The UA Blog

The Economics category

Economics has been judged as a category in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

Students of all Economics disciplines, including Econometrics, Urban Economics, Labour Economics and more are eligible to submit to the category. Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

The Global Winner of the Economics category in 2016 is Danielle Dobos from Stanford University with her paper titled “Modelling the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Labour Market Supply in the United States“. The paper receives high praises from the judges, who said:

Great papers in economics tackle important issues using new data and methods to figure out how to help solve these issues. This winning paper is a combination of all those three features… The paper is well written and executed and stood out in a field of very strong submissions.

With only three weeks left until the submission deadline, we look forward to reading all the new research from undergraduate students around the world for this year’s Economics category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

The Earth & Environmental Sciences category

Earth & Environmental Sciences have been judged together as a single category at The Undergraduate Awards since 2014.

The category is open to students of the natural environment and ecosystems disciplines, including students of Earth Science, Agriculture, Geography, Geology and more. Entries for this category must be within the 12,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

(Note: students of Human Geography, please submit to Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies category).

Last year, the category was won by Wayne Egan from the Institute Technology of Sligo with his paper “To Assess the Impact of the Bellawaddy River on the Microbiological Quality of The Bathing Waters of Enniscrone Beach, Co. Sligo, Ireland“. The judges were particularly impressed by the “balanced criticism and intellectual independence” shown in the paper, who said:

The paper, the clear winner after 3 rounds of judging, is a comprehensive scientific assessment of bathing water quality. In many ways the paper is a reference for how such a study should be conduct.

Speaking about his achievement, Wayne commented

Previous Highly Commended Entrant of the category included Jannelle Lee from the University of Alberta, who is currently pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning at the University of Waterloo after completing an eight-month internship with the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are very excited to receive all the new innovative research from undergraduate students around the world for this year’s Earth & Environmental Sciences category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Janelle Lee

Janelle Lee from the University of Alberta was a Highly Commended Entrant in 2015 in the Social Sciences as well as the Earth & Environmental Sciences categories.

The last few years have been quite an adventure for Janelle! In 2015, she completed an eight-month internship with the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya, with her work focused on “using interactive theatre as a tool for urban youth engagement in East African cities and incorporating young people’s perspectives into policy development”. She also travelled to Turkana County in northern Kenya to conduct stakeholder interviews on oil development in the region and to investigate challenges and opportunities associated with resource development.

After returning from Kenya, Janelle worked in the Boreal Forest near Peace River (located in northern Alberta) for four months doing field work, learning how to do basic moss identification and worked with a team to collect tree and shrub data to study forest management practices.

At the moment, Janelle is enjoying the freedom of grad school and being able to craft her own research, pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning at the University of Waterloo. Outside of school, most of her time is dedicated to rock climbing which she started taking up earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed the physical and mental challenge of it.

Talking about her future plan, Janelle said:

This summer, I will be traveling to Mexico City for an internship and to conduct my thesis research, both of which will deal with informal transportation systems and transportation planning in developing countries. For anyone in the UA community that is based in or near Mexico City, feel free to get in touch!

We wish Janelle all the best with her research and can’t wait to read more of her works!

The Philosophy Category

Philosophy has been judged as a category at The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

The category is developed to incorporate students of Philosophy and Theology, including Ethics, Metaphysics and more.

(Note: Students of Religious Studies may submit to Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies)

Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

In 2016, the Global Winner of the category was Ilpo Hirvonen from the University of Helsinki. His paper, titled “On the Interrelation between Phenomenology and Externalism”, highly impressed the Judging Panel, who said:

This clear and ambitious essay bridges both analytic and continental traditions in the discipline of Philosophy. It masterly manages to clarify difficult questions in the philosophical traditions of both phenomenology and externalism.

Previous Highly Commended Entrant of the category include Matthew Silberman, who will spend a year working in Seoul at one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers after graduating from Princeton University this June.

With only four weeks left until the submission deadline, we look forward to receiving submissions for this year’s Philosophy category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

St Andrews rises to third in the UK in independent guide

We are delighted to hear that our Partner Institution, University of St Andrews, has become Scotland’s top university according to a new league table published recently.

The Complete University Guide 2018 ranks St Andrews top in Scotland and third in the United Kingdom. Only Oxford and Cambridge outran St Andrews, which has secured its highest ever place in this league table.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the top ten for 23 of the 25 subjects it teaches, occupying the top UK spot in two (Business & Management Studies and Middle Eastern & African Studies).

