Research Symposium


Submit your abstract to present at the next BDA Research Symposium on Wednesday 4 December 2019 in Birmingham. Online Abstract submission is open until 21 August

The symposium provides the profession with an opportunity to showcase their research and highlight the ongoing development of dietetic practice, all approved abstracts have the opportunity to be published in the Journal Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Cost to submit, present and attend BDA Members £60.00 or Non-Members £70.00.

There are a number of bursaries available for members to apply for, find out more about the bursaries available

Want to attend but not present, registration opens in September.

Who can present?

We welcome all members of the dietetic workforce to present or attend the research symposium. Research is the foundation of the profession providing the basis for practice, education and policy and we are delighted the support the profession to share their research to the wider profession at the Symposium.  

Previous attendees include those taking their first steps in research, to present their student research projects alongside MRes, PhD and clinical dietitians’ projects.  The event will enable dietitians to showcase their research and practice and participate in workshops to develop their skills.

Previous editions have seen the following attend and/or submit an abstract:

  • dietitians who have completed research from Masters Dissertation, MRes, or other higher degrees.
  • dietitians involved in research programmes.
  • dietitians who have undertaken audit or evaluation of practice.
  • dietitians working in clinical practice.
  • student dietitians who have recently completed their final year dissertation projects.

How to submit your abstract

1. Prepare your abstract in line with the submission guidance

We have provided guidelines for authors in the abstract instruction document and abstract example. Further information on conference abstracts can be found in JHND NOTES the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Editor’s blog.

The abstracts are judged anonymously using the judging criteria and peer reviewers
guidance. The abstract submission process is open to everyone and no abstract will be rejected based on topic.

To submit an abstract, please read the abstract instruction document and JHND NOTES
and abstract example.

If you have any problems with the online booking system please contact or call 0121 200 8080

2. Register your abstract using the online booking system and upload your abstract submission

Review the research stream and submit your abstract in your chosen stream via the online booking system selected streams open until 21 August Bursaries available

3. Following your submission, you will receive confirmation of submission, abstracts are sent for peer review. Following peer review you will receive feedback and be informed of any amendments.

4. You will then be provided the guidance to develop your 3 slides for your 5-minute presentation.

Research Streams

We are delighted to announce we have nine main streams for this year's abstract submission.

  1. Clinical Nutrition, including malnutrition CLOSED
  2. NEW - Critical Care - supported by Critical Care Specialist Group. Bursary available
  3. New to Research, including MRes and PhD research - supported by Yakult CLOSED
  4. Nutrition Support - supported by PENG Specialist Group. Bursary available
  5. NEW - Obesity - supported by Obesity Specialist Group. Bursary available
  6. Paediatric – supported by Paediatric Specialist Group. Bursary available
  7. Public Health, including freelance and industry - supported by Public Health Specialist Group. Bursary available
  8. NEW - Renal Nutrition - support by Renal Nutrition Specialist Group. Bursary available
  9. Service Evaluation CLOSED

All abstracts are welcome and we do not reject based on theme, if you are unsure of the correct stream please do contact

What else happens on the day?

In addition to the abstracts being presented during the day we also hear from two dietitians involved in the world of research. We have previously heard from Dr Gary Frost, Dr Clare Pettinger, Professor Mary Hickson, Yvonne McKenzie and Dr Duane Mellor. This year's speakers are Dr Fiona Lithander, Maria Barrett and Sally Abbott.

We will be hosting a breakfast session from 8.30am with Quorn Foods on the role of evidence based nutrition research to remove uncertainty. Join Quorn Foods for breakfast 

Angels cradle will return providing you with the opportunity to ask your research question/dilemma to the panel, who will discuss and offer advice and guidance. In addition, we will also be hosting a PEN masterclass and JHND masterclass.

We have released initial timings for the day. However, the programme is defined by the number of abstracts being presented on the day. We will notify attendees of the final timings as soon as the programme is finalised.

Not sure if you are doing research?

Many believe that research should be a long and sometimes painful process to accomplish the outcome. However, we believe most (if not all) members are currently undertaking research but just need to know how to portray.

Definition of research 'the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions'

We are pleased to accept research, service evaluation and audit abstracts. If you have any queries on any work you have undertaken please contact the BDA Research Officer for further clarification.

A useful information source for you


Judy Lawrence, BDA Research Officer explains the aim of the event:

"The aim of the symposia is to share dietetic research.  As a profession we are embracing research to a greater extent than ever, both as consumers of research to enhance our practice and as producers to answer questions.  Dietitians are increasingly asking themselves: Why am I practising this way? What if I did this?  What do my patients think about that?  Come to the symposium and see some of the answers to questions dietitians are asking”

The symposium aims to:

  • Provide a forum for the presentation of research findings and methods in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
  • Foster collaboration between researchers within the dietetic profession.
  • Identify and share effective interventions and practice within the key topics of the symposium.
  • Stimulate an increase in the quantity and quality research in dietetics and nutrition.
  • Promotion of dietitians as leaders in the field of nutrition and dietetic research.

Previous editions

The Symposium is held annually, why not catch up on what happened in 2018 and take a look at all the research presented.

Guidance for peer reviewers

Peer reviewers and authors may find the reviewer guidance helpful. Further information
on peer reviewers guidance can be found on JHND NOTES the Journal of Human Nutrition and
Dietetics Editor’s blog