7th Annual AICUR (All Ireland Conference of Undergraduate Research)
The 7th AICUR conference was planned to take place in the University of Limerick at the beginning of April 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the physical conference became untenable. It was important to the AICUR organising committee that students would be given the opportunity to showcase their undergraduate research in some way.
Students were given the option to participate in an ‘Alternative AICUR 2020’, one that could be supported by the online environment. They responded to this revision with an enthusiasm clearly reflected in this ‘Book of Abstracts’. As a result of student commitment and resilience, there is now an impressive repository of conference contributions hosted on this year’s AICUR webpage.
'Student engagement' and 'student success' are terms used across the Higher Education sector, but how these broad terms apply to an individual student is multifaceted. The creation and annual hosting of AICUR provides a platform for students to share their undergraduate research and experience an academic conference. The feedback from students about the developmental opportunity AICUR affords them makes this conference continually worthwhile. Being a delegate of AICUR facilitates a feeling of success for each student who is dedicated and brave enough to put themselves forward. This sense of success is one all students should experience throughout their undergraduate programmes.
“Enabling student success is critical to our national ambitions at an economic, societal and sectoral level…it is fundamental to maximising the transformative impact of higher education for our students.”
(Understanding and Enabling Student Success in Irish Higher Education, National Forum, 2019, p.1)
Register for AICURRegister
What are the benefits of participation?
The conference will give undergraduate students (from first to final year) from colleges and universities across Ireland the opportunity to present their research and showcase their creative accomplishments through posters, performances, workshops and oral presentations.
This is a great opportunity for participants as it will provide you with feedback on your work, tips on presenting, and real life experience of presenting at an academic conference - not to mention networking opportunities.
During the conference you will be able to meet and talk to other undergraduate researchers and faculty from both your own and other disciplines, and you will also be able to learn about how other disciplines approach research problems.
‘By heightening awareness and creating dialogue, it is hoped research can lead to better understanding of the way things appear to someone else and through this insight lead to improvements in practice.’ – Barritt (1986: 20)
Alternative AICUR 2020 Workshop
Record turnout for 6th Annual AICUR (All Ireland Conference for Undergraduate Research)
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, award winners are listed below.
What is an undergraduate student conference?An undergraduate research conference is just like any other academic conference but what makes it special is that the presentations will be delivered by undergraduate students presenting work they have done as part of their studies.
Presentation Types 2019There are 5 options presented in AICUR 2019:
- Research in 3
- Oral Presentations ( 5min / 10 min / 15 min)
- Poster Presentations
- Video Presentations
Click here for more info
The CTL wish to extend a special thanks to AICUR’s main sponsor ZAGG, a Shannon based supplier of mobile accessories, who have supported the conference since its inception. Thanks also to prize sponsorship from Munster Rugby, O’Mahony’s Bookshop UL, the UL Visitor Centre, the Stables Club, Aramark, Get Up & Go Ltd, UL Sport Arena, the Undergraduate Awards and the Bank of Ireland.