IGNITE: Undergrad­uate Research Scholarship Scheme

A highlights video of the URSS conference 2019

Your research project

Our IGNITE: Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) gives our second-year students the chance to take part in a fully funded and supported research project.

It is your opportunity to develop new knowledge and skills and to focus in depth on an area of personal research interest. You can also work more directly with academic staff and get involved with established research projects. Successful project proposals receive fully funded bursary support of £2,000 per project.

The 2020 scheme was launched on Wednesday 20 November. The IGNITE - URSS 2020 Launch Slides are available to download.

Applications for the 2020 scheme are now closed

IGNITE: URSS Conference 2019 

On Wednesday 2 October, the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) hosted the 2nd annual IGNITE: Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) conference at Kedleston Road. With over 80 student and staff delegates in attendance the conference showcased the superb work undertaken by our student researchers on the scheme this year. Almost 40 projects displayed posters in the Atrium and 7 project teams delivered presentations in OL1 (Lecture Theatre). An overview of the posters displayed and photo highlights from the day is available here. The agenda for the day is available below for review.


Timing EventSpeaker(s) Location 
11.00 - 11.30  Registration, refreshments and poster display n/a Atrium
11.30 - 11.35 Open and welcome 

Tamsin Bowers-Brown (Pedagogic Lead / IGNITE:URSS scheme leader) and Fiona Shelton (Dean of Students and Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching)

11.35 - 11.50 Morning researcher keynote 

Emily-Rose Cluderay - Post Graduate Research Student (College of Health and Social Care)

11.50 - 12.00 The University of Derby Online Research Archive (UDORA) and your future research 

Holly Limbert - Repository and Open Access Librarian (Centre for Student Life)

12.00 - 13.00  IGNITE:URSS 2019 researcher findings and Q&A 

Detecting changes in habitat quality using small mammals by Chloe Warren and Ella Wall (College of Life and Natural Sciences)

"Only mothers are affected by childbirth"? An exploration of gender disparity in the defence of infanticide by Marc Topliss (College of Business, Law and Social Sciences)

Differences in parenting, technology use and child development by Emma Parker (College of Arts, Humanities and Education)

Pathways to nature connectedness: The role of need for affect and need for cognition by Ana Vlad (University of Derby Online Learning) via Blackboard Collaborate

13.00 - 14.00  Lunch, networking and poster display n/a Atrium 
14.00 - 14.15 Afternoon researcher keynote

Simon Peter Nadeem - former Post Graduate Research Student and current Lecturer in Operations/​Supply Chain Management (College of Business, Law and Social Sciences)

14.15 - 14.55  IGNITE:URSS 2019 researcher findings and Q&A

What factors impact innovation in East Midlands Firms? by Kiran Kular (College of Business, Law and Social Sciences)

How Does Limiting Insect Access Effect the Rate and Pattern Of Decomposition? by Emily Fisher (College of Life and Natural Sciences)

A Comparison of Security Features at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby by Ellen Hicken (College of Business, Law and Social Sciences)

14.55 - 15.00 Closing remarks Tamsin Bowers-Brown and Fiona Shelton OL1 

The research-outcome posters for the 2018, 2017 and 2016 schemes also illustrate the excellent research undertaken in previous years.

Conference 2018

On the 4 October 2018, the first Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) conference (#URSS2018) was hosted at our Kedleston Road campus.

Over 70 student researchers, academic supervisors and delegates attended to share the excellent research facilitated by the scheme this year. A wide range of topics and disciplines were represented including pioneering research on virtual reality, sustainable agriculture, mental health, religion / interfaith relations, smart vehicles, textiles, legal studies and many more areas.

The conference featured an Atrium display showcasing posters from each of the 40 projects supported by the scheme. The core of the day was in OL1 with Fiona Shelton (Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) and Tamsin Bowers-Brown (Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Lead) welcoming our delegates.

Jo Drummond-Child and Simon Nadeem provided academic and post-graduate researcher keynotes respectively, followed by presentations delivered by 13 of our students giving an overview of research findings from a range of disciplines.

The conference concluded with prizes awarded for poster presentation, as judged by the CELT Associate Professors in Learning and Teaching. The prize winners were:

In addition all students who delivered presentations were awarded ‘Success Award’ badges in recognition of their superb contribution to the conference.

Our URSS scheme was established in 2014 and has been identified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) as an institutional feature of good practice “which enables participating students to strengthen their academic, personal and professional skills” (Higher Education Review of the University of Derby, April 2016).

One of our student researchers posted on social media that he “Had a great day today… definitely gained some new skills and honed some others. Going back into education with @DerbyUni changed my life”. The scheme demonstrates that with the right support and challenge our students can produce excellent research findings which will expand into the wider curriculum when not already present.

To date 243 students have benefited from the scheme, producing 179 projects. The URSS is open to all 2nd year undergraduate students and provides a bursary of £2,000 per project to fund research supported by their academic supervisors. Applications can be either student or staff led and up to three students per project may share the bursary.

Any queries or questions regarding the URSS can be sent to urss@derby.ac.uk