Research Symposium

Research symposium logo

Research is the foundation of the dietetic profession, providing the evidence base our practice, education and policy work relies on. The Symposium provides Dietitians, dietetic students and researchers an opportunity to showcase their research, highlight the ongoing development of dietetic practice, and be published in the BDA Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (JHND).

Save the date: Wednesday 4 December 2024

Be prepared and get your research ready - abstract submission opens later this month.

Cost (to be confirmed for 2024)

  • BDA Member £60.00
  • Non-member £85.00

If your abstract is rejected your registration will be cancelled without charge.

Returning for 2024 - There will be limited opportunities to submit abstracts to be presented as a recording during the day. If you provide a recorded abstract you will not attend the day, the abstract will be presented with a voice-over and published (Subject to your approval) in JHND. We will review this opportunity to decide on plans for 2024.

Booking terms and conditions can be referred to here.

Look back at last year

We held the 2023 Symposium on 6 December in Birmingham. Check out the selection of photos of the day below!

BDA Research Symposium 2023

2023 Event sponsored by

23Symposium sponsors .png

We believe most (if not all) of our members are currently undertaking research, whether they are in traditional research settings or in practice.

Research can be defined as 'the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions'

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 of research in dietetics and nutrition.
  • Promote dietitians as leaders in the field of nutrition and dietetic research.


Who can present?

Anyone who is researching in the field of dietetics and human nutrition is invited to submit their abstract to the symposium. 

We welcome students, new graduates, practising clinical dietitians and dedicated researchers, as well as non-dietitians, to present and attend. The Symposium is for all members of the dietetic workforce.

Previous attendees include those taking their first steps in research, presenting 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.

We've been delighted to welcome to previous symposiums:

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

Research Streams

Each year, we have a number of streams, in 2024 we will hear work from across 16 main streams, no work will be rejected based on theme.

  1. Clinical Nutrition, including malnutrition- sponsored by Stanningley Pharma
  2. Critical Care - supported by Critical Care Specialist Group
  3. NEW - Diabetes - supported by Diabetes Specialist Group
  4. Gastro - supported by the Gastroenterology Specialist Group
  5. Maternal and Fertility Nutrition - supported by Maternal and Fertility Nutrition Specialist Group
  6. NEW - Mental Health, Eating Disorders and Learning Disabilities - supported by Mental Health Specialist Group
  7. New to Research, including MRes and PhD research - sponsored by Yakult 
  8. Nutrition Support - supported by PENG Specialist Group
  9. Obesity - supported by Obesity Specialist Group
  10. NEW - Optimising Nutrition Prescribing - supported by Optimising Nutrition Prescribing Specialist Group                                                                    Research on the prescription of nutritional borderline substances including prescribing improvements (cost and quality), safety, governance and professionalism.
  11. Nutrition in Older Adults - supported by the Older People Specialist Group
  12. Paediatric – supported by Paediatric Specialist Group
  13. Public Health, including freelance and industry
  14. Renal Nutrition - support by Renal Nutrition Specialist Group
  15. Service Evaluation 
  16. Supplementary Prescribing (Medicines)

Showcasing the latest research in the field of dietetic supplementary prescribing. Exploring the role and impact of dietetic prescribers in practice, and supporting our case for independent prescribing.

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. 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 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.

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 streams open until 8am on Wednesday 17 July. Extensions will be considered upon request.

If you have any problems with the online booking system please contact [email protected]

Next steps

1. Following submission you will be contacted by the team to confirm receipt of your submission and to advise of the next steps.

2. Your abstract is sent for peer review

3. In September, following review, you will be advised whether your abstract has been accepted or rejected and whether any amendments are necessary. Any required amendments will be communicated to you. Should your abstract be rejected, you will also receive feedback. 

4. You will be provided a time frame to return your abstract with any amendments.

5. Start to prepare your three slide powerpoint presentation.

Deadline for submission will be in November, exact date tbc. You will be allocated five minutes to present and an additional two minutes for Q&A. Slides should be in 16:9 format.

6. Attend and enjoy!

Financial support

Some BDA Specialist Groups have provided bursaries to cover the cost of attendance.

Bursaries currently available (to be confirmed)

  • Nutrition Support Stream - 10 x £100 bursaries for PENG Specialsit Group Members (bursary to cover registration fee and towards travel)
  • Gastroenterology Stream - 10 x bursaries for Gastroenterology Specialist Group Members (bursary to cover registration fee)
  • Mental Health, Eating Disorders and Learning Disabilities Stream - 10 x bursaries for Mental Health Specialist Group Members (bursary to cover registration fee)

Bursaries are subject to the abstract being presented live on the day and will be reimbursed after the event. You will be contacted in August if you fulful the criteria for the bursary.

GET Trustees have also established funding to support BDA members attending conferences and events.  Please submit your form and abstract at least three weeks before the relevant Trustee meeting, to allow it to be assessed and reviewed.

What happens on the day?

In addition to the abstracts being presented during the day, we also hear from dietitians involved in the world of research. We have previously heard from Dr Miranda Lomer, Dr Danni Bear, Dr Gary Frost, Dr Clare Pettinger, Professor Mary Hickson, Maria Barrett, Sally Abbott and more.

We have also held breakfast sessions with Quorn Foods, California Walnut Board and Precision Biotics in the past and also masterclasses on pitfalls and perils of manuscript submission, funding opportunities with GET and top tips on using Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN)

Initial timings for the day are 9.15am-4.30pm, with breakfast session from 8.15am. Details for the breakfast session will be confirmed in due course. The programme is defined by the number of abstracts being presented on the day so these may change. We will notify attendees of the final timings as soon as the programme is finalised.