Presenting at International Conferences

Cluster Communication skills

Target group

Members of the Doctoral Schools one year or more into their PhD


This two-part workshop on writing and giving conference papers combines an introduction to international academic conferences, writing abstracts and preparing presentations, with a practical session on the second day (run as a mock-conference) in which participants have the opportunity to rehearse the delivery of their presentations, handle questions and receive feedback. The programme is as follows:

DAY 1 - Monday 30 September, 2019 from 14h00-17h00
  • Ice breaker: how not to give a conference paper! Group exercise and discussion
  • Identifying conferences in your subject
  • Submitting a paper
  • What makes a good abstract? An exercise in critical thinking


  • What makes a good abstract? Feedback and discussion
  • Writing your own abstract: key elements Quickfire writing exercise


  • Writing the paper
  • Delivery
  • Using Powerpoint (or equivalents) Sample presentation and discussion
  • Handouts: when and how to use them


  • Handling questions and feedback
  • Getting the most out of conferences
DAY 2 - Tuesday 1 October, 2019 from 09h30-16h30
  • Our mock conference:
  • Participants’ presentations, grouped into panel sessions
  • Questions from the audience
  • Group feedback on presentations and abstracts, and discussion

 There will be tea/coffee breaks and lunch in between the panel sessions

What participants have said about this workshop

  • University of Birmingham: ‘This training more than fulfilled the expectations I had! I can’t believe I got it for free –I have got so much out of this two-part workshop. I would fully recommend it to all. Special thanks to Josie who was brilliant as a teacher. I look forward to putting my new skills into practice. I am leaving fully inspired! This should be compulsory.’
  • University of Durham: ‘This invaluably helpful workshop boosts paper presentation skills enormously. The whole process of exchanging feedback, talking through individual problems, and keeping the presentations as conference-like as possible was absolutely great!’
  • University College, Dublin: ‘an incredibly useful exercise. I thought the workshop to be a very positive experience, as I find that one rarely gets feedback elsewhere. I would highly recommend this workshop.’
  • University of Uppsala: ‘Brilliant in every respect. Highly recommendable! Thank you so much!’
  • Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich: ‘I enjoyed the workshop a lot, especially the level of the trainer’s expertise and professional handling of feedback sessions.’ ‘very friendly atmosphere, encouraging and very instructive’
  • University of Bayreuth: ‘Wonderful. No matter how experienced you are you will find something to learn.’ ‘I simply love the friendly and engaging attitude.’ ‘Great atmosphere and in-depth, sophisticated insider knowledge.’
  • University of Bergen: ‘Fabulous and engergetic! Great workshop for clarifying thought and writing’ ‘Excellent. A well structured and fun workshop which should be obligatory for all PhD students’ ‘It's a must during the PhD training program - gives you a hands-on feeling for your own project, prepares you for international conferences and enhances your writing competence. I wish I had attended it earlier!’
  • University of Oslo: ‘Gave me important advice on both preparing and presenting a conference paper. The tutor was very friendly, very patient and fun! My only regret was that I didn't do it at the beginning of my PhD career' 'Friendly, inclusive, inspiring!'
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussels: 'Amazing.' 'Very interactive and activity-based workshop.' 'Great overview with a really good amount of time allotted to the practical application.'


Workshop Tutor Josie Dixon is an international training consultant and specialises in running workshops for postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers and staff in the humanities and social sciences. She has over 70 university clients in the UK, Europe and the USA. Principal areas for training are publishing research, writing and giving conference papers, and research communication skills. She was previously Publishing Director for the Academic Division at Palgrave Macmillan and Senior Commissioning Editor at Cambridge University Press, and also has clients in the publishing industry. More details at


Important: participants have to write a brief (max 1 page or even a paragraph will do) project description (outlining your research project) in order to plan groupings for the exercises in the course of the workshop and send it before September 13th, 2019 to

Date & Teaching hours

Monday 30 September (from 14h00-17h00) Tuesday 1 October, 2019 from 09h30-16h30, lunch break at 12:30 - sandwich lunch is included

Teaching room

Zaal Sacristie, het Pand, Onderbergen 1, Gent

Registration procedure

FULLY BOOKED !!! there is a waiting list of 30 persons.

Registration fee

Free of charge for Doctoral School members. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent

Please read our cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses

Number of participants




Teaching and learning material


Evaluation methods and criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% participation