St Andrews’ rise from fifth to third place in the guide is believed to be due to its high scores for teaching quality and student satisfaction with the quality of its academic programmes. It is currently UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality.

Welcoming the news, Principal Professor Sally Mapstone said:

This all-time high is a great endorsement of what St Andrews stands for. Our values are those of a small, Scottish, and highly international university. We are outward looking, inclusive and focused on excellence.

We see teaching quality and research excellence as commensurate, and we provide them in an environment that is beautiful, friendly and enriching.

St Andrews became a Partner Institution of The Undergraduate Awards in 2013 and since then they have had an active and enthusiastic involvement with the Programme. In 2015, the University of St Andrews has four Global Winners and in 2016 had 29 Highly Commended Entrants in different categories.

From left to right: Conor MacDonald (Medical Sciences), Alekseje Sazonovs (Computer Sciences), Eilidh Johnston (Mathematics & Physics), and Vincent Forster (Politics & International Relations)

If you are interested in submitting to The Undergraduate Awards, the 2017 Programme is now open.

 

The Computer Sciences Category

The Computer Sciences category has been in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

Students of all Computer Sciences disciplines, including Computer Systems, Coding Languages, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and more are eligible to submit works to the category.

Entries for the category must be within the 12,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

Last year, the category was won by Tomas Higgins from the Dublin Institute of Technology. His paper, titled “Identifying Mood by Analysing Keystroke Dynamics”, highly impressed the Judging Panel, who commented:

This paper paves the way for novel societal contribution in the field of Computer Sciences by analysing how iT systems might be able to recognise human moods. It provides an excellent and accessible discourse on the author’s research motivation, hypothesis and evaluation. The judging panel chose this excellent paper, not simply for its own merit, but also because it demonstrates a method through which technology could be put to use to achieve individual and societal benefits.

You can read his paper in The Undergraduate Journal here.

We are very excited to receiving submissions for this year’s Computer Sciences category and reading innovative research from undergraduate students around the world.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

Where Are They Now: Matthew Silberman

Matthew Silberman from Princeton University was a Highly Commended Entrant in 2016 in the Philosophy category for his paper entitled “Generalizations about Danger, Dangerous Generalizations: A Comprehensive Model of Stereotype Avoidance”.

He also attended the 2016 Undergraduate Awards Global Summit, which he said was “the greatest gift”. You can listen back to his reflection on the 2016 Summit here.

Since then, Matthew has been busy working on Humans of Princeton, an ongoing photo-documentary project inspired by Humans of New York. You can check out all their amazing stories on Facebook and Instagram here.

After graduating from Princeton University this June, Matthew will spend a year working in Seoul at one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers, Joogang Ilbo, as a Princeton in Asia fellow.

He is currently writing this thesis on the moral responsibility of all Americans to combat racism, using a philosophical lens to understand systemic racism and implicit bias. When finished, Matthew hopes to create an easy-to-share version of his work. We wish him the best of luck with his thesis and look forward to reading it soon!

The Visual Arts Category

One of the changes to the categories of The Undergraduate Awards in 2017 is the inclusion of a new Visual Arts category.

The Visual Arts category is designated specifically for the practical coursework component of art, craft and design students. Students of all areas of Art including photography, textiles, sculpture and more are eligible to submit to the category.

Unlike the rest of the paper-based categories in The Undergraduate Awards, the Visual Arts category requires students to submit images from their artist’s portfolio in .pdf or .jpeg format, with no more than 10 images are to be submitted, including one installation photo. Links to anonymous YouTube/Vimeo links may be included if appropriate.

Eligible submission is required to include an Artist Statement (max 500 words) along with the portfolio of your work. You can read our full submission guideline here.

Mohammed Sami Ali Amili from Ulster University was the Global Winner of the Visual Arts category in 2017 with his work titled ‘Paintings’, which was the result of his direct experience with the Iraq war. It was praised by the Judging Panel who commented:

The paintings deal with an aesthetic pravis that needs to avoid the aestheticisation of horror and are an actualisation of a cultural concern

Previous Highly Commended Entrants in the category included Maansi Jain from New York University, who currently works as an artist in Berlin and has published several works on Broadly and i-D Magazine; and Susanne Wawra from the National College of Art & Design, who was one of four artists featured in the Irish Times’ list of “50 people to watch in 2017“.

We are very excited to see all the submissions we receive into this new category!

