Yesterday we had a conference paper accepted by the EUPHA (European Public Health Association) International Conference. When the paper was originally submitted to the EUPHA Health Workforce Research Section Mid-term Conference we had opted for an oral presentation in person at the conference in Romania this summer. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic travelling to Romania to attend this conference is not an option for many (if not most) academics. Therefore the organising committee took the initiative to re-arrange it as a virtual meeting. Further good news for us is that participation will be free.
Of course, I am aware that some of the strengths of attending conferences include having unexpected discussions (often in the bar) with fellow academics and being away from the day job. At the moment being forced to choose between postponing or cancelling a conference or changing to a virtual meeting conference organisers may want to reflect on “… ask how conferences make a difference.” This question was originally raised in the book Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities by Donald Nicholson .
We should have moved to more virtual meetings and online conferences much sooner, but it is easy to say with hindsight! The COVID-19 crisis has thought us that virtual classrooms, internet-based tutorials, Zoom meetings and online conferences can work, albeit with their limitations. It is worth considering the return of investment of a conference  not just for the conference organisers (and funders) but also individual academics as less travel will be saving time and society as reducing travel, especially international flights, will improve our carbon foot print.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
- Nicholson. D.J. (2017) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Palgrave Macmillan.
- Nicholson. D.J. (2018) Guest post by Donald Nicolson: The problem of thinking about conferences and Return on Investment (ROI)
Closing date: 16:00 on 13 November 2012
Issue date: 25 July 2012
Category: Invitation for proposals
Related theme: Energy
EPSRC, as part of the RCUK Energy Programme invites proposals for collaborative research projects to undertake fundamental engineering and physical sciences research to tackle challenges around geological storage that will help advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) towards deployment.
The Energy Programme supports a substantial portfolio in carbon capture and storage research, but the majority of it supported through EPSRC focuses on carbon capture and transport. It is clear that geological storage aspects of CCS offer substantial research challenges so this call focuses on the contribution that engineering and physical sciences research can make to the challenges of geological storage for CCS.
The scope of the call was developed at a scoping workshop held on 10 July 2012. A report of the outputs from this workshop can be downloaded from this page.
Contact: Jacqui Williams
EU Eco-innovation projects funding: to support the market penetration of an environmental product, service, management practice or process with a proven track record, but which has not yet been fully marketed. The indicative budget for this call is €36 million and funding will provide up to 50 per cent of a project’s costs over a period of 36 months. Deadline 08.09.11
EUROGIA+ funding call: projects should develop innovative energy technologies that will reduce the carbon footprint of energy production and use, with a focus on solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and energy efficiency. Deadline 14.09.11
Design options for sectoral carbon market mechanisms and their implication for the EU ETS: projects should help to improve understanding of different options for key design elements of the sector-wide carbon market mechanisms, as well as assessing the implications of recognising credits from such pilots for use under the EU ETS. Funding is worth between €180,000 and €200,000 over nine months. Deadline 16.08.11
Integration of renewable energy in Europe: project should provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of the electricity market, the transmission network and the distribution network in its ability to adapt to higher penetration of electricity from renewable energy. Funding covers approximately 500 person-days. Deadline 23.08.11
The Revolving Green Fund (RGF) is open for proposals to reduce carbon emissions. There are two strands of funding both with a deadline of October 17th.
Strand 1 targets small-scale projects to improve energy efficiency and will aim to reach a broad range of institutions.
Strand 2 will make up to £3 million available for exemplary retrofit projects. These flagship initiatives will inform research, promote skills development and market growth in the relevant technologies – they must also demonstrate potential to capture and disseminate learning that will be of benefit across the higher education sector.
FAQs about the fund are available online.
A workshop organised by the BBSRC brought together top scientists from around the world to plan the future direction of standards and methodologies in the area of soil carbon monitoring and reporting. This will make a significant contribution to our knowledge of the role of soil in addressing climate change.
Outputs of the workshop will be a series of scientific papers outlining the challenges and opportunities of soil carbon monitoring in the context of biomass production. This will help to inform sustainable management of changing land use, as well as any shift towards biomass crops within agriculture; contribute to the future direction of research in this area; and help to inform policy for sustainability. It is likely that opportunities will emerge from this work to improve the overall sustainability of bioenergy and an improved appreciation of the flux of carbon into and out of the soil will complement our increasing knowledge of the roles of genetics, physiology and agronomic traits of bioenergy crops.