Newer Researchers Conference

Call For Papers

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), we are delighted to announce the details of the SRHE Newer Researchers’ Conference, which will take place on 9 December 2014 at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, So uth Wales.

This year, echoing the theme of the SRHE Annual Research Conference, we invite you to contribute to the critical discussion around Inspiring future generations; embracing plurality and difference in higher education from the perspective of the Newer Researcher.

This will involve exploring patterns of plurality a nd difference in and across higher education and asking how these are influencing those who study and work in the sector. For example:

  • What does plurality and difference mean in terms of higher education and in what ways are they embraced?
  • To what extent does research respond to the increasingly diverse higher education landscape?
  • Where is there a need to explore plurality and difference further and what are the implications for this in relation to the higher education community?
  • What are the methodological issues and challenges when researching plurality and difference in higher education?
  • How can research into plurality and difference help us inspire others and shape the higher education of tomorrow?

These questions are not exclusive or exhaustive and you may choose to engage with these questions in part or in whole or alternatively pose your own questions. These debates are significant for everyone with a stake in contemporary higher education but for newer researchers they will inform the research questions we need to be asking and debating given the diverse nature of higher education now and in he future.

We would like to invite you to participate in this year’s Conference by submitting an abstract for a paper or poster presentation. You may also like to run a symposium. You are, of course, also welcome simply to attend this prestigious annual event. The SRHE Newer Researchers’ Conference provides a unique space for newer researchers in higher education to share and Newer Researchers’ Conference 2014 discuss their ongoing work with peers in the international higher education research community in a stimulating but supportive environment.

We bring together students and newer researchers in the early stages of a research career as well as those who may have more experience either in education, or in other fields, but are new to the issues of higher education research.

This Conference provides the opportunity to present your own work whilst learning more about topics other newer researchers in higher education are exploring from a wide range of perspectives. As part of our commitment to promoting the development of higher education research and researchers, we welcome papers or posters reporting on ongoing research as well as pilot or completed studies and work of a conceptual, theoretical or empirical nature. All submissions are peer-reviewed, resulting in a broad range of high quality presentations.

Whether returning to the SRHE Conference to present your own work or seeking to engage with the emerging debates with international delegates for the first time, the Newer Researchers’ Conference also provides many opportunities for you to network with your peers and with more experienced researchers, as well as gaining experience through chairing presentations.

Please see below for further details about the conference theme and how to submit your abstract for a paper, poster or symposium. We look forward to welcoming you to Celtic Manor for what we know will be another stimulating and inspiring Conference.

Dr Mark Kerrigan, Dr Sian Lindsay and Dr Harriet Dismore
Co-convenors, SRHE Newer Researchers’ Network


Within the theme, we invite abstracts that engage in Higher Education research associated with, for example

  • Approaches to learning, teaching and assessment
  • Policy developments
  • Quality assurance and quality enhancement
  • Leadership, governance and management of Higher Education
  • Critical analysis of methodologies and methods that we use to understand Higher Education
  • Staff and students working in partnership
  • Student experience

How to submit an abstract

Abstracts are invited for presentations, posters and symposia that engage with the Conference theme, if relevant to your work, or explore other topics in higher education research. All submissions are subject to a blind peer review process.

For all submissions the requirement is for a 400-word abstract.
For individual presentations this abstract will form the basis of the paper you will present.

Submission of a full paper is not required before the conference but may be submitted subsequently to the conference organiser for inclusion on the conference website.

All abstract proposals should be submitted via

The different presentation formats are outlined below.

Individual Papers

Each abstract accepted for individual presentation will be allocated 25 minutes for presentation and discussion. Generally, we recommend that you plan for a maximum of 15 minutes speaking, and at least 10 minutes for questions so that you can benefit from interaction with and feedback from the audience on your topic.

Participants offered an individual presentation session are also strongly encouraged to prepare and submit a poster of their work for display throughout the conference. These will bring your work to a wider audience beyond those delegates attending your session and there is a high profile competition for the best posters displayed. Posters awarded a prize, or highly commended, are displayed at the SRHE Annual Research Conference.

Poster Sessions

Posters provide an opportunity to engage your audience in discussion and invite feedback using a visual format and should not be regarded as a less important presentation format to any others. In particular they enable newer researchers to present ongoing research to an international audience, especially pilot studies, preliminary results or information on new projects. Poster displays will also be featured in the Newer Researchers’ Conference programme and will be allocated sufficient time in the Conference programme for participants to engage in dialogue and informal exchange.

