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3rd International Conference on Missing Children and Adults

When: 14-16 June 2017

Where: Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland

Welcome to the 3rd International Conference on Missing Children and Adults! It is my great pleasure to be chair of this year’s conference, which is being organised by Abertay University in partnership with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, Police Scotland and the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at Portsmouth University, and is sponsored by WPC Software. The conference is the only international conference which sees academics, practitioners and policy makers come together to explore and discuss the full range of issues associated with the challenges faced by those who are missed, those who are charged with responding to missing and those who are affected by missing in its broadest sense. We are planning a jam-packed programme this year and look forward to welcoming you to Dundee, City of Discovery, in June.

Penny Woolnough

Conference Chair


If you have any questions regarding the conference, please feel free to contact either myself or my conference co-chair Dr Karen Shalev-Greene:

Dr Penny Woolnough:

Dr Karen Shalev-Greene:

Partners and supporters

The conference is being organised with the partnership of:

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research  

Police Scotland 

The Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at Portsmouth University 

The conference organisers are being supported by the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau 


The conference is very kindly being sponsored by WPC Software. WPC Software is an established provider of information technology solutions with a strong focus on the public sector. WPC provide various solutions to police and other organisations including case management to protect vulnerable persons.

In particular, COMPACT Misper is a well-established system in the UK for the management of missing persons investigations and the proactive management of those vulnerable when missing.

If you are interested in sponsoring the conference, please click here for details of our sponsorship opportunities or contact Dr Penny Woolnough


Conference fees 

Early bird



Full conference




Day 1




Day 2




Day 3




Register online now

Deadline for conference registration – Friday 2 June 2017 at 5pm. 


Call for papers



The Third International Conference on Missing Children and Adults will be held from 14-16 June, 2017 at the University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland. The conference will be partnered by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, Police Scotland and the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at Portsmouth University.

We invite proposals for symposia, papers, posters and ‘marketplace of ideas’ sessions addressing topics in all areas of missing persons and associated issues. We particularly welcome proposals that speak to any of the following four themes:

  • Prevention of missing person incidents.
  • Responding appropriately to incidents.
  • Supporting missing people and their families.
  • Protecting vulnerable people to reduce the risk of harm.

We especially welcome proposals that are empirically based and those that involve new and emerging topics.

symposium proposal is appropriate for a coordinated group of presentations that will focus on one topic. Symposium proposals should include three 20 minute presentations and a discussant. The discussant must be independent of research projects that are presented in the symposium. Each participant and the topics to be discussed should be outlined in the proposal. The participation of each presenter should be secured before submitting the proposal. (Each symposium session at the conference will be allotted up to 90 minutes.) In keeping with the international nature of this conference, higher priority will be given to proposals that have international representation among its panellists.

Paper proposals are appropriate for presentations that will focus on an individual research topic. After acceptance/rejection of proposals has been determined, the conference co-chairs will group paper presentations into sessions consisting of 3-5 presentations. Every effort will be made to ensure international representation in each paper session. The amount of time allowed for each individual presentation will be determined by the total number of presentations involved.

Poster presentations will be made at one poster session held in the evening. Presentations will be made in a written format on display boards (size TBA).

Marketplace of Ideas are practice-focused sessions of between 30-60 minutes that aim:

  • To provide practical examples of successful practices across the full range of ‘missing’ issues.
  • To provide a forum for identifying, collecting and showcasing innovative partnership approaches, as a basis for exploring the principles behind success and sustainability of such collaborations.
  • To stimulate interest in the development of new collaborative programmes.

Ideally the Marketplace of Ideas will be a joint presentation by either a practitioner and an academic or by two practitioners from different services (e.g., a police officer and a social or health professional) where both have been involved in the project. Marketplace of Ideas sessions will be small groups (approximately 30 people) and will be highly interactive. Some examples of Marketplace of Ideas sessions could be:

  • Presentations/demonstrations of training packages, curricula, manuals, videos etc.
  • A ‘knowledge exchange’ through a facilitated discussion after describing the achievements and/or failures of a particular programme initiative.
  • A ‘mini master class’ via a highly interactive workshop to communicate experiential knowledge and know-how.
  • ‘Up close and personal’ with an expert on a technical question: informative, inspiring, energetic up to 18-minute talks in the TED/Ignite style.

Paper and poster proposals should consist of an abstract that is no longer than 250 words. Symposium proposals should consist of a 250-word abstract for each paper, plus an additional 200-word abstract for the symposium. Marketplace of Ideas proposals should consist of a 500-word abstract setting out the nature, content and aims of the session as well as how you will ensure the session is interactive.

