UACES Annual Conference Panel Guide

Paper-giver, Chairs and Discussants: Who does what?

A panel consists of at least three and ideally four paper-givers, one chair and a discussant. In case there is not a separate discussant the chair fulfils this role. The chair and discussant do not present a paper.

Paper-giver – It is expected that paper-givers share their paper with the whole panel in advance of the conference, as well as read other panellists papers. This enables the discussant to provide feedback and stimulate discussion with the audience. Paper-givers have 15 mins to present their paper and should stay within their allocated time.

Chair – The chair should introduce the panellists, field questions from the audience and make sure the panel stays within its 90 minute timeslot. If there is no separate discussant, the chair should also take on this role.

Discussant – The discussant's role is to provide another perspective on the papers presented in the panel. They should have read all the papers - which are shared by the paper-givers well in advance - before the conference and be able to make some observations on each. They should help to facilitate a dialogue with the audience and get the discussion going. Should they wish to, discussants can provide more detailed feedback to paper givers in writing after the panel.

How should my panel be structured?


Research panels are allotted a 90-minute timeslot. Below are some examples of how differently constituted panels should make use of this time:

4 papergivers and a discussant

Each paper should be no longer than 15 minutes. The discussant should speak for 5-10 minutes. The remaining 20-25 minutes is allocated for questions from the audience.

4 papergivers, no discussant

Each paper should be no longer than 15 minutes. The chair should act as discussant and speak for 5-10 minutes. The remaining 20-25 minutes is allocated for questions from the audience.

3 papergivers and a discussant

Each paper should be no longer than 20 minutes. The discussant should speak for 5 minutes. The remaining 20-25 minutes is allocated for questions from the audience.

3 papergivers, no discussant

Each paper should be no longer than 15 minutes. The chair should act as discussant and speak for 5 minutes The remaining 20-25 minutes is allocated for questions from the audience.

2 papergivers (with or without discussant)

We do not accept 2-paper panels. However, there will always be some late cancellations which render them necessary. In a 2-paper panel, the papergivers should still speak for no longer than 20 minutes. If there is a discussant they should speak for 5-10 minutes, with the remaining time open to questions from the audience. If there is no discussant, the chair should take on that role.

It is important that all panel participants stick to these timings in order to allow time for questions from the audience.