by Carlos Alberto Prieto Valero


Attending academic conferences is a great way to present your investigation, network with other scholars, and learn about the latest advances in your field. Recently, I got admitted to participating in the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW7) to be held in Indiana, USA, in June 2024 to present one of my current projects, and with the ERLab team, we thought about sharing the usual steps in the application process, tips, and some reasons why one could increase the chances of being elected from the WOW7 experience.

1. First of all, find the right conference:

There are several academic conferences all over the world, but not all of them are the right ones for you. Choosing a conference that is highly related to your topic will increase your chances of getting accepted. Since the project I am currently working on has a high component of institutional analysis and governance, WOW7 suits me very well. Taking enough time to look for the right conference should not be underestimated. In the end, each conference application is a long process, and you want to optimize your time and resources to be accepted rather than spend time applying to several conferences with unsuccessful results due to weak preparation and rush. 

2. Check the conference requirements:

Once you have your key conferences, see what they require. Sometimes, the organizers have some special requirements, costs, conditions, or deadlines, and we want to be sure we have everything in the best possible way. Naturally, your potential article is the basis for any application, but the rest will be a plus for a successful application.

3. Prepare your application

Do not underestimate your preparation. It is probably something you can apply to different situations in your life. Returning to point 1, if you have decided on 2 or 3 conferences instead of 8 or 10, you will have more time to prepare yourself, improve your manuscript, look for potential mistakes, send an early application, and not be in a hurry with multiple deadlines at a time. In my case, I have 2 or 3 crucial conferences on the table, and my main focus is to be prepared for those in the best possible way. WOW7 was the first acceptance, and now I am preparing the application for the second application to be done in the next few weeks.

4. Submit your application

Double-check your application package, review the requisites again, consider asking a colleague or a good friend to review your documents, and, once you have everything ready, send your documents with the best attitude and trust.

5. Wait for acceptance

One of the abilities lacking a lot in current times is the capacity to wait and not be desperate. Optimize your time during the waiting time: Read potential complementary papers, advance in other attractive projects, do fieldwork, etc. The key to waiting is to be active during that time without losing sight of deadlines.

6. Acceptance Decision

The day has come. You open your email, and you finally see the much-desired email. You open it. You read it. You get happy and share the news with your supervisor and other colleagues. Celebrate (Please). You made it. And believe me, this is not the end of the story. It is just the beginning of a great and enriching experience in the life of an academic researcher. 

Good luck and lots of success!!!