Dec. 21, 2020
Peer Beyond Graduate Research Conference moves online for 2021
The Graduate Students' Association's (GSA) Peer Beyond Graduate Research Conference (formerly known as Peer Beyond Graduate Research Symposium) is UCalgary’s multi-disciplinary research conference for graduate students to present their research. This conference offers a unique opportunity for UCalgary graduate students to cultivate interdisciplinary collaborations within the graduate student community. This conference will be hosted virtually on Feb. 25 and 26, 2021, by the GSA Academic Support Committee and the GSA staff at the leadership of Alex Paquette, GSA VP academic.
The GSA is committed to improving graduate student experience at the university through its programs and services. This year, the GSA Peer Beyond Graduate Research Conference is moving to a virtual platform called Hopin to foster interaction and networking throughout the conference. Hopin allows attendees to synchronously meet other attendees, view exhibits and research presentations, and chat with the presenters in private or public chat boxes.
The Academic Support Committee and Paquette are excited about this transition to an online conference. "We at the GSA know that this year has been tough on graduate students and we realize that most graduate students have not been able to attend conferences this year," says Paquette.
"Peer Beyond is a great opportunity for all graduate students to present their work and this year we have the most awards and prizes the GSA has ever offered. Graduate students are welcome to present past work or new work and are encouraged to sign up early for this conference. If there was ever a time you thought about signing up for a virtual conference, this is the one.”
Peer Beyond Graduate Research Conference is a great opportunity for graduate students to practise presenting their research in front of a large audience. Peer Beyond’s past presenters highly recommend graduate students to participate in this conference.
“Presenting in front of an audience has always been a daunting task for me," says Anthonia Anowai, MSc candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology. "The Peer Beyond Symposium was a great opportunity to gain more comfort with presentations and also practise keeping my audience engaged with my presentation. I was definitely challenged to pace myself and make eye contact with my audience in order to create excitement and enthusiasm for my research.”
Harrison Campbell, a PhD student in education, believes the feedback he received at Peer Beyond helped enrich his research for his master’s degree. “Honestly, the greatest help is getting feedback from your peers and faculty members in attendance," says Campbell. "I attended Peer Beyond during my MA and received a ton of feedback on my project — much of which went into enriching my proposal. Now, in my PhD, I am excited to attend again as it will be close to my candidacy exam, so the opportunity to practise speaking about my work will be very helpful."
Another reason that graduate students should consider participating in this year’s conference is the awards and contests the GSA is putting together. Right now, graduate students can submit their abstracts before 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2021 and enter the submission contest to win an iPad, Kindle e-reader, Kobo e-reader, and many other valuable prizes.
The GSA welcomes any graduate student at any stage of their research to present their research at Peer Beyond. Graduate students must sign up to participate by Jan. 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Registration for the conference is free.
Graduate students can find the details of this conference on the GSA website.