The SURE (Science Undergraduate Research Experience) Network was established in December 2016 by a community of higher education institutions interested in enhancing practice in undergraduate research in the Sciences. On 28th September 2018, the SURE Network ran its first series of regional undergraduate conferences in the Sciences, in Athlone, Dublin and Waterford. The second series of conferences ran on 27th September 2019, in Dublin, Carlow and Sligo. On 16th October 2020 the SURE Network ran the third in this conference series – taking place online (due to Covid-19 restrictions). The SURE Network’s undergraduate journal‘s first issue was published in September 2019 and the second issue was published in October 2020.

The SURE Network was awarded “Best Academic Partnership” at the 2019 Education Awards.




16th October 2020

The SURE 2020 conference took place today, with 24 oral presentations and 35 poster presentations across three streams:

  1. Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science
  2. Health Science and Nutrition
  3. Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The SURE Network was honoured to welcome the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, to open the conference.

16th October 2020

The second issue of the SURE_J journal was launched today, with two peer reviewed papers by authors who had originally presented their work at the SURE 2019 conference.

25th June 2020

The SURE Network Curriculum Committee: providing proactive solutions for 2020/21 Final Year Projects (FYP’s), in response to Covid-19 laboratory restrictions – CoP sign-up 2020

In response to the recent Covid-19 crisis the SURE Network Curriculum Committee have established the SURE Network Covid-19 emergency response team (co-chaired by Dr. Therese Montgomery AIT and Dr. Julie Dunne, TuDublin), with membership from six different IoT/TU partners. Our core objective is to examine how Final Year Research projects will run effectively in the next academic year, given the probable necessity of reduced laboratory access for all students. To this end, we have identified five SURE Network Communities of Practice (CoP’s) as listed below, to support the roll out of alternative project types which address some of the issues arising, whilst still retaining the assessment of core module and programme learning outcomes. To date we have over 50 members across 7 different institutes and recruitment remains open. We will be hosting online meetings/brain-storming sessions in September, creating a platform where people can share experiences, ideas and possibly identify future collaborative partners for the 20/21 projects.

If you are interested and wish to join or take part in one or more of these CoP’s then please click here and we will be in touch.

Alternatively you can contact the chair of each CoP as listed below or simply email the co-chairs of the Covid-19 emergency response team Dr. Therese Montgomery (tmontgomery@ait.ie) and Dr. Julie Dunne (julie.dunne@TUDublin.ie)

Communities of Practice

  1. Group/individual projects with shared simulated and/or real-time laboratory data sets. Dr. Eileen O’Leary, Cork Institute of Technology, eileenm.oleary@cit.ie
  2. Social Research based projects (qualitative/semi-quantitative). Dr. Maria Dermiki. IT Sligo. dermiki.maria@itsligo.ie
  3. Systematic review/meta-analysis. Dr. Sweta Rani Waterford IT, srani@wit.ie
  4. Extended research proposal/grant application. Dr. Cathy Brougham, Athlone Institute of Technology, cathybrougham@ait.ie
  5. STEM Educational projects. Dr. Carloalberto Petti, IT Carlow, Carloalberto.Petti@itcarlow.ie

11th May 2020 – The abstract submission deadline for the SURE 2020 conference has been extended to 5th June 2020.

1st May 2020 – The SURE Network has announced that due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the SURE 2020 conference will be a national event for all partner institutions, taking place online on 16th October 2020.

24th January 2020 – The Annual Face-to-Face meeting of the SURE Network Committee took place today in Cork Institute of Technology. A very worthwhile session took place to commence planning for the SURE 2020 conferences, and our SURE curriculum project.

19th December 2019 – The SURE Network – National Student Survey is launched.

13th December 2019 – A paper written by Therese Montgomery from AIT  on the SURE Curriculum Project has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Future Perspectives in Science Education in Florence in March 2020.

28th November 2019 – The SURE Conference has featured today in the Irish Independent STEM Supplement.

7th November 2019 – Anne Marie O’Brien from AIT will be presenting a poster based on the use of Digital Badges for the SURE Conferences at SCI:COM. The paper is titled “Harnessing the power of digital badges to help create future ready Graduates” at SCI:COM.

16th October 2019 – The SURE_J Journal is making an impact!

4th October 2019 – Read the Press Release about last week’s conferences and journal launch. Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor described the SURE Network and Conferences as a “shining example of the sector working together to share experiences and to build capacity”, that “complements [her] ambition as the Minister with responsibility for Higher Education to put the student at the epicentre of everything that we do”.

27th September 2019 – The SURE 2019 conferences in Carlow, Dublin and Sligo ran today, with fascinating and engaging presentations delivered at all three venues. Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, spoke at the closing of the Dublin conference about the importance of our SURE Network.

27th September 2019 – The SURE_J Undergraduate Research Journal was launched, with six excellent papers in the first issue. All of these papers were first presented by recent graduates at the SURE 2018 Conference, based on their undergraduate research. See the launch video below.

31st May 2019 – Two papers were presented at EdTech 2019 by members of the SURE Network. Therese Montgomery presented on the Curriculum project (SURE Curriculum Poster – EdTech 2019). Anne Marie O’Brien presented on Digital Badges (Digital Badges Presentation – EdTech 2019).

13th April 2019 – Paper accepted for The Future of Education Conference, Florence, Italy, in June 2019

Anne Marie O’Brien (AIT), will present her paper about Digital Badges and the SURE Network,  Harnessing the Power of Digital Badges to Help Create Future Ready Graduates (See Poster), at The Future of Education Conference, that will take place in Florence on 27th and 28th June 2019.

21st February 2019 – SURE Network Winner of Best Academic Partnership at 2019 Education Awards

The SURE Network was this evening awarded “Best Academic Partnership” at the 2019 Education Awards (2019 Education Awards – Archived Here), following a submission by the 2018 National Conference Organising Committee. This is welcome recognition for the excellent work carried out by the National Conference Organising Committee (chaired by Julie Dunne, with Therese Montgomery, Anne Marie O’Brien and Claire Lennon) and all the other committees and partners involved in the 2018 SURE Conferences.

12th December 2018 – SURE Network shortlisted for Education Awards for 2018 Conference Series

The SURE Network is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted for the 2019 Education Awards, in the Best Academic Partnership category. The Network is being considered for the award for its hosting of the 2018 SURE Conference series, which included conferences in Dublin, Athlone and Waterford.

20th November 2018 – SURE Conference Poster presented at National Conference

The SURE Network Chairperson Ciarán O’Leary is today presenting a poster detailing activities of the SURE Network at today’s conference on Best Practice in Student-Centred Approaches in Education & Training, hosted by QQI at Dublin Castle. The poster, available here, details the work undertaken by the SURE Network in three areas: undergraduate research conference, undergraduate research journal, and curriculum project.

28th September 2018 – SURE 2018 Inaugural Conferences take place

Today saw the launch of the three SURE 2018 conferences, in DublinAthlone and Waterford. Our thanks to all our presenters, organisers, sponsors, and supporters. Thanks in particular to Minister Kevin “Boxer” Moran for opening the conference series with a presentation at the Athlone Conference.