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Applications sought for Undergraduate Symposium, new featured event at iConference 2019


An Undergraduate Symposium will be among several new offerings at iConference 2019. The iConference has always welcomed undergraduate participation, but the iSchools Organization is particularly pleased with the targeted opportunity being offered to applicants who are accepted into the new Undergraduate Symposium.

“This event is the first time that the undergraduate participants have a formal venue for networking and professional development at the iConference,” says Yubo Kou, co-chair of the Symposium along with Matthew Bietz. “On the one hand, it represents the iSchools’ efforts and vision in motivating and empowering undergraduate students; on the other hand, it requires innovative and engaging ways during the event to engage undergrads and enrich their conference experience.”

The Undergraduate Symposium will be a half-day networking and professional development opportunity taking place Saturday, March 30, which is the day before iConference 2019 formally begins. Undergraduate applicants must apply in advance and be accepted into the Symposium in order to participate. Application instructions can be found on the conference website, and the application deadline is October 1, 2018.

“We expect participants to come away with better ideas and more information about their career paths in the information field,” says Kou. “They will also obtain networking opportunities with other undergraduate students and faculty. A benefit of holding the Symposium the day before the conference is that it will also help participants develop a fuller understanding of the iConference and navigate the iConference in a more effective manner in the following days.”

Complete application instructions can be found on the conference website. Accepted applicants will need to purchase a full conference registration at the discounted student rate, but no additional Symposium fees will apply. Conference rates will be announced in fall. Applicants do not need to be with a member-school; students at any accredited institution are welcome to apply.

While the organizers are exploring external funding options, there is currently no financial support for the Undergraduate Symposium, meaning participants should also plan to cover their own travel and lodging costs. It is hoped that iSchool member institutions will be able to provide some degree of support to their accepted students.

In addition to this new opportunity for undergraduate students, iConference 2019 will also offer its traditional Doctoral Colloquium, now in its 14th year. The Doctoral Colloquium provides doctoral students the opportunity to present their work to senior faculty and engage with one another. Students receive feedback on their dissertation, career paths, and other areas from participating faculty and student peers. The application deadline is September 10, 2018.

The iConference also features an Early Career Colloquium, and starting this year participation in this event will be by application only. The new application requirement is expect to enable the chairs to better tailor the Colloquium to the needs of participants. The Early Career Colloquium provides an opportunity for pre-tenure faculty and post-doctoral researchers to engage with senior faculty mentors in large and small group conversation on topics related to early career success. The application deadline is September 10, 2018.

About the iConference
iConference 2019 will take place March 31 – April 3, 2019, in Washington DC under the banner theme “Inform | Include | Inspire.” The event is presented by the iSchool at the University of Maryland, College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University iSchool and the iSchool at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. An openness to new ideas and research fields in information science is a primary characteristics of the event. Attendance has grown every year; participants appreciate the inspiring sense of community, high quality research presentations, and myriad opportunities for engagement and networking. Click here to access past proceedings and conference summaries.