Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Call for Applications: CSDE Lightning Talks Winter 2022 Due 1/28

Posted: 1/19/2022 ()

Applications are currently open for graduate students to present their research and receive feedback at this event, and we would love to receive your submissions. This is a wonderful, low-stakes opportunity to practice your presentation skills and grow your network.

What is the purpose of the session?

This session is a unique opportunity to make new connections with faculty and students working in your area, and to improve your presentation and poster-making skills in advance of larger conferences. Many professional organizations and their associated conferences include space on their programs for posters or lightning talks (sometimes known as flash talks). This session is a great opportunity for:

  • anyone who is preparing a poster presentation for an end-of-the-quarter requirement for a class
  • anyone who is preparing to present work at a conference (anyone prepping for an upcoming PAA [Population Association of America] poster session?!)
  • students who just want to present a research idea and receive feedback. This session can be valuable! Faculty attending the poster sessions find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences because it gives them an opportunity to meet students and talk about research.

What will the session look like?

As of right now, despite our on-campus presence, the lightning talks are scheduled to take place remotely over Zoom. The session will be split into two sections: the Lightning Talks and the Poster Session.

  • Each participant will prepare 3 PowerPoint slides: the first 2 slides will be high-level summaries for the lightning talk portion and the 3rd slide will be the “poster” that you’ll present as people circulate through breakout rooms.
  • Each presenter will have 2-3 minutes for their lighting talk presentation before we move presenters in breakout rooms and allow attendees to circulate.

Two previous winning posters are attached to this email for your perusal!

Will there be judges?

Yes, there will be a faculty panel that will give all participants feedback on their slides and presentation and determine a winner. CSDE will recognize the best poster with an award and prize. Posters will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to demographic research or population health
  • Innovative aspects of the research project
  • Quality and appropriateness of research design and methodology
  • Effectiveness in communicating key aspects of the project
  • Overall design and quality of visuals, images and/or tables

Is my research a fit for the CSDE Trainee lightning talks?

CSDE seeks to build bridges across disciplines and aims to highlight a broad array of research topics. If your research focuses on demographic measures and methods, population growth, population health, population and environment, mobility, migration, fertility, mortality, family composition, life course, neighborhood change, or other related topics, you should consider participating! Learn more about the CSDE HERE.

How do I apply to participate?

You only need to submit a brief abstract and information about yourself and your collaborators on the project. Submit your application HERE. We will select up to 7 participants.

Dates and deadlines:

  • COB Friday, January 28: deadline to submit an abstract
  • COB Friday, February 4: you will be notified if you have been selected
  • COB Friday, February 25: deadline to email presentation slides to Courtney Allen (
  • Friday, March 11: CSDE Lightning Talks and Poster Session from 12:30-1:30pm! Zoom link TBA.

Please email if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing your submissions!