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JRA students awarded at Posters Exhibition

2021 JRA poster competition

Students on the University of Sussex Junior Research Associate (JRA) Scheme gathered in Mandela Hall on Monday 18 October to showcase their work and celebrate the end of their research projects. 

The JRA Scheme offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work on an eight-week research project over the summer months. Participants work alongside academic supervisors and PhD mentors, produce valuable outputs, and contribute to cutting-edge research across academic disciplines.

Eighty Sussex undergraduates took part this year, representing all nine Schools and BSMS. Additionally, 17 International Junior Research Associates joined from partners including the University of Chicago, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The scheme culminates in a research poster competition, which this year was judged by Dr Susan Sullivan (Psychology), Bethany Logan (Library), Chris Brown (JRA trainer) and Miles Willey (Head of the Doctoral School). Prof Jeremy Niven, Dean of the Doctoral School, presented the prizes for the winners along with certificates for every JRA student.

Phoebe Valentine (School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences) was awarded the top prize for her research poster “How to Measure a Coffee Splat.” The judging panel noted that the poster ‘made a brave decision to present a theoretical problem in such a way as to engage both experts and the wider audience, via coffee, often a key source of fuel for researchers’

This year there were two second-place winners: Eden Franklin-Lester (School of Education and Social Work) for her poster “Subverting normative representations of disability: exploring the relationship between TikTok and British Sign Language users,” and Phoebe Watson Brown (School of Life Sciences), for a poster on “Neuronal Nature: the Physiological Properties of an Immortalised Cell Line.”

Kamilla Abdullayev (Psychology), Radoslaw Chwistek (Life Sciences) and Carly Yung (MAH) were also shortlisted. You can view all the shortlisted posters on the JRA website.

Separately, BSMS awarded a prize to Zara Coombes for her poster entitled “Resilience in people living with HIV (PLWH) during the Covid-19 pandemic: a video diary research project.”

Carmel Stevenson, the Doctoral School’s Undergraduate Research Coordinator, said: “The event was truly inspirational, and the enthusiasm for the research completed over the summer was outstanding.”

The JRA Scheme provides undergraduates with opportunities to broaden academic skills and expand their enthusiasm for their discipline. For those students considering postgraduate study, the programme also gives an insight into the research environment at Sussex. Applications for next year’s scheme will open after Christmas.

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