The UA Blog

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Laura Collins

Laura Collins studied Biology at the University of St Andrews and was a Highly Commended Entrant of the Undergraduate Awards in 2015 for her paper “Garden birds and their use of provisioned water”. Changing behaviours in birds and community migrations can be seen as indicators of environmental health. Her study investigated whether fresh water increases the attractiveness of gardens to birds, how birds interact with different water sources and how water use varies between species. Laura argues that this area of research is pertinent as an understanding of effective water provisioning would be valuable since providing artificial sources of water in gardens may contribute vital resources to species of conservation concern, which rely on urban gardens as an important habitat. 

Having always dreamt of studying abroad, following graduation she  never expected that she would be able to do so, not once but four times over! This was made possible through a scholarship for an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO). This unique Masters programme focuses on researching the risk of extinction of many species through global warming. This is achieved through analysing certain areas that present the biggest risk to the degradation of the planet, for example land use and the destructions of habitats and tropical rainforests.

 This important programme took Laura from Brussels to Brisbane, then Paris and Singapore, in a whirlwind two years that she will never forget. She finished the Tropical Biology Masters in September after submitting her thesis entitled: “Support base for discourses on mangrove forests in Singapore and assessment of (mis)matches with management and regulations”.

Some areas of the programme were incredibly challenging, but there were numerous highlights; above all learning about the cultures of new friends from all over the world.

Crazier highlights include swimming in a lake with a crocodile, riding a camel in the outback, seeing wild elephants in India, helping a Buddhist monk shower the monastery crocodiles, eating bamboo with the locals in Vietnam and living with an employee of French vogue on Rue de Seine.

Laura has always had a passion for writing and editing, so she took the opportunity to start herown travel blog documenting her experiences :“Topical Tropical Travelogues. The opportunity to live and study in these different countries also gave her an understanding of the fundamental importance of education. Laura has been a Trainee Editor with CGP books (an educational publisher in Cumbria, England) since January, which has given her an opportunity to grow her interest in education and writing.

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.

We’re Hiring!


UA Judging Process Intern 2018


The Undergraduate Awards (UA) is a prestigious and international academic awards programme, now the largest in the world. The programme is an independent, Irish not-for-profit company with university partners and affiliates around the world. UA is pan-discipline and aims to celebrate and support the world’s brightest and most innovative undergraduate students by recognising their best coursework. Each year, The Undergraduate Awards recruits 25 panels of leading academics to assess the work and select the winning papers in each category. UA brings together the Winners and Highly Commended Entrants to a 3-day global summit in Dublin.


Reporting to the Development Director, the Judging Process Intern will support the UA team in managing panels of international academics for  the UA Judging Process 2018. The role will be concerned with liaising with academics globally and recruiting them to join panels judging entries to the 25 categories of the UA programme. You will also be responsible for supporting these Judges through the 10 week process using the online judging platform ‘Reviewr’.


  • Assist in the recruitment of international judges to take part in The Judging Process 2018;
  • Connect with  international academics for the judging process using our CRM platform Hubspot.
  • Be the first point of contact for the judges; liaise with the judges and support them through the 4 stage process;
  • Create a database of the key themes from the submissions to the 2018 programmes.


The Judging Process:

  • Assist in the recruitment of judges for the Judging Process 2018; recruitment of diverse senior academics from around the world from within and outside UA’s network to take part in the Judging process.
  • Taking part in the screening process; ensuring papers meet the eligibility criteria in each of the categories.
  • Manage and organise the Judging Panels in accordance with the Panel Chairs (using CRM).
  • Assist the judges in using the online assessment platform ‘Reviewr’ and building strong working relations with the judges.
  • Gather results from the various stages and manage the assignment of papers to the judging panels.
  • Collect comments and feedback from the Judging Chairs on the 25 Global Winners papers email certificates to judges.
  • Invite judges to The Undergraduate Global Summit in November.
  • Maintain the CRM for future panel recruitment.