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here. If you are interested in judging, click here.

The Law Category

The Law category has been in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year. Students of all areas of Law, including Environmental Law, Medical Law, and IT Law are eligible to submit works to the category.

Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

Last year, the category was won by Jacqueline Williams from the Australian National University. Her paper, titled “The Enforcement Regime of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act: Reform Required”, was praised by the Judging Panel for its impressive use of comparative materials and good legal authority, demonstrating the author’s academic maturity. You can check out her work in the Undergraduate Journal here.

Previous Global Winners and Highly Commended Entrants includes Elena Butti from Ultrecht University and Donna-Marie McNamara from Dublin City University, both who have been involved in some inspiring work. You can read about what their projects on our Alumni Blog here.

We look forward to receiving submissions for this year’s Law Category and seeing works from amazing undergraduate students around the world.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Maansi Jain

Maansi Jain from New York University was Highly Commended in 2013 in the Visual Arts category for her work entitled “Cut Photo Series”.

Since then, she has been keeping busy with several projects and publications.

Maansi Jain. Photographer: Nick Strutsi

Maansi currently works as an artist in Berlin, focusing mostly on photography. Over the past year, Maansi has published several works on Broadly and i-D Magazine, including a story motherhood in New York, The Unseen Daily Struggles of Being a Mom in the City; a piece on the experience of women who travel alone through India; the protest against Trump in Berlin; and the recent Woman’s March in Berlin. Recently, her photography series ‘Nani’s Gold’ was featured on Visceral8, an online and print publication that represents a diverse group of visual artists.

Alongside that, Maansi continued to work on her sartorial project, Quaagmire, which is described to “capturing the style of the times”, with each photo involves strangers, friends, and family wearing their own wares. You can check out the project here. She also created several personal projects and collaborations which explore diverse ends: “the painterly qualities of photography, participation in modern politics, lighting techniques, and other themes.”

You can view all her latest works on her website, Maansi, and if you would like your style to be featured in Quaagmire (and you can get yourself to Berlin) get in touch at dearquaagmire@gmail.com!

The Unseen Daily Struggles of Being a Mom in the City

 

The Music, Film & Theatre Category

Music, Film & Theatre is a new category introduced for the 2017 Programme of the Undergraduate Awards.

Previously, students of MusicDrama, and Film Studies could submit their works to the Media & The Arts category, which later became the Art History, Music, Film & Theatre category. In 2017, it was decided that  Music, Film & Theatre should constitute a category in its own right given its performance-base nature along with the quality and quantity of papers submitted.

The category is introduced to celebrate the work of students studying courses such as Musical Theory, Musicology, History of Music, Music Technology, Theatre, Dramatic Theory, Performance, Theatre History, Stage Management, Script Analysis, Film Studies, Cinema Studies, and more.

Entry for the category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

Last year, the Art History, Music, Film & Theatre category was won by Ming Wai Tai from the University of Hong Kong. Her paper, ‘From “Delightful” to “Barbarous”: The Decline in Canonic Writing and the Rise of Functional Harmony’, impressed the judges with its “admirable quality of rigour in its analysis” about an important moment in the development of European music.

Judges for the category will be experts in each field of study.

We are very excited to see the submissions we receive into this new category!

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

The NEW Architecture & Design Category

A jewellery design by Chloe Lewis from University of Dundee. Chloe was the Europe Regional Winner of Visual Arts and Design, 2016

The biggest change to the categories of The Undergraduate Awards in 2017 is the inclusion of the new Architecture & Design category.

Previously, students with work related to Design could submit to the Visual Arts & Design category (now Visual Arts) but there was little opportunity for students of Architecture to submit to The Undergraduate Awards.

We introduced this category to celebrate the work of students studying courses such as Architecture, Construction, Environmental Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design, Product Design etc. Barry Sheehan from Dublin Institute of Technology, Chair of the Visual Arts & Design 2016 has commented that:

Architecture thrives on competitions, it is how most architects establish themselves in the profession. Winning is habit-forming and entering competitions as early as possible is essential.

Architecture & Design is a portfolio-based category. Entrants can submit up to 10 images and an accompanying statement of 1,500 words explaining their work.

Judges for the category include Mr Derek McGarry (National College of Art & Design), Dr Marc Ó’Riain (Cork Institute of Technology) and Prof Lloyd Scott (Dublin Institute of Technology).

We are so excited to see the submissions we receive into this brand new category!

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here. If you are interested in judging, click here.

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