Laura Higson-Bliss

Research output: Other contribution


I have been very lucky over the years to secure funding for some fantastic conferences, both here in the UK and abroad. Yet, this is not the same for every early career researcher entering the world of academia. Conferences can be an expensive part of an academic’s life.
Even the free events come with hidden overheads: travel, food, accommodation and not forgetting the hidden environmental cost. One of the ‘upsides’, if there can be one, to this current COVID-19 crises … the use of technology to run these events online.

In recent weeks we have seen the use of Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, to name but a few, utilised to open the world of academia. Early career researchers, like myself, have been able to attend these virtual events, which we may not have been able to prior to COVID-19. Indeed, many of these events have allowed general members of the public to see behind the curtains, into the mystic that is the life of an academic.

This discussion piece will examine the effect COVID-19 has had on the world of conferencing and networking from an Early Career Researcher’s perspective. It will be argued that the use of technology to run virtual events has created more equality between those that can afford to attend conferences and those who cannot. It will be concluded, following the COVID-19 pandemic, that we need to continue to implement technology into conferences to create a fairer and more sustainable academic market, especially for Early Career Researcher’s.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020


  • social media
  • covid-19
  • COVID-19, reflective practice, online teaching, blended learning, extensive versus intensive, learning experiences
  • ECRs


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