Keynote dress packed and ready to fly….

Well I’m off to Edinburgh to visit Herriot Watt University to do a keynote for their SPIRES conference. I’ll then be doing some guest lectures and workshops  at Bangor University in Wales and Manchester University for the Vitae. I’m told all my workshops and lectures are ‘sold out’- sorry!

I’m not sure how much wifi I will be able to access, so the blog will be paused until Thursday May 10th.

In the meantime – I’m wondering, have you done much travel as part of your research degree study? Where did you go?  Do you have any top tips for traveling for research purposes? What do you think are the top three things that every researcher should have in their bag when they are off to a conference or field trip?

I’d like to use your answers for a post about traveling on my return – see you all in a couple of weeks!



24 thoughts on “Keynote dress packed and ready to fly….

  1. Anonymous says:

    1) A wide scarf to cover your head so you can look presentable even if you have to walk through a storm on your way to a presentation.

    2) A script from your GP for panadeine if you are travelling to the US, in case you are not well when you need to present as you can’t get codeine in the US.

  2. LJ Maher (@littleread) says:

    1) Pack an Australian powerboard. It means you only need one UK adaptor.
    2) Don’t walk into British op-shops. The books are super cheap, amazing quality and really heavy.
    3) Also, business cards. For young/new academics this is a must. And if your institution won’t give you nice ones (I’m looking at YOU Institution O’ Mine) then make your own via zazzle or vistaprint.

  3. Tseen Khoo says:

    My top 3 things to pack for conference/research-trips:

    1. All things necessary to re-charge and download.

    2. My presentation on flashdrive, disc, and hardcopy (I used to always do OHPs, just in case other tech failed, but I’ve slowly trained myself out of this habit).

    3. NO OTHER WORK. It never gets done, and otherwise compromises the social/networking potential of being at a conference in the first place. Took me years to realise that being on long-haul flights didn’t force me to read that heavy theory book I’ve been ignoring; they forced me to find joy in the pages of in-flight magazines and endless games of hangman…

    It goes without saying that I take my phone, which is surgically attached.

    • siandart says:

      Flashdrive, disc, hardcopy and cloud storage (Gmail, dropbox, something?) Good idea about ‘no other work’ too, I feel I should be keeping up with other stuff when on work travel but never _feel like it_ anyway – travel and conferences are mentally wearing anyway!

  4. Penelope Nash says:

    Top three tips for travelling to the conference:
    the correct clothes to match the style of the conference and the role I play
    copies of speech – paper, on laptop, in hand luggage AND in stowed luggage; copies of handouts in case laptop and pictures don’t work, ie a million backups
    find out who will be there that you want to see, email and arrange to meet – beforehand

  5. Margaret Cheung says:

    (1) If the conference doesn’t provide one, a small tote bag to stuff ALL conference related materials inside and keep handy, especially conference schedule, venue map and important phone numbers.

    (2) iPad rather than laptop… the tick tick tick on the laptop keyboard is too annoying.

    (3) Small digital camera in case you want to take photos of posters, displays and people you meet – I never remember the faces of the people I meet at conferences!

  6. RM says:

    My trick for dealing with conferences and work travel generally is daily (early morning is best then its done!) exercise and no alcohol. The general stress of travel and conferences is usually enough. Failing that panadol, strepsils for the inevitable sore throat and a UK power adaptor. And email all your relevant stuff to yourself so its always there if all else fails.
    Try and be a tourist too, Edinburgh is a beautiful city

  7. Deborah Cleland (@PezRojizo) says:

    Got packing for field work/meetings in Asia down to a fine art – short-sleeved polo shirts, modest but smart shorts, at least one fancier outfit for the odd wedding/awards presentation…I always take soap to wash my clothes, nothing like inadvertently running out of underwear to make life unpleasant.

  8. Elen (@EllyfromOZ) says:

    1) business cards or other ways to quickly exchange info and here’s an extra tip – make sure you have them ON you at the conference venue. I carry mine in my phone holder – I ALWAYS have my phone on me.
    2) Swimming clothes – you never ever know when you may need them.
    3) And my own personal cannot ever ever forget – hearing aid batteries!

    • Karenmca says:

      Too true about the batteries! And chargers for all other devices, it goes without saying. If you’re researching anything requiring access to archives, and there’s the remotest chance of fitting in a visit, TAKE A COUPLE OF PENCILS, AN ERASER AND SHARPENER! (Pens cause archivists to have a severe allergic reaction.) Lastly, make sure you’ve got something formal enough to wear to the conference dinner. You might not need it, but if you discover everyone else will be …

  9. Zelda (@tassie_gal) says:

    I went to the UK 3 times for my PhD to go play in the British Library and fun places like the Kings Fund and Wellcome Library. My BIG tips, especially if you are a PhD student trying to get access to other university libraries are…

    1. Have a letter of introduction from your supervisor – this got me into a couple of Uni libraries I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
    2. Check out the library processes before you leave – the BL has most of its stuff stored off site, which means that requesting BEFORE your arrive means the books are waiting for you when you arrive. Organise reader access if possible before you go.
    3. Sometimes its the really small libraries which turn up the best information – don’t discount a library just because you are not sure if it would be relevant.

