Sixth annual ICUR attracts over three hundred student presenters

After 345 impressive presentations in 48 hours, the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) has closed for another year.

The sixth annual Monash Warwick Alliance initiative saw presenters from a wide range of disciplines communicate their research to an attentive global audience. The unique student-led event gave undergraduates the opportunity to develop valuable presentation skills and strengthen their global understanding of their research.

Dr Jonathan Heron, Director of the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), University of Warwick, explained;

“In an increasingly uncertain world, students need an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach to the global challenges that we face. In 2013 staff and students from Monash University and the University of Warwick established the International Conference of Undergraduate Research to provide students with international learning experiences and an intercultural outlook. ICUR is both globally-connected and locally-situated to enable students to support each other, build new relationships and develop a professional network.”

Imogen Fitt, Biomedical Science, University of Warwick, who presented her research on vertical farming and was one of this year's ICUR Student Directors said:

“ICUR is a totally unique experience in that you are exposed to so many cultures under one roof.

You realise how relevant everything is to each other, how people studying over in Japan can be working on the same research as you and you don't necessarily become involved with them unless you actually get out there and do something together.

ICUR is the platform to bring everyone together.”

This year eight institutions across five continents participated in ICUR;

  • Monash University, Australia
  • Monash University, Malaysia campus, Malaysia
  • University of Warwick, UK
  • University of Leeds, UK
  • Kyushu University, Japan
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Baruch College, City University of New York, USA
  • Monash South Africa, South Africa

Monash University student Darcy Whitworth, who presented on language variation in Japanese said;

“You are exposed to so many different cultures in two days, you take it all in and you can then put it into your future career.”

The keynote speaker of ICUR 2018 was Professor Stephen Caddick, Director of Innovation at the Wellcome Trust. Stephen joined Wellcome in June 2015. Previously, he was Vice Provost (Enterprise & London) and Vernon Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at University College London.

Speaking at the University of Warwick and broadcast to the participating institutions, Professor Caddick delivered an inspiring speech on research impact, encouraging students to question everything and to use research as an opportunity for personal improvement, exploration and discovery.

“I was delighted to be involved – it’s a fantastic event. ICUR helps break down barriers to communication and in doing so helps harness the creativity, energy and enthusiasm of students from across the world. Great things can happen when people connect”.

ICUR organisers would like to thank the technology teams at both universities for their continued support of the event.