UNU-MERIT Internal Conference 2023 – FAQs

1) Who can attend?

All UNU-MERIT staff, all PhDs (full-time and part-time), and affiliates are expected to attend in person. Other UM students, affiliates, and interested people are welcome to join and can attend upon registration. Please bear in mind that registration is subject to the location’s maximum capacity, so kindly register in due time.

2) Who can present?

As an internal conference, our main goal is to give opportunity to UNU-MERIT staff and Ph.D. fellows to present and gather comments on their ongoing research. As such, presentation in the 2023 UNU-MERIT internal conference is restricted to staff and Ph.D. fellows affiliated to UNU-MERIT.

All UNU-MERIT academic staff and IEGD PhDs from 4th and higher years (Y4+) are expected to present their research work and ideas. Other UNU-MERIT PhDs (full time and part time programs) can present upon request. Year 2 and Year 3 PhD fellows in the academic year 2023/24 are highly encouraged to present as well, either in the standard format of a full presentation, or by giving a 5-minute research pitch instead.

3) Which formats of presentations are there?

Each thematic sessions will consist of 2 different presentation formats: a Full Presentation or a Pitch Presentation.

The research pitches are meant to help lower-year PhD fellows hone their abilities to succinctly present their research agenda, a specific paper, or a new research idea of their own, in no more than 5-minutes and a maximum of 5 PowerPoint slides. The pitches should be geared toward a general academic audience and accessible to people even outside your immediate field of research. The pitches will be followed by 10 minutes of feedback from the audience.

The paper presentation requires a narrowed-down research question and some level of progress in the work. The progress may take the form of conceptual framework development, experiment design, or initial results. It aims to provide the presenter with useful feedback on their work and train the Ph.D. fellows in their main findings in a clear and concise manner. The Full Presentation consists of a 15-minute presentation of a paper followed by 15 minutes of discussion, including feedback from a discussant and open debate with the audience.

4) What can I present?

We want the internal conference to showcase the breadth of the work that is being done at MERIT currently. Your presentations can range from presenting a polished paper (either a working paper or something already published) to preliminary work in progress, a research proposal, or a project report.

5) I am a part-time PhD Fellow; do I have to present?

As a non-resident PhD fellow (formerly known as GPAC² fellow), you are not required but highly encouraged to present. If you’re in years 2 or 3 of your PhD, you are also welcome to sign up for a 5-minute pitch instead of a full presentation, if you prefer.

6) I am a second- or third-year PhD fellow in the 2023/24 academic year, do I have to present?

No, you don’t have to. But we highly encourage you to submit an abstract and title for a full presentation or a 5-minute pitch.

7) Can I present multiple papers?

Each person can only present once. If you would like to present more than one paper, an option would be to present your current research agenda instead of focusing on a specific paper.

8) Can I change my title and abstract after I have already submitted?

Yes, you will be able to amend the title and abstract and we ask you to submit a final version and full paper (if available) by September 1. The submission platform will be available from June 15 to September 1. Once you have signed up through the form, you will be provided with login credentials to amend your submission.

9) Will the conference be in person?


10) I am not presenting, could I join as a discussant?

Yes. If you are not able to present ongoing research or pitch a research idea, we highly encourage you to participate in the conference as a discussant or as a session chair. In this case, you will be allocated to sessions in line with your research unit.