British Conference of Undergraduate Research: Student blog

This year 18 Newcastle University students attended the British Conference of Undergraduate Research at the University of South Wales.

Ján Dixon, from the School of Medical Education was one of the 12 students who successfully applied for funding to attend the conference. Ján presented his research to fellow undergraduate students on the day.  Read more from Jan below.

I applied for BCUR19 and was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from Newcastle University to attend. I submitted an abstract to BCUR because of the impact of presenting to such a large and diverse audience. The opportunity to present to an audience outside of the research field allows for an excellent shared learning experience; encouraging the presenter to distil the essence of their work and the audience to explore topics outside of their subject.

I presented research into the impact of paracetamol on pain management and assessment in patients sustaining hip fracture (Assessment and Early Management of Pain in Hip Fractures: The Impact of Paracetamol, JGOSR 2018). Firstly, this is a very niche corner of medicine. Secondly, I fully appreciate that this is a subject not immediately at the forefront of many people’s minds when they think of research in medicine. A key objective of mine was therefore to emphasise a) the relevance and scale of the challenge of hip fracture and b) the process of research yielding patient benefit.

I enjoyed presenting my work, especially explaining concepts ‘from the ground up’. For example – being able to start with the anatomy of the hip and femur, allowed me to give my presentation a ‘storyline’ and completion it would not have were I delivering it to a medical audience, in which case such an introduction would likely not be necessary.

For this reason, it was incredibly encouraging to receive so many questions after the presentation, as I find this to be a great indicator of audience understanding and engagement. Similarly, I found myself full of questions after every single presentation I went to over the two days – a testimony to all the undergraduate researchers at BCUR.

A highlight of BCUR for me was a presentation on post-war reconciliation between former enemy states and the role of apology and threat perception in the process. The presenter was able to, in 10 minutes, effectively explain – using examples – complex geopolitical and historical concepts to a lay audience. This for me is a snapshot of BCUR; a showcase of high-quality research delivered with accessibility by undergraduates and future leaders in their fields.

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