August 4, 2022, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham

What I learnt from presenting collaborative research at an international conference

Xijing Chen and her colleague Hatice Ozer were invited to present on their research collaboration at the Fifteenth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, and were able to do so with financial help from the Researcher Academy’s Conferences, Travel and Training Fund (CTTF). Here Xijing shares some tips for presenting collaborative research at an international conference based on her experiences.

Hatice & Xijing

Hatice & Xijing

As a 1st-year PhD student, it was a really exciting to have the opportunity to present my research at the Fifteenth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum (Philadelphia, U.S.A), enabling me to bring international insights into my research work. Unfortunately due to Visa issues I was unable to attend in person but was able to do so remotely with support from my research collaboration partner Hatice.

Here, I am going to share my experiences from writing an abstract through to attending the conference. The most valuable thing in this whole process was collaboration!

Writing the abstract

Most of the conference papers submitted by PhD students were based on part of their thesis. However for this project, my colleague Hatice Ozer found the conference first and then we worked together to write an abstract with different perspectives.

At the initial stage, it was very difficult to find a common point to collaborate on. After reviewing each other’s work, understanding the core values shared by our individual research was important. For example, the title of our conference paper was ‘‘Blind musicians ‘see’ beauty in House Museum’’. ‘House museums’ are the subject of my colleague’s PhD research , and ‘Experience museums’ the focus of my own work. Therefore, inspired by an official museum video regarding a blind musician, we proposed how ‘seeing’ a museum might go beyond the visual image.


After receiving an acceptance letter from the conference, we started to seek support, including financial support and work feedback. There are some tips I can share:

Work Support:

  • Talk with your supervisors.
  • Present the work in your research group to your colleagues.

Financial Support:

  • Recheck conference registration fees and travel fees.
  • Check Visa application.
  • List all supporting funding.

Conference, travel, and training funds from the Researcher Academy were released in March, but we started to notice their availability through email advertisements in February. After acquiring our supervisors’ permission, we started to apply for this fund.


  • Check your Visa Application; normally start to plan to attend a conference one year ahead.


We participated in this international conference through a blended format. It was not quite as engaging as doing a face-to-face presentation, but we were able to discuss the topic through the digital platform. My colleague Hatice Ozer recorded a video with my part to upload to the conference’s website. The best aspect of communication through the blended format at this conference was that you could easily follow different topics in which you were interested, accessing different international perspectives. As a postgraduate researcher, there are some tips I can share:

  • Learn from the concepts and communication styles of other researchers.
  • Learn from the research methods they use, which might be an inspiration for your own work.

I hope you will have a good experience of your conference like I did. By treating this piece of work as a small project, instead of simply presenting a paper, you will acquire the best learning during the whole process from preparation to post-conference.

~ Xijing Chen

Find out more about the Researcher Academy Conference, travel and training fund

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