New Researchers Sessions: Call for Papers

2017 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference – New Researchers Sessions

Deadline for abstracts extended to 31st May

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

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

Our aim is to foster a strong community among new researchers, ensuring that everyone who presents at the sessions receives as much useful feedback as they give. Feedback from past years indicates that attending all the New Researchers sessions has worked very effectively to establish a positive network at the conference and afterwards. We therefore ask that people presenting at NRS attend both days and attend all NRS sessions.

How the New Researchers Sessions interact with the main conference

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

However, if you would like to listen to papers presented in the main conference you will need to register for the main conference and pay the main conference fee. More information about this is available at

Who are the organisers?

These events are organised by the Voluntary Studies Sector Network (VSSN) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

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

If you have any queries about the main conference, please contact Cathy at:


The cost of attending the 2-day New Researchers Session is £60. This entitles you to:

  • attend all sessions of the NRS and present
  • lunch and refreshments
  • attend the opening and closing plenaries of the main conference (however, you will not be able to access the main conference sessions for this fee)

This fee is payable for all those attending, whether presenting or not.

Please note the £60 fee does not include accommodation, evening meal, travel or access to the main conference sessions.

We have a limited number of bursaries to cover the fee for the NRS. These are available for New Researchers that have been selected to present at the NRS but do not have access to funding from their organisation/institution. If you are unable to access institutional funds please contact Anjelica and Jane at

If you would like to attend the main conference you will need to pay the main conference fee. Please see the NCVO webpage:

Submitting an abstract

The deadline for abstract submissions is 31st May. Please submit email abstract as a Word document attachment of no more than 400 words to Please write “New Researchers Sessions” in the subject heading of your email and include the following information in the email body:

  • first Name
  • last name
  • organisation name
  • do you have access to funding from your organisation?
  • preferred contact email

You will be notified if your application has been successful on 3rd June 2017. You will then need to send a shorter abstract of 150 words to be included in the conference programme by 1 July 2017.

The Campbell Adamson Memorial Prize

If you submit a full paper by 30th July 2017 will be considered for the The Campbell Adamson Memorial Prize which is worth £100. You can read about last year’s winning paper on the NCVO blog.

Your paper should:

  • be between 2,000 and 4,500 words
  • include a 150 word abstract
  • include a literature view
  • include a methodology
  • provide analysis of (early) results
  • include full references.

If you have not completed your research data collection or analysis, it is absolutely fine to just 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.

If for any reason you are unable to meet the deadline for the abstract and paper, please email