Organising a YECREA event is a great way to get experience, obtain new knowledge and meet new peers. All representatives and members of YECREA are welcome to organize YECREA events as long as they follow the overall aims, guidelines and tips outlined below. The Management Team of YECREA is happy to provide support in the organising process.
All YECREA events should align with the objective of supporting early-career researchers across Europe through knowledge exchange, collaboration, networking, and promotion of early-career interests within the scholarly community. YECREA’s primary aim is to be actively involved in ECREA conferences: the biennial European Communication Conference (ECC) and the smaller conferences/workshops organised by the ECREA sections, Temporary Working Groups, and Networks. YECREA Representatives and members are however also welcome to organise dedicated events for young scholars.
- Early in the organising process, YECREA organizers should submit a short proposal (date, place, topic, possible partners- university, faculty, research institute) to the YECREA Management Team in order to ensure both quality and consistency. The Management Team will provide feedback and support in organising the event, including help with promotion through the YECREA website, mailing list and/or social network presence.
- The YECREA name and logo can only be used after the Network Management Team’s approval is obtained.
- Organisers of YECREA events have to keep the Management Team updated on the event.
- The YECREA name and logo should be clearly visible in any promotion of the event.
- As YECREA does not have a budget for events, organisers should aim to create a self-sustaining event (more on this under ‘Tips for Organizers’).
YECREA events at general conferences
At general conferences (i.e. conferences not aimed at young scholars specifically), YECREA encourages representatives and members to organize workshops and social events for early-career scholars, following two key guidelines:
- Workshops: Focus on supporting early-career scholars
YECREA workshops at general conferences should focus on tackling issues of particular relevance to young scholars. For example, topics might include: ‘How to get published as a young scholar?’, ‘How to plan an academic career as a young researcher?’, ‘How to manage a PhD project’, etc.
- Stimulating contact between young and senior scholars at the main conference
YECREA sees contact between senior scholars and early-career researchers at conferences as key to career development, networking, relationship building, and collaboration. Accordingly, while YECREA encourages workshops and social events aimed at young scholars, the network simultaneously encourages integration of paper presentations by young and senior scholars. This means that YECREA will not lend its name to paper panels at general conferences consisting only of young scholars’ work, which we believe can isolate or even discriminate against early-career scholars.
If a YECREA workshop or social event is organised before or after a general conference, the organisers should encourage all participants to submit a paper at the general conference as well (in compliance with the YECREA’s aim for integration of young and senior scholars).
Dedicated Early-Career Events
YECREA representatives and members are also welcome to arrange dedicated workshops and conferences for early-career scholars (i.e. not part of a general conference). Organising such a stand-event event requires more comprehensive planning and experience. Thus, YECREA encourages members to create an organising committee of at least four members in such cases.
Tips for Organisers
Organising a successful academic event requires thorough planning.
Here, we have collected a few key tips on what you should consider as an organiser:
- Planning ahead
A first key thing to keep in mind is to have a realistic timeframe for the event. Ideally, planning an academic event starts at least 5-6 months before it takes place. If the event is connected to a general conference, make sure to ask the general organisers, when you should apply to have your event included in the conference program and when the event details needs to be in place.
- Finding senior facilitators
In early-career workshops, it is always a good idea to invite 1 to 3 senior scholars to facilitate discussions and perhaps give short presentations. At general conferences, senior scholars who are already planning to participate are often happy to take part of early-career workshops without requiring travel or accommodation reimbursement. At dedicated early-career events, YECREA encourages organisers to start out trying to get senior facilitators from the host university in order to avoid potential travel expenses.
- Creating a self-sustaining event
YECREA does not have a budget for events. Accordingly, YECREA events need to be financially self-sustainable. In some cases, this might involve a small fee for participants, covering expenses for example for lunch or coffee. However, YECREA encourages organisers to first try to secure any needed funds through support from academic institutions. In the past, we have positive experience with asking for small donations, for example from a university or department receiving promotion in return by having their logo on event material or having promotion of a book or journal at the event.
- Call for papers
When organising a workshop, you need to issue a call for paper with at least one month for applications. The call should clearly explicate the purpose of the workshop and the basis on which applications will be evaluated. You could for example ask participants to send a brief description of their work and motivation for participating. You could also state that ensuring geographical and topical diversity will be considered as part of the evaluation. To avoid too many emails in your personal mailbox, you might want to consider creating a dedicated email account for the application process. If you do so, remember to check this email regularly to see, if there are any questions from applicants.
- Promoting the event
The YECREA Management Team can help publishing the call for papers on the YECREA website and in the YECREA Facebook group. In addition to this, organisers should make sure to issue the call through relevant academic mailing lists and, in cases of a general conference, through the overall conference channels.