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Application to present at the 2024 AJEC Research Symposium has closed

8–9 February 2024—a virtual event to bring together early childhood practitioners, researchers, leaders and academics.

Application details

The Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC) is Australasia’s foremost scholarly journal and the world’s longest-running major journal within the early childhood field. Published quarterly, AJEC offers research-based articles that are designed to impart new information and encourage the critical exchange of ideas among early childhood practitioners, academics and students.

Theme and streams

Theme: Listening, empowering and innovating

The 2024 AJEC Research Symposium theme invites contributions, including the research, voices, stories and experiences of early childhood researchers and workforce professionals engaging with young children, their families, communities, educators and allied professionals. Contributions are welcome from diverse areas of investigation and research, including reconciliation, inclusive practice, early education and care, health and wellbeing and social services.

Young children and their adults live, learn, grow, participate and play in many contexts, experiencing diverse world views and opportunities. These experiences are informed by variations in culture, socio-economic and material conditions, digital mediation, environmental sustainability and political orientations. Through the theme of ‘Listening, empowering and innovating’, we invite researchers, policymakers and early years professionals to consider how research, theories, practices and methodologies are designed and enacted alongside children and other stakeholders to recognise where they are in the world.


  • Being attuned to people, culture and place: How and where are young children and their adults living, learning, growing, participating and playing? What matters for young children’s learning, development, health and wellbeing?
  • Walking with allies, partners, stakeholders and participants: Where are people in the early years, including children, kinship members, families, educators, allied health and other professionals meeting, learning, growing, playing and working together? What are the pressing learning, developmental, health, wellbeing, cultural, sustainability and/or digital needs of our times?
  • Creating knowledge, methodologies and relationships: Which theories and methodologies are researchers and other stakeholders in the lives of young children and their adults using to listen, co-create and understand each other?

The aim of the research symposium is to provide a platform for the participants to explore current research, theoretical and methodological perspectives, agendas and policy initiatives from within the early childhood sector. We ask presenters to address one or more of the streams, which are broadly framed to enable participants to explore multiple perspectives in research and practice.

Key dates*

Item Deadline
Application to present opens 29 August 2023
Application to present closes *Extended to 28 October 2023,
11.59 pm
Abstract reviews completed and authors notified of outcomes 27 November 2023
Program at a glance published on ECA website December 2023
Presenter registration deadline 15 January 2024
Final program published on website January 2024

*Please note: dates are subject to change. Candidates will be informed of changes to the schedule.

Application process

Applications are now open for potential presenters. To apply, please submit an abstract of your research paper that is relevant to the overall theme and one or more of the three streams. Successful applicants will be asked either to present, or present and publish in the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood.

Please note: while authors may be named on up to three papers, they will only be able to present on a maximum of two papers.

Submission requirements

Abstracts and biographies

Abstracts and presenter biographies are to be submitted during the application process. Abstracts for Roundtable discussions and Symposium presentations should be no more than 500 words per paper (including references), and for Provocations, no more than 250 words (including references). At the end of the abstract, presenters must offer two or three questions that can be used as provocations for researchers and interested stakeholders to discuss (questions are also included in the word limit).

Please highlight which stream/s you wish to address and format preference (see below). Abstracts will be put through a blind peer review process conducted by AJEC reviewers.

Biographies must be no more than 150 words (for individuals) or 350 words (for groups).
Please read the terms and conditions below for more details on the application requirements.

Format preference

Applicants must identify their preferred presentation format: Roundtable discussion, Symposium presentation or Provocation (see guidelines below). Please note: the final formats will be decided through the review process.

Given the Zoom medium in which the symposium will be hosted, a limited number of PowerPoint (PPT) slides and/or audio-visual content will be permitted per presentation; see below for further details. Presenters must be able to share their own slides.

Roundtable discussion

This will be an oral presentation of 25 minutes, including a five-minute Q&A segment, based on an individual paper. It will be given by a single presenter or a team of presenters and designed to promote discussion. There will be two or three themed presentations per session, and the discussions will be guided by a facilitator. Each roundtable presentation will be allowed to share up to five (5) PPT slides during their presentation.

