Annual Biology Conference

Our sponsors

About the ABC

The Annual Biology Conference (ABC) is a single day symposium organised by the School of Biological Sciences. It provides an opportunity for postgraduate research students to present their findings to colleagues, peers and the wider scientific community.

The communication of science and the presentation of research ideas and results are important skills for emerging scientists. The ABC allows students to develop public speaking skills and gain confidence and experience in delivering a presentation to a larger audience.

It is the expectation of the Biological Sciences Teaching and Learning Committee that every postgraduate research student will participate.

Prizes and awards will be presented in a number of categories. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided and a social gathering will follow at the conclusion of the presentations.


  • Upload your social media by October 20 5pm
  • Presentation rehearsal October 25, 9am–4pm (venue tba)
  • Upload your presentation file October 25, 2–4pm
  • Conference October 26, 9am–5pm

Student position descriptions

Oversee the process of gaining sponsorship for the ABC event. Personalising existing letter templates to previous sponsors and identifying potential new sponsors if required. Communicating with potential sponsors. Managing communications with sponsors.

Mentor: Mads Thomsen


  • May-September: contacting sponsors 
  • October: coordinating display stand requirements
  • On the day: Meeting and greeting any sponsors who wish to attend
  • Post event: Thank sponsors in writing, make recommendations for future conferences

Plan, develop and deliver communications across the school's media platforms.

Mentor: Catherine Febria


  • May-September: develop messages and deliver them to identified audiences via social media (3 hours)
  • October: plan strategy to maximise social media involvement on the day (2 hours)
  • On the day: Monitor social media and contribute to the conversation (6 hours)
  • Post-event: Analyse the impact and make recommendations for future conferences (1 hour)

Manage, liaise, and coordinate with students who provide entertainment activities during the ABC welcome (for example, Dance your PhD, video, song . . . )

Mentor: Brandon Goeller


  • May-August: Contact students to put forward ideas for entertainment. (2 hours)
  • September-October: Coordinate entertainers to ensure they can deliver on the day. (4-6 hours)
  • Day before: Arrange dress rehearsal (if required) (1 hour)

Lead and manage the session chairs. Become the key point of contact for chairs on the day.

Mentor: Brandon Goeller


  • May-September: Assist with advertising chair positions and selecting people. (1 hour)
  • Week before: Prepare packs for each room. Review and update information. (2 hours)
  • Day before: Meet with chairs and ensure they are briefed on procedure. (2 hours)
  • On the day: Be the main contact person for chairs, deal with any issues that arise. (8 hours)

Provide computer support for loading talks and on-the-day problem solving.

Mentor: Hazel Chapman


  • May-October: Through consultation with AV Services, ensure thorough knowledge of common IT problems encountered with presentations (especially video embedding). Communicate to presenters how best to avoid these problems. Prepare basic information for chairs on how to solve common problems (up to 4 hours).
  • Day before: Manage the uploading of talks to computers and memory sticks (3 hours).
  • On the day: Be key contact person at the conference support desk to solve problems as they arise.

Coordinate the submission and editing of abstracts to produce the abstract book.

Mentor: Paula Casanovas


  • May-August: Coordinate communications to presenters on when abstracts due. (1 hour)
  • September: Receive abstracts via online submission form. (1 hour)
  • Early October: Lead the editing and preparation of abstracts then pass them on for formatting. (6-8 hours)
  • Mid October: Support the production of timetable. (2 hours)

Provide problem solving and hands-on help to ensure ABC runs smoothly.

Mentor: Hazel Chapman / Penny Moore


  • May –October: Keep in regular contact with staff mentors to help with logistical organisation (eg catering, furniture hire. Communicate with Dave Conder, Glasshouse Manager about plant requirements. (2-4 hours)
  • Week before: Gain good knowledge of the event plan and timetable to ensure timely response on the day (2 hours)
  • On the day: Be the key person(s) on the conference desk to handle questions as they arrive and hand off to relevant people as required (IT support, Chairs, Timetable, etc). (8 hours)
  • After the event: Debrief. (1 hour)

Capture in images the spirit of the day.

Mentor: Matt Walters


  • May-October: Coordinate with the Social Media Strategist to capture photographs in the lead up to the event for sharing with external media and on social media. (2 hours)
  • Week before: prepare a list of key moments during the day that need to be photographed. (1 hour)
  • On the day: Capture photographs of key events during the day and share with social media strategist to ensure good coverage of the day. (3-6 hours)
  • Day after: Deliver photographs to Biological Sciences administration team for use in subsequent newsletters and mailouts. (1 hour)

Details for presenters

  • The ABC symposium has been scheduled for Thursday, October 26, 2017. Abstracts are submitted September 20–29 the conference.
  • Presentations are expected from current PhD, MSc thesis (year 5/Part 2) and BSc(Hons) students enrolled within the School of Biological Sciences and Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC). Doctoral students are expected to present twice during their PhD, other students only once – you may present more often if you wish.
  • Oral presentations are 12 minutes long with three minutes for questions and discussions.
  • The preferred format is Powerpoint.