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On Tuesday 11 February, I attended a Collaborative Research Fair for UCL master’s students and a range of community organisations. The event was organised by the Community Research Initiative for Students (CRIS for short), which links postgraduate taught students with a not-for-profit organisation to work together on research in the community.

This fair aimed to create potential partnerships between both groups - with jazz playing in the background and a ‘speed-dating-esque’ format, the atmosphere was fun and inclusive! 

The evening provided an opportunity for ideas to be exchanged and new ones to be discussed over snacks and drinks. In between photographing, I was able to speak to some of the representatives from the organisations. They were running projects ranging from the restoration of old libraries into community spaces in London, to a skin health organisation working to map and treat skin conditions in Niger!

One of the Master’s students, Christina, summed up the evening well: “I didn’t know what to expect. But coming in together with lots of open minded people, you don’t know what connections or ideas you’re going to get! It’s great to get new ideas from new people”. 

This evening was only being trialled as a pilot, but it was still a success. In the future the organisers are aiming to upscale, integrating more organisations to attract a broad range of students and research ideas. If you’re studying a master’s at UCL and keen to write your dissertation on a community need, I recommend you head over next time!

Written by Benjamin Courtney, Student Photojournalist 

If you’re a master’s student at UCL and interested in collaborating with a not-for-profit organisation for your dissertation, have a look at our CRIS programme.