Symposium presentation

This format allows groups of researchers to present a collection of three discussion papers (provide an abstract of 500 words for each paper) as a symposium. Presenters should address the requirements of the Roundtable discussion papers as outlined above, but also include one set of questions to stimulate discussion of the papers as a collection. There will be a competitive review process as places are limited; preference will be given to thought-provoking contemporary perspectives. Each discussion paper will be allowed to share up to five (5) PPT slides during their presentation (totaling a maximum of 15 for the symposium).


Rather than report on research that is complete or in the process of being completed, this format is an opportunity to present new ideas, including (but not limited to) new methods and ways of thinking about research and/or impact. Presenters will share their provocation for seven minutes, and then pose three questions for participants to discuss. The goal is a rich discussion of new ideas and points of view. There will be a competitive review process as places are limited; preference will be given to thought-provoking contemporary perspectives. Presenters will be allowed to share up to two (2) PPT slides without any animations during their presentation, limited to one content slide and one question slide.

Review process

  • All proposals submitted for presentation at the symposium will go through a blind peer review process conducted by the AJEC reviewers.
  • All applications to present will be assessed to ensure the quality and relevance of the presentations in accordance with the AJEC Reviewer Guidelines and ECA selection criteria.
  • Once the blind peer review is completed, all applicants will be notified of the outcome.

Selection criteria

Roundtable discussions will be selected on the basis of the:

  • relevance to the symposium theme and streams
  • treatment of theoretical or methodological perspectives
  • congruence between aims of the project or research questions and/or focus of inquiry
  • clarity of explanation of research methods and/or analytical and/or theoretical framework, in brief
  • strength of emphasis on research findings and/or translation to practice and contribution to the sector
  • abstract of no more than 500 words (including references).

Symposium presentations will be selected on the basis of the above criteria and the:

  • appropriateness of the collected papers as a provocation for discussion
  • thought-provoking contemporary perspectives
  • abstract of no more than 500 words for each of the two or three presentations (including references).

Provocations will be selected on the basis of the:

  • relevance to the symposium theme and streams
  • provocative nature of the abstract
  • questions for discussion
  • abstract of no more than 250 words (including references).

Free of commercial interest

Any paper that is selling or promoting a particular product or commercial service will be rejected.

For more information, please contact:

Early Childhood Australia

P: (02) 6242 1800
E: publishing@earlychildhood.org.au   or events@earlychildhood.org.au
W: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/events/ajecsymposium/

Outcome/Final selection


Abstracts will be assessed and classified under three categories:

  • Accepted—present and publish: selected authors will be given the opportunity to present at the AJEC Research Symposium and invited to submit a full-length paper for publication in a special edition of the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. All papers to be published will go through a blind peer review process, which will be conducted by the AJEC Editorial Committee*.
  • Accepted—present only: selected delegates will get the opportunity to present at the AJEC Research Symposium.
  • Rejected: no further information or submissions will be required.

Publication of papers

*Please note: there is no publication guarantee. This means papers may still be rejected or held for later publication. Authors selected for publication must be in attendance and present at the symposium.

Authors who do not present will lose the opportunity to have their papers published in the special edition of AJEC.

Invitation to present at the ECA National Conference

Some presenters may be invited to present their research, and its implications for practitioners, at the ECA National Conference in 2024 or 2025. Further instructions will be provided by the ECA Events team, as required.

Terms and conditions

Application requirements

  • Applications must be submitted online no later than 28 October 2023. Applications received in any other way, including hard copy, or after the due date, will not be accepted.
  • Individual applicants must include a 150-word biography and groups must include a 350-word biography when submitting their abstracts.
  • Abstracts must be no more than 500 words, and must be submitted electronically via the specified portal. (All selected presentation abstracts and biographies will undergo copyediting before being printed in the symposium program.)
  • Applications must address the selection criteria.
  • Abstracts will go through a review process to ensure quality and diversity.

Presentation requirements 

Successful applicants must:

  • be available to speak at any time during the symposium
  • register by 15 January 2024.**

** Presenter registration

A condition of being able to present is that all presenters must register for the symposium. Only three (3) presenters per paper will receive the Early Childhood Australia (ECA) member discount rate for full event registration. Abstracts will be withdrawn from the program if registration and payment have not been received by 15 January 2024.

Before you apply online, please ensure that you have read and understood this information.

If you have any questions, please contact the AJEC Research Symposium office for more information:
P: (02) 6242 1800
E: publishing@earlychildhood.org.au  or events@earlychildhood.org.au