RGS Call for new sessions for 2021 RGS with IBG Conference

The RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021 will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London.  The format for sessions is either in person or online sessions, there will be no hybrid sessions this year.  The conference will take place from Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September 2021. It will be chaired by Professor Uma Kothari, on the theme of Borders, borderlands and bordering.  The call for sessions at the conference has recently opened.

Those proposing sessions, or submitting individual papers, will be asked at the point of submission whether they plan to take place as online OR in-person sessions. In 2021, the RGS  will be unable to facilitate ‘hybrid’ sessions (i.e. remote presenters cannot take part in an in-person session). Should it become impossible to hold in-person sessions, all sessions will be asked to change to online-only.

The portal for online submissions will open early in the new year. Detailed guidance about how to use the portal will be published on the RGS Conference website at that point (see link below). If you have any questions, please contact ac2021@rgs.org.

If you would like to propose a session to the RGRG sponsored sessions please forward your ideas or queries to Megan Palmer-Abbs (mpa@nforsk.no ).  We welcome sessions that are related to the conference theme, though this is not essential, but also topics which reflect Rural Geography issues e.g. food security, migration,  Covid 19, Brexit, peripherality, bio or green industries,  sustainable development and equality issues. 

Proposals should be submitted using (only) the first section of the RGS-IBG Session Proposal form – available here:


by 20th January 2021

The filled out form should include information on:  

  (i) Title of session;

  (ii) Name of Co-sponsoring groups, (for now put the ones you are seeking sponsorship from)

  (iii) Abstract, outlining scope of session  – 200 words max.

  (iv) Name and Contact Details for Session Convenors 

  (v) Number of session timeslots that are sought – this year session may not normally occupy more than 2 time slots.

  (vi) Indication, of preferred organization of session, e.g. 4 x 20min presentation, plus 20min discussion or 5 x 15min presentation, with 5min question for each, we would encourage you to be creative in your use of the format. Sessions last 1 hour 40 mins (see Royal Geographical Society – Annual International Conference (rgs.org) for some great ideas on session formats)

  (vii) Indication, if known for any non-standard arrangements.

Individual contributions

  • Delegates will be limited to ONE paper presentation and ONE panel contribution, OR, TWO panel contributions.
  • A single paper may only be presented once at the conference.
  • We cannot guarantee to resolve all timetable clashes for non-presenting co-authors where they are involved in multiple sessions. 
  • There is no formal limit on the number of sessions one can chair, but we encourage delegates to be realistic about what they can take on.
  • There is no formal limit on the number of sessions that one can (co)convene. However, we do not undertake to resolve timetable clashes for convenors where they are involved in multiple sessions, where they are not presenting or chairing.
  • All poster presentations will be online. More details of how to submit your poster proposal for consideration will be published early in the new year. 

The RGS-IBG is able to provide a limited number of passes for those who would be otherwise unable to attend due to the costs involved. We would therefore encourage you to think about the inclusion of international contributors and non-academic delegates in your session.

We will confirm whether we will sponsor your session by 28th January 2021.

If your session is accepted for sponsorship you must secure participants and complete the required paperwork by 12 March 2021.

Regards and thanks


Dr Megan Palmer-Abbs PhD BSc (Open) Dip (Environmental Policy) MIED FRGS

Secretary to the RGS Rural Geographers Research Group (RGRG) Committee

E mpa@nforsk.no