For the past six years, the Nief-Norf Summer Festival has featured an academic conference within the larger 14-day festival. As part of the festival, dozens of performers, composers, festival faculty, and participating scholars attend these research gatherings. Conference topics have included the music of John Cage (2012), Music and Technology (2013), Music and/as Process (2014), Music as Theater (2015), Astro-Bio-Geo-Physical Music (2016), the Sixth International Conference on Music and Minimalism (2017), and New Asia (2018).

Information about the 2019 Research Conference will be announced in December 2018.