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Townhall and Splinter Meetings at EGU 2014

19 Nov

In addition to the wealth of scientific sessions at the General Assembly (27 April – 2 May 2014), there is also the option to attend other meetings during EGU 2014. These include Townhall and Splinter Meetings, which are organised by conference participants. 

Townhall Meetings

Townhall Meetings are meetings open for all participants in the conference. During these meetings new initiatives or decisions are announced to a larger audience following an open discussion on the matter.

Anyone may organise a Townhall Meeting, subject to approval by the Programme Committee chair. Townhall Meetings will be scheduled from Monday to Friday from 19:00 to 20:00 in the conference centre’s lecture rooms. Applications should be sent to the Programme Committee chair using the Townhall Meeting Request Form. Upon acceptance, the respective meeting will appear in the Townhall Meetings Programme as a regular session.

Further information on Townhall Meetings is available on the EGU 2014 website.

The EGU General Assembly.

Splinter Meetings

Splinter Meetings can also be organised by participants during the course of the conference and they can be public or by invitation only. To request a Splinter meeting, please complete the online Splinter Meeting Request Form. Splinter Meeting rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please see the Splinter Meeting Overview to determine room availability before submitting your request.

Note, that these splinter meeting rooms are not available for booking as an extension of a session or a Poster Summary Discussion (PSD). Such requests will automatically be withdrawn. Instead, conveners can request a PSD room in their Session Organising Tool SOII from 27 – 30 January 2014.

Additional information on Splinter Meetings is available on the EGU 2014 website.

EGU2014: Applying for financial support to attend the General Assembly

12 Nov

A limited amount of the overall budget of the EGU General Assembly is reserved to assist young scientists and established scientists from low and lower middle income countries who wish to present their work at the meeting. From 2005 to 2013, the total amount awarded grew from about €50k to €90k. For the 2014 General Assembly, the EGU has allocated €110k for financial support for scientists to attend.

Financial support may include a waiver of the registration fee and a refund of the Abstract Processing Charge (relating to the abstract for which support was requested). Additionally, the grant may include support for travel expenditures. The EGU currently runs two different financial support schemes; you will be able to find more details about each of these awards on the Support & Distinction section on the EGU 2014 website.

Scientists who wish to apply for financial support should submit an abstract, on which they are first authors, by 29 November 2013. Late applications, or applications where the scientist is not the main author, will not be considered.

To submit the abstract of your oral or poster presentation, please enter the Call-For Abstracts page on the EGU2014 website, select the part of the programme you would like to submit an abstract to, and study the respective session list. Each session shows the link to Abstract Submission that you should use. More information on how to submit an abstract is available from the EGU 2014 website.

To apply for financial support, make sure you click the appropriate box when submitting your abstract. Bear in mind that, even if you are applying for support, you will still need to pay the Abstract Processing Charge. A screenshot of the first screen of the abstract submission process is shown below; the support application section is just above the Abstract Title box.

The abstract submission page. If you wish to apply for financial support, please select one of the support boxes highlighted here.

The abstract submission page (click for larger). If you wish to apply for financial support, please select one of the support boxes highlighted here.

The selection process follows the following steps:

  1. The first and most important step, after the submission deadline, corresponds to the evaluation made by the session convener and/or co-conveners. The ranking is based on the scientific quality of the contribution and the quality of the abstract. The conveners are also able to add comments highlighting special circumstances.
  2. The second step corresponds to the decision made by the EGU programme groups which is based, on a first instance, on the convener’s evaluation and favourable comments. The role of the Programme Groups is to ensure continuity between their respective sessions.
  3. In the third and final step, the Treasurer/Finance Committee grants travel support within the overall annual budget allocation, taking into account the evaluations and comments of conveners and programme groups, the number of abstracts submitted by each session, and the number of registered participants by country (estimated based on previous-year numbers). Between 40 and 55% of the travel grants will go to participants of low income countries.

Next year’s financial-support awardees will be notified in early January 2014. If you have any questions about applying for financial support, please contact EGU communications Officer, Sara Mynott.

EGU 2014 call for abstracts now open!

