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2021 Annual Conference Combined Call for Proposals
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19th NPA Annual Conference

 

Combined Call for Proposals: Concurrent Sessions and Posters

Submission deadline: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Notification of proposal decision: November 2020

After reading the instructions below, please click HERE to start the online submission process of your proposal contribution.


Combined Call for Proposals

The 2021 NPA Meetings Committee is seeking proposals for (a) 75-minute concurrent sessions, and (b) poster presentations to be included in the 2021 Annual Conference that will:

  • provide unique training to assist postdoctoral associations (PDAs), and postdoctoral offices (PDOs) in the support and training of their postdoctoral scholars at their home institutions;
  • share ideas, problems, resources, solutions, best practices and success stories with the postdoc community; and,
  • encourage networking among conference attendees.

We strongly encourage postdocs, PDAs and PDOs to submit a proposal, as this is the only conference that provides a voice for them at the national level.

*Please note that the NPA appreciates the highly dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is planning on a virtual component to the Annual Conference in April 2021.

If you submitted an accepted proposal for the 2020 Annual Conference that was canceled due to the pandemic, you are welcome to update your proposal and resubmit it for the 2021 round of selections. The evaluation committee will give priority to previously accepted proposals, but welcome new proposals that address the most current training and best practice ideas to our postdoc community.

All concurrent session proposals (seminars and workshops) will be submitted to the same review committee. Please make sure to read the description of each type of session as it will help you when putting your abstract together.

A proposal may be submitted for more than one type of session (i.e. both a concurrent session and a poster), as long as it meets the requirements for each. If submitting a proposal to be considered for multiple session types, you will be asked to rank your order of session type preference, since a proposal can be selected for only one. An individual presenter/author may participate in up to two proposals, but may only serve as the primary presenter for one of the proposals.. It is also therefore possible to contribute to both a poster and a workshop as long as the individual has the primary presenter role in one or the other.

Proposals will be selected via a committee review process that rates the strength of the proposal. Please note that all of these sections are REQUIRED at the time of submission and must be present for the abstract to be considered. Further, all proposals will be judged equally, and reviews will not be biased due to the authors’ training and pedigree:

  • alignment with the goals of the Annual Conference;
  • relevance to NPA members and to the mission of the NPA;
  • completeness of proposal requirements;
  • innovation, novelty, expected outcome; and,
  • format of the session.

Please note that all concurrent sessions accepted for presentation may be subject to informal evaluation onsite at the Annual Conference.

Questions? Contact the Meetings Committee at meetings@nationalpostdoc.org.


Session Types

Descriptions of the type of sessions that will be presented at the Annual Conference.

Presenting a poster is a great way to share unique training programs, best practices, and successful postdoctoral events, and to foster the exchange of ideas and meaningful discussion, which may allow participants to emulate successful programs at their own institutions. The poster session offers an opportunity to display materials and engage in open-ended, individualized, and informal discussions with interested parties. To recognize outstanding poster presentations, the NPA will present the top three posters with awards.

Seminars and workshops. All concurrent sessions will be 75-minutes in length. All presenters will be encouraged to share their slides and resources on the NPA website.

Seminars: Traditional lecture-style sessions in which presenters are primarily concerned with conveying new information or data to participants. Content, such as survey results, are ideally suited to a seminar-style session.

Workshops: Intensive sessions that emphasize interaction and the exchange of information among participants while also including an instructional or presentation component.


Proposal Requirements

Required information for all proposals.

All five are required.

  1. Title
  2. Complete list of authors
  3. Names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses for each presenter (limited to three individuals)1,2
  4. Abstract (must be between 1,000-2,000 characters)
  5. Relevance to diversity and international issues3 (must be between 250-500 characters)
    1. If the proposal is specifically designed to address topics that are relevant to, and/or inclusive of multiple disciplines, international perspectives, and underrepresented postdoctoral scholars, provide a short description of which group(s) is/are included and how the proposal is applicable to those individuals.
    2. If the proposal is not directly relevant to diversity or international issues, please write “not applicable.”

Items #1-8 are required, item #9 optional.

  1. Title
  2. Names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses for each presenter or moderator (limited to three presenters and one moderator)1,2
  3. Brief biography of primary presenter(s)
  4. Abstract (must be between 1,000-1,500 characters)
  5. Targeted audience/track (PDOs/PDAs, or general audiences – such as sessions that are either applicable to all and/or relevant for associations/societies)
  6. Relevance to diversity and international issues3 (must be between 250-500 characters)
    1. If the proposal is specifically designed to address topics that are relevant to, and/or inclusive of multiple disciplines, international perspectives, and underrepresented postdoctoral scholars, provide a short description of which group(s) is/are included and how the proposal is applicable to those individuals.
    2. If the proposal is not directly relevant to diversity or international issues, please write “not applicable.”
  7. Learning objectives (three to five take-away points that you plan to address during the session (must be between 500-1,500 characters)
  8. Session structure summary (include details on what types of activities are planned, if any; if there will be any handouts and/or small groups; and, how you plan to summarize or compile discussions/information for later dissemination (must be between 500-1,500 characters)
  9. Interest in submitting an article on session in The POSTDOCket

1 Postdocs who plan to present at the Annual Conference and are interested in obtaining funding to offset the cost of travel should consider applying for a travel or childcare award.

