New Researchers’ Session

The purpose of the New Researchers’ Session (NRS) is to give those who are new to research or new to the voluntary sector and volunteering research community an opportunity to:

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

Our aim is to foster a strong community amongst new researchers, ensuring that everyone who presents at the sessions gives and receives useful feedback. Many well-established researchers in our sector started out their careers by participating in the NRS. Feedback from past years suggests that attending all the New Researchers’ sessions helps establish a positive network at the conference and beyond. We will take time during the conference to talk about how we can continue to strengthen the new researcher community.

We offer a special rate for those who plan to attend only the NRS. If you wish to participate in the main conference, you are welcome to present at and attend any of the New Researchers’ sessions, just as you would any other sessions.

Opportunity for feedback

We aim to have an established researcher at each of the sessions who will provide you with feedback after you present. In addition, if you submit a full paper by 30 July, you will be given verbal feedback on the paper during the session. We also encourage participants to give each other feedback. 

How the New Researchers’ Session interacts with the main conference

All delegates of the New Researchers’ Session are invited to attend the open and closing plenary sessions of the main conference. 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 on the Research Conference page.

Who are the organisers?

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

If you have any queries about the New Researchers Sessions, please contact Jane Cullingworth at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have any queries about the main conference, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Book a place and fees

To book a place at the New Researchers Session please contact Jane Cullingworth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The cost of attending the two-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)

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 NRS conference fees. 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 Jane at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

The Campbell Adamson Memorial (New Researchers) Prize

If you submit a full paper by  30 July 2018 it will be considered for the The Campbell Adamson Memorial (New Researchers) Prize which is worth £100. Your paper should:

  • be between 2,500 and 4,500 words
  • include a 150 word abstract
  • include a literature review
  • 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can read more about the New Researchers’ Session on the NCVO blog.

If you have any queries about the New Researchers Sessions, please contact Jane Cullingworth at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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