• Studierendenkonferenz 2019

    © Universität Bielefeld


Any questions? Then contact us by mail:


(from left to right: Anna Surmann, Dominik Cholewa, Marko Wenzel, Katharina Pietsch, Oliver Pawlak, Andrea Frank)

Anna Surmann

Room: Gebäude X E1-248 
Phone: (0521)106-3366 
E-Mail: anna.surmann@uni-bielefeld.de

Marko Wenzel

Room: Gebäude X E1-248 
Phone: (0521)106-3109 
E-Mail: marko.wenzel@uni-bielefeld.de

FAQs/ Frequently Asked Questions about the Student Conference

General Questions

Where will the conference take place?

Probably in one of the lecture halls in the main building. We will determine this as soon as we know how many students will attend and can plan accordingly.

Who can attend the student conference?

All students of Bielefeld University who are enrolled in a Bachelor's or Master's program are invited to give a talk or present a scientific poster at the conference.

Why should I participate? What exactly is the point?

As a student you rarely experience that your work is appreciated in terms of content
 – usually student papers or presentations are treated exclusively as objects of evaluation. The student conference offers you an opportunity to present your topics to others who are really interested in what you have to say and who would like to discuss them with you. Attending the conference can be an opportunity to try out what it feels like to present your ideas as a scholar, and as such can be an impulse for an academic career. Anyone who gives a talk or presents a poster will also receive a certificate from the Centre for Teaching and Learning for their CV.

Can I present something even though I am no longer a student?

If you graduated after 30 September 2018 and your planned contribution is based on research you did during your studies, for example in your Bachelor's or Master's thesis, you are also invited to submit an abstract.

I would like to attend the conference without presenting anything myself – is that possible?

Absolutely! All interested students and lecturers at Bielefeld University are invited to attend the conference as guests.

Are lecturers invited to the conference and may I invite my lecturers?

Yes, giving lecturers the opportunity to get to know the diversity of students' research interests is an important goal of the conference. So please do invite lecturers!

What are the accompanying workshops and who can attend them?

In the run-up to the student conference, there will be various pre-conference workshops on the following topics:

“Writing a Conference Abstract”: develop the structure and content of your abstract, start writing, receive feedback on your draft text, revise your text

“Developing a Conference Talk”: reduce and summarize content, develop a line of argument for the talk, get ideas for the visual design, practice your own appearance in front of an audience, and receive initial feedback

“Creating a Scientific Poster”: use the poster as a medium, graphic design options and technical implementation, prepare the presentation of your poster and receive feedback

All workshops are conducted by experienced Peer Learning/ZLL tutors and will be held in German. The workshops do their name justice, i.e. you will have the opportunity to work on your text, your presentation or your poster and get feedback from the tutor and other workshop participants, who will be part of the student conference like you. If you plan to take part in the conference with a talk or a poster, you are cordially invited to attend the pre-conference workshops. More detailed information on times and registration will follow.

Questions about the Abstract

What exactly is a conference abstract?

A conference abstract is a short summary of a planned conference contribution (be it poster or talk) that the conference organizers use to decide whether they want to invite the author to the conference. The abstract should therefore fulfil two functions:

  • to give the organizers a good idea what your talk or poster will be about
  • to convince the organizers that your talk or poster would be great a contribution to the conference (because, for example, your topic is exciting and your research is scientifically sound)

To make yourself familiar with this type of text, have a look at some conference abstracts of scholars from various disciplines (only available in the university network).

How long should the abstract be at least and at most?

As long as your abstract serves the purpose of giving the conference organizers a good impression of your planned contribution, you do not have to meet a minimum number of words. Your abstract should not be longer than 300 words (a few words above this limit are allowed).

Which languages are possible for my contribution?

Both your abstract and your talk, your poster and your poster presentation can be either in German or in English.

What will happen after I have submitted my abstract?

You submit your abstract via the online form by 31 May 2019. Then all abstracts will be reviewed by a jury of professors from different disciplines. The jury will pay particular attention to whether your research interest is evident and whether this research interest and your results or findings (if you already have any) sound interesting to an interdisciplinary

Questions about the Talk/Poster

Do I have to give my talk or present my poster by myself or is it possible to do a group presentation? What is the maximum number of people a presentation team can consist of?

