The Keele Conference of Undergraduate Research (KCUR) is an annual event arranged by the Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence (KIITE).

KCUR 2022 provides an exciting opportunity for Keele undergraduate students to showcase their research to a wide and interdisciplinary audience through a range of formats, including oral presentations, poster and creative presentations, as well as lightning talks.

Through KCUR, students will be able to develop a range of academic and employability skills, as well as pursue research interests without the pressure of getting a particular grade. All presenters get their abstracts, posters, and photographs published in Keele’s JADE journal, giving a publication to their name.

Information on last year's conference, including recorded presentations, can be found on our KCUR21 webpages


09:30 - 09:50

Registration and Refreshments

 Keele Hall, Ballroom

09:50 - 10:00

Welcome to the Conference - Aimee Merrydew

 Keele Hall, Ballroom

10:00 - 10:30

Keynote - Professor Kristyan Spelman Miller
Students as knowledge creators: unlocking the key to success

 Keele Hall, Ballroom

10:30 - 11:30

Parallel session A
Keele Hall, Ballroom  

Presentation 1:The prevalence of chronic pain and depression in Staffordshire’s homeless population (Speaker: Samuel Prosser) 

Presentation 2: Help Us Help You: Using Community Engagement as a Tool to Aid Staffordshire Fire & Rescue’s Accident Prevention Approaches (Speakers: Anjali Ramdhian and Georgiana Iacob) 

Lightning talk 1: Evaluation of the Community Investment Fund provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council (Speakers: Jaspreet Devgon and Charly Freeman) 

Parallel session B
Keele Hall, Salvin Room

Presentation 1: The Pursuit of Happiness (Speaker: Siobhan Maureen Mundy)

Presentation 2: 2022: a space microbiodyssey – the effect that space has on microorganisms (Speaker: Theophilus Ayegba)

Lightning talk 1: The current effects of micro and nanoplastics and the long-term threat of plastic in our environment (Speaker: Mary Jean Romero Melindo) 

11:30 - 11:40


Keele Hall, Ballroom

11:40 - 12:10 Poster and creative presentation gallery

Keele Hall, Ballroom

12:10 - 13:00 Lunch

Keele Hall, Ballroom

13:00 - 14:15

Parallel session A
Keele Hall, Ballroom  

Presentation 1: Countering cultural hegemony with pedagogy: A case study of multicultural music education in Singapore (Speaker: Eliana Ganesan

Presentation 2: Media and state in independent Nigeria (Speaker: Mayowa Soremekun)

Presentation 3: Analysing the sociological, political and economic perspectives of local governance in Saint Lucia, more specifically Anse La Raye, and their effects on economic growth and social mobility (Speakers: Jack Houghton, Dani Jones, Ayesha Azmet, and Samuel Farrow)

Parallel session B
Keele Hall, Salvin Room

Presentation 1: Body Image and Eating Disorders in Black African Communities (Speaker: Nonyelum Anigbo)

Presentation 2: Mobilisation in Stroke (Speaker: Mustafa Dashti)

Presentation 3: The effect of the electroencephalography (EEG) reference scheme on decoding accuracy in multivariate pattern analysis of EEG data (Speaker: Rohan Smith)

 14:15 - 14:30  Break and refreshments

 Keele Hall, Ballroom 

14:30 - 15:30

Parallel session A
Keele Hall, Ballroom  

Presentation 1: The Gothic and Roald Dahl: The Repression and Misunderstanding of Children (Speaker: Maia Beswarick-Cobb)

Presentation 2: Why Lesbian Relationships in Modern Cinema are Actually ‘Straight’ (Speaker: Ashleigh Bruton)

Lightening Talk 1: Exploring digital exclusion in Stoke-on-Trent (Speakers: Dominic Harrop-Pender and Kareena Punj)

Parallel session B
Keele Hall, Salvin Room

Presentation 1: To what extent does the economic status of Kenya lead to a higher burden of aflatoxin related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)? (Speaker: Parmida Jamilian)

Presentation 2: Utilising cryptocurrency in developing economies (Speaker: Rajiv Bains)

Lightening Talk 1: The effectiveness of being a member of a team in sport for autistic children (Speaker: Kayleigh Ostle)

