133 students present papers at 9th Opportunity for Undergraduate Programmes Conference

Spread across September 9 and 10, Shiv Nadar University saw undergraduate students presenting 133 projects as part of the 9th edition of the Opportunity for Undergraduate Programmes (OUR) conference in five parallel sessions. Over 20 faculty members evaluated the presentations. 

The university's OUR program enables undergraduate students to undertake funded research projects with faculty members in any discipline. Many undergraduate students have published their research work through this initiative.

"Creativity knows no age, and so doesn't research. We believe and practise this at Shiv Nadar University through the OUR program. It enables our young minds to indulge, discover and cultivate their interests in any domain of knowledge," says Professor Suneet Tuli, Dean, Research & Partnerships.

The OUR program builds on the research focus from the undergraduate level, retaining a commitment to fundamental research. At Shiv Nadar University, research is not limited to masters and doctoral students. It extends to all students at all levels. 

OUR is one of the pioneering and flagship programs at Shiv Nadar University, which has paved the way for undergraduate students to conduct original research with faculty. As an extracurricular program, it allows the students to explore ideas beyond their program of study, driven purely by interest.

Amresh Shukla, Chemical Engineering, 4th-year student, says, "OUR has been an experience that we have lived not within the classrooms but outside it. Through this program, I interacted and worked with Ph.D. scholars and Professors. I learned how to read and look for research papers and even write one through my research. It has broadened my perspective of thinking and understanding complex concepts. The knowledge I have gained from this experience will remain with me always." At the OUR seminar, Shukla presented a paper titled, 'Hydrogen production via In-situ steam gasification after pyrolysis of cooked food waste.'

The OUR program aims to give students hands-on experience conducting research and doing independent work under faculty supervision. This program has paved the way for students to learn by discovery, have greater student-faculty interaction, and expand the level of research activity on campus, besides helping to identify and train potential candidates for the university's graduate programs. 

"I realised that the process of conducting research extends far beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge; it necessitates a two-fold journey of both learning and unlearning," says Ramyani Kundu, final year English major student, who presented her paper titled, 'The Women of Ill Repute: Victims?'.

Under the OUR program, students are expected to develop a foundational understanding of how research is conducted in their disciplines and a greater understanding of the available information resources and how to utilise them and interpret research outcomes.

Aaliya Ahamed, a 4th-year student majoring in biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences, says, "My OUR project has helped me in learning more than what is offered in the classrooms. It also helped me in doing my research with guidance under a professor. The OUR programme has helped me realise that I want to continue researching after graduation." Ahamed, who presented a paper on identifying boule homologs and their possible role in hydra germ cell development, hopes to continue researching this topic and even publish a paper. 

Research is the backbone at Shiv Nadar University. The university aspires to produce research that changes the world and fosters excitement about powerful and enduring inquiry. Accordingly, research is integrally built into the university's curriculum. 

The university also has a research infrastructure that is rare in the Global South, and more is being added daily to expand an exceptional research environment further. The university also encourages student-led research initiatives, providing opportunities to advance knowledge and make a meaningful impact.