Postponement of Anatomy Education Research Unconference

Last updated: April 3, 2020, 4:30 pm EDT

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the province of Ontario has enacted a declaration of emergency and the Prime Minister has encouraged Canadians to stay home wherever possible. As organizers of the Anatomy Education Research Unconference, we are committed to providing a safe and healthy space for all attendees.  We regret to inform you that owing to the current situation, the Unconference, which was scheduled for June 6, 2020, has been postponed until further notice. 


We were delighted to see the great interest in this event. All applicants who received a notification of acceptance will be guaranteed a spot at the rescheduled Unconference. We will contact attendees via email with updates about the event.


We are no longer accepting new applications. If you wish to receive an email notification when we resume accepting applications, please contact us at


We thank the anatomy community for their enthusiasm for the Unconference. We regret needing to postpone the event and any inconvenience it may have caused. Please stay tuned for updates as we work to reschedule the Unconference. For questions, please connect with us at


The Anatomy Education Research Unconference Team



The Anatomy Education Research Unconference will educate, inspire, and empower education researchers/scholars throughout the spectrum of the experience as they design their own research projects.  


What is an Unconference?

An unconference is an informal, participant-driven meeting where the attendees determine the agenda and discussion topics onsite. The unconference approach creates a venue for critical analysis, self-reflection, and peer feedback while also facilitating a dialogue of formative feedback at the earliest stages of idea-generation/research design.


How does an Unconference differ from a regular conference?

Conferences are typically multi-day events where participants present their research findings. In contrast, unconferences afford participants the opportunity to gain feedback on their work earlier, at the proposal stage of the research process. Unconferences also typically take place over a single day and occur on a much smaller scale to ensure maximum interaction between all participants. While unconferences are informal in nature and attire, they are structured to ensure productivity and overall organization. Finally, unlike many conferences, this Anatomy Education Research Unconference does not have a registration fee.  


What should I expect from this Unconference?

Participants will be expected to arrive at the Anatomy Education Research Unconference with an anatomy education research project in mind. It is encouraged that this project be in the preliminary design phase. It will also be helpful for participants to have an idea of their research question and proposed methodology.


On the day of the Unconference there will be a democratic election of discussionary topics that will fill a skeleton agenda and populate break-out rooms. Participants will be asked to provide topic suggestions during registration and then these topics will be voted on to create the day’s agenda.


Content discussed in the break-out rooms will be the sum of the experiences of those participants in attendance; and thus represent cooperative knowledge generation rather than those of a single “sage on a stage”. This format removes the social hierarchy often associated with academic expertise, while encouraging networking, collaboration, and embracing diverse perspectives and approaches to problem solving.


The Anatomy Education Research Unconference will also provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in a series of Harvard Macy step-back consultations. This activity will begin with a participant presenting their research goals and associated research design to a small group. The presenter then becomes a silent, but active observer as the group takes “ownership” of the project by discussing it as if it were theirs. This exercise will broaden the presenter’s perspective as the conversation is no longer limited by their current approach to inquiry. This process, coupled with the numerous instances of peer-peer discourse and problem solving, will contribute to an ad hoc community of practice and opportunities for mentorship.


The Anatomy Education Research Unconference will also include an informal meal and a post-event mixer; designed to provide further opportunities for networking and collegiality.


With many purposeful opportunities for self- and peer- evaluation of one’s proposed research design, the goal is that every participant will leave the Anatomy Education Research Unconference with a stronger, more refined, well thought-out research design. Furthermore, this unconference will foster collegiality and productivity as we support each other through the research process, expanding and strengthening our own support networks. 


Click here for a detailed agenda.


Is there a Keynote address? Or formal planned sessions? 

The day will commence with a single keynote address by Education Scientist Dr. Nicole Woods to set the tone for the day’s activities and to focus the participants on the tasks at hand. 


How do I participate?

Applications for the event will open in early 2020.

Due to the interactive nature of the Anatomy Education Research Unconference, space is limited to 45 participants. Once an application is accepted, that participant will be officially registered for the event by the organizing committee. Acceptances will be sent on a rolling basis and applicants should expect to hear from the organizing committee within 2 weeks of submission.


Click here for application details.