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I am an industry-based researcher, which means that that I am not attached to any university or school. The research I do is basic and sector-based and some of them (as pointed out to me in this forum) is not even research per se (e.g. manuals and codes).

Notwithstanding this, I am always keen to engage in 'formal' research and I submit abstracts/proposals occasionally to conferences organised by universities/others where I can present my work. This is, of course, from a practical point of view which has certain advantages because it tells what works and what doesn't in the real world.

I have been accepted to present at a few conferences but I am discovering (to my surprise) that there is no financial assistance available to speakers (travel, accommodation and even registration). These expenses amount to thousands of dollars and are beyond my reach. It is also outside the scope of my profession so cannot be covered by my employer.

I am wondering what forms of assistance (if any) are available to assist non-academic researchers present their work to a wider audience?

Note: I checked with the conference organisers and they said there is no financial assistance available.

  • One way to overcome the registration cost is to volunteer at the conference. Look for local scientific communities in the conference area, some of them provide financial aid. – seteropere Oct 31 '14 at 23:15
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Unless you are invited to present as a keynote speaker, you're probably out of luck for getting sponsorship from conferences to present. The expected cash-flow is generally in the other direction: conferences ask industry to donate money that supports the travel of academics.

Many companies, however, have internal "professional development" programs that allow employees to apply to use internal money to attend conferences, even if it is not directly connected with their current job responsibilities. Check and see if your employer has an option of that sort: most large high-tech companies have some sort of formal program, and many small companies have informal options.

Another option is to see if you can convince your employer to run a marketing or recruitment booth, if the conference is within the company's general scope of interests (or public relations outreach). Then, even if it's not within the scope of your current duties, you may be able to "pay your way" on the trip by organizing and spending part of your time manning the booth.

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