Minimum qualifications

  • An undergraduate degree or higher
  • Some experience working in the education sector
  • Excellent communications skills and phone manner
  • Excellent relationship management skills
  • Excellent organisation and strong time-management skills

Preferred attributes

  • Working to deadline –Can you plan ahead to work under time-pressure and adhere to deadlines?
  • Assertiveness – Are you confident to chase/follow up with judges who have failed to meet their deadline?
  • A highly motivated self-starter – Are you an Achiever?
  • A strategic and organised approach to work – Does your heart flutter when you hear the words “colour coded”?
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills – Can you communicate in an enticing manner?
  • A knowledge and interest in worldwide education and research – Could you work within this global academic community?
  • An appreciation of the development of a small non-profit organisation – Would you enjoy working on a small team that makes a difference?
  • A fun, enthusiastic outlook – Do you see opportunities around every corner?
  • An enthusiasm for UA’s mission and vision – Do you believe in what UA is trying to achieve?


  • 5 month Internship: May 2018 – September 2018
  • Monday – Friday – 8am-10am until 4pm-6pm  (flexible start-finish times)
  • €195 gross per week (paid monthly)
  • Office lifestyle benefits (breakfast, lunch & snacks, Leapcard etc)

The Undergraduate Awards is located in Dublin City Centre: 65 Great Strand St, Dublin


To apply simply send your CV and a short cover letter outlining why you wish to work with The Undergraduate Awards to Lara Coyle, at

Judging Chair Spotlight: Azwinndini Muronga (Mathematics & Physics)

Professor Azwinndini Muronga is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This year marks his third year as Judging Chair in the Mathematics & Physics category at The Undergraduate Awards (UA), and we are delighted to have Nelson Mandela University as a UA Affiliate institution.

Professor Muronga is a theoretical physicist, who started his tertiary education at the University of Venda, Limpopo, South Africa, where he obtained with a BSc degree in Mathematics and Physics and a University Education Diploma. He then studied at the University of Cape Town where he obtained Honours in Physics and MSc in Physics. After completing his studies at the University of Cape Town hesubsequently went on to study at the University of Minnesota where he obtained his PhD in Physics. 

Azwinndini then did his postdoctoral training at the University of Frankfurt and at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany.

In 2005 he took up a position of Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department of the University of Cape Town. In October 2010 he joined the University of Johannesburg as an Associate Professor of Physics and concurrently as the Director of Soweto Science Centre – before moving to Nelson Mandela University as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Professor Muronga’s own research field lies in the intersection of nuclear physics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, studying the nature and properties of hot and dense matter in heavy ion collisions and astrophysics.

Apart from his own research interests, Prof Muronga is also an outstanding and recognised science educator and communicator, with a strong passion for, and interest in, public engagement with science , particularly the rural and disadvantaged communities.

Every year UA invites cross-disciplinary and cross- cultural esteemed academics to the world’s largest virtual academic judging process.
 If you are interested in becoming a judge for UA 2018, please email or complete this form.


Where Are They Now Wednesday- Surer Mohamed

Surer Mohamed, from Western University, was a Highly Commended entrant at the Undergraduate Awards (UA) 2014, for her paper ‘The Trouble with ‘Tribe’: Beyond a Monocausal Explanation for Ethnicized Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa’ in the Politics & International Relations category.

Surer’s paper shines a light on the lack of emphasis on ethnicity with the all encompassing term ‘tribe’, which neglects the structural considerations that grant ethnicity its salience. The paper investigates numerous critical causes that lead to the instrumentalization of ethnicity, such as the use of ‘tribe’ as a political currency by African leaders. Surer pushes back against the widely held belief that “ethnic conflict and ‘tribalism’ are exclusively at the heart of civil conflicts and electoral contests in Africa”.

 Surer Mohamed is currently studying at the University of Cambridge, where she is pursuing a PhD in Politics and International Studies.

