The British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) was held on the 22-23rd March 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University. It was a two-day programme featuring more than 400 students presenting across all disciplines from research into the representation of ballerinas in the work of Degas to the potential of flavonoids to inhibit proteolytic enzymes in snake venom.
Huddersfield students, whose research was submitted to Fields – a journal publishing peer reviewed student research, were funded to attend the conference. The students were Beth O’Donnell, Jamie Washington, Naomi Cubillo-Barsi, Sophie Cherrington and James Fox.
Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves, who developed BCUR, was the keynote on day one and entertained with an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as an example of an undergraduate research project.
Beth O’ Donnell presented her research into gendered representations of male and female murderers in newspapers, full paper available at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/26724/
Below Beth reflects on the BCUR experience:
“I feel privileged to have been a part of BCUR 16. Initially the thought of presenting my research to an audience was daunting, however it was empowering to share my findings with students from universities across the country. It was interesting to gain feedback on my research and to have an insight into people’s interpretations of my work. BCUR 16 was a great opportunity for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the day.”
Naomi Cubillo-Barsi showcased her research into the public benefit requirement relating to charitable causes with a poster presentation, full paper available at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/26725/
Naomi comments on the conference:
“The conference was an ideal platform for undergraduate students from an array of different academic backgrounds to share their research. I was particularly interested in a presentation on how open access could improve the rate and fidelity of drug translation. The research showed that sharing research at the initial stages of drug testing could actually increase the number of patents, thereby challenging the rationale behind the principle of research confidentiality.”
Sophie Cherrington was part of a team of science students who explored membrane proteins from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and they also presented a poster, the full paper available at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/26728/
Jamie Washington presented his research into the rise of the far-right in Germany post- unification.
James Fox presented his research on changes and similarities in the composition of early Nintendo video game music, full paper available at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/26721/
Below James reflects on the BCUR experience:
“It was great to share experiences from other schools and disciplines; not just from Huddersfield but also from other universities. I think this sort of event is essential for an individual to expand their thought processes and actually experience the wider sphere of academia and how we might find our own place in a professional capacity one day.
Aside from the greatest experience of actually presenting an oral paper, which I’ll come onto later, having the chance to listen to so much information from very disparate fields was fantastic, but getting to ask questions about other people’s research was really enlightening: I always like to know what brought people to their research and what they perceive to be the next stage to move on to, as well as how they will use the research and what sort of impact it might have. These are questions I’ve been engaged with since before I started my Masters’ degree this year and know that they can sometimes be quite difficult questions to answer.
The experience of presenting and promoting my work, whilst representing the University of Huddersfield, was fairly daunting but exhilarating. My preparation for the presentation felt quite extensive as I wanted to try and use the time wisely. I decided that showing the audience the interesting, relevant, and entertaining findings using media rather than discussing methodology or data would be the best way to present my research along with examples most could relate to. Thankfully all the video and sound clips worked flawlessly and my timing seemed quite strong.
Hopefully I will have another chance to speak about my work publicly, and when that day comes the information and experience I’ve gathered from my time at the BCUR16 will be essential for informing my approach: another set of lessons have been learned and I feel far stronger for it.”
Posted by Kathrine Jensen (@kshjensen), Research Assistant, Teaching and Learning Institute.
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