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Impressive, supportive and inspiring: an academic conference by students, for students

On 12 and 13 April 2018, The University of Sheffield hosted the eighth British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR). Every year, BCUR is hosted by a different UK university; this year, 456 undergraduate students and recent graduates from 65 universities presented their research in a variety of fields. Most delegates came from the UK, with some coming from as far as Canada.

Staff accompanied 30 Solent presenters, for 24 pieces of work, from a range of subjects. Solent brought the fifth largest number of students – a huge achievement, especially considering the higher numbers came from universities between 40 and 123 years older!

Solent students presented a range of research, including “King Lear by William Shakespeare as political theatre” and “Combining modern hydrofoils and wooden classic yachts”, showing the true diversity of the university. Delegates could choose to deliver their research in the form of oral presentations, posters, performances, and installations, allowing for all to be represented at the conference. They were a real credit to themselves in their confidence, and ability to present and answer questions about their work.

Unlike many academic conferences, the sessions were not organised by subject, so it gave all an excellent opportunity to learn from different approaches, as well as about the various subjects. When describing the event, one student noted that the “whole event was really impressive, and the atmosphere was very supportive”.

So, why go? The students were excellent representatives for the university, and their level of work was truly inspiring.  BCUR is an incredible opportunity for students to present their research and encourage skills for the future, including building their confidence and growing networks through academic conversations. This year’s conference was a success and paves the way for next year’s event at the University of South Wales in Cardiff.

Contributed by Megan Llewellyn, Graduate Intern 2017-18 

Solent presenters:

  • Andrew Wort
  • Jean-Baptiste Souppez (on behalf of student)
  • Hollie Ward
  • Sebastian Graves-Read
  • Catarina Naique Taborda
  • Megan Llewellyn
  • M Arena, S H Palmork, E Paviopoulos, J Stigen, M Stratis
  • John Oldfield
  • Olivia Leigh
  • Ellis McKenna
  • Ville Lindén
  • Joseph Thomas
  • Judith Clucas
  • Francesco Pignone
  • Ellen Gray
  • Jack Bishop
  • A Bisgrove, J Ellis, D Patel
  • George Crick
  • Christie Green
  • Ashley Richards
  • Billy Cousins
  • Alex Parkinson
  • Annie Lawton
  • Amelia Merrett