Let's Talk About [X]
Let's Talk About [X] is a multidisciplinary conference that allows undergraduates from across all four Colleges to showcase their research and their contribution to a wider audience.
It's a unique opportunity for you to develop research communication, presentation, and public engagement skills. Through 1:1 training with research-active PhD students, as well as through a series of classes, you'll be guided towards making an excellent presentation.
You'll have the chance to be recorded, meaning you'll be able to show off to prospective employers or research supervisors after you graduate.
A call for abstracts goes out every December, so keep an eye on your student email for more details.
What's in it for you?
Even if you're just watching, you'll learn about giving a talk.
Most degrees have presentation assessments. While the interdisciplinary style at Let's Talk About [X] is different from what you'll have to do on your course, it'll let you see what the atmosphere is like when a crowd of people sit down to listen to (and question) someone else on what they've been working on.
This conference gives everyone a chance to show off.
We're running this conference because opportunities for you to carry out and present student research are rare. Most often they are projects built into courses for credit. Sometimes they take the form of summer placements and internships. Usually, though, the output is presented to a small number of people who work in the same specialised field. Then there are students who choose to do completely independent research - the opportunity for them to relay what they've found is even smaller.
You'll also get to give feedback.
Each person at Let's Talk About [X] gets a feedback sheet for each talk. You'll be able to anonymously tell the presenter what you learned, what you enjoyed, and what confused you about their topic.
If you present, you can watch a recording later. (If you want to.)
We'll be using a room with recording equipment. We won't show it to anyone without your permission but you can watch your own presentation and decide what you did well and what you want to change.
Public engagement matters.
If you've been considering an academic career after you graduate you might know by now that success at a university is measured in part by the number of research papers you produce and, depending on your subject, by the grants you successfully apply for in order to keep your research group active. You might also be aware that universities as a whole are assessed on various research criteria and that "impact" is becoming a more and more important part of this (20% of a university's overall score, in fact). This means demonstrating "reach" and "significance" which can include something as basic as increasing the public's understanding. Blogs, Twitter and even Instagram are being used to help spread the news.