Attending the Undergraduate Awards Summit in 2014 was an important formative experience for Surer.

At the UA Summit, I began to envision myself as a part of a community of scholars, and began to pursue an academic career.

Since the Summit, Surer has completed a M.A. at the University of Western Ontario and an MPhil at the University of Cambridge. She has been the recipient of scholarships from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation, the Mackenzie King Trust, and the Rotary Foundation.

Surer has a keen interest in critical theory, postcolonial African studies, and critical approaches to transitional justice. Her doctoral research considers property disputes in the Somali capital city, Mogadishu, as a site of justice contestation in the post-conflict era. She considers how mass violence creates competing claims of “victimhood” that have important political ramifications for the emerging state and society.

In addition to her studies, Surer is a Research Assistant on the “Rethinking Transitional Justice from African Perspectives” project, where she is works with partner organisations from Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya that address innovative approaches to transitional justice in their immediate contexts. She is also a co-host on the Declarations podcast that considers the complexities of human rights in the real world.

Surer is interested in pursuing a career in academia that straddles the divide between scholarship and practice. She is passionate about challenging the boundaries of knowledge production and producing scholarship that can enable grassroots political engagement.

Read Surer’s Highly Commended paper in the UA Library.

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.


Category Spotlight: Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Healthcare

This category is for students of nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, sport science etc.
Medical students should submit to Medical Sciences and students of Pharmacy should submit to Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Entrants must submit an abstract of between 100-300 words long.

Word Count: 2,500 – 5,000

The Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Healthcare category was first introduced at the Undergraduate Awards 2014, in response to a growing interest from students within the related fields. Last year’s winning paper was submitted by Amy Lewis of Western University, Canada with a paper entitled ‘Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Initiatives for Inuit Youth in Canada’. The paper explores the negative impact that the loss of culture and community in the post-colonial era has had on the wellbeing and mental health of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, particularly among the youth.

In conclusion, Amy argues that suicide has many contribution factors, with the themes of peer and intergenerational discord recurring among Inuit suicide statistics. To tackle this, the paper argues that sociopolitical action must go hand in hand with preventative measures such as guidance from elders and a focus on mental health initiatives.

According to the judges, Amy’s paper was an excellent review of the issues, that include major policy implications for not only the nursing profession, but also the provincial and political systems:

Indigenous health is a global health issue, with the impacts of colonisation being experienced globally. The loss of Indigenous ways of knowing, experiences of cultural erasure, and the effects on young people today make this paper, while set in Canada, extremely relevant to populations globally.”

Amy Lewis is a recent graduate of the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing Program at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and is now in the first year of the Master of Science in Nursing Program. Amy is commended for her academic achievements during her undergraduate studies, receiving the Arthur Labatt Family Graduate Scholarship in Nursing, and the Dr. Edith M. McDowell Award for highest average entering master’s level nursing studies.

Her passions include research, education, and political advocacy, which flourished during her experience as a research assistant for the Mental Health Nursing Research Alliance at Lawson Health Research Institute in London. She is also focusing on a leadership role as the Co-President of ASPIRE, the Alliance of Students Providing Interprofessional Resources and Education, to integrate a student-led clinic in London, Ontario that provides health promotion, education, and primary care services in the community.

A Highly Commended entry by Trinity College Dublin student Grace Murphy in 2016 is also an illuminating read. ‘Lateral Violence in Nursing: Does Our Compassion End at the Bedside?’ explores the issue of nurses mistreating colleagues, so-called lateral violence due to the wealth of research that has been developed to investigate the issue and discover its causation. The consensus among the literature Grace reviewed is that lateral violence is a significant problem in the nursing profession, one that is particularly acute among student nurses, seen as the group most vulnerable to abuse. By way of identifying a solution, the paper advocates for educational practices that highlight what constitutes lateral violence.

If you would like to find out how to submit to The Undergraduate Awards 2018 click here.