2 An individual may serve as the lead presenter/speaker of one accepted concurrent workshop session or one accepted poster, maximum. They may serve in a participant role in their second proposal.

3 Please refer to the NPA’s Diversity Statement and Statement of Inclusion for additional information.


NPA Annual Conference Goals

  • Provide a forum for exchange between the NPA and its membership with respect to policies, programs, best practices, and collaborative efforts among institutions, industry, societies and organizations.
  • Foster leadership and skills development for prospective and current postdocs, and PDA and PDO leadership, in order to more effectively serve the postdoc community at their institutions and nationally.
  • Ensure a diversity of topics and perspectives that are relevant to and/or inclusive of multiple disciplines, international perspectives, and underrepresented postdoctoral scholars.3

We are always looking for fresh, innovative ideas for concurrent and poster sessions at the NPA Annual Conference. We also encourage collaborative session proposals in which representatives from different institutions/PDAs/PDOs work together to convey different views and experiences from across the country. The suggestions below are meant only to provide ideas about potential topics and are not guaranteed for acceptance. Proposals selected for the 2021 Annual Conference will not be limited to these suggestions. Proposals that duplicate topics presented in the past few years are unlikely to be selected.

  • Advocacy strategies/priorities on issues affecting postdocs
  • Addressing diversity issues: how to advocate for people from all walks of life
  • Addressing international postdoctoral issues (financial, immigration, cultural)
  • Building a curriculum for your postdoc population
  • Creating effective peer mentoring groups
  • Collaboration with industry, career fair and onsite visits
  • Creating an engaging web-presence for PDO & PDA
  • Dissecting grant application mechanisms for postdocs (U.S. vs. international eligibilities)
  • Engaging faculty in postdoc professional development
  • Create new policy for mentoring graduate/postdoc and how to effectively engage faculty
  • Evaluating current systems/metrics for measuring postdoc improvement and brainstorming ideas for developing ways to monitor the impact of professional development programs
  • Fundraising for your PDA/PDO
  • How professional societies and associations can help both PDOs and PDAs by providing content and resources
  • How to create and manage a faculty advisory committee
  • How to create more specific postdoc committees, e.g. humanities and social scientists
  • How to collaborate with other PDOs for grants and large projects (e.g. apply for BEST)
  • How to conduct a survey at your institution that generates actionable data
  • How to encourage postdocs to participate in PDA/PDO events
  • How to engage faculty and postdocs from different departments across different areas (engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, etc.)
  • How to improve PDO management/functioning
  • How to inform postdocs regarding their non-academic career options
  • How to provide resources and support for non-biosciences postdocs
  • How to support women within the academy and beyond
  • How to teach job search strategies using online networking
  • Lessons on PDA/PDO programming such as structuring postdoc training, workshops that generate the most enthusiasm among postdocs, career preparation, etc.
  • Maintaining relationships with external organizations and alumni
  • Maintaining a PDA over the decades
  • PDA basics for institutions that don’t have administrative or faculty support for their offices or policies for postdocs
  • PDA connect: time to compare events, appointment processes, community building etc.
  • Perspectives from different types of schools at different stages of program development
  • Practical tools for postdoctoral training or career development (lessons to create a program at your home institution)
  • Programs to foster interaction between PDOs, PDA, and postdocs
  • Providing benefits for postdocs
  • Recruitment, retention and promotion to faculty: under-represented postdocs
  • Strategies and important considerations for postdoc unionization
  • Running a PDO/PDA: trial and error
  • Tangible examples and materials that would allow implementation of a PDA/PDO or related events at one’s home institution

Scoring Rubric

The following will be considered when evaluating proposals:

  • Alignment with the Themes for the NPA Conference (5 points)
  • Relevance of goals to NPA members and to the mission of the NPA (5 points)
  • Clarity of abstract (15 points)
  • Ability to achieve learning objectives (10 points)
  • Innovation/Novelty of proposed ideas, tools or approaches (20 points)
  • Implementation (practicality) of proposal ideas for others (20 points)
  • Related to diversity or international issues (10 points)
  • Appropriateness of format for the described session (10 points)
  • Completeness of proposal requirements (5 points)