The 2021 Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research was proudly hosted by the Australian National University.

Student winners pictured with ACUR Chair Emeritus Professor Angela Brew and conference organisers.

ACUR@ANU was the first ever online ACUR conference and welcomed 145 student presenters from around the world. ACUR@ANU was sponsored by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and supported by the ANU Gender Institute and the John Curtin School of Medical Research.  

Following an international call for abstracts, ACUR@ANU included 48 student presentation sessions across three days. Each student presentation session was judged by two academic staff members from around the world. 58% of all ACUR@ANU student participants presented research for the first time at the conference, and we are delighted to have worked with ACUR to welcome hundreds of students and academic staff members into the ACUR community. 

ACUR@ANU also included more than 12 events focussed on supporting multidisciplinary undergraduate research: an opening address including a Welcome to Country, three keynote addresses, three workshops, four panels and the closing ceremony. These events featured more than 35 speakers from around the world, and more than 200 conference registrations were purchased in support of undergraduate research. 

The ACUR@ANU conference organising team wishes to acknowledge the generous contributions of our peer review and judging teams of academic staff from around the world. Their support and generous contributions made this conference possible. This conference was also made possible by our ACUR@ANU Student Volunteer Committee, and our Session Chair team. Thank you also to the ACUR Executive and ACUR Student Committee. 

Congratulations to all student presenters, and especially to our winners: 

Oral presentation category (joint first place winners): 
Andrew Quattrocchi- The University of Sydney 
Rebecca Marie Hetherington- The University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney) 
Veronica Padilla- The University of New South Wales (UNSW) 

Poster presentation category:
First place: Kira Simmons- University of the Sunshine Coast 
Second place: Amy Lu- The University of Adelaide 
Second place: Claudia Goodman- University of Wollongong 

Group presentation category (joint first place winners): 
Asha Clementi and Rebecca Crisp- The Australian National University 
Jessica Turner and Narelle Jones- The University of Adelaide 

John Curtin School of Medical Research Best Female Presenter: (joint winners) 
Rebecca Marie Hetherington- The University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney) 
Veronica Padilla- The University of New South Wales (UNSW) 

Conference program now available!

Conference Zoom backgrounds

Call for conference judges

The ACUR@ANU conference organising committee is now calling for conference judges.

Conference judges offer first-hand support to undergraduate, honours and MRes student presenters by watching and evaluating their live 10 minute conference presentations, asking questions about the students’ research and providing anonymous written formative feedback which we provide to the students following the conference.

This opportunity is open to all academic staff including PhD students. Please note, this opportunity is NOT open to undergraduate, honours or  masters students, or non-academic staff members.

Registration is now open, and will close September 3rd: https://anu.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6E7vKjyw97CAyEK

Can you support by sharing this opportunity amongst your networks?

Abstract submission deadline: Monday July 19th 

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Abstracts now open!

Abstract submissions for the 2021 ACUR Conference are now open and will close June 28th 2021.

The attached guidelines are provided to assist you in preparing your submission. 

Abstract submission timeline:

  • EXTENDED abstract submission closes 19th July midnight AEST​
  • Outcome of abstract submission email: week beginning 30th August ​
  • Re-submission (if relevant) deadline: 3rd September midnight AEST​
  • Outcome of abstract re-submission email: 10th September

Call for peer reviewers

Will you help us to support undergraduate research? As a peer reviewer, you will join a team of academic staff including PhD students from around Australasia who assess abstracts within their area of academic expertise. You will share your disciplinary expertise with students from around the world, and make an assessment on which abstracts should be included in the Conference. Your generous contribution will be acknowledged in the Conference program. 

  • Student abstracts are short- just 250 words each. 
  • You can tell us how many abstracts you have capacity to mark. 
  • Assessment criteria is provided via a tried-and-tested intuitive online form. 
  • Opportunity is provided to provide your constructive feedback, which is provided anonymously back to the student. 
  • Indicative timeline for peer review: we expect you will receive abstracts on Wednesday 28th July. The indicative deadline for return of abstracts will be Wednesday 18th August.

Sponsors and supporters prospectus now available!


Abstract Writing Workshop- workshop recording &  slides now available

We welcome all students intending to submit an abstract to ACUR@ANU 2021, and supporting staff, to access this recording of the live abstract workshop presented online on the 19th May 2021. Watching this workshop and accessing the associated resources is highly recommended as it will make explicit the key criteria for abstracts submitted to the Conference and will also offer practical advice for structuring and writing your abstract.