If you would like to read any of the Global Winners papers or Highly Commended papers go to The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee from Nanyang University, was a Highly Commended entrant in 2015 in the Gender Studies & Anthropology category, with her paper ” In today’s post-Mao era, are females in China Jasmine Lee Highly Commended 2015 UAstill limited by their gender in achieving the aims of education?’ 

The topical paper argues succinctly that although access to education has been recognised as a pivotal component behind the economic and societal transformations China has attained, the pathway to success is not so evenly mapped when it comes to gender. The paper examines the education and employment opportunities available to women in today’s post-Mao era and concludes that being female in modern day China limits one’s access to opportunities during and after education as she seeks to be employed, yet “girls in the rural regions face a more severe situation aggravated by income inequality and entrenched traditional beliefs”.

After graduating from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Jasmine embarked on a career with Citi Singapore as a part of it’s Management Associate program. In this program, she was given the opportunity to rotate to various functions across the bank, ranging from the Institutional Clients Group to Consumer Banking, Support Functions and Operations & Technology. To date, Jasmine has completed rotations with the Corporate Bank, Retail Bank and she is now with the Private Bank arm of Operations & Technology, managing projects related to robotics processes.

During her free time, she enjoys singing as it helps her to unwind and relax! She started performing during her university days and continues to do so even though she has transitioned into the working world! Jasmine is now a part of the Citiband, a band formed by employees of Citi, which performs at internal and external events. Last October she travelled to Hong Kong for five weeks to attend a training related to the Institutional Clients business. Analysts from similar programs across APAC will travel to Hong Kong for this training and it was an amazing opportunity for Jasmine to meet her peers  from other Citi offices all around the globe! While working is undeniably different from studying at university, Jasmine sees everyday as a learning opportunity to better herself.


Speaking about her experience at the Undergraduate Awards Summit 2015, Jasmine says;

having the opportunity to meet, interact and learn from the brightest minds across the globe was extremely valuable. I also had the chance to visit the Google head office, find out more about graduate programs, present my research paper at The Helix and attend presentations of other winners. This certainly broadened my horizons and is certainly a fond memory worth reminiscing!

Read Jasmine’s highly Commended paper in the UA Library

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.

Category Spotlight: Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

This category is for students of Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy, including Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology.
Students of Biology or Biochemistry please submit to Life Sciences

Entrants must submit an abstract of between 100-300 words long.

Word Count:  2,500 – 12,000

Last year’s Global Winner, Phillip Karpati from the University of Sydney, penned a paper entitled “Selenium-Mediated Peptide Ligations At Proline- Proline Junctions”

In Phillip’s extract he explains how in the last decade there has been a surge in the number of polypeptide therapeutics, approved for the treatment of numerous diseases, ” meaning there is a need for technologies to efficiently access these biomolecules”. The paper points out the limitations of current Native Chemical Ligation (NCL) methodologies and assesses the benefits of the “advent of thiolated and selenolated amino acids In Conjunction With Desulfurization And Deselenization reactions have Significantly widened the scope of NCL to include more naturally abundant amino acids”. This revolutionary method has made it possible for ligations at the most difficult junction; the proline-proline junction.

 Phillip Karpati

According to one of last year’s judges,


This paper represents a novel way to synthesize peptides and ultimately lead to the first total synthesis of a peptide with therapeutic properties. This paper, in my opinion, is written at a near graduate student level.

Since submitting to the Undergraduate Awards in 2017, Phillip is now a first year PhD student in Chemistry working in the area of protein synthesis and its applications in developing therapeutics. He has completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) where he went on to win the University Medal – awarded by the University Senate, before receiving the prestigious Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship.

The 2015 Overall Winner in the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences category was Ying Kai Loh  from Nanyang Technological University, with his paper “Capturing a Dicationic Phosphorus Mononitride Containing a P=N Double Bond”

Ying Kai Loh

In 2014, Ying Kai Loh successfully isolated a compound containing a rare B=O double bond and published it as first author in Chemical Communications. In 2015, he was first to capture the fleeting [PN]²⁺ molecule and published it as first author in Inorganic Chemistry.

