Research undertaken by students as part of their undergraduate degree studies is to be showcased at an international conference to be held at The University of Nottingham later this month.
The event, which will feature posters and presentations from students from 20 countries from around the globe, will offer many participants their first taste of a genuine academic conference as well as an impressive addition to their professional CV.
The British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR)
, which takes place on University Park campus on the 14th and 15th April this year, aims to highlight the top quality research which many students undertake during the final year of their first degree — work which in the past has been often largely overlooked.
Dr Martin Luck, in the University’s School of Biosciences, is a member of the BCUR steering group. He said: “In the UK most students have to engage with research as part of their undergraduate degree, as laid down by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Despite that, it is an area of research which is very often overlooked.
“In university departments across the UK — and indeed around the world — there is a large amount of high quality research which never sees the light of day and is left to gather dust on a shelf. I believe that students need greater recognition for their work and this is what the conference is aiming to address.”
The conference, which will attract around 350 delegates, will feature posters and presentations on a truly multi-disciplinary range of subjects — everything from molecular science and drama to social science and historical analysis will be represented.
In addition to attending and presenting research, undergraduate students will also play a huge role in its organisation and running. A team of around 30 Nottingham undergraduates will be overseeing every aspect from the running of the front desk to chairing the individual sessions.
Twenty-six students from The University of Nottingham will be presenting their research at the conference; among them art history student Emma Hardiman and environmental science student Chloe Stevenson who recently presented their work in Westminster during February’s Posters in Parliament
Stevenson said she often felt disillusioned while writing her dissertation by
the knowledge that only the two people marking it would see the results of her
added: “I think the conference presents a valuable and untapped opportunity for
undergraduates. It gives them a rare chance to showcase the passion and hours
spent in the lab or researching, to produce outstanding and often unique pieces
is no doubt that my attendance has added to my CV. I am currently interning at
CDP (formerly the carbon disclosure programme). This requires me to regularly
engage with companies, participating in meetings and presentations. In this
case the confidence I have gained participating in the conference has been
The pick of the crop from the Nottingham students who are presenting at the BCUR event in April will also be chosen to represent the University’s UK campuses at the upcoming U21 Undergraduate Research Conference being held in Shanghai in July, which will focus on the topic of food safety. Nottingham will also send a student from each of its campuses in China and Malaysia to complete its trio of delegates attending.
Wyn Morgan, Assistant Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, said: “The
BCUR is a tremendous initiative which showcases the excellent work carried out
by students who have engaged with the research process characteristic of many
universities. Making explicit the research-teaching nexus is essential for
universities and it opens up new avenues of analysis for inquisitive students
to pursue. By drawing together the best of these research projects into a
conference like the BCUR, we are able to highlight not only the very high
quality of student work but also the sheer energy and excitement that can be
generated when students are set a testing research challenge.”
Follow BCUR on twitter @bcur14 and join in the conversation using #BCUR14
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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