The First Annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference

The First Annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference

2014/15 Projects

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The objective of this project is to provide a forum for the development of undergraduates’ research voice at NUI Galway by organising and running the university’s first ever undergraduate research conference, unique in Irish Higher education. 

The conference will provide a platform for sharing  papers, presentations and projects of students’ academic work across disciplines with peers.  Students will have their first experience of a conference, keynote speakers, posters and workshops, highlighting the depth and breadth of research avenues. Students will develop skills and appetite for sharing and cross pollinating their work. The public and local community will be invited to engage with undergraduate research, and secondary schools will be invited to nominate two students to attend a special aspect of the conference to sow the seeds of research in the next generation of researchers.

Project Team & Links

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Lead staff partner: Brian Dooley
Lead staff partner: Lorraine Tansey

Questions? Email undergradconference@nuigalway.ie

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Student partners:

Brian Dooley
Jason Carey
Evan Wynne

Staff partners:

Lorraine Tansey

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NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference
NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference on Twitter
Nominations for the All-Ireland Conference of Undergraduate Research (AICUR)

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Conference Objectives
The first ever undergraduate NUI Galway undergraduate research conference seeks to:
• Engage students and staff in a collaborative multidisciplinary research environment nurturing vital research skills in presentation, communication and dissemination
• Strengthen student research in a safe, supportive environment that will provide avenues for feedback to students on their research as well as boost confidence in ability to carry out rigorous research
• Enable student research voice

Rationale
Why an undergraduate research conference?
At NUI Galway we want: 
• the best research
• to retain our undergraduates as postgraduates
• to celebrate student and staff collaboration through EXPLORE funding
• build students skills and experiences
• offer something new and novel to Irish higher education landscape
• to embrace engagement and democracy and to model a rigorous, shared academic environment and community

Students will gain valuable skills in presenting and communicating their research as well as experience in attending a research conference. “Our objective is to nurture in undergraduates’ first-hand research dissemination opportunities for their educational, professional and career development. Early exposure for undergraduates to research, especially through a conference environment, will spark a growth in future postgraduate opportunities,” said Lorraine Tansey. “We not only aim to bring the students and staff of NUI Galway closer together but we also aim to bring the community of Galway together, inviting members of the public and community to engage with undergraduate research. Secondary schools will be invited to nominate two students to attend a special aspect of the conference to sow the seeds of research in the next generation of researchers.”

Conference Target Audience
This conference will appeal to a number of audiences including but not limited to:
• All undergraduates will be invited to volunteer to support the conference, register to attend the conference, and/or present at the conference
• Class reps and convenors
• Final year projects
• Multi-disciplinary
• Staff interested in supporting a shared academic community
• Local secondary school students
• The general public and surrounding communities

Conference Format
To provide students with an authentic conference experience all students will be invited to register and attend a full-day of jam packed undergraduate research showcase through workshops, keynote speakers, break out spaces, poster sessions and plenaries. Through providing a conference space on campus the papers, presentations and projects of students’ academic work will have a platform for sharing across disciplines with peers. Students will have their first experience of a conference, keynote speakers, posters and workshops, highlighting the depth and breadth of research avenues. Students will develop skills and appetite for sharing and cross pollinating their work. Overall the event will create a community ethos, one that celebrates a rich aspect of NUI Galway, academic rigor and life.

Workshop topics:
• What is a structured PhD?
• What NUI Galway scholarship application forms look like and how to complete
Multi-disciplinary round tables:
• World Café style
• The four presenters are from the same discipline
• The four presenters are from difference disciplines

Other activities:
• Art Exhibition
• Information stands
• Student Panel
• Packs – conference programme

Conference Draft Agenda
10:00 – Registration and Welcome from NUI Galway Vice President of Research
10:30 – Keynote speaker: How to get the most from a research conference (before, during and after the conference); asking great conference questions to presenters! Aimed at undergraduates that have never attended a research conference
11:10 – Session 1: Multi-disciplinary round tables (speakers have ten minutes to present their research; participants free to select the table they wish to join; full programme will list the table number discipline and speakers titles)
12:10 – Session 2: Multi-disciplinary round tables
1:10 – Lunch, Poster Session and talk on how to create the best Research Conference poster, the information stands will be loaded with postgraduate research courses at NUI Galway to give avenues for students passionate about their research to continue it; also stands on postgraduate research funds and scholarships to apply for, deadlines, international research scholarships. Student voice session will also be held during lunch – welcoming student feedback on the undergraduate experience, facilitated by a student panel.
2:10 – Session 3: Multi-disciplinary round tables
3:10 – Session 4: Multi-disciplinary round tables
4:10 – Closing Keynote speaker: where can your research take you?

 

 
Project Updates

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      • Staff and students have been meeting to brainstorm, plan and deliver the Conference in the Bailey Allen on the 19th March 2015. Support from the Research office, NUI Galway, has been instrumental in securing meeting room space for planning and preparation of the conference.

      • St. Angela’s College Sligo are also on board as the conference is open to all applicants to present and attend. Academic Staff, Dr. Maria Gallo is mentoring the student committee with advice on abstract review process, how to put conference organising on your CV and keynote styles.

      • Promotion plans include: SIN paper, advertisements secured; poster design, pull-up design, Research matters Magazine press release, Facebook and twitter; Class Representatives; ALIVE; Societies; Academic Departments.

      • Conference planning: Research Vice President booked for welcome address; Career Development Centre invited to speak; Postgrad Admissions invited to speak; Bailey Allen Hall Booked; catering booked;

      • Volunteer support: recruitment plan, recognition plan through the Presidential Award for Volunteering, the ALIVE Certificate

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      Conference abstracts are currently being reviewed. All students will receive a feedback report on their abstract. Conference workshop preparation is being scheduled to support undergraduate speakers. Exhibitors and Keynote speakers are contributing to the event as well as a growing list of staff an postgraduates willing to chair the conference parallel sessions.

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Artice by
Chris Newell