 15:30 - 16:00  Voting opens, award ceremony, and closing remarks - Aimee Merrydew

 Keele Hall, Ballroom






















Keynote Abstract

Professor Kristyan Spelman Miller, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)

 “All undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry” (Healey and Jenkins, 2009, 3). The importance of students engaging in research is indisputable, whether this is through participating in project work outside the formal curriculum, or through inquiry-led activity as part of discipline-based learning and assessment. Many curriculum frameworks, such as our own Keele Curriculum Expectations, identify research-connected learning as a key hallmark of a positive academic experience, with critical enquiry skills and capabilities developed progressively from the first-year undergraduate experience onwards.  This talk briefly presents why both curricular and co-curricular approaches to student research are so valuable, drawing on examples from across the sector.  

About Professor Kristyan Spelman Miller

As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, Kris takes strategic leadership for all aspects of education and the student experience at Keele. She has worked in Education all her career, having started her career teaching English in a college in Japan and then with the British Council on Malaysia. She is firmly committed to the transformative effect of Higher Education on the lives of students from all backgrounds. She has led various institution-wide initiatives focussed on student success, including schemes to enhance students’ academic skills development and employability, student engagement in research, and student partnership working. She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2011 and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE).   

She joined Keele in July 2021 from the University of Liverpool, where she had been Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Education) for five years based in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to her move to Liverpool she had been Dean at the University of Winchester and before that worked at the University of Reading, where she had gained valuable teaching and leadership experience over a number of years including as Faculty Director of Teaching and Learning.  

Oral Presentation Abstracts

Body Image and Eating Disorders in Black African Communities 
Nonyelum Anigbo (Pharmacy) 

In 2020, it was found that there was a faster increase in National Health Service (NHS) hospital admissions for eating disorders when comparing Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients admitted to white patients. The sharpest rise was found in the Black African population. In my presentation I will be doing an analysis of body image and beauty standards in Black African communities and how this could contribute to the increase in eating disorders in Black African people in the UK, using previous researchers’ findings and academic literature. I will also be discussing how disordered eating habits may not be identified as successfully for Black African people, by the NHS, due to medical racism. The intended impact of my findings is to help health services better understand and identify eating disorders in Black African patients. 

2022: a space microbiodyssey – The effect that space has on microorganisms
Theophilus Ayegba (Biomedical Science)

Microorganisms are spread across the planet and can be found in a variety of extremely different environments with different properties that help them survive. One of the environments that they can be found in is outer space and there have been experiments performed to see how microbes have changed when in space or under space flight, most notably the Shenzhou experiments in China. These experiments are important, as examining microbes under these conditions can provide new insight into the metabolism, physiology, genetics, and interactions of microbes. I obtained the data by reading the literature of these space experiments. This research found that micro-organisms undergo changes when under space flight. For example, salmonella grown during the US space shuttle missions STS-115 was deadlier than an equivalent stain grown on earth. Knowing the different ways that space travel affects microorganisms could revolutionize modern medicine by informing us of new ways to diagnose bacteria and disease. This knowledge could also help us to understand how antimicrobial resistance works, identify methods to prevent it, and even present insight on treating and curing previously difficult or impossible to cure diseases and bacteria.  

Utilising cryptocurrency in developing economies

Rajiv Bains (Economics) 

Cryptocurrency in recent years has captivated the world’s attention with the prospects of large monetary gains. From analysing large amounts of related literature and data, I have discovered that many individuals in developed countries have utilised this by using cryptocurrency investments as an additional or their main income stream. However, there is a lack of focus in the literature about the possibility of cryptocurrency to act as a medium to reduce poverty in developing economies.  This paper will explore the impact cryptocurrency can have to aid citizens in developing countries to gain financial stability and social trust through facilitating economic growth. This research found that this can in turn stabilise cryptocurrency, which is known to be very unstable, and maximise its potential through prospering future communities.  

