2024 New Researchers’ Stream

New Researchers – Call for Papers

Welcome event: Tuesday, 10 September 2024

Main Conference: Wednesday – Thursday, 11-12 September 2024

Location: Bayes Business School, City, University of London, London, UK

Submit your abstract by the deadline, 8 May 2024: https://www.vssn.org.uk/2024-conference-abstract-submission/ 

Questions? Email vsvrconference@gmail.com


As part of the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference 2024, we will continue to welcome New Researchers. The Conference is an ideal opportunity for new or early career researchers looking to discuss and present their research in a supportive setting.  The New Researchers stream is intended for all early career researchers in the field of voluntary sector/volunteering studies. Our definition is inclusive of students, those new to an academic career, practitioners, and those in-between.

Our aim is to foster a strong community amongst New Researchers by providing an opportunity to:

  • present your research to other voluntary sector and volunteering researchers
  • receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment
  • develop relationships with other new researchers
  • network with established researchers and practitioners

Many well-established researchers in our sector started out their careers by participating as new researchers at the conference. Feedback from past years suggests that attending as a new researcher helps establish a positive network at the conference and beyond.

Submissions and presentations

At the conference, New Researchers have the opportunity to choose to present in one of two ways:

  1. Within the main conference proceedings. We encourage New Researchers seeking subject-specific feedback to choose this option. In your submission, you can propose a formal conference presentation or choose other ways to present your research, such as a short workshop, a poster, or creative session. Each presenter will be given around 20-30 minutes for their presentation and Q&A.
  2. In front of other New Researchers only, at the pre-conference Welcome Event (see further details below). This is a more informal environment where New Researchers can practice their presentation skills. We anticipate these presentations will be shorter than the main conference (approximately 15 minutes each).

Submit your abstract here: https://www.vssn.org.uk/2024-conference-abstract-submission/

Pre-conference Welcome Event

In addition to the main conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be hosting a pre-conference Welcome Event solely for New Researchers on Tuesday, 10 September, including lunch. This event is for all New Researchers: both those presenting in the main conference, and those who prefer to present in this informal environment.

This will be a great chance to get to know each other before the conference, build networks and share learning. This event is included in the main conference price for new researchers.

Opportunity for feedback

For those presenting at the New Researchers Welcome Event, we aim to have established researchers at each of the sessions to provide feedback. We also encourage participants to give each other feedback.

Duncan Scott New Researchers’ Prize

If you submit a full paper by a deadline of the 16th August it will be considered for the Duncan Scott New Researchers Prize which includes an award of £100. Your paper should:

  • be between 2,500 and 4,500 words, including references
  • include a literature review
  • include a methodology section
  • provide analysis of (early) findings if appropriate
  • include full references using a recognised referencing style (e.g. Harvard)

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.


As part of its commitment to New Researchers, VSSN subsidises the cost of attending.  The exact fee will be announced soon, but we anticipate that it will be in the region of £140-£160 for the three days. The fee will include registration for both main conference days and the Welcome Event on Tuesday, 10 September, lunch and refreshments on all days, and the conference dinner on Wednesday, 11 September.

Please note:

  • you or your employer must be a member of either VSSN, Voluntary Action Islington or NCVO to receive the subsidised rate (membership of VSSN starts at £35 and includes a lot of great benefits: https://www.vssn.org.uk/join/)
  • please book as early as possible to ensure your place in the programme
  • the fee does not include accommodation or travel

VSSN provides a limited number of bursaries to cover conference fees for individuals who do not have access to funding from their organisation/institution and would not otherwise be able to participate. For more information, please email vsvrconference@gmail.com

Booking a place at the conference

Bookings for the conference will open in May. Details will be provided shortly.

More Information

If you have any queries about the New Researchers’ Stream, please contact us at: vsvrconference@gmail.com