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). On 1st October 2021, the SURE Network ran the fourth conference series, with a national, online conference. The SURE Network’s undergraduate journal‘s  is now on its third issue published in October 2021. 2021 saw the launch of the SUREbyts project in which a collection of videos featuring active researchers have been developed for year 1 and year 2 undergraduate students.

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




12th May 2022

Abstract submission to the 2022 SURE Network undergraduate research conference has been extended until  4th June. Please submit your abstract here

05th May 2022

Please join us on the 20th May from 10 am to 12.30 in TU Dublin, Central quad, Grangegorman lower, Dublin for an NFTL sponsored seminar hosted by the SURE Network entitled “promoting undergraduate research post- Covid-19, challenges and opportunities’. We will be joined by excellent guest speakers Prof Paul Taylor from the University of Leeds speaking as to the importance of embedding undergraduate research in the third level curriculum; whilst Caroline Gibson and Emma Barker from the University of Warwick will be sharing their experiences of creating and organising the annual International Conference of Undergraduate Resarch (ICUR) each year. We will also be joined by  project leads from within the SURE Network, Dr. Ciaran O’Leary (TU Dublin), Dr. AnneMaire O’Brien (TUS-MMW) and Dr. Anne Friel (TUS-MMW) speaking as to the different projects taking place around Ireland under the SURE Network umbrella.

All welcome, please register your interest here. Any questions please contact therese.montgomery@gmit.ie


21st March 2022

The fifth annual SURE Network undergraduate research conference will take place as a live, Face to Face event on the 14th October 2022 in IT Carlow and TU Dublin. Please check out the conference home page here for information on how to submit your abstract (deadline Monday the 16th May). Alternatively you can view a short video presentation here for information on the history of the SURE conference and how to take part.


21st February 2022

We would like to welcome Dr. Anne Friel of the Technological University Shannon as the new editor of SURE-J, our undergraduate research journal. SURE-J is now open for submission of primary and review research articles. Many thanks to Dr. Barry Ryan, TU Dublin for all of his fantastic work on setting up and running SURE-J over the last four years.


10th November 2021:

The SURE Network has officially launched its linkedIn Page and SURE Network Alumni group for previous SURE Network conference participants.  Follow us on LinkedIn here!



10th October 2021:

See the SURE Network Heiku in the most recent edition of the National Forum for teaching and learning ezine here

Shared Science Creates

Knowledge, passion, ambition




1st October 2021:

The third 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 2020 conference.


1st October 2021: The 4th annual SURE 2021 conference took place today, with 24 oral presentations and 49 poster presentations across three streams:

  1. Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics (hosted by Waterford IT)
  2. Biology and the Environment (hosted by Dundalk IT)
  3. Health, Sport and Nutrition (hosted by TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology))

The SURE Network was honoured to welcome Dr Terry Maguire, Director of the National Forum for Teaching and Learning to open the SURE 2021 conference.

 Presenter, keynote and award details for this years conference may be found here.

1st September 2021: Dr. Therese Montgomery was awarded funding by the National Forum for Teaching and learning (NFTL) to host a SURE Network research seminar and F2F workshop in January 2022 entitled Enhancing Undergraduate Research through online conferencing and publications.  More details to follow.

15th July 2021:  Dr. Therese Montgomery in conjunction with GMIT and IT Sligo SURE Network members was awarded funding under the auspices of the 2021 GMIT PIRATE funding initiative to employ a research assistant, Ms. Una Donnelly for semester 1 2021. Una will start work with the SURE Network in September 2021 and we look forward to welcoming her onto the team.

29th April 2021: New SURE Network Chairperson Therese Montgomery presented at the Irish Learning Technology Association’s EdTech conference today about the SURE Network Conference’s online pivot in 2020. Therese’s presentation was titled The digital evolution of the Irish Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Network conference through Covid-19: Lessons learned.

28th April 2021: Gordon Cooke presented on the SUREbyts project at the Irish Learning Technology Association’s EdTech conference today, with a presentation titled Using Online Video to Connect Undergraduate Students with Research Throughout Ireland.

12th April 2021: The SUREbyts project will be the focus of a presentation and roundtable discussion at the upcoming Polytechnic Summit 2021 being hosted by TU Dublin on 1st June from 3:15pm to 4:15pm (Irish time). The following is the title and author list for the presentation:

Ciarán O’Leary, Dina Brazil, Emma Caraher, Gordon Cooke, Geraldine Dowling, Julie Dunne, Ismin Zainol, Evelyn Landers, Claire Lennon, Fiona McArdle, Margaret McCallig, Valerie McCarthy, Emma Murphy, Eileen O’Leary, Cormac Quigley, Barry Ryan, Matt Smith, Carla Surlis, Josephine Treacy (2021). Starting the SUREbyts Journey: Building a Database of Accessible, Engaging Research Problems and Solutions to help Integrate Research into the Early Years of Science Programmes. Presentation at Polytechnic Summit 2021, TU Dublin, 1-4 June 2021.

21st January 2021: The story of the foundation and growth of the SURE Network since its establishment in 2016, as well as some of the backstory pre-2016, has been published by the Irish Journal of Academic Practice in the following paper:

Ciaran O’Leary; Julie Dunne; Barry Ryan; Therese Montgomery; Anne Marie O’Brien; Cormac Quigley; Claire Lennon; Fiona McArdle; Laura Keaver; Eva Campion; Gordon Cooke; Emma Caraher; Mary Deasy; Aubrey Storey; Carloalberto Petti; Eileen O’Leary; Karen Finn; Sinead Loughran; Greg Byrne; Arjan Van Rossum; Dina Brazil; Matt Smith; Nicholas Touzet; Tracey Coady; Valerie McCarthy; Janette Walton; and Josephine Tracey (2021) “Reflections on the Formation and Growth of the SURE Network: a National Disciplinary Network to Enhance Undergraduate Research in the SciencesIrish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 9: Iss. 1, Article 7. doi:https://doi.org/10.21427/z3xx-dy28. Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijap/vol9/iss1/7

18th December 2020: We’re delighted to announce that the SURE Network has been successful in its application for funding through the National Forum’s Network and Discipline Fund. Our funded project, SUREbyts, will commence in 2021! It will involve the creation of digital media resources to connect researchers with undergraduate students, particularly students in the early years of their programmes.

6th November 2020: See here for details of the SURE Network COVID-19 Undergraduate Research Project Support Workshop that is taking place on 19th November 2020 from 12:00 – 4:15 PM, in partnership with Evidence Synthesis Ireland (ESI).

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.