The Gothic and Roald Dahl: The Repression and Misunderstanding of Children

Maia Beswarick-Cobb (English Literature)

Adults oppress children in Roald Dahl’s novels, putting them into unheimlich (unhomely) environments, and in the case of The Witches, eradicate children altogether. This presentation explores the ‘othering’ of children in Dahl’s literature, a topic which has not been widely researched. Critics often argue that Dahl’s literature promotes vulgarity and further repressive behaviour toward children. Yet, by applying Gothic theory through literary analysis, I demonstrate how Dahl portrays the children’s oppression in his novels not to reinforce but rather to challenge their mistreatment at the hands of adults, using his literature to bring to attention these issues which I argue, are still prominent in society. Indeed, Dahl claims to have a ‘great affinity with children’ and recognises ‘their problems’ (Skyes, 1991: 82), using his literature to portray these problems to the readers with the hopes they can overcome them in their own lives. This presentation argues that Dahl empowers children in his novels, helping them to gain agency and overcome repression by highlighting oppressive behaviour, which in turn highlights the power of children’s literature and I hope my research will help readers and researchers to read Dahl’s work in a new light.

Hunt, P. (2001) ‘Roald Dahl’, Children’s Literature. Oxford: Blackwell. 
Sykes, Christopher. S (1991) ‘In the Lair of the BFG’, Harpers and Queen, October 1991, 80–5.

Why Lesbian Relationships in Modern Cinema are Actually ‘Straight’ 

Ashleigh Bruton (English Literature)

Inclusive sapphic representation is absent within the media. Despite a growing influx of lesbian representation in recent years, filmmakers continue to ‘straighten out’ these queer stories. The dominant representation features overtly sexualised and hyperfeminine women, with the more ‘mannish’ and butch archetypes of lesbian identity suffering exclusion as a consequence. While seemingly harmless on its surface level, this reliance on heteronormative conventions suggests that these films are produced not to be ‘progressive’, as one might assume, but because of the assumption that a woman’s sexuality is only valid if it aligns with heterosexual desires. 

Mobilisation in Stroke

Mustafa Dashti (Medicine) 

Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Rehabilitation through mobilisation in specialised stroke units is one way to improve functional outcomes of patients. Guidelines have been produced nationally, which recommend all stroke patients be mobilised 24-48 hours after a stroke for 45 minutes a day. Here, I investigated how many patients the University Hospital North Midlands Stroke Unit is mobilising, through collection of observational data from the end of the bed and discuss the reasons for why there may be shortcomings. This research provides evidence for future guidelines to increase the mobilisation of post stroke patients to better improve their outcomes. 

Countering cultural hegemony with pedagogy: A case study of multicultural music education in Singapore
Eliana Ganesan (Education and Music)

The study explores the challenges and triumphs of music educators as they navigate teaching in the multicultural setting that Singapore presents. It frames the challenges faced in multicultural music education in a way that makes teachers equal stakeholders in education, who possess valuable insights crucial to ensuring students become respectful and thriving members of a culturally diverse society. Majority of the research surrounding multicultural music education in Singapore has been carried out from the perspective of state school classroom teachers, whereas I have extended the field of research to include teachers from the private sector and who perform less traditional educator roles. This qualitative, interview-based study found that educators developed their pedagogy to counter the overarching hurdle of the dominant Western hegemony present in society. The approaches explored emphasise the value of teacher insights in multicultural music education within the context of a flexible curriculum.

Analysing the sociological, political, and economic perspectives of local governance in Saint Lucia, more specifically Anse La Raye, and their effects on economic growth and social mobility

Jack Houghton (International Relations), Dani Jones (Sociology and Media Studies), Ayesha Azmet (Economics), Samuel Farrow (Accounting)

Anse La Raye is a small town on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. It is governed through a top-down approach where central government holds the majority of power. This lack of power is seen on the ground within their local village council, which is appointed by central government rather than elected by local people. It has been an unfortunate representation of lacking investment. This presentation uses secondary data analysis in the form of a literature review and statistics to explore how the lack of local governance within Anse la Raye has prevented economic growth and limited social mobility. We will showcase our evolving research with the intention of finalising the project on the ground later in the year through ethnographic means. 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Siobhan Maureen Mundy (Environment and Sustainability)    

In this world and our contemporary society, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the injustices and the existential threat we find ourselves faced with regarding anthropogenic caused climate change. Yet, the individual makes up the collective. Imagine the change that can occur if each person is supported to adopt actions for more sustainable lifestyles. Throughout this presentation, I will share with you my ongoing research into sustainability, particularly the progress and struggles I have experienced so far in my personal and professional pursuit of a happy, sustainable existence. This presentation aims to share some sustainable recommendations for the lay person. 

