We are gearing up for the 2020 IIC Congress, and with registration now open and presenter selections being finalized, we thought this would be a great opportunity to give you some behind-the-scenes peeks of the whole process. In this issue, we will introduce you to the student poster committee and the amazing work they do to select and mentor congress poster presenters. Also, make sure to check out our most recent webinar, “How To Create a Successful Poster for the Real and Digital World,“ held live on June 9th, with the recording available to IIC members here: https://www.iiconservation.org/content/professional-development-and-lear.... More information can be found here: https://www.iiconservation.org/content/webinar-how-create-successful-pos...
By Meaghan Monaghan
The 2020 IIC Congress will include our sixth delightfully innovative Student Poster Session which was first run as a part of the 2010 Istanbul Congress. This now well-established section of IIC congresses provides a unique opportunity for students and recent graduates to benefit from a peer-reviewed platform to communicate the important conservation research and projects they are undertaking. Presenting a student poster at an IIC congress also gives emerging professionals and their work exposure on an international level.
Student posters are displayed prominently throughout the meeting and, as with the main poster session, there is a dedicated session giving delegates the opportunity to speak to poster authors. Additionally, copyright-cleared PDF files of the student posters are available on the IIC Congress website, post congress, enabling this work further exposure.
WHO IS THE STUDENT POSTER COMMITTEE?
The Student Poster Committee is composed of a committee chair and four emerging conservators. When selecting committee members we look within IIC membership for emerging conservators from a variety of conservation disciplines who have graduated from a conservation training program within the past 5 years. The language of the posters and of all correspondence is English, so a good command of English is required, but it is not necessary to be a specialist in the Congress topic, as the student posters are not required to follow the theme. The Committee often includes poster presenters from previous congresses, enabling them to advise the new participants based on their own firsthand experience with this process. The IIC 2020 Congress Student Poster Committee includes Melpomeni Vyzika, Amandine Colson, Alfredo Adolfo Ortega-Ordaz and Isa von Lenthe.
Joining the Student Poster Committee is a great opportunity for emerging professionals to gain experience reviewing publications and providing mentorship. If you are interested in getting involved please email the committee chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS THE STUDENT POSTER PROCESS?
The Student Poster Committee puts out a call for abstracts about 10 months prior to each congress. Current students and recent graduates are invited to submit proposals for inclusion, and proposals can be on any topic; they are not required to follow the conference theme. We usually get between 50 and 100 submissions; this year we received 62. The committee members then begin the review process approximately 8 months prior to the Congress. Proposals are reviewed and scored using a standard set of criteria. Based on these scores, the top 20 scored posters are selected as finalists.
Once the finalists have confirmed acceptance, the mentoring process begins. About 5 months prior to the Congress each member of the Student Poster Committee is assigned five students to mentor through the editing process. First drafts are due to the committee mentors about 3 months prior to the Congress, but sending multiple working drafts to the mentors over those months is encouraged. The mentors will review each draft and provide feedback. The students will then have several weeks to incorporate their mentor’s suggestions before sending the final draft to Joyce Townsend IIC Director of Publications, for review. This is an extraordinary opportunity to have their work reviewed by a professional who has had many years of experience reviewing professional publications. Joyce provides final recommendations about a month and a half prior to the Congress. This gives the students enough time to incorporate her suggestions before finally printing their posters.
As a word of advice to all students selected to present posters, the key to success is to embrace the draft process. Send your mentor as many draft versions as you can. This will enable you to get as much feedback as possible. Edit, edit, edit, evaluate, and edit some more.
If you are interested in presenting a professional or student poster at a future IIC congress or other professional event, we have a webinar for you! Here again is the link to more information about the latest IIC Professional Development Series Webinar on the IIC Community platform, How to Create a Successful Poster for the Real and Virtual World : https://iiconservation-community.org/resources/iic-webinar-how-to-create...
IIC is so pleased to be partnering with XpectralTEK, which sponsors the IIC Congress Student Poster Session prize. Here is what XpectralTEK has to say regarding the value of student posters:
"The future is always a good asset to invest in, especially when considering the continuous flow of improvements that can be created by sharing our experiences and knowledge. That is why we at XpectralTEK are always looking for ways to promote and sponsor this mindset, enabling the improvement of our field’s techniques and methodologies every day. What better way to accomplish this goal than to sponsor an event like the IIC Congress Student Poster Session, which allows rising conservation professionals to present their work in pushing our shared profession forward. This sponsorship is simply a small token of appreciation for the work done by our colleagues in sharing their knowledge."
Meaghan Monaghan is assistant conservator, paintings at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Before joining the AGO in 2017, she served as assistant conservator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada; Mellon Fellow at the Walters Art Museum; Kress Fellow at SMK in Denmark; and painting conservation fellow at Yale University Art Gallery. She earned a master of art conservation degree from Queen’s University in 2010.