Call for Proposals

The HERDSA 2016 Conference Committee warmly invites you to submit proposals that address the theme of The Shape of Higher Education.  This theme provides an opportunity to not only report and reflect upon and to critique and challenge the current shape and direction of higher education but also to look to the future and engage your colleagues in creative possibilities.

There is a range of issues that shape higher education and the committee has attempted to group these under five sub-themes. The points under each sub-theme provide guidance of possible topics for you to address but we encourage you to interpret the theme as it best suits your context.

All submissions should relate to the broad theme of the Shape of Higher Education and address one or more of the sub-themes.

The evolving policy context both global and local
Sustaining mass higher education
Leadership across the academy
Challenging the changing nature and purpose of higher education
Ethics and values
Resilience, thriving and wellbeing in the academy

Designing curricula and assessment for quality learning
A holistic student experience that prepares future graduates
Modes and models of teaching and learning
Learning analytics to enhance and support learning
Expanding disciplinary boundaries and interprofessional education
Integrating academic and learning support

The broadening landscape of higher education providers
Alternative pathways, access and equity
Transitioning into, through and out of higher education
 Engaging community, industry and government
Student mobility and transnational partnerships

Supporting innovation in a competitive environment
Research training for diverse career pathways
Engaging undergraduate students in research
The scholarship of teaching and learning

Designing professional learning to support change
External influences and pressures on the nature of academic work
Career pathways for a diverse and changing academic workforce
Reward and recognition
Collective and individual activism and resistance  


Proposals can be submitted for presentations under one of the following five formats.

Submissions must be made using the online submission system.
Please note:

  • It is anticipated that Refereed Paper, Showcase and Points for Debate sessions will be allocated 25 minute slots.
  • Submissions that do not address the sub-themes will not be accepted.
  • Submissions are accepted on the basis that at least one presenter must register and attend the conference. Co-presenters must be registered for at least the day of their presentation. 
  • Submissions should be original, comply with copyright law.
  • Abstracts and papers accepted following the review process must be resubmitted following the HERDSA Formatting Guidelines.


How to submit a proposal

  1. Click the "Abstract Submission" button corresponding to the format of your submission below.
  2. Select the “New Account” link. (If you have submitted previously enter your access key).
  3. Complete your details on the submission page and accept the terms and conditions of submitting then click save. You will receive an email after this step which will advise of your access key to re-enter the system in the future. If you do not receive this email please contact the conference secretariat via email
  4. Once step 3 has been completed and saved a new page will open that allows you to upload your abstract. The abstract should include the title of the presentation and address the criteria appropriate to your chosen presentation format. Use the Abstract for Review Template for Refereed Paper, Showcase Presentation, Poster and Points for Debate.  Do NOT include any identifying information in the proposal. Proposals for Pre-conference Workshops should use the Pre-Conference Workshop Template.
  5. Once your abstract has been loaded click save. Your submission is now complete and you will be contacted by the conference secretariat following the review process.


How to submit your final abstract or paper accepted for presentation

If your abstract or paper is accepted for presentation, you need to resubmit the abstract or paper after editing for reviewer comments and adding identifying information that was excluded from the version submitted for review including author name/s and institutional affiliation. The resubmitted abstract or paper should follow the HERDSA Formatting Guidelines and the appropriate template.  Templates can be downloaded by clicking the links below.

Full Refereed Paper
Point for Debate
Pre-Conference workshop

Should you require further assistance with the online submission system please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Secretariat.


General Information

Abstracts can be submitted for either oral or poster presentation. Please note that some abstracts may be offered a different presentation format.

Submissions will be accepted via the online system only and is supported by Google Chrome, Firefox 22 and Safari. Submissions should be made using a word document .doc or .docx and will be automatically converted to a PDF by the software in the submission process.

You will receive an automated email once you have started the submission process detailing how you can re-enter the system in the future to update, change or submit a new abstract. If you are submitting more than one abstract you only need to create a new account once and all subsequent abstracts can be submitted by going back into the speaker portal using your access key.

Note: Your abstract will not be included in the program if you do not register and pay for your registration.

You can view or edit your abstract by returning the Speaker Portal at any time and entering the access key provided to you at the time of submission. If you have forgotten your access key please advise the Conference Secretariat who will advise you of the details.

Changes can be made to your abstract until the review process begins. Just return to your Conference Dashboard and select the Edit option under Abstracts. The edit option will no longer appear once reviewing has commenced.

The outcomes of the review process will be emailed approximately five weeks after the close of submissions. In this email you will be provided with information on how to finalise your submission.

It is anticipated that a couple of weeks before the conference, the final program will be published to the conference website along with hyperlinks to the papers and abstracts. The abstracts will also be available on the conference ‘App’.