PhD Day

Submissions are still open for the PhD Day, a pre-conference event held on Sunday, November 12 from 9:00am to 3:30pm.

The PhD Day provides an extended format, allowing for a more in-depth discussion of each paper, which is good for both authors and audiences. Each presenter will not only present their own paper but also act as a discussant on another student's work. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • present their paper to a student audience and practice presentation skills;
  • hear specific feedback on their paper from a dedicated discussant; and
  • read someone else's paper and offer constructive criticism (as a referee would do for a journal).

This event is sponsored by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute.

The Sloan Foundation is offering funding opportunities for eligible students participating in this event. The funding will cover conference fees, travel and accommodation. Please see the Sloan Foundation funding page.

Event Details

Each presenter will be sent another student's paper in advance and will be expected to discuss that paper in detail in a constructive and helpful manner. This could include pointing the author to alternative literature that they may not have considered, suggestions for alternative approaches to the problem they have addressed, and suggestions for data sources, or alternative data sources, that may be relevant to the research.

Authors will be given 25 minutes to present their paper. The designated discussant will then be given 15 minutes to comment on the paper. There will also be time for questions and comments from the floor.

Presenters at the PhD Day will need to:

  • be in Houston ready to start the session at 9:00 am Sunday;
  • have a written paper ready to be sent to a discussant; and
  • agree to be a discussant on someone else's paper.

To make a submission, please email your full paper to by October 9. Since each paper will be discussed at some length, we will only have time to cover around 6 papers. Each presenter will receive a fellow student's paper by October 13, to allow sufficient time to prepare their discussion presentation.

Important Dates



October 9

Submission Deadline - email to

October 13

Participants receive paper on which they will be the discussant

November 12

PhD Day 9:00am to 3:30pm

A deli lunch will be served for PhD Day participants. We invite those not presenting to attend and participate from the floor. Please bear in mind that you MUST register by Monday, October 30 for catering purposes.