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Parliament event showcases the best in undergraduate research

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University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) undergraduates Anya Snary and Jessica Oliver outside Parliament with their research posters.

UCLan organised event attracted MPs and higher education representatives

Two undergraduate students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have taken their ground-breaking research to Westminster.

Jessica Oliver and Anya Snary presented their research alongside 51 other students to a range of MPs and higher education policymakers at the annual Posters in Parliament exhibition yesterday, 2 February.

Fourth year chemistry student Jessica showcased her research on the use of nanotechnology in water purification, particularly the uses of it in third world nations. The 21-year-old, from Abergele, who made the poster winning shortlist on the day, said: “Being able to learn new techniques in nanotechnology outside of my course made me really excited about this project. I’m really enjoyed seeing the wide variety of work presented this year in London.”

 

It’s a privilege to be part of this event and to represent women in science, it was a great opportunity to network amongst like-minded people.

Twenty-one-year-old Anya, from Leicester, presented her research in the field of neuroscience linking periodontal diseases with the onset of Alzheimer’s. She said: “It’s a privilege to be part of this event and to represent women in science, it was a great opportunity to network amongst like-minded people.”

Influential government and sector leading dignitaries who attended included former Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee Barry Sheerman MP; Professor Les Ebdon, Director of OFFA; Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance; and John Redwood MP.



The judges, led by UCLan Honorary Fellow Sir Anthony Cleaver, chose Amanda Campbell, from University College London, as the best poster prize winner for her interdisciplinary research centred on finding biodegradable solutions to temporary structures like festival tents. Akira Tiele, from the University of Warwick, won the highly commended award for his research in clinical procedures in breath analysis.

I know there is some very exciting ground-breaking research taking place at UCLan at the moment and it’s always a great honour to help showcase the best of that work to my colleagues in Westminster.

The event was sponsored by Preston MP Mark Hendrick. He said: “Posters in Parliament is a great opportunity for undergraduates from UCLan and other universities to showcase the best of their research to Parliamentarians. I know there is some very exciting ground-breaking research taking place at UCLan at the moment and it’s always a great honour to help showcase the best of that work to my colleagues in Westminster.”

Established by UCLan four years ago, the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) event was inspired by the US Posters on the Hill event.

BCUR Chairman Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves said: “Here at UCLan we want to shake people out of their perceptions of what undergraduate students are capable of. Research is at the heart of UCLan, many of our lecturers started out in undergraduate research and are now leading in their field.”

Pictures taken at Posters in Parliament can be viewed at this Facebook photo gallery.

Amy-Louise Thompson | 03 February 2016