Ying Kai Loh was awarded the prestigious A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore) Undergraduate Scholarship to pursue his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. During his undergraduate stint, he was placed in the Dean’s list in Chemistry and the Chairman’s Honours List in A*STAR for two consecutive years. In his final semester, he embarked on an exchange programme with University College London.

We are really excited to see the incoming submissions to the 2018 Programme because of the top-quality research being completed by undergraduate students in this field. If you would like to find out how to submit click here.

If you would like to read any of the Global Winners papers or Highly Commended papers go to The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Judging Chair Spotlight: Barry Sheehan (Architecture & Design)

We are thrilled to have Barry Sheehan back as Judging Chair of Architecture & Design for The Undergraduate Awards 2018.

Barry Sheehan at The Undergraduate Awards 2017

Barry Sheehan at UA 2017

 Barry Sheehan is Head of Design and Assistant Head of the Dublin School of Creative Arts, in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). DIT is one of Ireland’s largest and most innovative university-level institutions and is also one of UA’s Partners. He was formerly the Managing Director of Sharc Design and Sheehan Architects. An Architect by Profession, Barry has been involved in the design of numerous projects from Architecture and Interior Design through to graphics, multimedia and product design. The work of Sharc Design and Sheehan Architects has appeared in several magazines and newspapers as well as on television.

He is a regular commentator on Design matters in the national media. In 2014 he set up Assigned Certifier Consultants with Paul Sweeney. He is a guest lecturer and critic at many of Design courses throughout Ireland. He has previously tutored Interior Architecture in Griffith College Dublin and Product Design in DIT. His Clients included Vodafone, Hertz, Fuji, CIE, Viacom Outdoor and The Heritage Council.

Barry is a dissertation supervisor on the Masters in Professional Design Programme and is Programme Leader of The Dublin Project MA. He is a frequent guest lecturer and critic for many design courses throughout Ireland.

As well as  being the Judging Chair of UA 2017 Barry has judged many design competitions and awards including the James Dyson awards, the Bombay Sapphire Glass design awards, Institute of Designers in Ireland Graduate Design Awards, the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design awards as well as the Art Directors Club of Europe awards.

Barry Sheehan with DIT students at The Undergraduate Awards 2017

Barry Sheehan with DIT students at UA 2017

Barry is actively involved in numerous design organisations. He is Chairperson of Design Week and a former President of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and Vice Chairman of Design Ireland. He has been keenly involved in Dublin’s bid for World Design Capital and is a Pivot Dublin partner. He is Past President of the Rockwell College Past Pupils Union and former President of Little League Baseball Ireland.

If you are interested in becoming a judge for UA 2018, please email or complete this form.
 Have a look at how previous judges have commented on the experience.

Word Count Requirements Updated For Undergraduate Awards 2018

Word Count Limits

For written work, the word count must be between 2,500-5,000 words, with the exception of the following categories, which can be up to 12,000 words long: For the portfolio-based categories, Visual Arts and Architecture & Design, please find the Submission Guidelines here. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences Computer Science Earth & Environmental Sciences Engineering Life Sciences Mathematics & Physics Medical Sciences There is a 10% leeway on the maximum word count. For example, if your maximum word count is 5,000, your paper can be up to 5,500 words. Papers that are over or under the required word count will be disqualified.


Portfolio-based Categories

1. Architecture and Design:

Analytical or critical papers on the subject of architecture or design should be submitted to the Art History & Theory category. Entrants should submit a maximum of 10 images and a Statement between 300 – 1,500 words, explaining their work.Entrants to Architecture & Design DO NOT submit an Abstract.

