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BSG ERA Conference 2009

For this year’s annual ERA event, we would like to propose a day and a half conference highlighting how ageing research has and can influence policy. We thought with this being the 10th anniversary of the National Assembly it would be interesting for attendees to learn about how ageing policy in Wales has developed over the last 10 years with the input of researchers (for example, the Strategy for Older People in Wales) and to meet Ruth Marks and learn about her role as the Commissioner for Older People in Wales. The Commissioner’s presentation would be about 30 minutes with a Q&A session. We thought it would also be useful for the Older People & Long Term Care (OPLTCP) group (within the Welsh Assembly Government) to give a presentation about their role within the government, how it is working with OPAN, etc.

As in past ERA events, a significant part of the event will focus on student presentations. This year, we would like to propose that the review of the abstracts is done by three peer reviewers. This would allow presenters to place the abstract on their CV as peer-reviewed and submit a paper from their presentation for publication. If it is possible, we would like to publish the accepted abstracts in the Generations Review following the event. We would also provide information to the presenters regarding how to submit a paper from their presentation to Generations Review. This would meet the suggestion discussed at the ERA meeting at the BSG annual conference in Bristol for support in developing publications.

A short workshop would be offered allowing attendees to discuss professional networking. Networking is an integral part of using research to influence policy as well as career development. We would explore inviting someone, like a recent graduate, to speak on this topic.

We would like to hold the event on May 14 and 15 so that people who are travelling long distances have the opportunity to stay the weekend in Cardiff. It would hopefully reduce the number of nights attendees would have to pay for a hotel. (We plan to provide a short list of possible hotels.) This date also works reasonably well with the academic calendar.

Because this event will provide a very up-close and interactive opportunity for attendees to speak with leading policy-makers and influencers, we really think this event could draw a large crowd. We would try to limit the event to 40 people, especially since there are tours involved and we want to make sure the event accomplishes the goal of providing interaction with the invited speakers. Usually ERA has anywhere from 25-40 people who attend.

Previous ERA events have drawn attendees from places beyond the UK like Germany and Belgium, as well as international students who are studying in the UK. Hopefully an event like this will raise the profile of ERA both nationally and internationally will and attract new BSG members.

To our knowledge, this will be the first time the ERA event will be held in Wales. Holding the conference in Wales would meet the goal of rotating the annual event around the different geographical locations.

The location of the event will be in Cardiff. Day 1 will be held in the Cardiff Bay area. We are not sure where we will hold the Day 2 event (somewhere very central to Cardiff city centre). We will have a very limited budget (depending on what BSG is willing to contribute) and prefer not to charge a large registration fee (less then £30). Therefore, the location of the second day will be influenced by the cost of room rental, food, etc.

If possible, we would like to start advertising the event by mid-February. This is very important for attendees so they can apply for travel funds. In addition, it will take time to request, review and respond to abstract submissions from the potential presenters.

Draft Agenda

Day 1 (half-day)

  • BSG president welcome (Professor Judith Phillips)
  • Tour of Senedd
  • Meet and greet Assembly Members
  • Presentation by Ruth Marks, Commissioner for Older People in Wales
  • Informal conference dinner in Cardiff Bay

Day 2 (full-day)

  • Older People & Long Term Care (OPLTCP) presentation
  • Student presentations (this is a major part of the event— it gives students an opportunity to practice presenting their research in front of their peers in a non-threatening atmosphere)
  • Student workshop on professional networking
  • BSG incoming president closing (Professor Miriam Bernard)
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