On March 14th, three LSE students had the opportunity to present their research at the Posters in Parliament event, held at the Palace of Westminster. This British Conference of Undergraduate Research event showcased posters from more than 40 students, outlining research projects carried out by students from across the country, with topics ranging from what a nanotechnology future may look like to the gendered experiences of women in the wine trade, and gave students and staff the opportunity to discuss one another’s work and explore ideas that would not form part of their own university experience.

LSE Economics students Shirley Wang and Yash Salunkhe presented their work on the North-South divide in the British Economy, which concluded that agglomeration and network effects have created a self-reinforcing loopIMG_20170314_124213 that means both new investments and workers are attracted to the more prosperous South, exacerbating the regional difference. They argued that in the long run, this divergence could be addressed by the growth of agglomeration economies and network effects in the North. The poster created a lot of discussion amongst visitors to the exhibition, with questions ranging from the viability of growth in manufacturing industries in the North the face of competition from China to the possible impact of the withdrawal of European funding following Brexit, making for some lively discussion.

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Yash and Shirley’s project was supported by members of their department, and the undergraduate research advisory panel’s weekly meetings allowed them to get feedback from other students and ask any questions about their project. Yash explained that the process of putting the poster together had been challenging, but also recommended the experience to other students as it had not only helped them to focus on finishing research on time, but speaking to people with little or no knowledge of economic theory about their work had made him think about how to make the detail as concise and simple as possible to communicate the work well. Shirley added that doing the research had given them the opportunity to contribute to debates that had probably been happening since the industrial revolution!

2016 Department of Government finalist Ellie Heatherill, presented her work on the role of political factors in the relationship between commodity prices and the real exchange rate in Australia and Norway. Arguing that political factors, not just economic theory, must be applied to fully understand the behaviour of different commodity currencies, Ellie’s work explored the similarities and differences in the politics behind the policy choices in Norway and Australia.

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Ellie explained that to help her condense a year of thought and 10,000 words of argument into an A0 poster, she considered the possibility for interaction with her poster and designed a website and video, which, as well as the poster, she hoped would allow people to take away a real understanding in a short amount of time.
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Shirley, Yash and Ellie all recommended the experience of working to condense their arguments into a poster that was accessible and clear and agreed that thinking about communicating their ideas to the wider public had been highly beneficial.

As well as support from their academic departments, the Teaching and Learning Centre assisted students with organisation and production of the posters. For more information about Posters in Parliament, please contact tlc@lse.ac.uk.

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