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UC Research Festival 2023 to showcase real world impact of research

2 June 2023: The University of Canberra is delighted to welcome the Canberra community to its Bruce campus from 5 to 8 June for the 2023 Research Festival, a four-day event showcasing research making an impact in our community and region, and providing opportunities to create connections and explore opportunities to tackle complex problems together.

Registration is free and participants can build their own agenda at the Research Festival 2023 website.

The festival will showcase cutting edge research via presentations, workshops, research pitch competitions, public lectures, networking and social activities.

“Our aim for this year’s Research Festival is to welcome the Canberra community to our Bruce campus to see examples of the research we are doing that impacts everyday lives” said Professor Lucy Johnston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise.

“The University of Canberra engages with government, industry, and community partners across a range of research projects to address community needs and solve complex problems facing our region and the world. We are also delighted to welcome some of our research partners, as we share the work we are doing together with the broader community.

“For example, the Festival includes presentations from researchers, working with the ACT government and a diverse group of local stakeholders, to improve the health and wellbeing of children who are developmentally vulnerable in terms of physical and emotional health and wellbeing, from researchers working in partnership with Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to help the Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon avoid extinction, and from researchers working with the Ginninderry Living Lab to empower residents and development partners to play an active role in driving innovation, sustainability and community in the suburb."

Associate Professor Bethaney Turner from the Faculty of Arts and Design who leads the University of Canberra team on the Ginninderry Living Lab project emphasises the benefits of the co-funded partnership with Ginninderry.

“Living labs are real-world spaces for innovation, in which cities and suburban areas become hubs for ideation, creation and the testing of best practices,” she said. “We drew on the ACT Wellbeing Framework to inform our living lab, so we could really focus on what matters to Canberrans.”

The Festival also considers current topics affecting research and education more broadly. A panel drawn from across the University will debate how generative AI may impact research, providing insights on a topic which has become an integral part of the zeitgeist.

“Generative AI has been much discussed and debated – it's a vast, complex and nuanced subject, and the panel will be debating its implications, impact, risk and potential for the sector,” said Professor Roland Goecke from the Faculty of Science and Technology, who will be one of the panellists on the day.

“Some of the topics we are looking at for discussion include the generation of fake research papers and fake peer reviews, and how this may impact the reliability of academic peer review, as well as the risks and potential of using synthetic data in research.”

In summing up the event, Professor Johnston said that “The Festival will showcase UC researchers working across diverse topics, but the common thread that draws them together is the passion to address societal challenges and make a positive impact for people, to make life better.”

When: Monday 5 to Thursday 8 June

Where: University of Canberra, Bruce campus (various locations), and off-site

Festival highlights:

  • Listen to UC researchers showcase the impact of our research collaborations in Canberra and the surrounding regions in the Research to Impact sessions on Monday 5 June.
  • A casual evening of Pints and Insights at Cypher Brewing Co where Dr Phil Dooley (Phil Up on Science) and University of Canberra researchers will gather on the evening of Monday 5 June for rapid fire presentations about research on topics like kids designing apps, fake news and running with a hangover, coupled with brewing demonstrations and brewery tour from the Cypher team.
  • Catch the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) heats on Tuesday 6 June, where UC PhD candidates will pitch their thesis proposals in under three minutes, with the aim of competing in UC’s 3MT final in late August.
  • Attend public lectures on:
    • A systems approach to restoring ‘frank and fearless’ advice in the Australian Public Service by Professor Chris Wallace, School of Politics Economics and Society, Faculty of Business, Government and Law (from 4.30pm, Tuesday 6 June).
    • Spatial Justice and Education: Knowledge, equity and community sustainability by Associate Professor Philip Roberts (from 6pm, Wednesday 7 June).
  • Explore the diversity of the University’s Higher Degree by Research (HDR) projects and meet the candidates at the HDR Bazaar on Thursday 8 June, held as part of Research Festival this year.

To view the full program and start building your agenda, visit the official Research Festival 2023 page.