Can I still participate in conferences and use the university name, while I'm no longer an academic student at the university?

As I could not complete the study, but I'm still interested in my unfinished research and want to continue it somehow! is it possible to use my university name in the paper?

  • Generally speaking, it would be okay to use the university's name if you conducted the research there and you're not currently affiliated elsewhere. Where it may become problematic though is if you're still conducting the research whilst independent of the institution. When you say that it's unfinished, and you want to continue, what do you mean? Is it just writing the paper that needs done?
    – Ian_Fin
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    You could try to get an association/adjunct nomination (without salary) from the institution to keep the affiliation. Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


First part of the question:

unless specifically stated by conference organisers, nothing prevents anyone without specific higher education affiliation to contribute to conferences.

If organisers want to know more about your situation as they review paper submissions, they can always get in touch with you before they shortlist selected papers.

Second part of the question:

Your study circumstances are not relevant to assess the quality of your potential conference contribution.

Maybe it depends on your academic field, however there are many conferences where you can see individuals who contribute or a poster who are listed as 'independent' or 'independent researcher'. Just serves to show that quality research is not conditioned by any institutional affiliation.

Using the name of a university you are not affiliated with in any role is a deception. You should not feel compelled that you have to have your name coming with a university's name to increase the potential for your paper proposal to be accepted.

  • 2
    That is a great answer, all I can add is to suggest that you are cautious around how you frame the use of your institution's name; if it could suggest that you have an affiliation when you do not, then I would recommend that you opt for independent researcher as the best description of your circumstances - I have done that in the past and it's been fine.
    – Deleuze
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 13:40
  • I wonder if there are universities out there that would love to "sponsor" an independent researcher temporarily in order to get their name mentioned in conferences. E.g. "Wow, I didn't know there was a Remote College of the Ice Cap of the Rural Fishermen's University of Far-Northern Arctic Tundra Alaska, and wow, they even sent a student to this conference all the way down in Miami!" Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 14:38
  • How does one source such a university? Is it time well employed? What's the benefit for an independent researcher to become affiliated with an obscure university name that brings no additional clout? Or what's the point of claiming an affiliation in the first place? Just because independent research is shameful?
    – G-E
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 14:51

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