Your abstract is key to attracting reader and audience interest in your research. As such, this workshop provides tips for ensuring that your abstract presents a clear message, and effectively communicates the purpose and achievements of your research. Using sample abstracts from diverse fields and disciplines, this workshop will focus on analysing the key components of effective abstracts, offer advice on how to avoid common mistakes, and provide tips and tricks for polishing your abstract for submission. 

Full abstract writing workshop & conference overview presentation


Abstract submission FAQs

“Can I make changes to the research for which I’m writing my abstract, even if it’s a thesis or coursework which I’ve submitted in the past?”

The research for which you write and submit your abstract must be endorsed, and recommended to ACUR@ANU 2021, by your thesis or coursework supervisor (please see abstract submission guidelines for details). Therefore, the endorsement of your supervisor must pertain to the research for which you are submitting your abstract (ie. your thesis with any potential changes made). This means you are welcome to make any changes that you wish, but your supervisor must be aware of these when they endorse your abstract and research.

“What to do if our experiments/results aren’t complete by the time of abstract submission?”

Your abstract should be written in relation to the information that you have about your research project at the time that you write/submit your abstract.​ As all abstracts are subject to the same deadlines, we are unable to offer students extensions to this deadline on the basis of pending research results. If your abstract is accepted to the Conference, your presentation can refer to the results of your research. 

“What are the research areas/disciplines you’re looking for? Are some disciplines more likely to be accepted into the conference than others?”​

The ACUR Conference is a proudly multidisciplinary conference, and therefore undergraduate students from all disciplines are warmly welcomed to submit an abstract. The academic discipline within which you are writing your abstract has no impact or influence on whether your abstract is accepted to the Conference.

“How many abstracts can I submit to the Conference?”

You are welcome to submit as many abstracts as you would like, however you will only be able to present once at the Conference. This means that if more than one of your abstracts is successful in the peer review process, you will need to select which abstract you would like to base your presentation on. This is to ensure that as many students as possible are offered to the opportunity to present.


ACUR@ANU 2021 key dates:

April 1st 2021: Abstracts open 

May 19th 2021: Abstract Writing Workshop

July 19th 2021: EXTENDED abstract submission closes 
Conference organisers will be extending eligibility for presenting at this year’s conference to students who intended to present last year. Therefore, if in 2020 you were eligible to present as a ‘2019 or 2020 undergraduate, Honours or first Master of Research student’, you will still be eligible to present this year. 
In collaboration with the ACUR Executive and Student Committee, we are currently working on a broad and engaging three day program, including workshops, panels and networking opportunities alongside student presentations. We look forward to sharing more details of the program with you as the Conference approaches, via our Facebook pages and the ACUR website. 
We are inviting all undergraduate students from the Australasian region, as well as staff (including supervisors and institutional representatives) to register their interest in attending the Conference, via the form below. This will ensure you receive up to date information about Conference dates and deadlines, including opening and closing of the Call for Abstracts, and program announcements. 
Information about ticket prices and how to register will be available soon.  

Why an online conference?

The decision to run the Conference online was made with the support of the ACUR Chair, Executive and Student Committees, with the goal of ensuring that all undergraduates, staff and ACUR supporters are able to attend the Conference from wherever they may be based, without the additional cost or unpredictability of planning travel. 
An online Conference will equally allow speakers and special guests to attend from around the world, and enable networking opportunities that wouldn’t be possible at an in-person Conference.  
ANU is ranked first in Australia, with excellence in research and education at the centre of all that we do. Undergraduate research is extensively supported by the ANU, including through the ANU Undergraduate Research Journal and our annual ANU Student Research Conference. We are therefore committed to providing opportunities for Conference attendees to present their research and attend the presentations of other students, network with potential employers and peers from universities around the country, and attend multidisciplinary panel discussions and workshops in an environment that supports and encourages critical and creative academic inquiry. 
We look forward to working with you to make the first online ACUR Conference a success!  
The theme for the 2021 Conference is ‘Your Search, Our Future’. We warmly invite students from all academic disciplines to submit an abstract which illustrates how the search they are undertaking in their research offers greater insight into our future, whether this be through a more thorough understanding of the past, a solution for a current problem, the identification of a challenge impacting our future or something else. ACUR@ANU 2021 is a proudly multidisciplinary conference, and we encourage all interested students to submit an abstract. 

Register to receive ACUR@ANU updates!