Students present research to top politicians in Westminster

Friday, 05 February 2016

Posters in Parliament in Westminster

Two Oxford Brookes students took the opportunity to present their research to top politicians at an event in Westminster this week.

The Posters in Parliament exhibition, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire, invited 53 students from 27 universities to display the UK’s best undergraduate research to a range of MPs and higher education policymakers. 

It [Posters in Parliament] was a fantastic learning experience for our students who got to speak to MPs, academics and other student researchers about their final year research. The event also gave MPs the opportunity to meet students who are at the cutting-edge of their fields.

Dr Helen Walkington, Principal Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University

Business and Management student Sammy Nguyen, presented her research study on the opportunities and challenges of high-tech entrepreneurship in the UK. The research project focuses high-tech (also referred to as deep-tech) start-ups where fundamental innovations are created and commercialised to define the technology landscape and the UK's Research and Development capabilities in multidisciplinary sectors. 

She said: "The event was such a rare opportunity to meet so many great people and show them what I am passionate about. It was a truly happy feeling to present my own research and see a lot of interests and engagements in the development of high-tech entrepreneurship in the UK, especially in regard to Anumerics - the case study company I am working on. 

“I was also absolutely amazed by the work of other student researchers. This event is definitely one of the best memories during my four-year study at Oxford Brookes University".

George McDonnell, who studies Computer Science, presented research on his smartphone application which was designed to further the understanding of the rehabilitation progress of patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. He said: “To have the opportunity to receive feedback from MPs, academics and fellow students was invaluable. It was inspiring to see the quality of research being carried out by students across the UK.

“This event was very beneficial [to my studies], the ability to explain your project to a non-technical audience is a key skill that employers require for working in inter-disciplinary teams.”

Posters in Parliament

Sammy and George were supported throughout their research projects by Senior Lecturer Richard Mohun and Principal Lecturer Dr Clare Martin respectively. Dr Martin said: “Posters in Parliament was a wonderful chance for our students to compare research with that of their contemporaries at 26 other universities and it was a huge honour for George to reach the final shortlist of eight, for the winning poster.”

Influential government and sector leading dignitaries who attended included former Chair of the House of Commons Education Committee Barry Sheerman MP;  Professor Les Ebdon, Director of OFFA; Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance ; and John Redwood MP.

Dr Helen Walkington, Principal Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University said: “The ‘Get Published!’ cross-university project at Oxford Brookes has supported our students in attending the Posters in Parliament event this year. 

“It was a fantastic learning experience for our students who got to speak to MPs, academics and other student researchers about their final year research.  The event also gave MPs the opportunity to meet students who are at the cutting-edge of their fields.

“As a steering committee member of the British Conference on Undergraduate research which organises Posters in Parliament and the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, I am looking forward to supporting more of our students in Manchester where they will present their work at the national conference in March.”

‘Get Published!’ is a project to support undergraduate and taught masters students at Oxford Brookes. The project aims to enhance the research literacy of students, allow students to share their research findings with a wide audience, enable Brookes graduates to stand out from the crowd and create the UK’s first institutional online collection of student research.  More information about the project can be found on the ‘Get Published!’ webpage.