Young Researchers' Conference 2018


The Young Researchers' Conference is turning 20. In 2018, the Institution is celebrating two decades of supporting young researchers and future structural engineers.

The 20th conference is a fantastic opportunity for PhD students or first year post-doctoral researchers to present their research to industry representatives, academics and fellow researchers.

23 researchers have been selected to give either an oral or poster presentation at the conference, to be held on 10 April 2018 at Institution HQ, London. Prizes will be awarded on the day, including the People’s Award for the most interesting oral presentation, decided by the audience.

The event is also a great chance to get ideas, share advice and network with industry professionals and with peers.

The 2018 programme is now availble to view. Tickets to attend the conference are now available to register online.

To mark the 20th conference, the Institution will be joined by Dr Sarah Prichard as keynote speaker. Sarah was a joint winner in the oral category at the very first Young Researchers’ Conference in 1998. She has since completed her PhD on the response of concrete to impact at Trinity College Dublin and has worked for BuroHappold for 16 years. Sarah is one of the practice’s leaders in the field of building vibrations and dynamics and consults widely in this area, particularly on mixed use, transport stations, sports structures, hospitals and laboratories projects. She has recently been appointed a Partner of the firm.

In addition to the keynote, we will receive presentations from the winners of the 2017 Young Researchers' Conferences in Australia and China respectively.

Read about last year's conference.

Frequently Asked Questions

You are eligible to present if you are currently engaged in research and will have more than one but fewer than five years' research experience at the date of the conference, 10 April 2018. This means that eligible presenters will normally be 2nd, 3rd or 4th year PhD students or 1st year post-doctoral researchers.

Postgraduate researchers who are not registered for a PhD are still eligible to present their work if they have between one and five years' research experience at the date of the conference.

Researchers based in industry are welcome to apply if their research has the potential for impact outside of the applicant's own company. Therefore, with potential benefit to the wider structural engineering profession.

Please note: applicants are usually expected to be under 35 years of age.

If you have given an oral presentation at a previous Young Researchers' Conference, you are not eligible to present anything at the next conference.

If you have given a poster presentation at a previous Young Researchers' Conference, you may apply to deliver an oral presentation at the next conference. However, you are not eligible to present a poster.

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to either:

  • Deliver a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation and take 5 minutes of questions from the audience (to include the judges). All presentations will be recorded for later release as a webinar.


  • Present a poster of their research to the judges in a strict 5 minute time slot and to take questions from the judges for a further 5 minutes. Poster presenters are also required to make themselves available during the 30 minute poster discussion session, to informally talk through their research with conference attendees. Poster will need to remain on display until 18:00.

Apply online. You will need to submit a 2 page synopsis of your project. The synopsis must be prepared according to these guidelines, so that it can be included in the Conference Proceedings. Proceedings will be distributed to delegates on the day and be made available online after the event.

If your post-doctoral research is extending your PhD work, then you are advised to present your PhD and subsequent research.

If your post-doctoral research is on a different subject to your PhD, then you are advised to present your PhD work. This recognises the fact that you will not have done enough research on the new topic by the time of the conference to present on that subject.

Applications to present at the conference must be received by 17:00 Thursday 30 November 2017.

The Institution's Research Panel will review all submitted synopses and will select presenters based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of research
  • Novelty of subject
  • Clarity with which the research is communicated
There will be 7 oral presenters and 16 poster presenters. In general, the more experienced researchers are offered the oral places and the less experienced researchers are given the poster places.


How will presentations be judged?

Judges will assess the quality of the research, and your ability to communicate and to answer questions.


What are the prizes?

Cash prizes will be awarded for both the oral and poster category from a £1000 pot with prizes typically being: First prize - £250 ; Second prize - £150 and Third prize - £100.

There will also be a People’s Award for the most interesting oral presentation. This is decided by the audience.

What will it cost me to attend?

The conference is free for young researchers. Travel grants of up to £60 are available for eligible PhD students who applied to present their work. Please note: travel grants may not cover the full cost of fares and priority will be given to students travelling the furthest to London.

Applicants will be notified whether they have been chosen to present their work by the end of January 2018.

If you have applied for a travel grant, the outcome of this will be notified at the same time.

I am not ready or eligible to present my research, can I still come?

Yes. Registration for non-presenting places at the conference will open in early February. Current PhD students and first year post-doctoral researchers can attend. You will not be required to submit a synopsis.

Final year undergraduates and MSc students who are considering undertaking a PhD, are encouraged to register to attend the conference. It's a great opportunity what a PhD involved first-hand from current PhD students.

There will also be a limited number of places for lecturers, academics and practising engineers to attend. Look out for notices from February onwards.


If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact the Events Team

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Research Fund

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