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Top professor praises UCLan’s undergraduate research

03 March 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Distinguished Visitor Programme: Professor Julio Rivera  

Undergraduate research at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is comparable to the leading universities in the United States according to the President of the oldest and largest undergraduate research organisation in the world.

Professor Julio Rivera, President of the US Council of Undergraduate Research, visited UCLan as part of the Distinguished Visitor Programme and attended the University sponsored Posters in Parliament exhibition.

He also participated in a Q&A session with students and praised the quality of the University’s undergraduate research. He said: “UCLan is heading in the right direction. Its undergraduate research programme compares well with the best in the US.”

He was particularly impressed with the interdisciplinary nature of the University’s undergraduate research, something he felt US institutions could learn from.

“The most impressive thing is that research is taking place across the campus, in a variety of contexts. It is very important that research is interdisciplinary.”

“The most impressive thing is that research is taking place across the campus, in a variety of contexts. It is very important that research is interdisciplinary.”

As part of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR), Professor Rivera was on the judging panel for Posters in Parliament, which was inspired by the US Posters on the Hill event. He was impressed with the Westminster exhibition.

“This is one of the best poster sessions I have ever been to in terms of the quality of research, the intensity of the students and of course, the spectacular setting.

“These events give students experience and confidence in presenting their work and it gives them a skill level much higher than their peers. It is very important for parliament to see the quality of this work.”

“This is one of the best poster sessions I have ever been to in terms of the quality of research, the intensity of the students and of course, the spectacular setting. It is very important for parliament to see the quality of this work.”

The Distinguished Visitor Programme is part of UCLan’s strategy to improve its links with the top researchers in the world.

Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves, Chair of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research and Director of the Centre for Research-informed Teaching, was delighted with the impact of Professor Rivera’s visit.

He added: “We are really proud to have Professor Rivera here at UCLan. His address at Westminster was a special moment.

“Undergraduate research is not about one university. It is an international movement and UCLan is starting to earn its place within that.”