Posters in Parliament: Celebrating Undergraduate Research

poster parliament nominees
Macquarie nominees Chi Yhun Lo and Caroline Valim

Ever thought of presenting your research in Parliament? What if you had the chance to tell the leaders of our country about your research?

On Monday 22nd September 2014, in Parliament House Canberra, 38 students from 16 different universities across Australia did that. They casually chatted to The Hon. Robert French AC (Chief Justice, Federal Court of Australia), Mr John Alexander OAM MP (Member for Bennelong, NSW) and the likes about their research. Luckily, the threatening lockdown of Parliament House that Monday morning did not stop us. Just three hours before the exhibition began we received an invitation by the ABC 666 Canberra Drive radio programme to interview some of our presenters.

“Posters in Parliament” was an exhibition and celebration of Australia’s undergraduate research. Posters presented were chosen by universities across the country and students came from far and wide to talk about their research. From fighting fires, parasite host-finding behaviours, aerial unmanned vehicles, corrosion protection to schizophrenia, childbirth trauma, language development, media relations and international currencies, the topics covered a wide disciplinary spectrum.

The event aimed to raise the profile of undergraduate research within the Australian community. Undergraduate research engages the brightest and best of our young people to produce new knowledge during their undergraduate years. It attracts the most capable students and engages them in doing exceptional things within their normal courses of study.

Macquarie University nominated Linguistics students Chi Yhun Lo and Caroline Valim to present at Posters in Parliament. Chi reflected later “These first few steps into the world of research have given me a boost in confidence, and has furthered my drive to continue down what I hope will be a long and fruitful career as an auditory research scientist. “

At the end of the showcase our guest book was filled with comments like “Fabulous inspiring futures”,  “Outstanding examples of inspired brilliance” and “A great showcase of young talent”, and students were slowly recovering from adrenalin rush in the days to come.

These students’ achievements are inspiring, and their enthusiasm contagious. Who knows, they may become the future leaders of Australia’s research. It’s worth noting many Nobel Prize winners were engaged in research during their undergraduate years. So watch this space!

For more details http://www.mq.edu.au/ltc/altc/ug_research/2014/index.htm.

Written by: Lilia Mantai and Prof Angela Brew

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