Tagged / travel

COVID-19 and the rise of Virtual Conferences

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 [1].

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 [2] 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)

 

References

  1. Nicholson. D.J. (2017) Academic Conferences as Neoliberal CommoditiesPalgrave Macmillan.
  2. Nicholson. D.J. (2018) Guest post by Donald Nicolson: The problem of thinking about conferences and Return on Investment (ROI) 

 

Kia Ora – greetings from New Zealand!

I am here as part of my Florence Nightingale Travel scholarship – spending time at the Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research, AUT University with centre director Professor Denise Wilson. During my two weeks here I have had the opportunity to learn much more about Māori Health and how it is being addressed in New Zealand, as well as learning much more about their culture and beliefs. Specific research projects I have explored include:

  • The Pacific Islands Families longitudinal project – this is the only prospective Pacific people study in the world. This longitudinal study is following 1,398 Pacific children and their parents born at Middlemore Hospital in 2000.
  • Research being undertaking exploring Māori living with disabilities.
  • Institutional racism research.
  • Research exploring physical activity and Māori culture.
  • Research examining family violence and intimate partner violence within the Māori communities.

Needless to say this experience is the start of some brand new friendship and international links, indeed I am already working on a bid and a paper! I also have plans for two more co-authored papers that will develop over the next few months…watch this space!!

Any nurses, midwives or registered health professionals interested in a Florence Nightingale Scholarship, the call is now open http://www.florence-nightingale-foundation.org.uk/content/page/33/. I’d definitely recommend it!

Dr Vanessa Heaslip, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

EU funding available in the hard sciences for research, networking, visits and conference attendance

FP7 Artemis call for proposals: Funding supports industry-driven research projects in the field of embedded computing systems which aim to design, develop and deploy interoperable, cost-effective, powerful safe and secure electronics and software systems. The budget for this call is approximately €138.73 million and the financial contribution of the programme will be 16.7 per cent of eligible costs. Projects are expected to last for up to three years. Closing date 06.09.12

ESF Research conferences scheme: Grants support high-level research conferences lasting for three to four days in ESF member organisation countries. Closing date 15.09.12

 ESF Earthtime – the European contribution short visit and exchange grants: Grants should foster collaboration between European researchers working on topics relevant to geochronology and stratigraphy. Short visit grants provide €85 per day over a maximum of two weeks. Exchange grants provide €400 per week over a maximum of three months. Both awards provide actual travel expenses, worth up to €500. No deadline.