New researchers – 2019 stream

2019 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference – Birmingham

Applications for the new researchers stream are now closed

The purpose of the New Researchers Sessions (NRS) is to give those who are new to research or new to the voluntary sector and volunteering research community an opportunity to:

  • present their research to other new researchers
  • get constructive feedback in a supportive environment
  • meet other new researchers and network
  • network with established researchers and practitioners

Our aim is to foster a strong community amongst new researchers. Many well-established researchers in our sector started out their careers by participating in the NRS. Feedback from past years suggests that attending the New Researchers Sessions helps establish a positive network at the conference and beyond.

Opportunity for feedback

We aim to have an established researcher at each of the sessions who will provide you with feedback after you present. In addition, if you submit a full paper by 26th August, you will be given verbal feedback on the paper during the session.  We also encourage participants to give each other feedback.

How the New Researchers Sessions interacts with the main conference

All delegates of the New Researchers Sessions are invited to attend the open and closing plenary sessions of the main conference and to participate in the World Cafes. You will also have plenty of opportunities to network with established researchers and practitioners during refreshment and lunch breaks.

New this year – the NRS Wildcard!

All NRS delegates will receive a wildcard; this will enable you to attend one of the sessions at the main conference.

If you want to attend more than one session, you will need to register for the main conference and pay the main conference fee. More information about this is available on the main conference page


As part of its commitment to new researchers, VSSN subsidises much of the cost of attending the NRS.  The fee to attend for the two days is £100; this reflects the cost of lunch and refreshments on both days and includes the conference dinner.  This fee is payable for all those attending, whether presenting or not.

Please note:

  • to qualify for the subsidised NRS registration fee of £100 you must be a member of either VSSN or NCVO (you can join here)
  • there is no early bird rate for the NRS
  • the fee does not include accommodation or travel

We have a limited number of bursaries to cover the NRS conference fee for individuals who do not have access to funding from their organisation/institution and would not otherwise be able to participate. These are available for New Researchers who have been selected to present. If you are unable to access institutional funds please contact Jane at

Submitting an abstract

If your submission was successful, you will be asked to send a 2,500–4,500 word paper for inclusion in the conference. We will advise on the format of the paper when we confirm acceptance of your abstract. Papers presented in parallel sessions will be made available online during the conference.

New Researchers Prize

If you submit a full paper by 12th August, 2019 it will be considered for the New Researchers Prize which comes with an award of £100. Your paper should:

  • be between 2,500 and 4,500 words
  • include a literature review
  • include a methodology
  • provide analysis of (early) results
  • include full references

If you have not completed your research data collection or analysis, it is fine to give some idea of any emerging themes or your next steps in the project – they do not have to be fully-formed.

We accept that other researchers may have worked on your research project and so may be listed, but the paper itself must be written by one or more new researchers.

You can read more about the New Researchers Sessions on the NCVO blog.


If you have any queries about the New Researchers Sessions, please contact Jane Cullingworth at: