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Students get creative in research project showcase

A group of students displayed their findings from research projects they had taken part in over the summer in InQbate on Friday 24 September.

Each of the students produced an A1 sized poster displaying a summary of their research project and hung them from the ceiling of the university’s high-tech exhibition space.

The projects, which ranged from physics to child psychology, from social history to saxophones, were carried out in conjunction with academic staff at the university as a part of their own larger scale research projects.

Rebecca Partos carried out a project named ‘Closing the ‘open door’’ looking at Conservative immigration policy since David Cameron took over the leadership of the party. She worked alongside James Hampshire and Tim Bale, author of the well received book ‘The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron’.

When asked about her experiences Rebecca said that it was the best thing she had done in her life and has persuaded her to seriously consider postgraduate study and a career in research.

Each of the Junior Research Associates (JRAs) were required to work eight hours a day, five days a week for eight weeks over the summer holidays. Alfrun Gisladoltir carried out a project entitled British Indian relationships of desire. She said that “at times it was extremely hard work.

“Sometimes I didn’t feel I was good enough but I am very happy with what I have done.”

Phillippa St. George, who supervised Alfrun’s work, said that the project was invaluable to her own thesis.

The programme involves a high level of competition. Of the 95 students who applied for the position of JRA in the last spring term, only 25 had their proposals accepted and received the special bursary of £1,800, made available to each student at the end of the summer. Applicants were told that they had to demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing postgraduate study at Sussex and a strong academic record.

Speaking at the event Robert Allinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: “In all the years that I have been attending these exhibitions, I have never seen work of this standard before. These are by far and away the best projects I have seen.”

Not all of the JRAs were convinced that the experience would lead them into academia.

Rosanna Lowton, who studied the influence of the saxophonists, Lester ‘Pres’ Young and Coleman ‘Hawk’ Hawkins in her research project entitled ‘Sax Battles’, said that despite it being a very valuable experience she may not necessarily choose to continue into academic research.

The project posters will be displayed upstairs in Bramber House until the end of the week.

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