21 Oct

From now, up until 16 January 2014, you can submit your abstract for the upcoming EGU General Assembly (EGU 2014). In addition to established scientists, PhD students and other early career researchers are welcome to submit abstracts to present their research at the conference.

Further, the EGU encourages undergraduate and master students to submit abstracts on their dissertations or final-year projects. The EGU recognises that there are many outstanding students who would benefit from attending and presenting at the General Assembly and, therefore, provides a discounted registration rate to this group. Interested undergraduates can apply to present a poster (or talk) on research undertaken in a laboratory setting, on a mapping or field project they’ve been involved in during their degrees, or any other research project of relevance.

You can browse through the EGU 2014 sessions here. Clicking on ‘please select’ will allow you to search for sessions by Programme Group and submit your abstract to the relevant session either as plain text, LaTeX, or a MS Word document. Further guidelines on how to submit an abstract are available on the EGU 2014 website.


Last year we introduced an innovative presentation format – Presenting Interactive Content, better known as PICO. PICO sessions bring together the advantages of both oral and poster sessions, allowing authors to present the essence of their work and follow it up with interactive discussion. Please note that some sessions are ‘PICO only’ sessions, meaning you cannot select oral/poster preference.

The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 16 January 2014, 13:00 CET. If you would like to apply for financial support, please submit an application no later than 29 November 2013.

EGU 2014 will take place from 27 April to 02 May 2014 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2014 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU2014 is the conference hashtag) and Facebook.

Tweeting at a Conference: The Magic of a Hashtag

16 Apr

With the mammoth task of Storifying #EGU2013 this week, I’m wondering just how useful social media, particularly Twitter, has become at conferences.

While having a hashtag for a conference with 4,684 oral, 8,207 poster, and 452 PICO presentations (#EGU2013) won’t give you an insight into what’s going on in all the sessions – there’s simply too much science – it provides a guide to what’s happening next (as speakers share their sessions) and is an indicator of the “hot topics” as multiple media-savvy participants share their experience of particular sessions. More importantly though, it gives people attending the conference an opportunity to interact and extend their discussion online.

When there’s over 3,800 tweets on the #EGU2013 hashtag during the General Assembly, curating a scintillating story that also falls into the category of ‘short and sweet’ no longer seems achievable. But do we need it? Perhaps it’s better to preserve the discussion that surrounds topical sessions such as the Great Debate on fracking and shale gas (Storify to come – watch this space!) and short courses, which can then be used as a resource for hints and tips later.

Just a sample from #EGU2013 (click for larger).

While making something public via Twitter can bring up the subject of potentially being “scooped” on science before it’s published. At a conference you are already communicating your work externally, so this is not an issue. Instead, it presents an opportunity to communicate your research with the wider public and scientific community. Here are some of the benefits:

Enriched discussions

Twitter provides opportunities for a much richer discussion during a conference – not only are you listening to the speaker’s insights on a topic, but you can tune in to the knowledge and experience of others in the audience. The knowledge gathered in a scientific conference is phenomenal and in the case of the EGU General Assembly, having over 11,000 brilliant scientific minds at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you ask a question?! Okay, so they aren’t all on Twitter, but the chance of a well-informed reply is high, so it’s still worth asking!

Remote participation

To add to the already enriched discussion, when something is being broadcast on Twitter, anyone can follow the goings on – be it the colleagues you left back in the lab, the geologist whose fieldwork clashed with the event, or the interested twitterer, who happens upon the hashtag! If a talk is being live tweeted (someone is tweeting updates about the speaker’s presentation) then it’s even easier for others to participate in the conference online and ask their own questions of the audience and the speaker.

Leaving a legacy

So we have a rich discussion, that involves members of the audience and connects with the wider public, potentially sharing the science with individuals across the globe – is there more to gain from a conference Twitter feed? Yes. The online discussion can be condensed and curated using Storify, which leaves a legacy of the discussion that people can return to later. Take the #EGUjobs session for example, Sarah Blackford and Helen Goulding gave an excellent talk on how to apply for jobs both in and out of academia last week and you can return to their recommendations here.

What did you gain from the conference Twitter feed? Fancy more of the same next year? Less? Or an even bigger online presence in 2014? Leave a comment below, or include it in the conference feedback form and we’ll do our best to make it a reality. 


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