CMC Research 2020

Call For Papers


The Research Strand of the Children’s Media Conference (CMC) is a crucially important and popular part of this annual event, which attracts over 1,200 children’s media professionals to Sheffield every year. This year the conference takes place from the 7th to the 9th July 2020. The Research Sessions themselves will be held on both the 8th and 9th July. The content shared during the research sessions is always eagerly anticipated by delegates and the research strand’s role is to provide valuable insights and thought-provoking research to the children’s media community. The research presented may also be incorporated into other related conference sessions, to disseminate it more widely.

The wide variety of topics discussed at the conference can be seen in last year’s programme.

The CMC Research Sub-Committee is delighted to announce this year’s call for papers to be presented at the 2020 Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield on both the 8th and 9th July. 

Conference Theme: “Right Here Right Now”

The conference theme for 2020 is Right Here Right Now. The theme is a response to challenges set by the Changemakers at CMC last July – not only on climate change, but also diversity, inclusion and empowerment of new and young voices. It reflects the speed of change in the kids’ content business landscape. New platforms, new funding, new approaches to IP, new tech, new regulatory issues, new business consolidation and continuing audience fragmentation – it’s all Right Here, Right Now, and CMC will address it, not as future forecasting but “in the moment” right there, in Sheffield.

We’re especially interested in research that will help delegates achieve their creative and commercial goals. Insight into children’s behaviours and perspectives as well as data that helps to inform decision-making and strategy will be particularly useful. Our aim is to present a varied menu of research sessions, appealing to delegates from all corners of the industry and so welcome submissions from academic, institutional and commercial sources. We are keen to hear your thoughts of suitable, relevant and thought-provoking content that can be shared.

Submission Criteria

Over the years we have been able to identify the types of sessions which achieve the most success with the audience at the conference. Below is an outline of the submissions considerations we ask of our research agencies and academics and where possible your submissions should reflect the following:

  • Relevance to the audience (please look at the delegate list from last year to give you an impression of the wide range of delegates who attend CMC):
  • An emphasis on findings, not methodology (this is the key to a successful presentation). Each research session lasts only 30 minutes, presentations need to move directly to “value added” outcomes
  • Clear and concise action points for the audience to take away and be able to use from the research
  • Long-term research which enables us to understand the past better and explore and project the future better
  • Wide research which brings good statistical evidence to bear and provides agood basis for market understanding
  • Fresh insights which are relevant to today’s children’s media landscape
  • A unique angle/area which has not yet been explored
  • Academic research that will have completed (at least data collection) by May/June 2019, at the latest, in time to be integrated for the conference
  • We are open to submissions relating to children aged 0-16 years of age.

For the purposes of contrast please see all the sessions headed “Research” in the 2018 and 2019 programmes (audio and in some cases video versions of the sessions are available on these pages):

PLEASE NOTE Research sessions from Wednesday 8th July will be repeated on Thursday 9th July so you must be available to present on both days. 

Submission Process and Deadlines: 

  1. Please submit a 600-word abstract detailing your proposed research topic including where appropriate objectives, methods and potential outcomes.
  2. Submit your entry to Shazia Ali/Btisam Belola, the CMC Research Strand Producers, at by Friday 13th March.
  3. Submissions will be reviewed by the CMC Research Advisory Sub-Committee, whose members are from a variety of backgrounds; Research, industry, academia, client-side and agencies. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 27th March.
  4. If you are selected, your session producer will need a summary of the key findings and insights from your presentation by Tuesday 26th May.
  5. Your final presentation will be required by Friday 18th June. This is to allow the producers to identify any other sessions that the research content may be further utilised. This will increase the coverage your research session will have across the conference.
  6. All organisations offering research for this strand are offered an in-kind sponsor status at CMC. The presenter of the research is provided with one free pass to the whole conference, plus one further pass in recognition of the sponsorship status. The CMC Sponsorship Coordinator will email you with an in-kind sponsorship agreement. By Tuesday 26th May you need to send Lauren Bartles one jpeg company logo and one eps company logo for use on print and on the CMC website.
  7. Research sessions will take place on Wednesday 8th July and will all be repeated to maximise their potential audience, on Thursday 9th July.

Key Dates – 2020

Proposals to be received by Friday 13th March
Successful Applicants notified by Friday 27th March
Top-line Findings and key insights Tuesday 26th May
Logos submitted Tuesday 26th May
Final Presentations submitted Friday 18th June
Presentations at Conference Wednesday 8th & Thursday 9th July


We will seek to publish all the presentations and associated video and audio recordings on the CMC website immediately after the conference. Please indicate in your proposal if elements, or all of, your planned presentation will not be suitable for this.

The CMC research sessions will benefit from full technical support. This means that all presentations will be stored centrally and so you will not be able to present from your own PC or Mac. The deadline for submission of final presentations is Friday 18th June to allow the conference organisers to upload and check the presentations.

The CMC PR agency DDA will be seeking new research, which stimulates press interest in the run-up to the conference. Again it is important for us to know if your research is embargoed or should not be featured in this way.

It is your responsibility to clear with research subjects and partners your right to present the research at the conference (and if possible online) and to clear all content in your presentation for display at the conference to a live audience.

Please ensure you are able to present on both Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th July. If you have any issues with availability then please let us know when you submit your abstract.

For further clarification please email: Shazia Ali & Btisam Belola (Producers, CMC Research Strand)

Submissions to:

By Friday 13th March 2020