Category - Conferences

Guide to delivering a conference presentation


Attending scholarly conferences is pretty much a must in the life of a graduate student. Some grad students attend several conferences each year, while others attend maybe just one. It all depends on your discipline, your supervisor’s expectations, what funding is available for travel, and how much “spare” time you have.  As detailed in my post about this topic, attending conferences has many benefits and can greatly enhance your grad student experience. Sooner or later, though, you will realize that merely attending conferences may not be enough to meet your goals. You are going to need to present at conferences too.
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Conference funding sources

Academic conference

Conferences are a great way for graduate students to build their academic and professional profiles, while also getting valuable experience for everyday activities. Whether you are presenting, chairing, or moderating a session, or just dropping in to listen to the ideas of other scholars, attending conferences is an essential activity for grad students to get and remain connected in the scholarly community and to learn the ropes from experienced scholars.

But what if you’ve been accepted to present at a conference, and you’re raring and ready to go, but are not super excited about dolling out the cash that it take to register and travel? Well, you’re going to have to figure out how to pay for it somehow, but most grad students don’t have extra money to spend spontaneously on travel, lodging, registration, and food — a two-day conference can quickly cost well over $500. Where should the money come from then? Read More

Guide to writing a conference proposal

graduate student

Presenting at professional or academic conferences is a must for graduate students in most disciplines. Regardless of what career you are aiming for after graduation, the skills and experience you can acquire and practice by presenting at conferences will certainly be valuable to you. For more about why you should present at conferences, see my blog on that topic here. And for tips on actually delivering a conference presentation, see my post about that here. But before you get to that stage, you will have to select a conference and submit a proposal or abstract to the conference committee with the hope of being selected as a presenter. This post offers you advice and guidance based on my own experience about the process of writing and submitting a strong abstract or proposal for a conference session. Read More

Attending conference sessions

In most academic disciplines, graduate students have quite a few opportunities and choices of conferences to attend. As a graduate students, attending conferences is important to network within your discipline’s scholarly community. Every field has its huge national and international flagship conferences as well as smaller regional or sub-discipline conferences. My advice is to attend various conferences of different sizes and scope, as each has its own benefits to offer you as an emerging scholar or practitioner in your field. Regardless of the type or size of conference you attend, there are some basic strategies to keep in mind to make the most of your experience. In this post I am going to outline some of the key strategies for attending conference sessions. You should also be sure to check out the posts about delivering a conference presentation, networking at conferences, and your conference travel experience. Read More