BCUR Leeds blog part 2
Posted on: May 14, 2015 by: Jordan Bestwick
BCUR Leeds Blog: Entry 2
Hello folks! Before Easter you may recall my earlier post introducing you to the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR), held at the University of Winchester from 20th-21st April. This is an event enabling undergraduates to showcase their dissertation or independent research to their peers from across the UK and elsewhere in the form of a talk or poster. Well Easter has been and gone, so it’s time to tell you how the 16 delegates from Leeds University got on!
17th April: Pre-conference Event
The Friday before BCUR the inaugural pre-conference training event was held in the Earth and Environment building, giving all delegates a chance to practice their talks and poster presentations under less pressurised circumstances. However I’m not sure an event attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, could be considered less-pressurised! The Vice-Chancellor has been a supporter of BCUR since it was founded in 2010 so it was great to see he still has a keen interest. After talking to all poster-presenting delegates and sitting through the talks, it was safe to say the Vice-Chancellor thought the future of undergraduate research was in good hands in Leeds.
The feedback from all event attendees was very positive, helping all delegates (including myself) feel prepared for the main conference to come.
20th-21st April: British Conference of Undergraduate Research
After making the journey from Leeds to Winchester the previous day, the Leeds delegates were ready to make their mark at BCUR.
What made the conference interesting were the diversity of research topics from across the attending universities, from bed bug mating behaviours to Viking culture, from psychological health to Atheist theatre, from coastal erosion to workplace efficiency. This range allowed everyone to satisfy their curiosity in areas beyond their usual degree.
Of course Leeds was no exception to this diversity. On day 1 Leeds were represented by several delegates, including Robert Evans from the School of Chemistry presenting his talk on “Computational Chemistry Calculations Exploring the Photochemical Reaction of Spiropyrans” (no, us neither) and Coline Sénac from the school of Sociology presenting her talk on “Cross-cultural homosexualities: the british-indian lesbians.” For many attendees from Leeds, this was the first time they were presenting their work at an official conference and was thus an exciting first step into research communication.
On day 2 Leeds were represented by more delegates with several from the school of Earth & Environment. These included Jed Atkinson presenting his poster on “Testing the biotic recovery from the early Toarcian (Jurassic) extinction event” (and even brought along a few fossil specimens to show), and Sophie Wilkinson presenting her poster on “An evaluation of the recovery of a peatland, post-wildfire, by assessing hydrological processes.” The last delegate from Leeds to present was Yuta Nozoe from the School of Education, who is also an exchange student from Japan, with his talk on “The relations between construction of identity as another language user and change of motivation for L2 learning.”
Before we knew it the conference was over. BCUR was a really worthwhile experience to present our research but gain insight into what other people have been doing. For several people (including myself) being able to deliver a presentation at BCUR have helped them secure PhD positions, thus the benefits of presenting at conferences such as this cannot be stressed enough.
From all Leeds delegates we would like to sincerely thank the Footsteps Fund for funding our registration costs and travel to BCUR and thank Katie Livesey for taking all the hassle out of attending such a large conference.
All of us from Leeds would whole-heartedly recommend anyone who has conducted/ is conducting undergraduate research, whether it is their dissertation or an independent project, to present their hard work at BCUR 2016 in Manchester. Who knows, it could be the springboard for starting your dream career!
Jordan Bestwick: Leeds BCUR delegate.
For more information visit the BCUR website: http://www.bcur.org/
The Footsteps Fund: http://campaign.leeds.ac.uk/project/the-footsteps-fund/
Fig.1 Robert Evans from the School of Chemistry presenting his talk “Computational Chemistry Calculations Exploring the Photochemical Reaction of Spiropyrans.” Photo courtesy of Katie Livesey.
Fig.2 Jed Atkinson from the School of Earth & Environment with his poster “Testing the biotic recovery from the early Toarcian (Jurassic) extinction event.” Photo courtesy of Jordan Bestwick
Fig.3 Sophie Wilkinson from the School of Earth & Environment with her poster “An evaluation of the recovery of a peatland, post-wildfire, by assessing hydrological processes.” Photo courtesy of Jordan Bestwick.
Fig.4 Yuta Nozoe from the School of Education presenting his talk “The relations between construction of identity as another language user and change of motivation for L2 learning.” Photo courtesy of Jordan Bestwick.
Fig.5 Leeds delegates at BCUR 2015. Top row left to right: Jacob Morton, Alex Baird, Jordan Bestwick, Robert Evans, Yuta Nozoe, Jed Atkinson and Morgan Plain. Bottom row left to right: Rosie Collington, Robert Taylor, Emma Simpson, Lucy McGregor, Sophie Wilkinson, and Rachel Kearsey. Photo courtesy of Jordan Bestwick.