Young Researchers’ Conference 2019

Open for applications

Young researchers are invited to apply to present their work at the 21st Young Researchers’ Conference to be held on Wednesday 13 March 2019 at the Institution of Structural Engineers in London.

The Young Researchers’ Conference is dedicated to developing awareness among young engineers of the importance and potential of research in advancing structural engineering. This lively one-day event is a fantastic opportunity for young, forward thinking researchers to:

  • present their research with a chance of winning a number of prizes
  • network with other young researchers, academics and industry professionals
  • be inspired and stimulated by a wide range of presentations on structural engineering from the keynote speaker, industry representatives and peers
  • raise their profile by applying for this prestigious, long-standing event
  • hear what topics industry needs researching.






31 October 2018



Anybody with less than 5 years' research experience:
  • PhD students (from 2nd year students onwards)
  • Researchers with up to one year post-doctoral experience (either in academia or industry). 
Applicants are usually expected to be under 35 years of age.

Entry format

  • PowerPoint presentation; or
  • Poster of research project


  If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact Sheila Alexander.


Read about the 2018 conference.

Apply online

Deadline for applications: 17:00 on Wednesday 31 October 2018


The Research Panel (who will undertake the preliminary judging) will decide which applicants will be invited to present their research, either as an oral or poster presentation, based on the following:

  • Understanding of the project’s significance: reasons for doing the work – relevance, benefits & limitations – and review of allied work

  • Quality of presentation: clarity, structure of presentation, use of diagrams and photos

  • Methodology: intelligence demonstrated, quality of (proposed) experimental work, interpretation of results (if available), meeting challenges

  • Effective communication.

In selecting presenters and judging the presentations on the day, the Research Panel are looking for research quality, novelty as well as relevance to practice.


When completing the submission form, you will be asked to upload your synopsis as a word doc file or pdf, and you can also provide an optional two images related to your project.

Important: all images should be high-resolution at 300 dpi.

Please save all documents in the following format: firstname_surname_synopsistitle and firstname_surname_image1 

Presenting at the Conference

All synopses submitted before the deadline will be included in the Conference proceedings which will be distributed on the day, and made available online after the Conference.

More information will be provided to those who are chosen to present, but please be aware you must be prepared to either:

  • Deliver a short PowerPoint presentation to an audience of Judges and other researchers; or
  • Create and talk through a poster of your research project

Travel Grants

A number of travel grants up to a maximum of £60 per student* will be awarded to students attending the Young Researchers' Conference. Priority will be given to students travelling the furthest to attend the conference in London.

Please note that everyone submitting their project and attending the Conference is eligible to apply for a travel grant, whether they are chosen to present or not.

You will be asked to state your estimated travel costs in the submission form, so please ensure you have this information to hand.

*Please note that the travel grant may not fully cover your travel costs.



Am I eligible to present my research?

Yes, if you are currently engaged in research and will have more than one and less than five years research experience at the date of the conference, 13 March 2019. 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, 13 March 2019.

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

Note that applicants are usually expected to be under 35 years of age.

Those who have already given an oral presentation at a previous IStructE Young Researchers Conference are no longer eligible to present their research at this conference. Those who have previously given a poster presentation at the IStructE Young Researchers Conference may apply to deliver an oral presentation as they will be ineligible for a poster presentation.

What style presentation will I need to give at the conference?

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to either:

  • Deliver a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation and take 5 mins of questions from the audience (possibly including the judges). All presentations will be recorded for later release as a webinar. Or
  • Present a poster of their research to the judges in a strict 5-minute time slot and then afterwards to take questions from the judges for 5 minutes. Poster presenters are also required to make themselves available during the 30-minute poster session after lunch to chat informally to delegates about their research. Poster will need to remain on display until 6pm.

How do I apply?

There is an online form   for those applying to present their work. This requires a two-page synopsis of the researchers’ project to be submitted. The synopsis must be prepared according to the guidelines so that it can be included in the Conference Proceedings that will be distributed to delegates on the day and be made available on-line after the event.

I have already completed my PhD, what should I present?

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.

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications to present at the conference must be in by 17:00, Wednesday 31st October 2018.

How will presenters be selected?

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. Generally, 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 be looking for research quality, the ability to communicate and to answer questions.

What can I win?

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 prize decided by the audience for the most interesting oral presentation.

What will it cost me to attend?

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

When will I hear the outcome of my application?

Applicants will be notified whether they have been chosen to present their work by the end of January 2019.

If a travel grant has been applied for then 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. Synopses will not be required to be submitted.

Final year undergraduates and MSc students who are considering undertaking a PhD are encouraged to register to attend the conference so that they can find out first hand from current PhD students what a PhD would involve.

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

Find out more...

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