This year’s All Ireland Conference for Undergraduate Research (AICUR) had its highest numbers of undergraduate research participants to date, and took place in the Kemmy Business School, UL on 28th March, 2019.
The keynote speech for the 6th annual event was delivered by Seamus Hickey. Seamus was part of the 2018 Limerick All-Ireland winning senior hurling team, is Chair of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), and is a UL alumnus. Seamus successfully defended his PhD thesis from UL in 2018 and works as the Research Projects Coordinator for Johnson & Johnson.
The theme of Seamus’ keynote was ‘Finding Balance: Striving for Success in Academia, Industry and Sport’ and he imparted three key messages in seeking balance in his life, firstly seek to pursue what you are passionate about, secondly, prioritise because this enables focus, and lastly, trust the process. Amongst these three messages Seamus strongly advocated for periods of reflection and there are always learnings from ‘undesirable outcomes’.
Almost 80 students contributed their work on the day, the highest students’ representation was from UL, however this year saw students presenting and contributing from five other institutions including UCD, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, Sligo IT and Mary Immaculate College. Students were given multiple options for delivery of their research including 15, 10, and 5-minute oral presentations as well as ‘Research in 3’, performance, video and poster presentations. There were awards presented to students in six categories.
AICUR was founded by former Dean, Teaching and Learning, Prof Fiona Farr in 2014 to“provide a platform for undergraduate students to share their research, in a diversity of forms, and experience participating and presenting in an academic conference. The benefits of such an experience, academically, socially and personally for students are significant.”