To what extent does the economic status of Kenya lead to a higher burden of aflatoxin related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)? 

Parmida Jamilian (Pharmacy) 

My presentation investigates the extent to which the economic status of a country results in a higher burden of aflatoxin related disease. Kenya, as a developing country, was chosen for this investigation to examine how a country’s lower economy results in higher aflatoxin exposure. As aflatoxin is not globally recognized by the public, this presentation aims to warn people about the toxin by informing them about the factors that lead to its development, as well as the health issues (liver cancer, etc.) associated with it. My personal interest in food safety and human health topics is my main source of motivation to investigate and present my research. By reviewing the literature on this topic, the research reveals that Kenya's low economy restricts the country from using advanced technologies (such as aflasafe) to mitigate aflatoxin’s effects. Besides, in Kenya, there is little surveillance from the authorities on food inspection. The low economy of Kenya results in lower levels of education and lack of knowledge about aflatoxin and its preventive measures, increasing the rate of exposure. I am honored to have the opportunity to present my research and inform the public about the aflatoxin related diseases and their preventive measures at the KCUR conference. 

The prevalence of chronic pain and depression in Staffordshire's homeless population 

Samuel Prosser (Physiotherapy) 

In England, people who are homeless attend hospital six times more, stay in hospital three times longer, and are admitted into hospital four times greater than the general population. Chronic pain and mental health conditions are believed to contribute to the increased pressure on the healthcare sector. Whilst the prevalence of both factors among the general population are well known, there are no known estimates in the homeless population. This cross-sectional study recruited participants from Staffordshire’s homeless population. The study found that levels of depression and pain are higher in this sample population than in the general population, which helps to explain the increased need for healthcare. 

Help Us Help You: Using Community Engagement as a Tool to Aid Staffordshire Fire & Rescue’s Accident Prevention Approaches 

Anjali Ramdhian (Psychology and Criminology) and Georgiana Iacob (Law and Society) 

Crisis and serious accidents are usually associated with ‘999’. However, what people forget is that preventing accidents is a key responsibility of emergency service providers, namely Staffordshire Fire and Rescue. As societies continuously evolve, risk and safety become more and more complex and ambiguous to the public. Our research, via the use of surveys completed by the local public and comparison to other organisations’ community engagement work, aims to identify ways in which the service can improve its prevention approach. Understanding and involving the community will thus uncover the key to preventing the accidents that occur within it. 

The effect of the electroencephalography (EEG) reference scheme on decoding accuracy in multivariate pattern analysis of EEG data 

Rohan Smith (Psychology) 

In the course of electroencephalography (EEG) data processing, various choices need to be made including the choice of a reference electrode, which is used to reduce electrical noise. This has been a controversial issue when computing event-related potentials, but there is some guidance from the literature on how to make such choices. However, there is no guidance on the effect of reference choice when using increasingly popular multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) methods for EEG data. This project will use a simulation approach, which will generate custom human brain data to evaluate the effect of reference choice on the results of MVPA of EEG data. This study will inform future researchers on which reference schemes to use during MVPA, with the expectation our findings will reveal reference scheme choices in MVPA do not adversely impact results. 

Media and state in independent Nigeria
Mayowa Soremekun (History and Politics) 

This research analyses how Nigerian governments have utilised media creation and censorship since independence. Scholarship on the relationship between the Nigerian state and media has focused on state force. While this perspective is valuable, this research takes a different approach by focusing on media creation and censorship throughout Nigerian history. In doing so, it demonstrates that media control is used by the Nigerian state when state force fails to exert influence. The research also helps to establish broader political trends in Nigeria. This research will reveal the importance media control has to the exertion of social control in Nigeria. 

Lightening Talk Abstracts

Evaluation of the Community Investment Fund provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Jaspreet Devgon (Criminology and Sociology) and Charly Freeman  

The research provided an evaluation of the Community Investment Fund delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in 2020. Priority areas of the funding included: supporting vulnerable communities, enabling residents to fulfil their potential, helping businesses thrive and working with communities to ensure a healthier, safer and sustainable future. Research was conducted in July 2021 through the use of surveys, where the aim was to identify benefits gained by the funded organisations and service users, as well as understand any barriers to success. Additionally, two case studies were obtained from organisations that were used to explore the community impact of the funding. The research found that areas for improvement included improved communication between the council and organisations, and reaching more members of BAME communities. On this basis, this research recommends social media marketing as a tool that organisations can use to reach a wider network of people and raise awareness about the Community Investment Fund. 

