the Arabic language. They are:

Dr Ali Almanaa, Associate professor, Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar;

Mr Driss Aboulhoucine, Coordinator, Translation and Interpretation Services, World Health Organisation, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt;

Dr Fayza El-Kacem, Professor in Translation Studies, Ecole Supérieure de l’Interprétariat et de la Traduction, Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle, Paris 3, France ;

Dr Layla Al Musawi, Program manager for Publicizing and Dissemination of Science and Technology, Scientific Culture Directorate, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Kuwait;

Dr Mohammad Al Refaei, Resident Physician, Internal Medicine at Aleppo University Hospital, Syria, Science Writer at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences;

Mr Nawaar Sobh, Translator and editor,, Syria;

Dr Rana Dajani, Professor at the Hashemite University, Jordan, President of the Society for Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World.

INterpreter-mediated Mental Health Act Assessments (INForMHAA)

Project update

Celia Hulme & Jemina Napier

Click here for the blog post in BSL


I am Jemina Napier, from Heriot-Watt University, and I am Celia Hulme, from the University of Manchester, and here we provide an overview of a project that we are both involved in as part of a research team.

The aim of the project is to explore mental health and interpreting but very specifically how AMHPs (Approved Mental Health Professionals) work alongside spoken language interpreters or sign language interpreters, particularly if an individual needs assessing under the Mental Health Act (in England). The person may be unable to access English written or spoken, for whatever reason, so the interpreter and the professional need to work together. Very little research has been done in this area, so it’s a very important and novel project.

The INForMHAA project has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), under the School of Social Care Research and it is funded for 18-months. It is an interdisciplinary project bringing together professionals from various backgrounds. 

We have a team of six people on the core research team, all from different backgrounds bringing different expertise and experiences. Firstly, we have Alys Young, Principal Investigator on the project. She is at the University of Manchester, a Professor of Social Work and brings a social work perspective, and also a Deaf Studies perspective. Then, we have, Jemina Napier, Co-investigator on the project, who is from Heriot-Watt University, a Professor and Chair of Intercultural Communication and the Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences, bringing perspective as a sign language interpreter and someone that trains interpreters and also uses BSL. Next, we have Dr Rebecca Tipton, another Co-investigator on the project. She is also from the University of Manchester and she lectures in Translation and Interpreting Studies, and speaks French. Next, we have Dr Sarah Vicary, who is also a Co-investigator on the project. She is from the Open University and is the Associate Head of School of Nations. She is also a registered qualified social worker and has been for 30 years, and she brings a social work perspective. We also have Dr Natalia Rodriguez Vicente from the University of Essex. She lectures in Modern Languages, Interpreting and Translation, and she is also a Spanish speaker and works as a postdoctoral research associate on the project. And Celia Hulme who is from the University of Manchester and is a final year PhD student in health research and I am involved in the INForMHAA project as a research assistant bringing a deaf perspective, but also a PPIE perspective. Jackie Wan Brown has recently joined the project as an intern as part of her NIHR funded pre-doctoral programme.

Project Advisory Group

With respect to the Project Advisory Group, it’s really important as a research team to have an advisory group as we have knowledge about the research process but we also need people to advise whether they are AMHPs, social workers and also interpreters; they are experts in their field. We set up an advisory group so that throughout the process of doing the research, we make sure that their personal and professional experiences are included. We also want to include key stakeholders, interpreters, both for spoken and sign languages, but also people that work as AMHPs and even teach AMHPs and go through that process.

The aim of the advisory group is to meet once every three months. So, we get together on a regular basis to talk about the research, we update them as to what we’ve been doing and how things are going. We ask them to contribute any ideas, resources that we could use such as academic literature, policies, and legislation. Also, anything that they would like to recommend that they know about, for example key contacts if we are trying to recruit people, so we also use their network alongside ours. When we produce our preliminary results, we will ask them for feedback in the results and methods. We will work alongside them to promote the research through their networks and contacts; hopefully recruit people and make sure that this research has a real strong impact. It is a really important group to have involved in the project. Hopefully at the end of the research when it’s all been completed, they will help with dissemination as well through their networks. It is an ongoing process, not only for a limited time. We are hoping that they will support in the long term as well.

Patient and Public involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group

The PPIE group is for people that are not on the Advisory Group. These are a different group; they may be service users themselves or have direct experience of being assessed under the Mental Health Act. Their inclusion in the project is of real importance so

that is why we have a PPIE group. Our aim is to recruit eight members, all from different backgrounds, because the project is focused on Interpreter-Mediated Mental Health Act Assessments, we need to get people who have direct experience of working with interpreters and being assessed by an AHMP. So, we need to reflect their background.