2. Visual Arts

Analytical or critical papers on the subject of art should be submitted to Art History & Theory. Students of Product Design should submit to Architecture & Design. Entrants should submit a maximum of 10 images and an Artist’s Statement between 200-300 words, explaining their work. Entrants to Visual Arts DO NOT submit an Abstract.

The following elements DO contribute to the word count: Footnotes, In-text Citations, Image/figure captions – included

The following elements DO NOT contribute to the word count: Abstract, Appendix, Bibliography or Works Cited Pages, Submission title, Table of contents, List of abbreviations, Tables of figures.

Abstract Word Count


Abstracts must be between 100-300 words in length. There is a 10% leeway on the upper word limit.


If you have a small additional piece of information that is pushing you over the word count, you are allowed to place it in the appendix and refer to it in your paper. It is important that entrants do not abuse the appendices and included more information than necessary.

Learn more about how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards here.


Where Are They Now Wednesday: Will Heegaard

Will Heegaard from University of California, Berkeley was Highly Commended in the Politics and International Relations Category in 2013.

Will was highly commended for his paper “Military Security and Environmental Degradation: Challenges and Opportunities” in which he assessed the ecological impact of the U.S. Armed Forces, arguing that the focus on military combat on foreign soil has ” created environmental threats more dangerous and pressing than our human foes.”

Since participating in the Undergraduate Awards in 2013, Will has been involved in numerous exciting and rewarding projects that have given him the opportunity to travel abroad. Will has trained clinicians as a Programme Manager in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak and responded with Team Rubicon after disasters in Louisiana and Minnesota. Team Rubicon is an international NGO, formed in 2010 following the earthquake in Haiti, that unites skilled veterans with first responders to swiftly deploy emergency response units in disaster situations.

Will is currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He splits his time working as a Paramedic while launching  his start-up Footprint GBC, which provides sustainability consulting for disaster response agencies. Footprints modus operandi “combines sustainability consulting with clean energy deployment so every humanitarian organization can fulfill their commitment to first do no harm, and every affected community can develop through disaster.”

Will Heegaard and the Footprint Team

Will recently deployed a solar micro-grid to offset diesel use at Black Rock City’s Rampart Medical Clinic, and is now working with a community in Puerto Rico to power their recovery with clean energy.

I’m fascinated by the connection between public health, environmental science and humanitarian crisis, and love projects that connect emergency response with sustainable development.


When he’s not on an ambulance or in the field, he likes to cook, write, travel and tinker on his off-grid tiny house!

Read Will’s Highly Commended Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.




Category Spotlight: Classical Studies and Archaeology

 “I believe that the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future”        ~ Theodore Roosevelt

The Classical Studies and Archaeology category was introduced in 2014. This category is for students of Archaeology and Classical Studies, including students of Ancient History, Ancient Civilisations, Celtic Studies etc. Students of History who wish to submit a paper on Ancient History, should also submit to this category. Entrants must submit an abstract of between 100-300 words long.

        Melanie Hechenberger- Global Winner 2017

Last year’s winner in the category was Melanie Hechenberger from Monash University, with a paper entitled : The Origin Of Writing In Egypt: Administrative Or Ceremonial? 

The paper concentrates on the long-standing debate over the origin of writing in Ancient Egypt. The pivotal question at the centre of this debate is ” Which theme is the more likely stimulus for the creation of writing?” In Melanie’s abstract, she explains,

“In This Paper, I Examine Both Branches Of Debate With The Design Of Assembling The Arguments In One Place Of Reference As Well As Determining Which Theory Is The Most Plausible Explanation For The Origin Of Writing Through A Comparative Analysis Of The Arguments With Reference To The Burial Context In Which The Source Material Is Found.”

According to the judges, Melanie’s submission is:

A wonderful piece which deals with a very complex issue showcasing the quality of an already mature scholar.