Exploring digital exclusion in Stoke-on-Trent 
Dominic Harrop-Pender (Geography and History) and Kareena Punj (Law) 

Digital exclusion prevents individuals from fully participating in society, exacerbating other forms of social exclusions. Our research on digital exclusion in Stoke-on-Trent found that digital literacy was a reiterating theme, especially in terms of how one reads and processes online information. This issue is deeply concerning, as digital competence is vital for daily life. Our research conducted online questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups for a lived experience of a wider determinant lens, exploring young adults, community support groups, disability groups and minority ethnic groups. We found that low levels of digital literacy facilitates digital exclusion, making it a significant problem in entrenching further social inequalities. This report formed part of a successful bid for the ‘Levelling up Fund’, indicating the importance of digital literacy as this fund hopes to improve the everyday life of those living in Stoke-on-Trent. 

The effectiveness of being a member of a team in sport for autistic children 
Kayleigh Ostle (Psychology and Criminology) 

One in a hundred children in the UK have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Many children with autism have challenges with social skills, restricted motor movements, repetitive behaviour, and hyperactivity. Scholarship demonstrates that being part of a sports team can enhance social skills, motor skills, and mental development, as well as decrease hyperactivity. I conducted a literature review to analyse the effects of being a member of a sports team on children with autism. The findings from this research help us to understand how we can support children on the autism spectrum by ensuring they have equitable opportunities to participate in sport activities in schools and in their communities. The research can aid coaches, sports teachers, and parents and guardians to support children with autism who want to engage in a sport or be a member of a team. 

The current effects of micro and nanoplastics and the long-term threat of plastic in our environment 
Mary Jean Romero Melindo (Chemistry)   

Plastic in almost every form contains impurities and toxic additives used to change its properties. Due to plastic’s durability and stability, it degrades very slowly when released into the environment. It is hypothesised that the timeframe in which plastic degrades into nanoparticles and releases the harmful additives and impurities within will contribute to a plastic toxicity debt on a global scale. This literature review examines the current effects of micro and nanoplastics on humans and aquatic life (in which they were found to have many adverse consequences), considering the possible threat of a peak in toxic release. Through this talk, I hope to spread awareness and encourage further research on the possible long-term impact of plastic in our environment.  

Poster Presentation Abstracts

Bicycles, Cycling, and Community Impact: What are the Volunteer Perceptions? 
Queen Adiat (Artificial Intelligence and Data Science) 

Cycling improves health, eases pollution, and is a more sustainable transportation method. The Volunteer Demographic Research project was conducted in a volunteer-led not-for-profit organization that aims to promote cycling. The study objective is to understand the experiences and perceptions of their volunteers. A mixed-method is adopted to answer the research questions using surveys, interviews and focus group discussions. Findings reveal that volunteers are driven by a passion for cycling, a friendly work environment, and an opportunity for community impact. This project contributes to discussion around sustainability and healthy alternatives. It is also a reference for future research into volunteer-led organizations 

Disinfecting and decontaminating SARS-CoV-2: Are we doing it right? 
Mustafa Dashti (Medicine) 

Cleaning is a major control component for outbreaks of infection. However, for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there is limited specific guidance regarding the proper disinfection methods that should be used, especially on different materials and environments. A year deep into the pandemic, we conducted a systematic review of the literature on cleaning, disinfection, or decontamination methods to see if we've been doing it right all along. The research showed that heating, UV light irradiation, and chemicals can be used to inactivate SARS-CoV-2, but there is little evidence to support one measure over others in clinical practice. This research provides a foundation for future guidelines regarding the disinfection of COVID-19 so that both patients and the public can remain safe. 

