Talks, Panels and Walkthroughs Detailed Guidance

Talks, panels and walkthroughs can be on any topic of interest to the research software engineering community. If you want inspiration, please take a look at the talks from last year or our set of suggested conference themes on the participation overview page.

Talks, walkthroughs and panels will run in parallel sessions, streamed by topic. While the intention is to stream the sessions so that people will not want to change rooms, there is five minutes between items to allow this if desired. An example 90 minute session might look like this:

  • Parallel stream 1: two talks and a walkthrough
  • Parallel stream 2: three talks
  • Parallel stream 3: two panels
  • Parallel stream 4: three walkthroughs

Attendees will choose which to attend via the conference app. To help attendees decide which sessions they would like to attend, you need to upload all your slides and related information to the conference app before the 27th August. Jupyter notebooks (if used) need to be uploaded by the 9th August (see timeline).


These are traditional talks (e.g.presented using slides or something similar), to an audience. Talks will last 20 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for questions. They should be engaging, and will often include videos or short demonstrations. Their aim is to inform the audience about something that would interest and educate them in the field of Research Software Engineering.

To submit a talk, please FOLLOW THIS LINK


Walkthroughs are presenter-led demonstrations, e.g. live-coding or running through a Jupyter notebook. Walkthroughs will last 20 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for questions. They should be engaging, containing a mix of slides and demonstrations. The presenter should practice swapping between their slides (if used) and demonstration/code/notebook/docker images. The official cloud sponsor of the conference will host the notebook or docker image.

Walkthroughs aim to educate the audience about a tool or technique that would be of interest to the community. Ideally, walkthroughs should provide enough detail to enable the audience to walkthrough themselves in their own time after the conference. Note that the audience is not expected to follow-along live using their own laptop.

To submit a walkthrough, please FOLLOW THIS LINK


Panels are question-and-answer sessions focussed around a specific topic. Panels involve a panel chair, a panel scribe, plus between 3-5 panellists. The format should be a set of questions that will be asked of the panellists, before opening the floor to questions and discussion involving the audience. Panels will last 40 minutes. The panel scribe should record a summary of the panel live to the conference website, with a short write-up submitted by the scribe and panel chair no later than two weeks after the close of the conference. Panels should discuss related issues around a focussed topic that will likely be of interest to the wider Research Software Engineering community. To help attendees choose the panels that will interest them, you need to upload the biographies of the panellists, a description of the panel topic, and a set of example questions to the conference app by the 27th August.

To propose a panel, please FOLLOW THIS LINK

Note at this stage that you only need to suggest a panel topic and nominate yourself as panel chair. You don’t need yet to identify the scribe or panellists. Feel free to ask us if you want any suggestions or help to find volunteers.

Resources and accessibility needs

If you require particular resources for your talk, walkthrough or panel (e.g. if you have particular requirements re. network bandwidth or firewall exceptions) then please indicate this in the submission. Similarly please let us know any accessibility needs in the submission too.

Please upload all materials for walkthroughs to GitHub, dockerhub etc. so that they can be easily loaded into the Cloud Sponsor’s infrastructure. If you have a particular reason why you can’t use the Cloud Sponsor’s infrastructure please indicate this in your submission.

Wider dissemination after the conference

We are committed to an open conference, with all materials available publicly before, during and after the event. As indicated above, all slides and related information about your talk, walkthrough or panel must be uploaded to the conference app by the stated dates. After the conference they will be archived and made available permanently via the conference website. Please do not submit proposals for talks, walkthroughs or panels which cannot be openly published in this manner.

Planning your submission

When submitting your proposal for a talk, walkthrough or panel, you will need to specify the following details:

Title and abstract

The abstract should be relatively brief and attention-grabbing rather than an exhaustive explanation of the material you wish to cover. Both the title and the abstract will be published on the conference website as soon as your proposal has been accepted.


Would your target audience be required to have any prerequisite skills/background knowledge e.g. knowledge of a particular language?


How will your attendees benefit from your session? What do you expect them to gain/learn?


Have you thought about how accessible your session will be to the entire diverse audience of the conference? How will you ensure that all text is sized so that it is fully legible to everyone, or how will you ensure that colours are chosen so that all graphics are easily understandable? Note we will provide microphones for all speakers and panellists, and will review uploaded material before the conference to provide advice.


How will you attract a broad and diverse audience for your session? We will provide help by providing easily-tweetable and shareable links to your session (including all uploaded material), as well as a live view of how many people have indicated they will attend. Who would you share these links with? Who are the communities that would be interested in what you will present?


We are happy to provide mentors who can help you put together your session. Mentors can help by reviewing draft slides, listening to a rehearsal, providing advice on making material engaging etc. If you would like help from a mentor then please indicate this in your submission.


All materials uploaded and generated for talks, walkthroughs or panels will be published on the conference app and website will be shared under a CCBY license.

How to submit a proposal

Just a short form

The initial application is via the simple forms below:

Example proposals

To help you participate in the conference, we have written some example proposals: