A guide to attending conferences - University of Birmingham Intranet

Report
A Guide to Attending
Conferences/Meetings
Tim Lucas 23rd November 2012
Introduction

Graduated UoB: BSc. Chemistry
(2006)

Graduated UoB: MPhil. Chemical
Education (research) (2009)

Currently: Final year PhD Student:
Inorganic Chemistry

PGMSA Committee – Marketing
and Events 2012
Talks

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)
Posters

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
use.
– 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
presentation:
– Check the list of posters
beforehand.
– 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
collaborations.

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
you.
 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.

Summary

Conferences are extremely useful for a variety of
reasons.

Try and apply for poster presentations/talks.

Network, network, network!

Don’t be daunted and have fun!
Any Questions?
Thanks for listening
www.graduateschool.bham.ac.uk

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