Will AbGradCon 2021 take place as intended in September 2021?

AbGradCon 2020 did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and AbGradCon 2021 will take place as a virtual format meeting.

Although some exact details may change between now and the conference, we plan to hold two sessions each day (September 14-17, 2021), during the morning and late afternoon Japan Time, so that attendees have the opportunity network with those from other timezones. There will be a presentation component, and additionally, discussions (facilitated by other attendees) will be a major component of the meeting as well; these discussions will likely focus on either larger questions in the astrobiology field, or on topics related to talks of that day's sessions. Finally, other career-building aspects may be included, although the exact logistics are still to be decided. Of course, we would like to ask that all participants plan to attend at least one session per day of the conference (based on your timezone), if at all possible. The exact format and execution are currently being discussed, so please check back for more details!

Do I have to submit an abstract to attend AbGradCon 2021?

Yes. In principle, all participants must submit and present an abstract. As this AbGradCon is an event for graduate students and postdocs, it is a great opportunity for early career researchers to give formal presentations in a professional conference setting. The application closed as of the deadline (April 17, 2021 (23:59 JST)).

What is the format for talks?

We plan to give each participant an opportunity to contribute a pre-recorded talk of 12 minutes, which will be shared with all participants during the meeting. Additionally, we plan to ask each participant to pre-record a short, 1 minute flashtalk summary of their presentation so that other participants can be introduced to their work, to be live-streamed during the meeting.

What is the format for posters?

There is no plan for poster presentations, as all participants will give a pre-recorded oral presentation (see above).

How can I stay connected to the astrobiology research community?

AbGradCon is not the only way to engage with the astrobiology research community. A number of additional opportunities, including digital seminar series, schools, and research networks, for engagement in the astrobiology community are available and actively organized by a variety of great organizations around the world. We have uploaded this information on the AbGradCon website, and we encourage each of you to visit the website if you are interested in any of these opportunities. In particular, we are currently in discussions to with the NASA Ask an Astrobiologist program to feature former AbGradCon attendees who have progressed in their careers. We invite everyone to participate in this event.

What is the Undergraduate Digital Flash Talk Contest?

There was an Undergraduate Digital Flash Talk Contest for the 2020 meeting, sponsored by the ELSI-Firstlogic Astrobiology Program, whose program goals include support for early career students in Astrobiology. The winner(s) and their talks are posted on the Undergraduate Contest tab. Currently, there is no plan for another contest for the 2021 meeting.

More Questions?

If you have any questions about the conference, please feel free to contact us at abgradcon [at] gmail [dot] com.