Posted on: July 14, 2014 by: Helen Hewertson
The inaugural AICUR (All-Ireland Conference of Undergraduate Research) was held at the University of Limerick on Friday, 4th April, 2014, in the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance. It was a venture of collaboration, organised by a university-wide steering committee, chaired by Dr Fiona Farr, Centre for Teaching and Learning, with members from the four faculties, the Irish World Academy and UL’s Students’ Union.
What set it apart from many other academic conferences was that the primary content was delivered by undergraduate student presenters from across all the disciplines. On the day, AICUR attendees were presented with insights into a wide variety of topics: from Infanticide in Victorian Literature to The Construction of Women in Popular Video Games – and many more in between!
What transpired on the day was the emergence of a community of, hitherto unconnected, researchers brought together by a shared desire to participate in, and share their research passions, using the nascent AICUR as their platform. These AICUR pioneers showed all in attendance the value of undergraduate research in higher education, and, in turn, what it can achieve.
The AICUR participants were encouraged throughout the conference by the plenary speakers, (Dr Breandán De Gallaí (formerly of Riverdance), Tony Donohoe (IBEC) and UL’s Prof. Sarah Moore) who shared their own insights into what it means to approach knowledge as a researcher in today’s world.
Faculty members from across UL came to the AICUR to show support for the notably high quality of presented research, and many of the sessions were chaired by lecturers eager to be part of the AICUR experience.
It is hoped that this sense of community and sharing of knowledge will continue at next year’s AICUR which is already in the planning!
Taken from a press release by AICUR and the University of Limerick.