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DOs and DON’Ts of proposal writing!

The deadline – 28 November 2019 – for TNC20 proposal submission for Single Presentations is fast approaching, so let us take the opportunity to share with you a handful of useful tips to ensure the successful outcome of your submission.

Single Presentations are a fundamental part of the conference: they are the essence of the programme and give shape to the event. For the success of TNC20 we need to ensure that the content of all sessions is of the highest possible level.

So, if you are planning to submit your proposal, here are some useful pointers suggested by the community experts from the TNC20 Programme Committee who will be marking your work and decide on its approval for the prestigious stage of TNC.


  • FOCUS on the conference theme: Making Waves. The Programme Committee carefully selects a conference theme each year. How can your talk address this theme and showcase your ideas and research?  Brighton is a colourful, vibrant unique, lively and historic city. What additional inspiration does this give you to tailor your talk to TNC20?
  • READ the guidelines. TNC submissions are over-subscribed by nearly 100% every year so the Programme Committee is faced with tough decisions; submissions that miss required elements or don’t have enough detail are likely to be rejected.  Don’t miss out on a technicality, please follow the guidelines.  Make sure you are using the mechanism that best suits your needs: with 25 minute sessions, lightning talks and posters there are many different ways to get your message across.
  • THINK about the audience. What do you want your listeners to get out of your presentation? How are you going to interact with them? THINK about the OBJECTIVE and the DELIVERY of your presentation.
  • EXPLAIN the purpose of your session and INCLUDE a sensible number of presenters: 5 people cannot sensibly participate in a 25 minute session (!)


  • DON’T LEAVE the submission to the last minute. Many things can go wrong, you might change your mind or you might accidentally miss the deadline. There are much better things to be doing at midnight on 28th November 2019 than trying to login and submit!
  • DON’T CUT and PASTE from an existing project. We want to know what THIS talk will be about and why THIS conference and THIS audience should hear it.  Copying and pasting from your project plan will not bring the talk to life in the eyes of the reviewers.
  • DON’T BE SHY, provide plenty of content for the presentation (2 short paragraphs won’t be enough!). We also want to hear from first-time presenters, people new to the community and under-represented groups.  We want to hear your ideas.  Every TNC submission is fully peer-reviewed and judged on its own merit.
  • DON’T FORGET to add an attachment with the proposal (for the first time this year judges will not mark incomplete submissions).

Have you started working on your masterpiece yet?

Good luck everybody!

Register here to receive our regular TNC20 updates.


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