Nomination submitted by: Caroline Gibson, Academic Manager
Spanning seven countries in five continents, and bringing together nearly 500 undergraduate researchers each year from universities across the globe, the International Conference of Undergraduate Research is a boundary-crossing partnership that challenges students to rethink their work in an international context. ICUR brings students together from universities across the world using the latest in video conferencing technology, to participate in a single international forum, with close to a hundred separate sessions conducted over 48 hours. It allows participants to present their work from their home universities to an international and interdisciplinary audience, and provides a supportive yet critical environment for talented young scholars.
Begun in 2013 as a pilot project of the Monash-Warwick Alliance, a strategic agreement between Monash University in Australia and the University of Warwick in the UK, the partnership has grown to include Nanyang Technological University, Baruch College, and Kyushu University, with more expected to join in 2017.
Designed to showcase the best in undergraduate research, the forum provides students from the UK, Australia, the US, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and South Africa with a unique opportunity to present and discuss their own research in any discipline in real-time, under the leadership of Student Directors. Undergraduate students present their research in themed sessions, on topics ranging from molecular biology and astrophysics to archaeology and international law, alongside peers on the other side of the world, interacting with fellow presenters and audiences through video-links and social media.
In the four years that ICUR has run, it has connected nearly 1500 students across eleven institutions around the world. The forum requires speakers to consider the perspective of students from a very different background, to anticipate what may be shared across cultures and local contexts, and what may require extra explanation. This challenge translates to research questions as well, encouraging students to examine global and regional trends in their research field, and how these might conflict with local constraints. ICUR promotes transferrable, vocational skills like teamwork, time-management, and public speaking, while students enhance their critical and creative faculties.
“I have been enormously impressed by the commitment and focus of this international team to bring together hundreds of students, across five continents, to share their research. The innovative use of technology has meant that many students who may never have had the chance to share their research on the international stage have been given the opportunity to connect with each other through this interdisciplinary event.”
-Christina Hughes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning, University of Warwick
Read the winning nomination, including details on how the program achieves its objectives