Conference 2011

Overview | Goals | Schedule | Activities | Student Participants | Researchers and Practitioners | Volunteers

International Development Conference for Graduate
Student Researchers

May 10 & 11, 2011

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Thank you to everyone who made the 2011 IDRN Conference a huge success! Stay tuned for information about IDRN’s capstone event for 2012.

Building a diverse network with other researchers and practitioners is important for a graduate student to become an effective development researcher.

International development research involves questions that often span multiple academic disciplines and that are intimately linked to practical application. It can often be difficult for development researchers in different disciplines to meet each other and find others working on related questions. It can be also be challenging to stay connected to practitioners who are implementing development activities and trying to put knowledge generated through research into practice. This is particularly true of graduate students, who are often early in their careers, and who often have fewer funds and opportunities for networking.

IDRN aims to facilitate the kind of communication and collaboration that is needed for efficient, timely, topical and useful development research.

The International Development Research Network (IDRN) is a graduate student-driven initiative based out of the University of British Columbia that is attempting to build a strong community of graduate students, faculty and research staff at UBC and beyond. We hope that this network will facilitate the kind of communication and collaboration between researchers and between researchers and practitioners that is needed to ensure development research is efficient, timely, topical, and ultimately, useful in tackling the issues that preoccupy us all.

The International Development Conference for Graduate Student Researchers is an opportunity for 1.5 days of networking and learning with other graduate students, experienced researchers, and development practitioners.

As the capstone event for our first year of activities, we are hosting our first International Development Conference for Graduate Student Researchers. This is an “un-conference” designed to bring together graduate students engaged in international development research – along with experienced researchers and practitioners – in an informal setting for one and a half days of networking and learning.

The conference will offer graduate student participants a variety of different opportunities to meet other students whose research is linked to their own in different ways: for example, theme lunches with students who use similar methods or who work in the same region of the world, and brainstorming sessions with students tackling similar questions. Students will also have the opportunity to get valuable feedback on their research program, whatever stage they are at, and to gain important professional development knowledge and skills from more experienced researchers and practitioners.

We are aiming to keep the cost and effort of participation to a minimum.

There is no registration fee. Currently, meals are not included, but we are working to secure funding to include as many meals as possible at no cost – we will keep registered participants updated. Accommodation is not included, but we are happy to provide information about some accommodation options on request. For students, required preparation includes a one-slide summary of their research and a ten-minute presentation to be made in a small group session. More details will be provided upon registration.

To apply, please fill out the application form and email it to by March 1 2011. There are limited spaces available, which will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Experienced researchers and practitioners interested in participating are asked to look at the “Facilitators” page for more information, or contact us at Those interested in participating in the conference as volunteers are asked to consult the “Volunteers” page for more information.

We hope that you will join us in building the international development research community in our neighbourhood!