We are trying to make sure we have diverse representation, so, we may have different language speakers on the panel, but also people with different skills and experiences.

When we recruit individuals, we don’t get going straight away, we will train the panel members to enable them to be effective panel members.  We give them information as to

what PPIE means, the research process, and then we will get them involved in the research project. They are involved in different tasks such as project design, where we will ask their opinions. They can get involved in data collection also in dissemination of the research, be potential authors, attend conferences, present findings from the study to difference audiences and pass on information on our behalf. So, they are going to be very busy in the project.

Scoping review

The scoping review is an important part of the project. What we need to do is try to understand what research has been done in this area and how our research can fill a gap in knowledge. It’ really important for us to identify this gap. People talk about literature reviews, that is one way of doing it, but our project is different because its social care research. We will be doing something different and it is referred to as a scoping review. So, this helps us identify what’s been published, and what research has been done in the area, but not only academic research. It could be things that have been published such as policies, legislation, any information pertaining particularly to the Mental Health Act assessments.  We have a strict inclusion and exclusion criteria that we must follow. For example, we are interested in research to do with mental health and interpreting but would not be interested in health interpreting generally. We try to narrow it down and understand particular research about mental health. We try to identify the gaps to make sure our project aims are covering a gap and giving new knowledge. It is a long process, and we are currently in the process of filtering the research, checking, agreeing what we will and will not include. We are going through that process at the moment and that’s just one of our methods. 

Mixed-methods research

There are two phases to the project, and each phase is different. This is a mixed-methods study, so we are not only using one method but several. One method, is the scoping review, which is taking place in Phase 1. But we also want to find out the experience of the AHMPs and the interpreters, and we are getting that information through a survey questionnaire, also in Phase 1. There are two surveys because the questions are different for interpreters and AHMPs. In the survey, there is an option for them to agree to be involved in an interview so they can talk in more detail about their experiences.

Phase two involves what we call ‘simulated practice’ and what we envision will happen is

people will observe a Mental Health Act assessment taking place, so there will be

an AHMP with an interpreter, in BSL or a spoken language, doing an assessment with other

individuals (from the advisory and/or PPIE groups) observing this happening.  We will then discuss what has worked well and if there were any issues that we need to think about. This will help us develop training materials. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided that everything has to take place online.

We are lucky that Zoom has different options and a special function that we can turn on that allows you to provide different language interpretations, so different spoken languages can be used simultaneously. Our aim is to adopt a multilingual approach.  So that means AHMPs could speak English, and the individual being assessed could use BSL or a different spoken language and people can listen to different language options or watch BSL interpreters. And then after the simulation is finished we will gather their thoughts and opinions on the process and what that felt like. We want to ask them different questions using a poll. We have trialled several different options to see what works well so that people to contribute their views. We’re still in midst of that. We are currently piloting what works well. Then, we will work out the situation and what that is going to look like. We will start developing that soon, so it’s very exciting.

Data analysis

In terms of the analysis, we will use various different methods. For example, for the survey, we will be using descriptive analysis and may use statistical analysis. For the interviews, we will use something called the phenomenological approach which allows us to examine the individuals and their experiences. For the simulated practice, we will using different approaches. We will be analysing the interaction between the interpreter, the assessor, the service user, or the carer. We will be using software tools GoReact and ELAN. So, we will use both to analyse the information.

So, that’s the overall project.

Knowledge Exchange and Information Exchange (KEIE)

We also have a responsibility to share our findings. We have to make sure that research is accessible and has an impact and will benefit those people concerned. For example, service users, AMHPs and interpreters, so we do this through KEIE. We will publish papers but the main foundation and principle behind our project is accessibility, making sure information is accessible. So, we will disseminate information in English, in sign language like we’re doing today with this vlog. But also, we want to try to make it available in different spoken languages. We will have a website where these different language options are available and everything will be available in sign language. We will post regular updates as we go along that will be on the website, so that people can engage and see the information we are putting out there. We will also host workshops, deliver presentations at academic conferences and for professional organisations and communities, making sure that people are aware of what is going on with the project. For example, we delivered a workshop to NIHR SSCR, who funded the project and we talked about accessibility, what that means and how we designed our project with accessibility in mind using a multilingual approach and how we have embedded the principle of accessibility in the whole research design that will hopefully continue long after the lifespan of the project.

Website & Resources

A website is currently being developed for the project. There will be information and guidance available on the website at the end of the project. We hope to create some training materials, guidelines for interpreters working with AMHPs and guidelines for AMHPs working with interpreters plus, these resources will be free and available online, so anybody interested in the topic can download these materials, whether they teach AMHPs or are interpreters, they will have access to these materials as well.