EGU announces extensive annual meeting fee-waiver scheme
8 December 2020
“There are only two ways you can learn: from books you read and people you meet,” says Tchinda Feudjio Armand, a doctoral candidate at Benin’s Institute of Mathematics and Physics. In April, Armand will have the unprecedented opportunity to learn directly from the people he meets virtually during the EGU General Assembly 2021 — for free.
“EGU is offering the most extensive scheme of annual meeting registration fee waivers and reductions in its history,” says Peter van der Beek, EGU’s Programme Committee Chair. “Any Earth, planetary, or space scientist, PhD candidate, or student with a permanent affiliation in either a low or a lower-middle income country will receive a full waiver,” he says.
The opportunity to participate in vEGU21: Gather Online is especially meaningful for Armand. “Participating for free in this EGU conference will be very beneficial for me because it will be an opportunity to exchange with the experts in my field of research,” he says, “and it will allow researchers from all over the world to exchange their knowledge.”
PhD candidates from all middle-income countries will also be eligible to attend vEGU21 for free, and the early-bird registration cost for all other PhD candidates has been reduced to €75. In addition, every geoscience undergraduate and master’s student, no matter their country of affiliation, can register to attend the annual meeting for free. The charge for submitting an abstract will remain €40.
“EGU’s goal is to make it possible for Earth, planetary, and space scientists from around the world to engage with each other to help stimulate new collaborations and discoveries,” van der Beek says. “The past year has demonstrated the vital importance of science and scientific collaboration, and the Union wants to do what we can to empower the global geoscience community to work together on the many critical issues that humanity will still face once the pandemic is finally over.”
An important benefit of the online meeting and fee-waiver scheme will be to create a broader and more diverse audience than is possible at an in-person meeting. Dasapta Erwin Irawan, a hydrogeologist from Indonesia, is excited about the fully virtual experience. “It’s very important to be able to join geoscience meetings to share my research results, but transportation costs are very high, especially for us in Southeast Asian countries,” he says.
In previous years, the cost of the annual meeting registration has sometimes been a barrier for potential attendees. “Traditionally, the number of EGU participants from Ukraine is extremely low because most academic institutes are not able to cover registration fees,” says Katerynа Terletska, a senior researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Machines and Systems Problems of the Ukraine National Academy of Science. “I hope that the registration-fee waiver for participants from lower-middle income countries will encourage applicants from my country,” she adds. “I greatly appreciate this initiative.”
2021 will be the first time that undergraduate and master’s students will be able to register for EGU’s annual meeting for free, an opportunity that van der Beek hopes many Earth, planetary, and space science students will take advantage of. Sabrina Kainz, a junior majoring in geology at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the U.S., plans to. “As an undergraduate, taking part in a large-scale conference is an excellent chance to gain exposure to the workings of being a research geologist, but I have never been able to participate due to conflicts with classes and the lack of funds,” she says. “With the EGU General Assembly being held virtually next year,” Kainz adds, “these barriers are no longer preventing me from gaining this experience, and EGU’s international audience will allow me to gain perspectives on how those in other places may bring new and interesting mindsets to the table.”
2021 EGU emeritus members will also be eligible for free vEGU21 registration. Registration will open on 10 December 2020. More details can be found on the annual meeting registration page.