26 February 2014
The Posters in Parliament exhibition was held at Westminster
Pictured left: Professor Gerry Kelleher, Vice-Chancellor, Aisha Bismallah, Karl Povey and Dr. Robert Walsh, Executive Director of Research
Members of Parliament gained a fascinating insight into the UK’s best undergraduate research thanks to the annual Posters in Parliament exhibition which took place in Westminster.
Sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Higher Education Academy, undergraduate students from 23 universities congregated in the Jubilee Room yesterday, Tuesday 25 February, to unveil research findings from a huge range of fascinating subject areas.
Research posters included details of an innovative electronically controlled turbocharger which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Other projects ranged from an analysis of UK attitudes to buying beef following the horsemeat scandal to a study of internet addiction in China.
Now in its second year, the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) event was a celebration of British undergraduate research excellence and was inspired by the US Posters on the Hill event, where US students display their undergraduate research at the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
“The spirit of enquiry should be at the heart of higher education and at UCLan research-informed teaching is central to our ethos.”
The event gave UK universities a stage to present high quality work being produced by undergraduates and also demonstrated how research-informed teaching can enhance the overall student experience.
BCUR has made a significant contribution to the success of undergraduate research and continues its work to promote it in all disciplines by providing students with an opportunity to share their research through poster presentations, spoken papers, or through creative outputs such as performances and film.
On the day, a judging panel, consisting of Ben Wallace MP (Conservative MP for Wyre and Preston North; and exhibition host) Sean Coughlan, Education Correspondent at the BBC, Professor Julio Rivera, President of the US Council of Undergraduate Research, and Katherine Harrington of the Higher Education Academy chose the most outstanding research project.
The winner was Talitha Bromwich from the University of Sussex. Her winning project was entitled ‘Searching for Dark Matter’. The highly commended award went to Victoria Sleight, from Plymouth University, for her ‘Microplastics affect the bioavailability of harmful contaminants’ poster.
(Winner student Talitha Bromwich with Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry Kelleher (left) and Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves (second right))
“We champion undergraduate research as it allows students to really delve beyond their formal learning and in some cases produce work which is of a PhD standard.”
Two students from UCLan attended to showcase their undergraduate research. Aisha Bismillah presented her poster on ‘Water purification by photo-catalytic destruction of pollutants’ while Karl Povey displayed his work on ‘An archaeology of Ribchester’.
Professor Gerry Kelleher, Vice-Chancellor at UCLan, said: “We were delighted to sponsor and host the second Posters in Parliament event. This year’s exhibition clearly demonstrated the breadth of undergraduate research taking place at universities across the country, and best of all gave these young people a chance to come together and showcase their projects in the heart of Westminster. The spirit of enquiry should be at the heart of higher education and at UCLan research-informed teaching is central to our ethos.”
Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves, Chair, BCUR Steering Group, said: “Posters in Parliament showcases the fantastic value of research-based learning. We champion undergraduate research as it allows students to really delve beyond their formal learning and in some cases produce work which is of a PhD standard. It is a powerful learning tool which among students promotes originality, creativity and rigor.”