At the beginning of September, a friend and I ran an online postgraduate conference for students studying philosophy of education. We initially started thinking about the conference late Spring, but decided not to rush into hosting it, choosing a September date for the event to ensure we had sufficient time to plan for it. This meant that we could attend other online webinars and conferences to see what the common issues were, and to understand the experience from the perspective of the attendee.
Here are ten tips for anyone wanting to organise an online conference:
Continuing our recent mini-theme of online conferences, Lluís Jerez i Bertolín, a PGR from the School of History and Cultures, shares with us his experience of organising one.
In late April of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc around the world, which was not good. I stepped from assisting the organisation of the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Colloquium (CAHA Colloquium) to being its sole organiser, which was also not good. As the Colloquium could not be postponed to the next academic year, it had to take place online, which at the time I saw as a complete disaster.
Kish Adoni, PhD student in the School of Biosciences, recently attended a two-week online conference hosted by The American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS). He shares his experience in this post.
What do you think about online scientific conferences?
It’s weird! That’s the first thing I’d say. No more loitering around the confectionary section of a big hall, waiting to speak to a professor from another university whose papers sprawl across your office desk. There is also no chance of having one too many pints of Guinness and spilling your latest confidential scientific idea to another academic in your field. I suppose whether those things are a positive or a negative depends on personal preference, but one thing is for sure: online conferences are going to become more normal and the chances are that you will attend one.
One way to think about conference abstracts is that they are a sales pitch for your presentation/poster. You are trying to sell your presentation first of all to the conference organisers, and then if accepted, to the conference attendees who will be using the abstracts to decide which presentations to attend and which posters to seek out. Continue reading “Abstracts: art or science?”
Presenting your research in a poster format might seem like a daunting task, but there are many reasons that this is an essential task for PGRs. Jenna Clake, from the College of Arts and Law, shared her experience of participating in the Conference with us…
I presented my research at the Research Poster Conference last year, with a poster entitled ‘Do You Think I’m Crazy?: Feminine and Feminist Humour in the Absurd’. As a Creative Writing PhD researcher, sometimes it is difficult to gain the opportunity to disseminate my research to a wide audience. My research focuses on two main areas: my ‘creative’ work (poetry) and my ‘critical’ work (researching literary theories and trends). I rarely have the chance to talk about the latter, especially to academics and researchers outside my specialism, so the Research Poster Conference offered the chance to receive some much-needed peer review.
An important part of the research process is communicating and disseminating your work. There’s no point in doing the research in the first place if no-one gets to hear about what you’ve discovered. One key route for dissemination is in writing, but equally as important is communication through oral presentation. Oral presentation has a key advantage in that it allows immediate dialogue with your audience, enabling dynamic knowledge exchange and debate which will ultimately benefit your research.
Everyone feels apprehensive about the prospect of presenting their research in front of an audience, but it’s important to focus on the exciting opportunity you’ve been offered to share your research and discuss it with interested people. Remembering why you signed up to present in the first place is helpful in overcoming your nerves, as well as helping you prepare a successful presentation; clarity about your central message and the nature of your audience will help you focus on what really needs to be said and how. Continue reading “Present your research with confidence”