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I am finishing my third year in PhD program, and have at least 1.5 more years before finishing.

I have just recently submitted a regular research paper for a conference, will be waiting for around 2 months to hear back. Meanwhile I see a deadline for the Student / Doctoral program, for which the conference is expecting a 3-4 pg. research writeup.

I see such student / doctoral program section in almost any reasonable conference. I was wondering what to expect from such programs? Also I was wondering if it makes sense to apply for one, considering I am already submitting a paper there. Of course the paper isn't accepted yet.

Any general feedback about such programs? Thanks

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In my field these are usually called doctoral symposia or graduate consortia. They are a great way to get feedback on your research direction.

They are generally setup as a discussion between a panel of professors and the other students that are participating. The students have an opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from everyone. This is nice because you also get to see other students in various stages of their PhD talk about their work and the feedback they receive.

Also I was wondering if it makes sense to apply for one, considering I am already submitting a paper there

That is the best scenario to participate! You'll get to present your conference paper and get feedback from the doctoral program. Two birds, one stone!

Additionally, it is something you can put on your CV, the paper might be published in the proceedings depending on the conference, a great way to network with other students and professors, and some of these programs provide travel funding.

I'm currently working on applying to my second graduate consortium (this time as a mentor) and am really looking forward to it! The one I attended previously helped me a lot.

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I attended one in my field this past week. I also attended one sponsored by the NSF last year.

Primarily the focus seems to me about professionalization: Preparing your CV, understanding how to prepare journal articles and apply for grants.

They also emphasize networking - both among participants and between faculty members who serve as speakers or mentors and participants. For one, faculty invited participants out to dinner after the first day, which was a nice chance to get to interact (and network).

  • Are you talking about an early career program? I don't think that is what the OP is asking about (though I might be wrong!?) – Austin Henley May 13 '16 at 1:41
  • Yep, I am talking about an early career program. – Joshua Rosenberg May 13 '16 at 16:51

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