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ESRS 2015 on a budget

Aberdeen can be an expensive place to travel to and stay, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that delegates can attend the ESRS 2015 congress on a range of budgets.

  1. Awards:  We have arranged for a number of scholarships, awarded on a competitive basis, for participants who would otherwise not be able to attend.  The local organising committee will review applications and award the scholarships on the basis of the quality of the two-page papers submitted.  Scholarships will include free registration fee, accommodation in an en suite dormitory room, the conference dinner, and a field trip.  They will not cover the cost of travel to and from Aberdeen or other expenses during the congress.
  2. Low-cost accommodation:  We have arranged for 76 en suite dormitory rooms (£35 or approx. €45 per night), and several hundred regular dormitory rooms (£30 or approx. €37 per night) to be available to congress delegates.  These are located at the University of Aberdeen, and are near a direct bus route to the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, where the congress is being held.  These will be available on a first come, first served basis, as part of the registration process.
  3. The congress is being held at the end of the week (Tuesday through Friday) to take advantage of the much cheaper Friday and weekend rates offered at Aberdeen hotels.  We are not designating conference hotels, as it is cheaper in most cases to book directly.  We recommend the Premier Inn Aberdeen City Centre hotel (approx. £73 per night), which is close to the bus route and city centre.  There are also two on-site hotels at the AECC, the Holiday Inn Exhibition Centre, and the Holiday Inn Express Exhibition Centre
  4. The congress is easily accessible by local ‘First bus’ service. Bus route 40 runs between the centre of Aberdeen (Union Street) along King Street, stopping at the university before continuing on to the AECC.  It runs every 15 minutes during the day.  Any accommodation located near King St or Union St will therefore be easily accessible.
    • Time from city centre to the AECC:  20 minutes by bus, 45 minutes’ walk
    • Time from the university to the AECC:  10 minutes by bus, 30 minutes’ walk (1.5 miles).
    • The StageCoach bus service operates coaches which travel from the city centre (Union Street) to towns north of Aberdeen, stopping at both the University of Aberdeen and the AECC. These run every half hour, and originate at the central, intercity bus station. This is right next to the train station, and Union Square shopping centre.

Aberdeen is also served by a number of budget airlines (e.g. Easyjet).  Additional budget airlines fly into Glasgow and Edinburgh (e.g. Ryanair, Easyjet), which connect easily to Aberdeen by train (2.5 hours) or bus.  Scotland has an extensive rail and bus network; Megabus offers intercity bus tickets, some for as little as £1.50 when booked well in advance.  The cheapest train fares go on sale approximately 12 weeks prior to travel (i.e. booking earlier than that will not save you money) and the cheapest fares can often be found on East Coast and the Trainline.

Other things to consider when you’re budgeting for Aberdeen:

  • The conference runs from Tuesday through to Friday, August 18th to 21st. We are planning a ‘pre-congress’ event for students during the day on Tuesday.
  • The congress is being run in British pounds, so costs will vary a bit with the exchange rate
    • The registration fees have been agreed at £325 (early bird, member) and £370 (early bird, non-member).  So be sure to register by the 1st of May; after that, prices go up by approximately £50.
    • A fee of £20 will be charged to participants for the excursions, which will be held on the Thursday afternoon of the congress.
    • A fee of £35 will be charged for the congress dinner, which will be held on the Friday evening of the congress.
    • We are working to reduce these costs through sponsorship, but it is best to plan with these in mind.
    • The is no food served on the University of Aberdeen campus in the evenings, but there are a number of local take-away options and pubs, or you can head into the city centre for your evening meals. There is a restaurant on-site at the AECC.
  • Aberdeen city hotels are considerably cheaper on weekends than they are during the week – for those of you opting to stay in hotels you’ll find that the Friday night may be half the price of Thursday night!  It’s also good news for those of you planning to bring family and/or stay through the weekend to enjoy more of the sites and attractions of Aberdeen city and shire. There are local tours which can be arranged through VisitScotland.