What do conferences offer to new researchers?
- A chance to learn of the new exciting research in your area?
- Opportunity to meet the big names’ in your research area?
- Chance to network with peers undertaking similar research to your own?
- A chance to make contacts to promote your future career interests?
- Chance to present your work to a wider audience of subject specialists?
First-time participants might feel uncomfortable joining an academic conference, with rooms full of confident academics who all seem to know each other. However, it is crucial to keep two things in mind. Firstly, all academics were once first-time participants, and they know what it will feel like for a new postgraduate researcher. Secondly, proper preparation can help you gain confidence to benefit more from the experience.
Some ways that you can prepare for conference attendance:
- If you are presenting a poster or paper, these will need preparation. You might ask, what can you do to help your contribution stand out? Who are the likely audience and their research areas? What they will be interested in and what questions they might ask?
- As an attendee you can review the research of key speakers, maybe undertaking background reading to help you gain most from their talks and possibly ask questions. Before or nearer the time you might view attendance lists to see if there are attendees who you wish to contact.
- You can prepare a ‘pitch’ to support your networking, to be ready to summarise your research in a brief but convincing manner, and with enthusiasm, when you meet researchers from other institutions.
LDC Development programme opportunities
The LDC Development Team offers support for those soon to attend their first Conference. If you find it hard to structure a presentation well, or if you have difficulties engaging in conversation with established academics, you might begin with our online resources helpful. For example, ‘The ‘Good Networking Video’, for example, deals with issues related to networking and includes thoughts and experiences from PGRs and established academics. (University of Liverpool password required). Further online resources support your preparation for poster and talks:
The LDC Development Team also offers a series of Webinars and workshops in these areas. Join us to learn ways to fully engage in the Conference experience and gain practical tips that can help you prepare well for your presentations or networking.
Webinar: Preparing a Conference Poster 10 Feb 12:30 – 13:30
– An interactive session reviewing what makes a good conference poster?
Webinar: Preparing an ‘Elevator pitch’ 17 Feb 12:30 – 13:30
– An outline of the essentials to create a good elevator pitch for your networking.
Webinar: Making the Most of Academic Conferences 19 Feb 12:30 – 13:30
– A view of conference attendance from the PhD perspective and delivered by two current PGRs .
Pushing beyond imposter syndrome 27 Feb 09:15 – 12:30
– A workshop to help you understand your fears and develop techniques to overcome them.
Effective Networking at Conferences 3 Mar 13:00 – 16:00
– A practical session focussing on conference networking and now to approach this, including practice to help you develop the important networking pitch!
Sessions focussing on Presentations skills
Further sessions will help you improve your presentation skills, prepare and even practice in advance of a key presentation:
|11 Feb||09:30 – 12:30|| Planning and Preparing an Effective Research |
|18 Feb||09:30 – 12:30|| Delivering Academic Presentations |
– repeated on the 17 March, and 28 April.
|24 Feb||09:30 – 12:30|| Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations |
1 – defining your message
|2 Mar||09:30 – 12:30|| Webinar: Enhancing your Research Presentations |
2 – delivery