Housing Studies Association Conference 2020 Support 

Expressions of Interest: Conference Support Assistant

About the Housing Studies Association

The Housing Studies Association (HSA) was established in 1990 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among all those with interests in housing research and education. The Association has become established as the leading independent forum for the promotion of housing studies, embracing the interests of researchers and students across a broad range of organisations and academic disciplines. The HSA is a UK wide organisation with active membership throughout the country and well-established international links. The HSA has the following aims:

  • to promote the study of housing
  • to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in housing research and education
  • to encourage the practical application of social research to the field of housing studies
  • to represent the interests of those researching or teaching housing studies in higher education to funding and development organisations, and to government.

The HSA is led by an elected Committee of people who are involved in housing research and education. Each year three members retire and are replaced by postal ballot of membership. All members are eligible to stand for election to the committee.

The HSA undertakes several core activities:

  • The delivery of an annual international conference
  • The delivery of an autumn lecture
  • Provision of grants for events run by members
  • Provision of grants for conference attendances
  • An annual award (the Valerie Karn prize) to early-career researchers 

The HSA Annual Conference 2020

Like most organisations in 2020 a number of extraordinary decisions have been made with regards to our activities. In April the Executive Committee of the HSA took the decision to move our annual conference to November 2020. However, as a result of the social distancing measures likely to remain in place it is now clear that we will be unable to offer a physical conference in 2020. Instead the conference will be online and we are excited about the opportunities presented to us to harness digital capabilities in reaching all our members, as well as new networks, in order to continue to share the work of our housing studies community. We are therefore preparing to deliver the conference as a month-long virtual event in November 2020.

We are planning for each plenary session to be held as an open live event. The workshops however will combine pre-recorded material with a live discussion. This will involve speakers pre-recording a 10-15 minute presentation of their paper to be uploaded to our website. Speakers will then be invited to be a part of a 45 minute live panel session for each workshop. We hope that this format enables people to engage with a wide range of pre-recorded content at their own pace, as well as have live interaction with the presenters through the panel session. All HSA members will be able to access all content for free with non-HSA members able to access all content for a £25 charge (which includes a one-year HSA membership).

The role

The HSA conference is typically designed and organised by two or three members of the Executive Committee who are supported by the Faculty Events team within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. We feel the transition from a physical conference to an online event needs additional support and we are seeking expressions of interest for suitable candidates to support the organisational team in designing and delivering the conference. The following are the broad roles and responsibilities we envisage for the Conference Support Assistant:


  • Coordinating use of software with the University of Sheffield team
  • Providing the HSA conference organising team with a briefing of how the events are going to run and associated risks/challenges
  • Working with the conference organising team to revise the current event programme into an online event
  • Work with the HSA Communications Officer and Assistant to develop appropriate comms for the online festival and individual events


  • Setting up each distinct event online as well as having an overarching view of the ‘festival’ as a whole
  • Coordinating set up with speakers and checking they have suitable access
  • Ensuring Chairs of sessions have appropriate access
  • Attending each session to run the technological side of the event
  • Any other reasonable activity that may arise in the development and delivery of the conference

The successful candidate

We are seeking to work with an early-career researcher to help deliver the conference. The Housing Studies Association adopts a flexible view of what constitutes an Early Career Researcher (ECR). ECRs normally include Doctoral students, and researchers with less than four years full-time equivalent research experience (e.g. postdoctoral researchers within 4 years of PhD completion or junior researchers in a non-academic research role for less than 4 years). However, if you are unsure if you fit within the definition of ECR please contact Prof. Phil Brown whose email address is at the end of this advert.

We expect the successful candidate to have the following qualifications, knowledge, experience and skills. Please click the linke below to see the full essential and desirable criteria for this role.

Essential and Desirable Criteria

Terms and Conditions

The position is available on a freelance basis and the postholder will be required until 4th December 2020. The budget for the position is £2,700 which will be payable in full on completion of the commission. We would expect the postholder to commence the role in early September 2020. 


If you are interested in being considered for the role please send a short (1-2 page CV) and a covering letter detailing your fit for the role, not exceeding 2 pages, to Prof. Phil Brown [email protected] by 30th August 2020. 


The Housing Studies Association (HSA) is a limited company registered in England and Wales under company number 13958843 at 42 Wellington Road, Greenfield, OL3 7AQ.
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