Politics students present papers at first Undergraduate Research Conference

The conference, sponsored by the Political Studies Association showcased the best undergraduate research in Politics and IR

Undergraduate Politics students Alex O' Brien and Stuart Saunders presented papers at the first ever Politics and International Relations Undergraduate Research Conference on Wednesday 2 April.

The conference, sponsored by the Political Studies Association, which took place at De Montfort University, Leicester showcased the best undergraduate research in Politics and IR, encouraging students from universities across the UK to think of themselves as researchers and to experience academic research first hand.

Like many other contributors, Alex and Stuart, both presented a paper based on their final year dissertations.

Final year Politics undergraduate Stuart comments

"It was highly enjoyable and engaging, I got to see how students from all over the country were tackling their dissertation projects. I was surprised at the huge range of topics, and diverse research methods, that people had chosen. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I felt relaxed and confident when presenting my own work. I'd definitely do something like this again."

Alex adds

"The structure of the day and the nature of the presentations put everyone at ease when presenting. I particularly enjoyed the diversity of projects, and the pride that the presenters took in their work. I would say my public speaking skills and confidence to present my own ideas were greatly enhanced by the day."

On their presentations, Dr Simon Lightfoot, Senior Lecturer in European Politics at the School of Politics and International Studies (Leeds) adds

"I was really impressed by Alex and Stuart's ability to engage with the varied range of questions thrown at them by the audience and their ability to ask probing questions of the other papers presented at the conference. I was also particularly impressed by the quality of research that they both displayed."