Knowledge Base

JSS: Common Questions

What makes a good proposal?

A good proposal might include a variety of different formats. We are looking for work in progress and early conceptual research. This might include a masters’ or dissertation prospectus or a chapter from a thesis or dissertation. It might also include more polished research that is almost ready for publication review by a journal.

How is this different than a normal panel?

Traditional panels involve four or five papers being presented in quick succession. The panel format works well for presenting information, but sometimes does not provide as good of a professional development opportunity for graduate students. The JSS is designed to put you in a close environment with senior scholars to discuss your work. It will also allow you to critique others' work in a similar manner.

Because of the focused atmosphere, you will meet and work very closely with your chair and discussant. In a traditional panel, sometimes you only get a brief minute to say "hello" at the opening and closing of the session. Here, you will spend the bulk of the session working closely with them - both on your work and in evaluating other's work.

For the purposes of applying for travel funding from home institutions, the JSS panels will “count” as an ISA panel, and be listed this way in our Annual Convention program.

Do I do a normal presentation?

In a way... The actual presentations for the symposiums are done through posters, but, you will nevertheless do a small presentation. After the session starts, the larger group will divide in to four small groups. Each small group will contain four papers and a discussant. Each paper presenter will have 15 minutes to present and discuss their work with the small group. So, plan on about a five-minute presentation. You will all be standing at your poster during the presentation. When your presentation and discussion finishes, you will move, with your group, to the next poster where that/those author(s) will present. Each small group will then have their own table where they can sit down, after the individual presentations are complete, and continue to discuss common themes and issues across the pieces. Because we are nurturing an environment to support dialogue and networking, panelists will not have access to the internet or PowerPoint for presentation purposes.

Who counts as a "Junior" scholar?

These panels give a strong focus on professional development and networking. So, they are designed to be most useful to graduate students and scholars within two years receipt of their PhD.

I am a faculty member, how can I get involved?

We are always looking for chairs and discussants who are particularly interested in graduate student professionalization and assistance. Contact Sarah Dorr at ISA-HQ ( to see how you can help.

Do I need to write a paper?

Yes! While you will present your work in a poster format, we still ask that you write a paper and upload it normally. To facilitate meaningful discussion at the JSS panels, all papers must be uploaded to at least a month in advance of the convention (see the convention for the specific deadline). You should also share your paper with your discussant and fellow panelists.

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