2020 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference



September 7 - 8, 2020. 
Aston University, Birmingham.

 
 Dates 
11 May 2020 Deadline for abstract submissions
13 July 2020 @ 17.00  Early bird rate ends
10 August 2020 @ 17.00  Deadline for full paper submissions
7-8 September 2020  The conference


About VSSN

The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) promotes understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research and provides a voice and a meeting place for voluntary sector researchers in the UK.

We're a membership organisation, with members around the UK and internationally from academia and the voluntary sector itself. Find out more about VSSN and join our growing network.

Leading and changing in critical times: civil society responses to external and internal challenges

The voluntary sector and wider civil society are currently facing complex pressures. One is to respond to wide social challenges of increased inequality and poverty, tensions from rapid social change, and multi-faceted conflicts within international politics. At times these challenges have seen the sector lead as an innovator at a local and global level, and perhaps a growing sense of agency as it seeks a stronger voice in defining its own role in society. At the same time, the sector is facing intense internal critique around its apparent inability to challenge power structures, which hold voluntary organisations back as spaces for true diversity and inclusion, revealed by campaigns such as #aidtoo and #charitysowhite.

This conference invites participants to explore these issues. Each year, the Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference – organised by the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – provides a unique opportunity for academics, policy makers and practitioners from the UK and further afield to come together to share findings and discuss the implications of research for the sector’s future as a site of social leadership and social justice.

In support of this our ‘Conference Track’ invites contributions focused on how civil society is offering leadership, innovation, and agency in redefining how it responds to challenges, and how the voluntary sector and volunteering can challenge the inequality that currently shapes them. These could include, for example: local voluntary sectors as spaces of place leadership; inequalities in volunteering participation, charity trusteeship and workforce; the presence of and challenges to racism, sexism, classism and other inequalities; the changing relationship to public service delivery and partnership with other sectors; the sector as social pioneer and innovator; and many others.

The conference aims to:

  • Contribute to evidence and theory-building in the field
  • Develop emerging research ideas
  • Inform and be informed by the work of practitioners
  • Inform and influence policy

We welcome submissions for individual papers, panel sessions and workshops. We are particularly keen to receive proposals for the Conference Track that address external and internal challenges, but we do also welcome papers that address a range of issues relevant to volunteering and the voluntary sector, aligned to the following streams:

1.The Conference Track – Leading and changing in critical times
2.Democracy and grassroots voluntary action
3.Diversity, race, (in)equality and inclusion
4.Volunteering, participation and social action
5.Advances in theory and methods
6.Resources, including funding, fundraising, philanthropy, social enterprise and social investment
7.Organisational management and governance, including law and regulation
8.Historical perspectives on civil society, the voluntary sector and volunteering
9.Civil society at the boundaries: relationships with the state and/or private sector
10.Measuring civil society: outcomes, impact and social value
11.New Researchers stream

You don’t need to present a paper to attend. When submitting abstracts, authors will be asked which streams they feel their paper will fit best within. We welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, geography, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. Submissions are encouraged from across the UK, and indeed from around the world, particularly those that offer international comparative perspectives.

You can submit your proposal here using the online form (note that the new researchers stream has a separate process). You don’t need to present a paper to attend. When submitting abstracts, authors will be asked which streams they feel their paper will fit best within. We welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, geography, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. Submissions are encouraged from across the UK, and indeed from around the world, particularly those that offer international comparative perspectives.

The Conference is an ideal opportunity for new or early career researcher looking to meet, discuss and present their research with other new researchers in a supportive setting. A special series of parallel sessions will be run as part of the conference for ‘new’ researchers. Attendance at this part of the conference is subsidised, and is intended for all early career researchers in the field of voluntary sector studies, whether postgraduate students or working/volunteering in the voluntary sector.  For more details about how the New Researchers session works, please click here

Deadline – 11th May 2020

The purpose of the New Researchers Sessions (NRS) is to give those who are new to research or new to the voluntary sector and volunteering research community an opportunity to:

  • present their research to other new researchers
  • get constructive feedback in a supportive environment
  • meet and network with other new researchers
  • network with established researchers and practitioners

Our aim is to foster a strong community amongst new researchers. Many well-established researchers in our sector started out their careers by participating in the NRS. Feedback from past years suggests that attending the New Researchers Sessions helps establish a positive network at the conference and beyond.

To submit an abstract for the New Researchers stream, please complete this form. Please note that this is a separate process to the abstract submission for the main conference (see the main conference page for details). Please indicate if you want to do a standard paper presentation or whether you are proposing something different.  If you are proposing a different format, you will be asked for details.

All delegates at the conference must pay the conference rates in order to participate, including those presenting a paper.

Delegate type

Early bird price (until 12 July

Regular price

Conference dinner 

Two-day member rate*

£290

£310

Included

 Two day non-member rate

£380

£400

Included

 One day member rate*

£170

£200

£35

 One-day non-member rate

£215

£245

£35

 New researcher Stream participant *

£100

£100

Included

 

The registration fee includes lunch, refreshments and the conference dinner for the two-day member*/ non-member and the New researcher*

The conference dinner is an optional extra and is not included in the registration fee for the One day Member/non-member

* To qualify for the member rate or the subsidised New Researcher rate, delegates must be members of either VSSN or an institution which is a member of NCVO

Please note

There are a limited number of spaces for new researchers. Also, as a new researcher participant you are signing up for the new researcher stream, not for the main conference. 

Campbell Adamson Memorial Prize

Presenters who submit a full paper by the 10th August deadline will automatically be considered for the Campbell Adamson Memorial Prize for best paper, which includes a £500 prize.

New Researchers Prize

Participants in the New Researchers sessions who submit a full paper prior to the start of the conference will automatically be considered for the New Researchers Prize for best paper, which includes a £100 prize.

Voluntary Sector Review Best Article Prize

The conference will also see the inaugural Voluntary Sector Review Best Article Prize awarded, with the authors of the winning article receiving a voucher from the publisher Policy Press and a year’s free subscription to the journal.                

We have an allocation of rooms available with Conference Aston Hotel. To book a room either contact 0121 204 3011 and ask for reservations or to book on line please click on the following link http://www.conferenceaston.co.uk/

If you would like to look at other hotels in the area, here are some links to hotels within a 12 minute walk from Aston Business School:

Holiday Inn Express, Snowhill

Clayton Hotel

Premier Inn Waterloo Street

Accommodation booking sites:

Trivago

Booking.com

The 2020 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference promotes understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research and provides a voice and a meeting place for voluntary sector researchers in the UK. The 2019 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference attracted over 130 people from the voluntary sector and we are once again offering the opportunity to exhibit at the Conference to companies within this field. Please note the representative of the company must be a registered conference attendee.

An exhibitor stand at this year’s conference will include a table, a table cloth, chairs and power sockets (should you require them).

Exhibitor stand fee: £100

You are welcome to bring your own pop-up banners and displays. If you will be sending any packages to us, we request these not to be sent any sooner than 2nd September 2020.

All deliveries should be addressed to the following:

Attn of: Event Planning Team
Event Reference: EVNT000355  
Event Date: 7-8 September 2020
Conference Aston
Aston Business School Building
Aston University
The Aston Triangle Birmingham
B4 7ET

At the end of the conference, please have your packages packed and labelled ready for your couriers to collect no later than 3 working days after the conference, 18th September 2020.

Set-up on the day

You will be able to set up your exhibitor stand from 8am on the first day of the conference.

To register as an exhibitor at the Conference, please