   Alicia Núñez García receiving her Global Medal

The 2016 winning paper was submitted by Alicia Núñez García from the University of Edinburgh. The paper named: Modern appropriation of past material culture: fostering ‘soft’ nationalisms in Mediterranean Europe through meaning, memory, and identity, raised the question “What is the purpose of past material culture appropriation as national and regional images in the 21st century and how could archaeology raise awareness of this phenomenon? ”

Since becoming a Global Winner at the Undergraduate Awards, Alicia graduated with a first-class honours in Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations. She has undergone diverse archaeological fieldwork throughout Europe ranging from the Mesolithic to postmedieval times. She has also completed a community archaeology placement with Archaeology Scotland and attended a course on Greek archaeology with the British School at Athens.

She is currently pursuing a postgraduate MA in Experimental Archaeology at the University of Exeter, Alicia is hoping to integrate this hands-on approach with her research interests in outreach, public archaeology and theoretical issues – including symmetrical theory, questions of materiality, and queer and feminist theory. Alicia is also an avid practicer of Capoeira, an aspiring writer and an enthusiast of idealism.

We are particularly excited to see the incoming submissions to the 2018 Programme because of the top-quality research being completed by undergraduate students in this field. If you would like to find out how to submit click here.

If you would like to read any of the Global Winners papers or Highly Commended papers go to The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Category Spotlight: Business

Business is a popular category for submissions at The Undergraduate Awards, with entries covering a multitude of topics within the subject. Business originally shared a category with economics but due to the wealth of submissions in both disciplines, they each became categories in their own right in 2014.  This category has seen some pioneering studies over the years and todays post will focus on some of the winning and highly commended submissions in recent years that used the their papers to shine a light on poignant social problems such as gender inequality, blood donation shortages and pollution.

For all future applicants, please note that work submitted to the business category must be a maximum of 5,000 words and have received an A- grade or higher.

              Robert Sarich, Global Winner 2017

Last year’s Global Winner was a paper entitled, Solving Social Problems With Social Marketing Using A Process-Driven Approach To Develop A Solution To Australias Blood Shortage” by Robert Sarich from Australian national University. The judges commented  on how Robert’s essay had raised solutions to tackle a unique social problem;

“By providing an overview of the strategies that were used in Australia, this research contains very salient practical implications for countries like Ireland which experience great difficulties in obtaining blood donations.”

Robert is currently working at New South Wales Treasury in the Commissioning and Contestability Unit where he applies his strategic and problem solving skills to improving the delivery of Government services.

Last year’s highly commended work included a paper by Kamilla Rakhmat of the University of Sheffield, entitled: The Role Of Organisational Culture And Gender And Sexuality Themes On The Continuous Gender Discrimination At KPMG”

In Kamilla’s topical study she focusses on the barriers to equality in the workplace and makes a compelling argument for changing the systemic structures of  organisational culture in order for the imbalance of power to be rectified.

The study is aided by the use of a series of case studies including one involving a gender discrimination lawsuit against KPMG. “The lawsuit which began in 2011 with one individual, Donna Kassman, a loyal worker of the company for 17 years, has now expanded in numbers exceeding 1000.”

As the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has been in the news in recent months due to its reports of an $11 billion gain from the new tax laws in the United States, we here at The Undergraduate Awards thought it would be fitting to highlight a submission that was highly commended in 2017, entitled: “Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company And Their Indian Suppliers: Global Business, Global Problem, by Deirbhile Murtagh of Queen’s University Belfast.

The study endeavours to evaluate the supply chain problems that companies, such as Pfizer, are confronted by. It takes the “triple bottom line into consideration, the win-win situation, the embracers and cautious adopters of sustainability and the tragedy of commons to evaluate the supply chain problems which companies, such as Pfizer, are faced with”.

Deirbhile looks at the issue of sustainability extensively and concludes that “ultimately it is clear within today’s society that the concept of sustainability has increased at a significant rate and that the public are taking more notice when businesses do not comply with the correct procedures”.


Submit today for The Undergraduate Awards 2018 Programme.

If you are interested in Judging for The Undergraduate Awards 2018 programme, Click here.

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