Update March 24, 2020

Due to the travel restrictions and quarantine recommendations currently taking place, JEI has decided to cancel the 2020 JEI student conference that was supposed to take place in June. Since we cannot forecast when the situation will return to normal and are committed to having the best possible conference, we will postpone the conference to June 2021. Although we are deeply saddened to not see you in Boston this summer to hear from you about your exciting research, we hope that you will be able to attend next year! We know that some of you will already be in college by then, and therefore we will accept applications from college freshmen/women.

We apologize for the inconvenience and wish you well.

JEI is organizing its first official conference for young scientists, held on June 20th and 21st on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, MA. You will be able to present your research, meet other young scientists, and hear about exciting research opportunities.

What is a scientific conference?

Scientists congregate at conferences to discuss ideas, present their recent results, build connections and learn from each other. After writing publications, presenting at conferences is a fundamental communication skill every scientist must master. Researchers can present their results either orally (termed a talk) or in a poster session. They either present unpublished data to seek advice and collaborations, or published data in order to share their findings with other scientists interested in the topic.

Why attend?

Whether you have published in JEI before or you are interested in learning how to perform a scientific research project, JEI’s 1st Annual Conference is the perfect opportunity to learn about research being performed by students like you. Additionally, attendees will be offered the opportunity to hone their communication skills with JEI staff at workshops and lunches.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Present results in a 10-minute plenary or parallel session talk (followed by 5 minutes of questions from the audience)
  • Present your results in a poster session
  • Learn scientific communication skills in workshops (publishing in JEI, careers in science, communicating your research experience to colleges)
  • Hear a keynote talk from a famous scientist
  • Meet and network with peers and JEI staff

Presenting at the JEI conference

If you are willing to present your research during the conference, when registering, you will submit an abstract of the research you want to present at the conference (max. 200 words). In the same way as for JEI publications, your abstract will need to list a senior author (teacher, scientist). You will have the opportunity to choose whether you would like to present your research as a talk or in the poster presentation. Talks will be either in front of the whole audience or in smaller rooms, grouped by topics. This is not compulsory - you can attend the conference without presenting.


Talks will last for 10 min, followed by 5 min where you will answer questions from the audience. You will have to prepare PowerPoint slides for your presentation. The structure of a talk is similar to one of a publication with a short introduction, hypothesis, results and conclusions. Upon acceptance of your abstract for a talk, you will be assigned a JEI staff mentor who will help you prepare your talk and your slides.


We will provide a poster template in PowerPoint format. Posters should have little text, and consist mostly of figures or schemes. They should contain the same information as in a publication or talk (introduction, hypothesis, results, conclusion). During poster sessions, other students and JEI people will walk from poster to poster, briefly read through them and ask questions to their author.

Keynote speaker

We are proud to announce that Prof. Benjamin De Bivort accepted to be our keynote speaker! Dr. de Bivort is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His research team seeks to understand the links between genes and behavior in animals. We are looking forward to a fascinating talk where he will tell us more about his research work.

Conference Fee

To cover the costs of food and administration, the conference will cost $75 for each student and $30 for accompanying parents.

For accompanying persons

Parents/accompanying persons are welcome. You will have full access to sessions or the opportunity to work in a dedicated quiet room.

Key dates

  • Application due: April 1st
  • Acceptances sent out: Apr 15th
  • Conference: June 20th-21st


Saturday June 20th, 2020

8:30-9:30 Breakfast, opportunity to meet JEI volunteers

9:30-9:45 Welcome addresses

9:45-10:30 Plenary session I (three student talks)

10:30-11:00 Ice breaker game

11:00-11:45 Topic-specific parallel sessions I (three student talks each)

11:45-1:00 Lunch, opportunity to discuss with JEI volunteers/editors

1:00-2:30 Visit of the Harvard campus and of a research laboratory

2:30-3:15 Topic-specific parallel sessions II (three student talks each)

3:15-4:00 Break

4:00-5:00 Poster session I

5:00-6:00 Keynote presentation

Sunday June 21st, 2020

8:30-9:15 Breakfast, opportunity to meet JEI volunteers

9:15-10:00 Plenary session II (three student talks)

10:00-11:00 Workshops (choose one)

11:00-12:00 Poster session II