Hear from Students

Take a look at some testimonials from students attending BCUR events in recent years!

BCUR 2023

Rashi Krishna, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences

"On the 5-6th of April 2023, I had the privilege to attend and present at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) 2023 which was held jointly with the World Congress Undergraduate Research (WorldCUR) at University of Warwick.  

Even though throughout my university years, I have been an active member of various extracurricular activities, public speaking persisted to have been a weakness of mine. The idea of speaking in front of people has always been somewhat terrifying to me. However, when I came across the advert for the Newcastle University Scholarship to attend BCUR 2023, I decided to take a step towards changing that. This opportunity was great chance to improve my public speaking and presentation skills. Additionally, it also helped me improve my critical thinking and analytical skills as the format of the conference encouraged me to process and present my research in a way that is accessible for an interdisciplinary audience i.e people who were not necessarily from the field. In research, it isseen that among minute details, the “bigger picture” or relevance of findings for the general population is often overlooked. Preparing for this conference taught me how to look at the “bigger picture” and emphasize on the clinical relevance of my work for the targeted patient group. Multiple edits and practices later, on 5thApril 2023 I presented my work at one of the Health panels at BCUR. It was a great feeling (slightly intimidating) to have the audience listen to my talk and ask me questions about my work. 

 Photo of Rashi Krishna at BCUR 2023

Rashi Krishna at BCUR 2023

On the second day, I had the chance to visit talks and posters covering topics like Aphasia, Active Travel, AI in Pathology, Antibody Screening for Cancer, Hearing Loss, Prostate Cancer Research and many more from different panels covering themes like Sustainability, Power, Community, Data, etc.In my opinion, having divided up the conference by themes was an excellent idea and improved my experience at the conference drastically as it was easy to navigate different themes and diverse talks. I really enjoyed meeting and talking to different students from across the country and world. It was exciting to hear about their stories and work, I learnt so much in such a short period of time. My favourite part of the entire experience was the closing plenary session and especially David Metcalfe’s talk on his journey as a retired undergraduate researcher.  

My biggest learning from this entire experience has been that while having the confidence and interest to grab opportunities that come your way is extremely crucial, so is choosing the right mentor. I was lucky enough to be placed in a group that motivated me to continue pursuing research as a career during my undergraduate research project. If it weren’t for them, I would not have been able to participate in this event. Lastly, I would with no doubt recommend this opportunity to every student regardless of their ambitions/goals as whichever route you take academia or industry, it will be a great learning experience (and bullet point on your applications)!"  

Andrew Davidson, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences

"One of my hobbies is researching Newcastle’s local history, particularly the aspects relevant to medicine. With this in mind, I investigated an outbreak of bubonic plague in the city in 1636, looking at how it spread between various parishes, factors that helped it to spread, its impact (specifically the death toll) and how the communities within Newcastle responded to the epidemic.  

Despite the niche nature of the research, I submitted an abstract to NCUR and BCUR with the aim of presenting my project to a wider audience. I thoroughly enjoyed discussing my project with people from different disciplines and receiving quite a few questions, most of which revolved around finding the location of a mass grave whose location has been lost. 

A memorable part for me was learning about the effects religious belief can have in how people coped with the COVID-19 pandemic, as religious belief also played a role in how communities responded in 1636. To me, this was the most important part of BCUR: exploring connections between different fields and how they could impact future research."

Posters in Parliament 2023

Ellie Hansen, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medical Science

"Following attending BCUR, I was thrilled to be invited to present my research project at Posters in Parliament. The day began with a very early train all the way down from Newcastle, but in just a few hours we arrived in Westminster for our tour of the Houses of Parliament. I learned so much about history, and how politics is carried out. A highlight was seeing inside the House of Lords, which was very ornate.  

After lunch we set up our posters ready to present! Seeing the diversity of research and representation from different universities at the event was inspirational. By listening to other presenters I gained some excellent snapshots into disciplines that I normally do not encounter, such as architecture and anthropology. Presenting to my own poster to the other presenters and some ministers, including the Shadow minister of Higher Education was really fun, and the atmosphere was very friendly 

Photo of Ellie Hansen with her certificate at BCUR 2023

Ellie Hansen, in front of her poster at BCUR 2023

Overall I think the PIP event provided an excellent display of the research capabilities of undergraduate students. I think that it was well enjoyed by staff, ministers, and all of the students!" 

Maisie Green, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medical Science


The Posters in Parliament event was a very enjoyable day, one which I would recommend to any student interested in research. The opportunity to present my own research whilst engaging with Members of Parliament was a very rewarding experience. Meeting other students and learning about their research was also very beneficial, as it opened my eyes to other research areas, allowed me to build connections, and meet like-minded people. The initial idea of presenting my research was quite daunting, however, the experience was very enjoyable and often lead to insightful discussions.  

 Photo of Maisie Green with certificate at BCUR 2023

Maisie Green, in front of her poster at BCUR 2023

Outside of the event itself, the day was very worthwhile. The tour of the House of Lords was very interesting and getting to visit governmental buildings that I would usually not be allowed in was very exciting. I would recommend this experience to any student who is passionate about their research project and wants to gain presentation experience."  


 BCUR 2019


"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."

Ján Dixon, School of Medical Education and BCUR attendee 2019


"It was fantastic to see how much in-depth and diverse research is going on at undergraduate level across the country. What was really encouraging for me, was seeing how my research made people, including elected politicians, think and give alternative perspectives."

Owen Coughlan, Combined Honours, Posters in Parliament and BCUR Attendee 2019


"It was a very good experience to meet MPs and present my research at parliament. It was also beneficial to be able to think abut how I explain my research to a lay audience. Whilst there I managed to see and discuss lots of other interesting research from all around the country and of many subjects."

Connor Gilkes-Imeson, School of Biomedical Sciences, Posters in Parliament and BCUR attendee 2019


“Representing Newcastle University at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research has been one of the highlights of my time at university. It was a fantastic opportunity to share my research with like-minded students, and has given me the confidence to take part in more conferences in the future. I particularly enjoyed explaining my work to those from a non-medical background where I had to start with the basics, and their subsequent questions helped me consider my research from a different point of view. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to all students intending to pursue a career in research as it will be a great talking point at job interviews/further study applications!"

Jenita Jona James, School of Medical Education, BCUR attendee 2019