Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes Undergraduates Attend Prestigious Research Conference

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tara Bentley, third year historian, reports on her visit to the British Conference on Undergraduate Research On 19 March a group of Oxford Brookes students attended the British Conference of Undergraduate Research hosted by Warwick University. Over two days this academic conference showcased the very latest research being undertaken by graduates from across England through spoken papers, lectures and poster presentations. This is only the second year this conference has been running for but it has been hugely successful and a great opportunity for students to share their experiences and encourage undergraduate research to be accepted as work of scholarly value. On arrival we were all whisked into the first lecture where keynote speaker, Professor Gillian Hundt, gave an insightful and inspiring talk about her own experience as a social science researcher. Her tales of living amongst the barge communities on the canals in France and her work on women and families in the Middle East conveyed important issues researchers may face in the field. After a buffet lunch we all took part in a speed-networking session which, similar to speed-dating format, encouraged us all to talk to lots of people about our research in an allotted time. It was useful in helping us define our research and listen to others as well as breaking down some nerves before the paper sessions. I met some very interesting students, one researching the behaviour of Giraffes in enclosures and another on the support nurses get in dealing with patient deaths and palliative care, all making me feel really part of an inclusive research community. Finally the time came for me to deliver my paper. I was nervous but soon got into the swing of it and although I ran over time I got a good reaction to my paper based on my dissertation research on the voluntary hospital’s coordination efforts in the later inter-war period. It was a great opportunity for me to practise my presentation skills and public speaking and I learnt a lot from the day. Next year the conference will be hosted by Plymouth University and if you are interested in taking part, then please visit www.bcur.org for more details.