Events in a Changing World 
Zara Hawkins (International Business and International Relations) 

On March 11 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, causing economic downturns across the globe as countless countries went into lockdown. This research explores the economic impact of COVID-19 on the UK events industry, focusing on the suitability of hybrid and purely digital events for the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce. Through reviewing the Chamber’s existing approaches to events in the last three years, I hoped to identify if organisations with small events budgets can make the change to digital or hybrid events without changing their budgets. Conclusions reveal that they can and award small businesses with a competitive advantage, enabling them to prosper in the ever-evolving events industry. 

Understanding the Needs of Independent Artists in the Stoke and Staffordshire Area 
Caitlin Hose (Psychology) 

Independent artists face many challenges within the music industry, especially in areas with developing music scenes (such as Stoke) when compared to cities with established music scenes (such as Liverpool). This customer development research sees artists from Stoke and Staffordshire being asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the problems and barriers they have encountered throughout their music careers. The responses will enable a local music development service to design and subsequently tailor their customer-directed services to offer solutions to problems identified within the questionnaire, helping musicians achieve their own professional goals, thus preserving and growing the local music scene. 

Parental acceptance of routine varicella vaccination in the UK: a cross sectional survey  
Nicola Lingley-Heath (Psychology) 

Varicella (chickenpox), a common and usually mild childhood illness, can have severe complications. Presently, the UK does not include universal varicella vaccine in childhood vaccination schedules. In this cross-sectional study, 602 parents (youngest child 0-5yrs) completed an online survey of demographic questions, child’s varicella status, attitudes towards chickenpox, likelihood of getting the vaccination for their child if available, and preferences for administration. 73.9% of parents were extremely/somewhat likely, 18.2% were extremely/somewhat unlikely to accept a chickenpox vaccine for their child. A combined MMRV vaccination or additional visit to the surgery were preferred over increased needle burden at the same visit. Most parents were positive about varicella vaccination being added to the routine childhood immunisation schedule. These findings highlight parents’ preferences for varicella vaccine administration and this information will be used to inform vaccine policy and practice.  

Differences in moral decision-making, resilience/distress, and empathy levels and changes over time, among registered healthcare professionals 
Nicola Lingley-Heath (Psychology) 

Morality and empathy are fundamental in human nature. Moral distress is the suffering from having to make a decision against moral and ethical values. The term is used in healthcare when unable to achieve individual moral obligations to patients. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted, looking at the impact of resilience and distress on moral decision making amongst nurses, Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs), and Physio/Occupational Therapists. The survey included demographic questions and questions to measure morality, moral distress, and empathy. Three ANCOVAs will be conducted, looking for differences in empathy, utilitarianism, and moral distress between professions, while controlling for the length of service in the profession.  Data is in the process of being analysed; however, the implications of this research will hopefully lead to support in the workplace and for clinical practice interventions for healthcare professionals, an increase and improvement in multidisciplinary working in practice, and a reduction in the affect to health organisations in relation to staff turnover, quality of care delivered, and patient satisfaction. 

An audit to identify whether transient ischaemic attack (TIA) imaging guidelines are being met 
Jay Panchal (Medicine) 

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is an important risk factor for acute stroke and requires urgent investigation. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance (NG128) states that same day MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain should be offered instead of CT (computerised tomography) scan following TIA clinic assessment. We compared image modality choice and timing for patients with suspected TIA referred from clinic. Data was extracted from the hospital database and statistical analysis was performed. There were 150 patients in total referred for CT at Royal Stoke Hospital between June-December 2021 (awaiting MR data), which were performed in 0.85 days and reported within 6.97 days. The results indicate that TIA investigation was timely and met NICE guidance, but report findings were delayed. With TIAs being a major risk factor for stroke, the delay in reporting reduces prompt initiation of treatment and so this research highlights the need for improvement in scan reporting times. 

Designing stable molecular building blocks for advanced materials 
Amelia Swarbrook (Chemistry) 

Capturing CO2 contributes to the mitigation of climate change. Designing porous materials for this purpose requires an understanding of the forces which hold their molecular building blocks together. We synthesised new organic molecules and assessed their binding with zinc as a basis for building larger porous structures. Using X-ray crystallography to probe the complete 3-dimensional structure, and fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor bond formation between the components, both bond strength and binding geometry were determined. Consolidating data from both methods provided a complete picture of the complexes’ geometric and electronic behaviour, which allows for the design of improved carbon capture materials. 

