There has been growing interest and practice internationally in undergraduate research. Engaging undergraduate students in research and inquiry develops important graduate attributes, engages students meaningfully in higher education and prepares them for a twenty-first century world of work in which knowing how to inquire and critically evaluate knowledge is of increasing importance.
"Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline".
The ACUR team has established an International Steering Group consisting of individuals who have influence in their institutions in terms of gaining support for undergraduates to attend and present at ACUR conferences as well as individuals who are researching or leading significant projects to engage undergraduates in research and inquiry. Currently, 30 Australian and 4 New Zealand universities are represented on the Steering Group as well as 14 other organisations and universities worldwide. This Steering Group is the main decision-making body in respect of future Australasian Undergraduate Research Conferences. The Steering Group led by the project team has established criteria and guidelines for conferences, and calls for expressions of interest for future conferences from time to time.