Posters will be on show in a specific location throughout the Newer Researchers’ Conference and all accepted Posters are entered for the high profile competition for the best posters displayed. Posters awarded a prize, or highly commended, are also displayed at the SRHE Annual Research Conference.

For those who wish to engage a wider audience, poster presenters at the Newer Researchers’ conference will be able to display their work at the SRHE Annual Research Conference from the 10-12 December, providing they book as delegate s at this conference. For Full-time students only, a limited number of delegate places are available at a subsidised rate – see {link to NR register}Posters will be prominently displayed to attract the widest attention.

Posters will be displayed on 6 foot by 4 foot (1.8mx 1.2m) poster board. We recommend that poster presenters look at the guidelines set out at:

bullet University of Leicester Poster Guidelines


A symposium consists of the presentation of three or four related papers on a single theme, presented within a 75 minute session and led by a Symposium Convenor. In making a proposal for a symposium, the following should be provided:

  • A clear symposium title;
  • Name of the Chair (the Chair is usually a member of the symposium);
  • The Symposium Convenor’s institution;
  • A 400 word overview of the symposium submitted by the convenor;
  • A separate 400 word abstract for each presentation, including the names and details of all participating presenters. These may be submitted by the chair, or submitted by individual presenters using the online submission system.

Abstract Guidelines

As part of our commitment to the developmental nature of the Newer Researchers’ Conference, we provide guidelines to help you develop your skills in submitting and presenting research. As you will be submitting to a peer reviewed conference, the quality of your submission is an essential selection criterion.

In writing a strong abstract you will need to demonstrate some or all of the following elements: clarity of aims or focus, engagement with relevant literature and clear connection to the higher education setting in general.

The abstract should provide sufficient detail to enable reviewers to understand what will be presented. Each abstract should be up to 400 words in length and should contain the following:

  1. Title of presentation (brief but indicative of contents).
  2. Purpose of presentation: Clearly state what your specific presentation will seek to do before setting out the relevant debates and information on your research.
  3. Clear statement on the nature of the research being presented (e.g. conceptual work, literature review discussion, reflexive analysis, empirical research) and the stage you will have been reached by the time of presentation (e.g. literature review completed, developing methodology, initial pilot study, developing theoretical framework for testing, ongoing research, reporting on completed research).
  4. Methodology, approach and sample.
  5. Key argument, findings, implications and/or conclusions to be presented.
  6. Short list of references (it is important to locate your presentation in relation to the research literature and to refer to this).
  7. Up to 5 keywords separated by a comma
  8. If proposing a symposia then please note specific guidelines for submission of symposia.

Following peer-review, if reviewers have recommended that an abstract is not suitable for an individual presentation, it may be possible for an abstract to be re-written or for the work to be submitted as a poster presentation. This could be for a number of reasons which would include work still under development, or not of significant scale for individual presentation.

If you are invited to re-submit your work you will be given feedback to support you in re-writing your abstract in order that it meets the quality required for the conference.

Some additional tips

  • Write in a clear, concise and accessible way, keep ing focused on what’s going to happen in this specific presentation rather than your work in general. ‘Get to the point’ quickly in the opening section, making it clear what you are going to present and why. Reviewers and delegates only have 400 words to become familiar with your work and your aims in this presentation, so spending a long time at the beginning mapping out the background to your general theoretical framework, or providing along piece on the wider literature may not be as useful as clearly stating what your presentation will seek to do.
  • Try to avoid jargon, acronyms that are not explain ed, overly dense language or a focus on very specific terms or concepts that may not be familiar to a wider, international audience. The audience will include a range of people researching HE from many different perspectives.
  • Make good use of a small number of headings to structure your submission.
  • Ensure that you cover all of the areas required in an abstract that are relevant to your submission, perhaps noting where some are not applicable to help the reviewer understand what your research is and what it is not (e.g. if you work is primarily conceptual at this stage, or presents preliminary data make it clear that is the case).
  • Make reference to at least 3-4 key pieces of literature related to your field of research/enquiry. References are included in the word count, so a good balance is needed between using citations and not using up your word count.
  • Make good use of the word count – if you are well below or above the 400 word abstract, then you are probably not making effective use of the space.
  • Don’t forget that your abstract is not only submit ted for reviewers to judge your submission, but will appear in the list of abstracts from which delegates will decide whether or not to attend your presentation. To help ensure you are attracting your target audience, make sure that your abstract is of a good quality and clearly states what you want to do and why.
  • Ask a friend, colleague or supervisor to read and comment on your abstract as a critical friend.

All abstract proposals should be submitted electronically, via the SRHE website at

Authors will find here all the instructions needed on what is required in making a submission.

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