You are very welcome to give a talk or present a poster as a team. While working in teams means you have to spend more time coordinating your work, teams also provide more security when you are presenting. You can decide for yourself which team size you think makes sense: two people can very well give a talk together, but if your group is larger than three people then each person has very little time for their part. Posters, on the other hand, can potentially be presented by slightly larger groups.

What exactly will be the format of the talks?

3 to 4 presentations will be grouped into panels, which are moderated by a panel chair. There will be 20 minutes for each presentation (no matter if you present alone or as a group); directly after the presentation there will be 10 minutes for questions and discussion. The task of the panel chairs is to briefly introduce the speakers, remind the speakers if they run out of time, and to moderate the discussion.rieren.

Can I read my talk?

Writing down a talk and just reading it during the presentation provides a lot of security, especially if you are unfamiliar with the experience of presenting your research to a larger audience. However, the more you speak without looking at your notes, the easier it is for your audience to listen to you and follow your talk. Therefore, find the best compromise for yourself between the security that detailed notes give you and the greater accessibility for your audience when you speak freely. (Rehearsing your talk is a great way to find out which compromise works best for you. One way to do this is to participate in our Pre-Conference Workshops).

What exactly is a scientific poster?

A scientific poster allows you to present the most important components and results of a study or other research in a relatively compact format. Text is used as well as visual elements. The poster should be in DIN A0 format. It is important that the poster is well-structured and legible even from a distance of two to three meters. PowerPoint is a suitable program for creating posters of this size with text boxes and various graphic elements. When selecting the content, consider what others – especially those not familiar with the subject – need to know in order to quickly understand what you have done in your study or in your research project.
Although this format is somewhat more common in the natural sciences than in the humanities, a poster presentation for participants from all disciplines is possible if this format is suitable for your topic. 
New York University provides a guide for the creation of scientific posters, and you can find more useful information here. Support and feedback will be provided during the Pre-Conference Workshops.

How will the poster presentation take place?

During the whole student conference all posters will be exhibited in the hall of the main building. In addition, there will be a one-hour poster session, during which all poster presenters will stand by their posters to answer questions, explain details or discuss their results with interested conference attendees.

Do I really have to make sure that students and lecturers from other disciplines understand my talk or poster?

Yes, presenting your research to students and lecturers from other disciplines is one of the main ideas of this conference. This may well mean that you reduce complexity in favor of comprehensibility for attendees from other disciplines. Keep in mind that you need to explain terminology and concepts that are very specific to your discipline to students and lecturers from other disciplines, as well as the reasons why your topic is interesting and relevant to your discipline.

Do the papers or studies have to be completed and handed in?

Presenting research that is the result of a finished paper or thesis is a good option, but not the only one. You can also submit an abstract for a paper you are currently writing or even for an idea you are just developing. There is plenty of time to work on your project between the submission of the abstract on 31 May 2019 and the conference on 14 November 2019. It is also not necessary for your project to be completed by the time of the conference. You can also present projects that are still ‘work in progress’ and for which you have only conducted a pre-study or completed only a part of your survey or analyses.

I don't really know what you mean by student research and what kind of work I can base my talk or poster on.

By student research we mean any form of research interest that students pursue in their studies. Whenever you pursue your own academic interests and try to find out something new according to the scientific conventions of your discipline, you are doing research. These conventions can vary greatly from discipline to discipline: In some disciplines, empirical methods are used to collect data or experiments are carried out, and then data are interpreted by applying statistical analysis; in others, cultural products are analyzed and interpreted using various theories and analytical methods. Usually you pursue your own research interests in your bachelor's and master's theses, but you often do that even before that when you write essays or term papers, conduct surveys, interviews or experiments, or carry out student research projects. Whenever you come up with results that might be interesting for or surprising to others, your research is a possible contribution to the conference, regardless of the topic or scope.

Does my presentation or poster have to be finalized before I can write an abstract?

No. The more ideas, material or even finished text you already have for your contribution, the easier it will probably be for you to write the abstract. But you can also write the abstract if your idea is still developing. Even experienced scholars often submit abstracts for conferences on the topic they are currently researching and only work out the concrete conference contribution once they have received an invitation to the conference. An abstract can therefore also be a useful format to ‘test’ a research idea and determine whether it sounds interesting and convincing in this condensed form.