Open Dialogues across
Physics and Astronomy

A cross-dicipline conference for all physics and astronomy PhD students.

ODaPA 2023 – “Keeping the Dialogue Open”

March 28th and 29th at The Open University in Milton Keynes

Open Dialogues is back! Join us for two more days of inspiring talks, posters, and cross-dicipline panel discussions.

Abstract submissions and registration is now closed!


Open Dialogues is free to attend for all physics and astronomy PhD students that have registered, with free accomidation at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre available for the 27th and 28th of March.

Students from universities in the South East Physics network (SEPnet) may be able to have their travel costs reimbursed by SEPnet. See the SEPnet website for the full list of member universities.. Please get in touch with your department to be sure.

Open Dialogues 2023 is run by students inspired by the previous Open Dialogues, with the support of the previous committee. It aims to build on the success and community of the last Open Dialogues and continue the ethos of a conference designed to support physics and astronomy students from all diciplines and backgrounds.

If you would like to know more about this year’s conference, please get in touch with the organising committee chair, Marta Podgorny, ().

If you you would like to know more about the Open Dialogues project and how you can get involved, please get in touch with the chair of the steering group, Astra Sword, ().

About ODaPA 2022 – “Opening the Dialogue”

The first Open Dialogues Across Physics and Astronomy ran at the start of September 2022. It aimed to be a truly cross-discipline conference, welcoming PhD students from all physics and astronomy disciplines to learn from academics outside of their own silos. It was run by IPPSnet, SEPnet’s Intersectional PhD Peer Support network with the goal creating a conference environment that was welcoming to PhD students from all backgrounds.

In total, 17 students and 8 invited academics attended and presented an amazing array of talks from fields including: astrophysics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, material science, astrochemistry, quantum technology, planetary geoscience, particle physics and physics education research. It was a resounding success!

PhD Student Feedback for ODaPA 2022

“So fun, relaxed and happy environment where I had the opportunity to meet amazing people and their work! ♥️”

“Loved the wide range of physics and how informal the discussions were. Super relaxed and exciting.”

“How friendly the atmosphere was. These things are so intimidating at times but this was so nice. The speakers and all talks interesting & engaging. There was a lot of passion in the room and this I found invigorating.”

“It was a very relaxed and uplifting atmosphere with a lot of really cool people who do a lot of really cool stuff and have a lot of interesting opinions.”

“EVERYTHING! The vibes were impeccable, felt super friendly and fun and I learned loads. Was great to see so many people be enthusiastic about their research and the organising and planning was done so well. Got loads to take away and perhaps a new EDI collaboration to get excited about. Amazing work organising you should all be really proud!”

“Everyone attending, students and those invited, was so lovely, the talks and panels were nothing like I expected they were so good! You knew going to talk was going to be a nice experience which is a nice change!”

“Everything! Especially I appreciate The opportunity to talk about MORE than our projects, to talk about all the stresses, politics and ‘secret curriculum’ of a PhD. Astra has done an incredible job of putting together a diverse and engaging panel. I am sure collaboration opportunities have come out of this conference and the world is better for that.”

“I liked the interdisciplinary of fields represented during conference. Even they were so different it was understandable and so nice to attend. It was a great representation and focus on diversity as a gender and ethnic but also as scientists from different disciplines. Great job!”

“Really casual environment to teach and learn about new areas of physics and astronomy (and other subjects). I felt very secure in giving a presentation thanks to the welcoming attitudes of both the organisers and attendees.”

“So much! It was such a lovely atmosphere to be in and exchange ideas. I felt so welcomed and inspired by all of the talks and discussions. It ran super smoothly and weaved so many different themes together. Overall it was by far the best conference I’ve ever been to!”

“Meeting people from many different disciplines. Learning new science from other disciplines.”

“Talks about the non-physics part of academia Talking to people who offer different perspectives”

“Everything! there was such a great atmosphere around it and all along we could feel the results of a great deal of effort in the preparation of the conference. There was an impressive diversity of presenters which I found very heartwarming.”

“This conference was an excellent opportunity for me learn about research going on outside of my field.”


“The conference offer me an opportunity to learn from others how to present your work on a conference and communicate with interdisciplinary people.”