Conferences and Seminar Series

Conferences & seminar series

Download the Good Practice Scheme recommendations on conferences and seminar series [pdf / word]

There are a range of things you can do to make your conferences and seminar series more inclusive, for example inviting more women as speakers (and inviting them earlier); having a clear and advertised policy on harassment and unwelcome behaviour; offering childcare; and finding ways to stop the Q&A being dominated by the most assertive people in the room.

One possibility that didn’t occur to us in 2014 but is now on all of our horizons is running research events that are either online or a hybrid of online and in-person, which of course makes participation of people with caring responsibilities (and some disabilities) much more feasible; see below for some tips on how to run a hybrid event.

We also encourage you to check out the BPA’s guidelines on accessible conferences and public lectures, and its environmental guidelines aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of research by reducing conference-related (and other) travel.

Finally, you might like to look at a condensed version of the conference handbook for the 2017 SWIP annual conference, ‘The Profession We Want’. The conference organisers implemented various policies and processes aimed at improving the inclusivity of the conference. These included having a ‘quiet room’, an explicit chairing policy; a ‘card system’ for asking questions in talks; and providing as much information about disabled access, transport, etc. as possible upfront in the handbook (available in advance) so that delegates could be confident in advance that any requirements they might have would be met. Please feel free to plagiarise elements of the handbook if it would be useful!

Sample policies, reflections and other resources

GPS main page /  Guidance & Resources page

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