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A taste of academic life

24 October 2018

Student sharing feedback with peers

Students from across Cardiff University have had a taste of academic life on one of the largest undergraduate research initiatives in the UK.

The Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) provides a unique opportunity for students and staff to work collaboratively on a research project over the summer break.

This year, researchers from Cardiff Business School succeeded in gaining funding for the School’s largest number of student placements to date.

With projects ranging from unreported crime to the impact and legacy of festivals, the programme gives undergraduates a chance to sample live research, enhance their academic and transferable skills and make a more informed decision on furthering their research at postgraduate level.

Pulling out all the stops

Jennifer Evans, former Research Office Manager at Cardiff Business School, said: “This is the biggest cohort we've ever had...”

“We’re pulling out all the stops to make it an even better experience for our students with training sessions and social events to celebrate their work across the School.”

This year’s 19 CUROP participants, drawn from Cardiff Business School and the Schools of Geography and Planning, Medicine, Biosciences, Physics and Astronomy and Journalism, Media and Culture, have benefited from increased exposure with posters promoting individual research projects, statistical computing training on ‘R’ and social events with current PhD students and supervisors.

The benefits of CUROP are not only student-focussed. For academic staff, CUROP can contribute significantly to the progression of research projects and provide valuable additional staffing during the summer.

Yan Chun Derek Li, a second year BSc Geography (Human) and Planning student from Hong Kong, said: “The opportunity to undertake research for the university is both new and valuable to me...”

“My supervisors were supportive and kept me on the right track so I could concentrate on discovering new things.”

Yan Chun Derek Li BSc Geography (Human) and Planning student

Shaping the student experience

Large group of PG students walking outside

In addition to the 19 CUROP students hosted by Cardiff Business School, four Cardiff University Student Education Innovation Projects (CUESIP) are also underway.

CUSEIP projects enable students to work on learning and teaching enhancement projects that will help shape the student experience at Cardiff University.

Dr Jane Lynch, Director of Student Experience and Senior Lecturer in Supplier Management at Cardiff Business School, said: “This is a unique opportunity for students to have their say and work collaboratively to enhance their university experiences and those of their peers...”

“The skills they develop during their placements with academic and professional services staff will accelerate their academic progress and, crucially, help prepare them for the workplace.”

Professor Jane Lynch Professor of Procurement

At the end of the summer, CUROP and CUSEIP students from all academic schools come together for a day to exhibit posters of their research, sharing experiences and disseminating findings to the wider Cardiff University audience.

This year they’ll be displayed in Cardiff’s City Hall on Wednesday 24 October from 12:30 – 15:00.

Professor Malcolm Beynon, Associate Dean for Technology and Data at Cardiff Business School, said: “Each year I take part in these projects and I’m amazed by the enthusiasm and work ethic of the students...”

“The celebratory poster presentation event is a chance for them to be acknowledged and appreciated for the hard background work required to achieve the results they put on display.”

Professor Malcolm Beynon Associate Dean for Technology and Data, Professor of Uncertain Reasoning

More than 600 students have undertaken research placements since the start of the scheme in 2008.

Find out more about CUROP and CUSEIP opportunities on the staff and student intranet, especially is interested in being a part of this exciting work, both students and staff alike.

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