Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions received about BritGrad over the years, as well as more general questions many people have when attending their first academic conference. However, if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch with us at and ask us anything you like! Any questions we receive that seem useful to answer more widely will be added to this FAQ.
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What’s the difference between a delegate and an auditor?
A delegate is someone who is presenting a paper at BritGrad, whilst an auditor is someone attending BritGrad but who isn’t giving a paper. Being an auditor can mean different things at different conferences. At BritGrad, the only difference is whether or not you are presenting a paper – everything else about your BritGrad experience will be exactly the same.
Who can attend as a delegate?
Delegates need to be postgraduate students, studying towards an MA, PhD or similar postgraduate qualification. Those who have recently graduated from a postgraduate course are also welcome to attend as delegates. If you’re unsure whether you qualify to attend as a delegate, please get in touch with us at and we’ll be happy to give you further guidance.
Who can attend as an auditor?
Auditors can come from a wider field than delegates, and include undergraduate students, postgraduate students, alumni, and those more generally interested in the subject area. Again, if you’re unsure whether you qualify to attend as an Auditor, please get in touch with us at .
What’s a plenary?
A plenary is a session at a conference which is attended by all attendees. At traditional BritGrads, there are approximately three of these sessions each day, generally made up of a 40 minute talk with a 15-20 minute Q&A. Details for this years plenaries will be updated here.
What’s a panel?
A panel is made of three papers given by delegates. Generally, these panels have been put together by the BritGrad committee from abstract submissions, and we theme these around subjects and ideas, allowing the papers to complement each other and auditors in attendance to get more from hearing the papers together. Delegates may also submit their own panels in addition to the panels curated by us, as long as they submit a 200-word abstract each along with a 100-word rationale for their proposed panel. Each paper lasts up to 20 minutes, with 20 minutes for questions for all three panellists afterwards. There are usually three panels running concurrently during any panel session. Details regarding the structure of BritGrad 2021 panels will be announced soon.
What’s a seminar?
The seminar format was introduced for the online 2020 BritGrad Festival.
The format works as follows:
· A seminar leader (or two seminar co-leaders) proposes a seminar topic and invites participants to submit essays on this topic to them by a particular date prior to the conference. We recommend seminar leaders set the essay deadline at least four weeks before the start of BritGrad 2020.
· The leader/s circulates the papers to the participants via email, Google Drive, etc. They then allocate each participant 1-2 essays to respond to. Participants then send their responses to the writer/s of the essay/s via email, again prior to the conference (participants should also read through the other essays within the seminar group). We recommend seminar leaders set the response deadline at least two weeks before the start of BritGrad 2020.
· During BritGrad 2020, the seminar will be allocated a one-hour timeslot. During this slot, the participants will discuss their papers and the ways they complement, contrast and intersect with each other. The seminar leader/s should lead the discussion with prompt questions and ensure all participants are able to contribute. Delegates and auditors not participating in the seminar are invited to observe the discussion. Whilst the discussion will primarily be between seminar participants, the seminar leader/s may invite questions from those observing the seminar towards the end of the one-hour slot if they wish.
Where can I find the full programme for BritGrad Festival 2020?
Once the Call For Papers has closed for 2021 and the events have been finalised, the full programme will be released on our website and emailed to registered delegates and auditors.
Why do you usually charge for the conference?
Britgrad is a not-for-profit organisation, and we budget to break even. In the event that we end up with a surplus, the money goes forwards to subsidise some of the following year’s conference costs. You would usually see some of the things we’ve spent money on – like food, drink, and programmes – but we also have dull but necessary expenses like insurance and public liability to pay for. We fundraise to enable us to charge the minimum to delegates and we think we compare well with sector conferences on this scale.
Details regarding fees for BritGrad 2021 will be released soon.
Why should I submit an abstract or register as an auditor?
In the words of an attendee of BritGrad 2017: ‘The atmosphere throughout the time I was there was also wonderful: inviting, infectious and the right balance of formal academia with informal friendliness’. This is a chance to immerse yourself for a whole week in some of the most exciting current research across Shakespeare, Early Modern and Renaissance Studies. It’s also a chance to make connections with your peers; there’s a long history of BritGrad delegates going on to even greater heights in academia (and beyond). Keep an eye on our website in the run up to the Festival to hear from some guest bloggers about what BritGrad means to them and how it has positively impacted their research.
What online platform are you using for the Festival?
If the conference is online this year, we will be hosting each event via Zoom. Delegates and auditors will be asked to register for the overall Festival and then, once the programme has been finalised, they will be asked to register for individual events. Links and passwords to the relevant Zoom events will be emailed to individuals about a week before the Festival begins.
Do I need a Zoom account to attend the Festival?
No, a Zoom account is not required if you are strictly joining Zoom meetings as a participant. A Zoom account is only required if you are creating your own meetings and inviting participants to join. You can see the Zoom FAQs here.
How can I contribute to online discussion?
Use the hashtag #BritGrad2020 across social media, follow us on Twitter @BritGrad, Instagram @_britgrad, and on Facebook. Zoom also has the benefit of a chat box function which facilitates live discussion as the panels progress, without interrupting them.