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Past URSS Projects

URSS (Warwick's Undergraduate Research Support Scheme) allows students to receive a bursary of up to £1,500 to carry out a summer research project. WIE teamed up with the URSS team to give students the opportunity to do public engagement alongside their research projects. These are two of the activities from the first round of projects featuring engagement. Students can apply to do a project in 2022 here.

Xaymaca Awoyungbo - University Challenge: Decolonising the Curriculum

Xaymaca turned the outcome of his research project into a documentary he has submitted to the Open City Documentary festival and shared on social media.

"Over the last 18 months, the phrase 'decolonise the curriculum' was bandied about the media. It's meaning is subjective but it is generally understood as a call to challenge curricula, symbolism and the lack of representation within education.

Due to the murder of George Floyd, prestigious institutions such as Eton College vowed to teach curricula that will and address and reveal systemic racism within society’. Despite this, only 24 out 128 universities said they were committed to decolonising the curriculum.

My documentary hence answers the question: 'How far should universities decolonise their curriculum?' Showing both sides of the argument, I interviewed Taiwo Ogunyinka of Free Black University, Katayoun Shafiee of the University of Warwick and cultural commentator, Calvin Robinson.

Ultimately, the film suggests that people on the right and left have more in common with each other than they think. If we come together to understand decolonising the curriculum and what is taught at universities, we can reach a solution. Further links: www.freeblackuni.com, dontdivideus.com"


Hannah Kahn - Creating a zine to engage new audiences

"My URSS project focused on mixed race identities in Britain, and how young people perform (express) these in everyday life. As part of the research, I interviewed several mixed individuals and used their responses to create a zine reflecting the many ways they expressed their identities. I then distributed this both online and in-person to allow members of the public to engage with and discuss these ideas.

Doing this taught me that although public engagement can be challenging - finding places to distribute the zine was slightly tricky - sharing research and communicating with the people the research is about and for is incredibly important, and keeps the research grounded in real experiences."

Check out Hannah's Zine online

Zine front cover - Performing mixed race identities

We caught up with Hannah to ask her some questions about her URSS experience

What got you involved in URSS?

I decided to get involved in URSS as I had been really enjoying the research side of my course and the greater research freedom of third year. I'm considering taking a research Masters next year, and doing URSS seemed like a great way to work on a project I was really passionate about while seeing if independent research was a path I wanted to go down.

What was the highlight of your research?

The highlight of my research was getting to interview my participants! I had never done interviews before and I was quite nervous about doing them, but I absolutely loved chatting with my interviewees, hearing their opinions and diving into what they thought and why

Would you recommend URSS to other students and why?

I would definitely recommend URSS to other students! I think having the freedom to choose your own topic and research an area you're genuinely passionate about is so different to doing research for your course. It's also a great way to experiment with research methods you haven't necessarily got to try before, and to gain confidence in your research skills more generally.


Tallulah George - Classics by Tallulah

Tallulah at the Roman Baths in Bath"My URSS project, "Museum Vlogs", was about making classics more accessible. I travelled the country, interviewing experts at museums and ancient sites, producing Youtube and Tiktok videos as well as blogs discussing their favourite object that they think should have more attention from the public. I created a website to have all resources in one place, making it as easy as possible to learn about the ancient world.

My aim was to help bring the ancient world to a wider audience by publishing engaging interviews and object studies, simplifying and streamlining the facts. An important element in communicating these select pieces of information effectively is by demonstrating the impact they have on the modern world, how the ancient world can be relevant and relatable, and thus emphasising how ancient studies should be more ‘mainstream’ to understand out modern world.

I found it difficult having to not only conduct the interviews, but also set up equipment, film and take photos, edit the videos and create the website but when everything was finished it was incredibly rewarding knowing how hard I had worked on this project and that I had completed every element. It was also beneficial to create the connections with the various museums and interviewees, being able to stay in touch and update each other about various projects via social media. I believe having many different voices discussing a variety of objects is how we keep classics constantly exciting and fresh."

Visit her blog, Classics By Tallulah


Katherine Broderick - Writing blogs and supporting events

Katherine in a restaurant

"My URSS project looked at the solutions Ancient Athenian Democracy can offer modern politics. Barack Obama said that we currently face a truth decay, where the truth does not matter anymore. My project examined the solutions, and warnings, we could take from Ancient Athenian Democracy on this problem. I created a website and wrote a blog for my posts on this topic, which you can find at www.truthdecays.co.uk and presented at the Feelings of Freedom of Festival with my supervisor, Professor Michael Scott, on this topic. Doing this research taught me about how to write to appeal to a wide audience, and how to communicate with people with a variety of knowledge of the ancient world."


Rebecca Preedy

Rebecca is a finalist studying Ancient History and Classical Archaeology with Study in Europe. Last year she spent her year abroad in Rome, where she continued to develop her passion for archaeology and material culture. Rebecca will be taking her love of the ancient world to a new level next year, with a taught MA in Ancient Visual and Material Culture of Rome here at Warwick. For her URSS project, Rebecca wanted to create something that would help local children develop an interest in archaeology and the romans. Her project, in conjunction with the department’s Roman Coventry Project, will see the creation of handling boxes in the form of Roman time capsules. Through liaison with museums in the Coventry area, these time capsules will contain real and replica objects associated with Roman Coventry that will be used in schools for hands-on educational sessions. There will also be an online version, with activities associated with the time capsules and the ‘characters’ who created them. Rebecca is hoping that this project will inspire children in the Coventry area to start thinking about the history and archaeology around them in a creative way and encourage their interest in the Roman world.