How can joining AERA benefit me as a student?

AERA is a national research society with over 25,000 members, including 6,500 graduate students from across the world. While the AERA annual meeting is once a year, AERA  offers you the ongoing opportunity to network with a wide range of scholars from a diversity of disciplines, geographic locations, and perspectives. As a student, you will gain access to scholarly inquiry, research that advances knowledge about education, and a community of education advocates.

How can I engage in opportunities to share current research ideas with other students and faculty?

You can find opportunities to share your research through several outlets. First, your attendance at the AERA annual meeting will help you develop a network of scholars, both students and faculty, through which you can exchange and foster your research ideas. This may best be achieved through involvement in AERA Divisions or Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that best fit your research interests (descriptions of both in conference-related FAQs). You may also find opportunities to share your work through your selected Division. Each Division dictates their own events, but typically all provide opportunities for students to engage with one another and with faculty (see divisional updates for contact information). Finally, you can stay in engaged through AERA Graduate Student Council’s social media (e.g. Twitter & Facebook) to connect with other students.

Where can I go to meet other graduate students?

Much like opportunities to share your research ideas, we encourage you to join a Division or Special Interest Group (SIG) to engage with other graduate students. Additionally, we suggest that you drop by the AERA Graduate Student Council (GSC) desk at the annual meeting, where you can meet council members and divisional representatives who can point you to the designated graduate student space. You can also engage with other students via our social media pages (see sidebar for information). GSC also leads a philanthropy and service project each year – a chance to contribute to the community and meet graduate students!

Why is it important for me to stay engaged with other graduate students?

It can be very easy for graduate students to go back to their respective cities, get wrapped up in our own research and programs and be completely isolated from the larger network of graduate students. However, engaging with students from all over the world can help broaden our perspective, shed light on our own research and provide a helpful support network to get through the piles of readings, pages of writing, and endless hours at the computer!

What is the best way to stay updated on events and other AERA news?

Given that the annual meeting is once a year, we highly encourage you to stay tuned via our social media accounts and on this website, which will continuously be updated for your benefit! We are seeking every opportunity to provide you with helpful information and useful resources, so stay connected and do not hesitate to reach out to your Division representative or any member of the Graduate Student Council.


How do I navigate a conference as big as the AERA annual meeting?

There are three specific steps we suggest you take to begin navigating the annual meeting, which can feel very overwhelming at times. First, we encourage you to consider which Division best suits your research interests and participate in the division’s events (e.g. fireside chats). Second, we recommend that you review AERA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and attend meetings/events for those that may be fitting for you. Finally, we urge you to visit the Graduate Student Council (GSC) help desk, as to stay informed on graduate student-specific events, resources and opportunities. Each of these steps will be helpful in navigating the annual meeting, particularly if it is your first conference.

Are there funding opportunities to support my travel to the conference?

There may be funding opportunities available through your Division. To stay updated, join your Division’s listserv.

What are some events that I should visit as a graduate student?

In preparation for the annual meeting, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) coordinates a number of graduate student-specific events that include divisional fireside chats, but also GSC-sponsored events (some of which include food!). You can find a full list here on our website, upon its completion or at the GSC help desk. We also suggest you attend the conference-wide keynote and plenary sessions, as well as events that provide opportunities to connect with students and faculty outside of research sessions (e.g. SIG meetings, university receptions, GSC happy hour).

What are other resources that I should know about during the conference?

In addition to the Graduate Student Council help desk, we also provide a space specifically for graduate students during the conference. This is a great resource for you to either find a quite space to catch up on work or to connect with other graduate students.

How can I submit my own work to the conference?

Conference submissions for the 2017 meeting have now passed, however, for future reference for interested students, submissions are typically accepted June-July the year prior. Details about the proposal submission process can be found here.

What is the difference between a “Division” and a “Special Interest Group”?

There are 12 AERA Divisions, which are organized to represent major scholarly or scientific areas within education research. Each division has their own open-calls for proposal submissions and plans division-specific events at every annual meeting. You can find a full listing of the divisions here.

Special Interests Groups (SIGs) are a wide range of groups drawn together by a common interest in a field of study, teaching, or research when the existing divisional structure does not capture that interest/activity. You can find a full listing of SIGs here.