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Writing a Conference Proposal…and getting it accepted!

Posted on Wednesday February 19th 2014

Faculty and staff sometimes do not realize that what they do in their classrooms, advising sessions and programming is unique and worth sharing on a larger stage. Think about how you have developed your craft—it is likely that many of the skills and strategies you employ have been workshop topics at conferences. Presenting and conducting a workshop is an opportunity for you to share your ideas and help others learn new techniques and perspectives on education.

All conferences have a general theme but often accept workshop and presentation topics that are tangentially related. This opens the door for you to present on a variety of topics, but keep in mind that linking your topic to the theme in a concrete way may increase the likelihood of proposal acceptance. Look at previous conferences to see if the topic has been covered in recent years—reviewers often want to see new and innovative ideas.

If you are new to conferences, start here with a basic introduction to writing your proposal.Submitting a conference proposal from Julie Shaw.

Once you have a topic in mind, the conference proposal writing is the next step.

Some things to keep in mind with when writing your proposal

There are many formats for conference sessions—workshops, formal presentations, teaching tips, posters. The length and type of information required in your proposal can vary, too. Each conference proposal process is unique, so read the guidelines carefully. Make sure you are providing the information requested and have included all the relevant details that will make your proposal a success.

Consider teaming up with a colleague for your proposal and potential presentation. Sharing the workload and doubling the ideas can be a smart approach especially if you are new to conferences.  Even if you go it alone, have a second reader for clarity, understanding and proof reading.

Three upcoming conferences to consider:

Check with Judi Greene-Corvee to see if professional development money is available to help cover conference costs which can include registration, materials and travel.


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