    Conference tips:-
    1. BUSINESS cards – I invested in a 100 mini cards from Using my own photos gave me a talking point that was not conference related, and made the card lest likely to be lost.
    2. at least 3 pens and a pencil – with paper. Also have some other means of taking notes – laptop, audio etc.

    Will shut up now.

  10. drjackiekirkham says:

    Enjoy Edinburgh, I hope you bring the good weather with you (I got a bit wet there yesterday!).

    I did my PhD fieldwork in eastern Europe – mostly I ate and drank entirely locally, but I’m afraid I did conform to national stereotype and brought my own teabags with me.

    Now for conferences etc, as well as paper and electronic copies of my presentation, as mentioned several times above, I always try to have a small guidebook of the city so I can at least do a bit of something touristy (and find somewhere recommended to eat if the conference catering isn’t all that great!).

    OTC painkillers in case of the killer headache, and sticking plasters – if I’m not staying too far from the venue I prefer to walk, but don’t want to hobble in with shredded feet from smart shoes I don’t normally wear!

    A novel and/or mp3 player – something to allow me to relax, switch off and think about something non-work related.

  11. em409 says:

    I’ve been on fieldwork twice (Malaysia) and several conferences/meetings during my PhD. Will have to think up a list of top tips. Will either publish it on my blog ( or send it your way. Have fun!

  12. Soph says:

    I went on a three week research trip from the UK to Switzerland and there were two things that I FORGOT, both of which took me much longer than I could ever have imagined to sort out.

    1) An adapter plug- I had to trawl around a half dozen department stores in Lausanne to find one that would work for my UK plugs

    2) To put my mobile phone on roaming- again I lost another half day and ended up buying a cheap temporary payg phone so that I could communicate with people when I was there.

    Lesson learnt!

    I also got caught out the first night that I arrived (very late Saturday evening) because the shops selling basic groceries had all closed and weren’t due to reopen until Monday (unlike the 24hr lifestyle in my UK city). So now I would also check local customs like these and be prepared!

    There was also one thing that I wished that I hadn’t taken…

    1) Heavy reference books- I dragged them with me across three trains and didn’t even crack them open once during my stay!

  13. tezenzi says:

    i wanted to secure a place in your talk at the uni. of manchester at the end of march but it was already sold out. i wish i had a chance 🙁

    • Abdu says:

      Dear R GurungThank you very much for your commment rergidang the Charity dinner. We reapect everyone views.We all know what is the value of money and what can be happened if we misuse it. In this mordern world we are very concious of money, however this is the only little contribution from ours side just to show little generousity towards ours village. It doesn’t mean any thing to our village school comparing with the contribution made by the Japanese prefesor Ozawa towards our village education,its something like tip a drop of water in the sea. If you think our school is wealthy enough to stand on its own feet than what will happen in the case of natural disarter or mankind error, it is therefore we have to think about the contigences meansures. If you are well prepared for it then at the end of the day you will find it easy to cope with such kind of situation. Recently Mr Jodha bahadur Gurung and Cpt Bhuwansing Gurung made huge contrbution towards development of village education. I think development is not a love history but its a long lasting proccess.Thank y0u

  14. berlinickerin says:

    First, have a wonderful trip! And as to travelling/conference tips. I always bring a nice cardigan because I found that conference venues tend to be weirdly climated and with a cardigan you can easily adapt. A nice shawl would work, too, but I’m not elegant enough to pull that off so there. ;D And Inot only put presentation materials on every available memory thingie but also email it to my own account. And a tip from an art historian friend of mine – also bring your powerpoint presentation as pdf so that if anything funny happens with the formating of the ppt(x)-file you can still have your pictures/graphs/quotes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Top 3 things for any OS Research Projects:

    1 – Pen and Book: Write every detail down, scribble notes, draw and exemplify concepts.
    2 – Camera: Digital memories for lab setups, equipment and for and for dictation.
    3 – MP3 Player: Odd one, but when you spend 12 hours a day in a laboratory you (I) need music. It is also a fantastic medium to forge interpesonal bonds, whom you may only have broken-language conversations with otherwise. Music is borderless and is a great way of making yourself known to persons whom may otherwise pass-by thinking you were a local.

  16. Consuelo says:

    Travelling is one of the best opportunity to meet different people with professional expertise in their chosen field and also great way to engage communication and pick up some great ideas…to fill in the gap that you never try in your research technique. I wish and my dream is to be included in this event but don’t know where to begin. Well done and enjoy most of it one day I will be seeing you and hearing the great lecture that I have never experience in my whole career…thank you for sharing…also would like to publish my thesis you may probable know the best publication to start in Design.

  17. afd says:

    I’ll just add one thing since previous comments have been pretty thorough. What about a PowerPoint clicker? You never know what configuration a room will have and it’s annoying to move back and forth between the audience and the computer 🙂

  18. Rebecca Williams says:

    You were fabulous, an inspiration to all. Absolutely a role model for how to approach academia. From Becky @ Bangor University.

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