Creative Presentation Abstracts

The Impact 
Abasiama Samuel Asuquo (Media, Communication and Creative Practice) 

As a documentary filmmaking Intern with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), I was tasked with developing a documentary exploring the impact of COVID 19 on the YMCA community in Crewe. After reflecting on my modules and meetings with both the YMCA team and my lecturers, I started the project with an idea of the challenges I was to expect. I was able to develop strategies to overcome them, making the YMCA residents comfortable enough to share their stories and struggles during the pandemic. It was an important piece because it gave the residents a voice, allowing them to reflect more on the impact of the pandemic and how they were able to cope during this time. Based on their feedback, it has also become a high-quality reference for marketing, motivation, and showcasing its residents and staff, and informed change. 

Amyloidosis: Ever heard of it? What is it? 
Pherrine Charles (Biomedical Science) and Oluwafunmilayo (Fefe) Aina (Biomedical Science) 

Amyloidosis is a rare disease, so why do we need to know about it? Many people struggle to say the disease's name and do not know it exists, including physicians. The lack of awareness around amyloidosis leaves patients without proper guidance on how to identify and manage symptoms, meaning they might not seek the appropriate medical support. Moreover, it is estimated that 500-1000 people are diagnosed ​with amyloidosis every year and these figures continue to increase with great concern, further emphasising the need for more awareness of the disease.  I aim to raise awareness of the disease using a series of two pictures, which demonstrate how the disease is ​affecting the person in real time. I selected this creative format to appeal to the general public and raise awareness of the disease among a non-specialist audience, especially younger demographics. The two animated pictures show the common symptoms of amyloidosis and how to protect yourself. This research is timely, as amyloidosis diagnoses are rising yet awareness remains limited. The animated pictures aim to address these issues by encouraging people to get tested and learn the symptoms so that they can seek medical support and receive the appropriate care. Will you take the test?  

Five reasons for you to get involved:

1. You will have participated in a full academic conference during your time here – a great addition to any CV.

2. All presentations chosen for the event will have their abstracts published in a special Student edition of the JADE journal detailing the conference proceedings.

3. You can write your paper up in full for the JADE journal. This means you will get a fully peer-reviewed journal publication to your name – you will be searchable and citable.

4. The event is fully catered and free of charge! Come along and get involved in a fully catered day of completely free academic discussion and debate. This is a great way to experience an academic conference right here at Keele!

5. Many of our presenters have gone on to present at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research and the World Congress of Undergraduate Research – this is just the start of your academic journey!

The period for submitting abstracts has now closed. 

You can view all of our previous abstracts in the Journal of Academic Development and Education (JADE) journal by visiting the JADE journal page. You can learn a lot about how to write a successful abstract by reading published abstracts. 

This year's Keele Conference of Undergraduate Research will take place on Wednesday 1st June 2022 between 09:30–16:00 BST.

KCUR provides an exciting opportunity to celebrate the interesting and diverse range of undergraduate research being undertaken across Keele.


KCUR is one event, but there's two ways you can participate!

Join us, in-person at Keele Hall or online via MS Teams, to immerse yourself in the exciting and cutting-edge research being conducted by undergraduate students across Keele. Please state your mode of attendance on the registration form.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided if you register to attend in-person at Keele Hall.

Presentations will be live-streamed and posters and creative presentations will be available to view online for people who wish to attend online via MS Teams. Live captions will be used.

Registration closing dates:

To attend KCUR in-person at Keele Hall, please complete the booking form, link available at the top of this page no later than Monday 23rd May 2022.

If you wish to attend online via Teams, please register your place by Monday 30 May 2022.

Briefing sessions will be offered on the following topics:

  • Introduction to KCUR 2022 and writing an abstract (15 December). Book your place on this online workshop here.
  • Presentation skills. Date to be confirmed.
  • Slide design. Date to be confirmed.
  • Poster design. Date to be confirmed.

You have the opportunity to attend these briefing sessions live or you can work through the materials independently and then attend optional Q & A sessions to discuss any questions you may have. Please state your preference on the registration form for each session.

If you have any questions about KCUR 2022, including how you can attend, please contact us by sending an email to Academic.Skills@keele.ac.uk and we'll be very happy to chat with you.

kcur conference