Advanced Care Research Centre

Student Symposium champions interdisciplinarity

In mid-April, the ACRC Academy students designed, hosted and presented their own conference “Researching the Future: Interdisciplinary approaches to care for an ageing population”.

Feeding into the wider ACRC symposium, the conference allowed the students to take charge of the aims and direction. The entire conference was run by the students themselves, with minimal input required from ACRC staff, and it was run exceptionally well. There were almost 100 delegates, and they were in for a treat.

The conference launched with an opening keynote speech from Dr Margaret Whoriskey, MBE, a member of the Academy Advisory Board, which was thought-provoking, inspiring and set the event up well. This was followed by three panel discussions, with open questions from the floor.

Each panel was made up of students from across the different cohorts, with lively discussion around a shared interdisciplinary challenge. The first panel featured reflections on the opportunities and challenges of new technologies and digital solutions, and the second on how to achieve meaningful inclusion in research. Finally, a story-telling approach to the role of communities and environments in ageing and care knitted together the themes of the day, walking through one person’s transition into care in a deeply insightful and humanising way.

With a broad audience, featuring other students, lecturers and researchers from across all three colleges of the University, the discussions were engaging and cross-disciplinary.

Over coffee break and lunch there was a poster presentation gallery from the 2023 cohort showcasing their research.

The conference was planned and delivered by a small team of five students – Anna Bryan and Noah Hurton from the 2021 cohort, and Wanok Godfrey, Elisa Cardamone and Emilie McSwiggan from the 2022 cohort.

Emilie said: 

group of students

“It has been great to work with such a fantastic team, and to see our efforts turn into reality at the conference. We’re so pleased with how the day turned out. We’ve all made new connections, and thought about our work in different ways, and there was such a positive atmosphere on the day.”

It was a great start to the week, and the students who organised the day, spoke on a panel or asked a question, all deserve huge praise for what was an engaging way to spend a morning.

More details about the conference are available here, with a full programme available here. If you would like to attend any future student-run Academy events, please sign up for our newsletter, where you will be able to hear details first.