A guide to attending conferences - University of Birmingham Intranet

A Guide to Attending
Tim Lucas 23rd November 2012
Graduated UoB: BSc. Chemistry
Graduated UoB: MPhil. Chemical
Education (research) (2009)
Currently: Final year PhD Student:
Inorganic Chemistry
PGMSA Committee – Marketing
and Events 2012
Variety in Chemistry Education 2007
– Leicester University
Variety in Chemistry Education 2008
– Dublin City University,Ireland
Science Education Research in Higher Education
– University of Glasgow
Total Scattering Training School 2013
– Diamond Light Source (Didcot)
RSC Solid State Group Christmas Meeting 2011
– Liverpool University.
The 2012 meeting of the British Zeolite Association
– Chester University
International Union of Crystallography
– Madrid
Diamond User Meeting 2010
– Didcot
What are Conferences?
A chance for academics to:
– Present their own research
– Network
– Form research colorations
– Exchange ideas
To socialise with other people in your field.
What Types of Conferences are there?
Some categorised on geography;
– Regional (sub 100),
– National (100s),
– International (1000s).
 Smaller conferences tend to be more
specialised than international conferences.
 Different lengths - from one day to a week.
 There is no set structure to a conference.
What Types of Conferences are there?
Generic Components of a Conference
Talks (from 1 hour to 15 minutes)
– Plenary lectures
– Invited speakers
– Contributed talks
 Poster sessions.
 Plentiful coffee breaks.
 Conference dinner.
Going to the Pub.
 Sight seeing.
Contributed Talks
It is very rare a PG Student will be invited to give a
talk. This is typically for high profile academics.
PG students can typically apply for talks by
submitting an abstract in advance.
– Check the deadline dates!
Great experience and looks great on the CV.
Discuss with your supervisor.
Attending Talks
It is really important to attend talks but there may
be times where one or two may not be of much
– Discuss with the supervisor
 Take a notepad and try and write down references
if applicable.
 Don’t be scared to ask a question
 Don’t come in late or leave half way through.
Poster “Presentations”
Much easier to be given a slot
for a poster presentation.
Not actually a presentation.
Brilliant opportunity to discuss
your work.
Poster prizes = Good
Poster “Presentations”
Judges will be discrete so
make sure you stand
with/near your poster!
If you are not giving a poster
– Check the list of posters
– Go and talk to people who
are presenting!
Why Network?
Networking is a vital part of attending a conference.
Great for sharing ideas and setting up
Really useful if you want to pursue a career in your
field of research.
Be confident and don’t just sit in your hotel room!
Funding - Travel and Accommodation
Most studentships have money for students to
attend conferences.
Your supervisor may suggest relevant
conferences, or you can suggest some to them!
Check the conference website for more details.
– Some will organise accommodation as part of
the registration fee.
– Studentships can be available.
Conference “Do’s and don’ts”
Do register early – May get early bird prices and
better accommodation.
 Do check abstract submission deadlines.
 Do check the expectations of your supervisor.
 Do check the programme before you travel.
 Do try and identify people you would like to talk to.
 Do attend the conference dinner and try and
socialise as much as possible.
 Do follow up any connections made.
Conference “Do’s and Don’ts”
Don’t be late to sessions.
 Don’t be unprofessional.
 Don’t dress inappropriately.
 Don’t stick in a group of people you already know.
 Don’t worry about other people knowing more than
 Don’t try and un-necessarily change the timeslot of
your talk or edit your abstract after submission.
 Don’t forget to get your supervisor to
read through your talk/poster.
Conferences are extremely useful for a variety of
Try and apply for poster presentations/talks.
Network, network, network!
Don’t be daunted and have fun!
Any Questions?
Thanks for listening

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