We introduced the Australasian Council of Undergraduate Research (ACUR) to the Teaching@Sydney community in 2019 when we announced a colloquium organised on the University of Sydney campus in conjunction with the University of Sydney Business School. In 2022 the University is hosting the ACUR conference! You might know that the University of Sydney is an institutional member of ACUR and as such there are various benefits to staff and students. For questions and inquiries, or to share your engagement with undergraduate research, get in touch with ACUR directly or the institutional representatives on the Steering Committee, including myself.
This year the ACUR Conference celebrates its 10th anniversary and will be hosted by the University of Sydney between 28-30 September. The anniversary marks a significant milestone in the development of undergraduate research in Australasia, and the conference is growing stronger year on year. The ACUR Conference turning 10 is a great achievement of which we are very proud. The conference has traveled across the country, stopping in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Rockhampton and Newcastle, and in 2022 ACUR is proud to come home to Sydney. ACUR2022 will be another celebratory showcase of the quality and volume of undergraduate research occurring across Australasia.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Shaping the Conversation’. The University of Sydney organising committee chose the theme of ‘conversation’ to signal a welcoming, inclusive and collaborative platform where undergraduate researchers can participate, contribute, and more importantly shape the conversations that happen in the area of their research, be they politics, climate change, technological disruptions, gender equality, etc. In such conversations undergraduate researchers play a primary role in shaping this planet’s future and their own.
Conversation essentially invites interaction. We want all conference participants to connect with peers at the conference and start long-lasting relationships. After these few challenging years where relationships and connections were put to the test, we want students to come together again and shape the conversations that will shape their futures. ‘Conversation’ will be a recurring theme all throughout the conference program. We hope that by using the word ‘conversation’ in the conference, we can encourage undergrads to ask hard questions, be curious, speak up and continue the dialogue long after ACUR2022.
Submitting a paper to ACUR2022
Submissions will open on the 1st June and it’s not too late to encourage your undergraduate and/or Honours students to submit an abstract. The submission due date has just been extended to Friday 15th July. For details and updates please go to: https://www.acur.org.au/2022-conference/
As with previous ACUR conferences, ACUR2022@USYD will welcome submissions from all undergraduates, including Honours students. Submissions can be based on research completed as part of a degree or course, or as part of an internship. As a multi-disciplinary conference, undergraduates will have the opportunity to network with other undergraduate researchers from their own disciplines, and also to learn about how other disciplines approach research problems. Interested students should submit an abstract of not more than 250 words and suggest the format they would like to present in; a spoken presentation, a poster, or, new for 2022, a performance. Participants will have plenty of opportunities to attend other presentation sessions, workshops, and keynotes. A rich social program will ensure delegates walk away with new or renewed friendships and connections with like-minded peers.
The University of Sydney has recruited the help of three PhD candidates at the University of Sydney to help organise a memorable event for undergraduate scholars across Australasia. I asked each of them to share why they were keen to get involved and one wish they had for the conference. Here is what they said:
“I am a third-year PhD student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. My PhD focuses on how to translate expert performers’ strategies for performance preparation for early-career performers. I joined ACUR because I believe it is essential to provide research students with the opportunity to share their research and learn from others. I also enjoy organising events and connecting with a wide variety of people. My one wish for the conference is to be a joyful and social event, where students can feel supported and encouraged to explore new ideas.”
Emma van der Schyff
“I am a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. I am fortunate to work within the Cyberpsychology Research Group to investigate the impact of technology on behaviour. More specifically, my project focuses on the mental health help-seeking behaviour of videogame players, and how the community can better support this group to access professional mental health services. I am very excited to have a hand in organising ACUR2022. After a challenging two years I am looking forward to connecting with passionate researchers in-person again. I can’t wait to meet with students from across disciplines to share in meaningful conversations about their research. My hope is that the students take a lot away from the discussions and ideas at the conference, and feel inspired to keep asking questions and continue to shape the conversation about important issues globally.”
“I am in my final year and doing a PhD at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. A music advocate, more than a musician, in 2019 I published a book titled ‘The Universal Language: about the power of music to bridge difference’. With a Bachelor degree in Medical Science, I am excited about the interdisciplinary nature of ACUR conferences. It was for the opportunity to facilitate this meeting of minds that I applied to organise the conference, and I am looking forward to arranging workshops that do just that. Also, I was a radio presenter for 7 years with 2MBS Fine Music Sydney, and currently manage the klezmer-fusion band CHUTNEY.”
Emma, Nicky and Olivia are working closely with ACUR and the University of Sydney staff to make this a great event for undergraduate research students from near and far. Please get in touch with the Conference organising team if you wish to get involved with us at email@example.com.