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The Gardens Trust: New Research Symposium

The Gardens Trust: New Research Symposium

Following the union of the AGT and GHS the scope of the annual Graduate Symposium has been extended so that it is now open to all researchers and scholars, regardless of whether they are independent or attached to an academic institution.

Launched in 2011, the five annual symposia have hosted papers from 23 researchers, many of whom are members of County Gardens Trusts. In 2016 The Gardens Trust is hosting the 6th symposium as the New Research Symposium during the annual conference at Robinson College, Cambridge.


~ To provide a professional forum for the presentation of new research in the field of Garden History;

~ To encourage researchers whose subject is as yet unpublished;

~ To provide an opportunity for researchers to hone presentation skills;

~ To generate potential scholarly articles for inclusion in the TGT's journal Garden History as well as potential submissions for TGT's annual Essay Prize;

~ To contribute another stimulating dimension to the TGT annual conference;

~ To attract new members to the TGT.

Call for papers

~ Researchers in all fields of activity are encouraged to submit a 200 word proposal for a paper whose subject is as yet unpublished.

~ Any subject relating to Garden History will be considered - from detailed explorations of little known gardens to relevant aspects of botany, ecology, archaeology, social history, horticulture, architecture, design or sculpture.

~ Applicants must identify their status as an independent researcher and member of a County Gardens Trust - or, alternatively, their institutional affiliation, the academic programme of study and the award outcome.

~ The selection of symposium papers will be undertaken by the TGT’s Education, Publications & Communications committee.

The Challenge

~ To be absolutely clear that the symposium paper must be no longer than 20 minutes (approximately 2,000-2,500 words) and illustrated with a PowerPoint slide presentation;

~ To appreciate that a paper cannot detail all elements of a research project;

~ To understand that key points must be selected by careful editing;

~ To summarise a research project and communicate this to an audience that, although well informed, will not be aware of the specifics of any particular paper;

~ To choose the number of images so that they complement the text of the paper;

~ To carefully edit the number of images so as to avoid the temptation of squeezing numerous images onto a single slide: one image per slide is enough; two is acceptable; more may be illegible to many in the audience;

~ To rehearse and time the paper so that it conforms to the 20 minute time limit;

~ To ensure that the PowerPoint is despatched to the TGT as a PDF by <> by the given date in advance of the symposium so that all the PowerPoints can be organised into sequence beforehand;

~ To make sure that a back-up is brought to the symposium on a memory stick;

~ To take advantage of the opportunity to check your PowerPoint before the symposium begins, and also to check the appropriate position for the microphone so your voice will project clearly;

~ To realise that you will enjoy technical support in the presentation of your PowerPoint;

~ To acknowledge that the audience is supportive and appreciative, and will ask questions in the Q&A time allocated so that you can enlarge on aspects of the paper.

The Reward

~ This is always stimulating, and breathtakingly satisfactory, though an intrinsic rather than a material pleasure.

~ Even though the TGT is unable to cover travel expenses, it will provide one night’s accommodation beforehand including supper, as well as breakfast, refreshments and lunch on the day of the symposium.

~ The pre-symposium supper is an informal opportunity to meet the other speakers and members of the TGT’s Education, Publications & Communications committee, including the editor of Garden History.

~ After the symposium, bask in the congratulations of the audience, network and enjoy the legion of questions with which you’ll be bombarded. This experience can be confirmed by any of the 23 speakers to date.

Dr. Patrick Eyres
27 September 2015