Please indicate if you would like your paper or symposium papers to be considered for inclusion as posters if they are not accepted as proposed. Presentations from students are welcome. The deadline for submissions is 15 February, 2017. All proposals should be submitted electronically to All accepted presenters must register for the conference or their presentations will be removed from the conference programme. Decisions concerning the acceptance of abstracts is at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Please check this page regularly for updates regarding the conference programme. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding the call for papers, or about the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact the conference organisers:

Chair: Dr Penny Woolnough:

Co-chair: Dr Karen Shalev Greene:


Key dates

Call for papers opens – Monday 19 December 2016

Registration opens – Monday 23 January 2017

Deadline for paper submissions – Wednesday 15 February 2017

Deadline for conference registration – Friday 2 June 2017 at 5pm 


Please click on the following links for further information:

Event Programme


Book of Abstracts


Conference Venue – Abertay University

A warm welcome awaits you at Abertay University, which is conveniently located in Dundee city centre – just a 5-minute walk from the rail and bus stations, shops, bars and restaurants.

How to find us 

The university has modern and adaptable conference facilities, which are very close together, facilitating an excellent conference experience.

Download a campus map 

Conference Dinner – Abertay’s Student Centre

The conference dinner will be held in the Abertay Student Centre, which is in the heart of our friendly campus – just yards from our award-winning library and main teaching buildings. The Student Centre is more than just a building – it’s the cultural and social hub of our campus and a fantastic environment in which to eat, relax and socialise.

Exploring Dundee

Dundee, Scotland’s sunniest city, is situated in a stunning location on the River Tay.

Whaling, textile manufacturing and the shipbuilding industries all play an important part in Dundee’s history and heritage.

Today Dundee is at the cutting edge of medical research, technology and the computer games industry.

Known as ‘one city, many discoveries’, Dundee continues to inspire and educate. There’s much to discover, from its vibrant arts scene to an eclectic mix of eateries, attractions and nightspots.

'I am studying for my Professional Doctorate in Dundee and visit the city regularly. It is a small but vibrant city with a fascinating heritage. The waterfront is being transformed with a new V&A museum. There's something new each time I visit.' Joe Apps, Manager, UK Missing Persons Bureau

Learn more about Dundee

For more helpful information, visit the Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau website 

See a map of Dundee

Download Dundee visitor guides:

24 hours in Dundee

48 hours in Dundee


Dundee is a compact city with a wide range of accommodation, from budget hostels to more luxurious hotels.

Click here to download the Accommodation Guide

How to get here

Dundee is just an hour and half away from Edinburgh and Glasgow by train or car.

Dundee is also just an hour and a half away from London by air, with Dundee Airport operating a twice daily service to London Stansted.

Visit the Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau’s website for more detailed travel information. 

Discounted Flights between London Stansted and Dundee:

Flybe is offering an exclusive 30% discount to delegates travelling between London Stansted and Dundee for the conference. Please book at  before 7 June 2017, quoting promotional code, MISSING, at the time of booking, for travel between 12 June 2017 and 18 June 2017. 

Extend your stay

Scotland is a small country, but it’s full to the brim with things to see and do.

Staying in Dundee puts you in a perfect position to explore the rest of Scotland. You are just over an hour away from Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Each has its own identity, arts, culture, history, and shopping, and are well worth a visit.

The historic golf town of St Andrews is just 25 minutes away. In fact, you are close to some of the best golf courses in Scotland, whatever direction you travel.

You are also a short journey from Perth – gateway to the world-famous Highlands, with stunning landscapes and plenty of outdoor activities.

VisitScotland and the Dundee and Angus Convention Bureau have more information on exploring Scotland.


‌Regular short news updates will be provided on this webpage. Please look out for news updates by emails and tweets.

  • 22nd January: Dame Professor Sue Black confirmed as keynote speaker.
  • 25th January: Registration is now open – register by Friday 3 March to secure an Early Bird rate.
  • 8th February: We have secured a dedicated number of rooms at local hotels with premium rates for conference delegates - see the accommodation tab above for more details.
  • 8th February: Last chance for submission - one week to go until submission deadline on 15th February.
Please click on the following links to download our newsletters:

Contact us

 If you have any questions or comments regarding the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Conference organisation

Contact the conference organising team:


Conference programme

Conference Chair – Dr Penny Woolnough:

Telephone +44 (0) 1382 308638


Conference Co-chair – Dr Karen Shalev-Greene:

Telephone +44 (0) 23 9284 3938