Call for Submissions

The Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) invites you to submit to the 2018 conference:

“Pushing the Boundaries of Population Health Science:
Social Inequalities, Biological Processes, and Policy Implications”

October 3-5 (Wednesday to Friday), 2018
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20418

Submissions Deadline: March 15, 2018


The 2018 Program Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS), co-chaired by Robert Hummer and Allison Aiello of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, invites submissions to our 4th annual interdisciplinary population health research conference, entitled “Pushing the Boundaries of Population Health Science: Social Inequalities, Biological Processes, and Policy Implications.”

Starting with birth and continuing throughout the life course, there continues to be disparities in key measures of population health by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, gender, and sexual orientation in the US. While some of these differentials have become smaller over time, others have widened in recent decades. In some US population subgroups (e.g., white women, particularly those who are low educated), some key measures of population health are worsening in an absolute sense. Internationally, the US lags behind the majority of other wealthy countries on most indicators of population health, indicating that there is much progress to be made. In other international settings, particularly in less wealthy countries, population health measures tend to be less favorable than those in the US and much scientific work is in progress to better understand and improve the outcomes.

It is clear that there are multiple levels of influence on population health today and many have argued that effective responses will therefore need to engage all levels – particularly through multidisciplinary approaches. Yet, efforts at research integration are lagging because of the staggering pace at which new social, behavioral, and biological measures are discovered and generated. To keep pace with advances across the scientific spectrum and keep it grounded in the reality of implementation of policies and programs to improve population health, researchers and practitioners need to come together and develop novel approaches and methods to integrate across the sciences to conduct more effective work in this critical area. Thus, the overall goal of this year’s IAPHS conference is to stimulate new thinking and approaches for population health research by bringing together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to: 1) present boundary-breaking research on the ways that social inequalities work to influence the biological processes that lead to poor population health; and 2) to facilitate fruitful discussion on the challenges toward improving population health, and reducing disparities therein, both in the United States and beyond.

The Program Committee encourages submissions that highlight the promise of interdisciplinary population health science and action that can improve population health across the life course. Submissions from postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, clinical students and trainees are especially encouraged.

Submission Formats

Panels of Original Contributions:

Groups of individuals are invited to submit panels that will present original research or engage in innovative discussions that push the boundaries of population health science, practice, theory, methods, student training, or technological innovations (or a combination of these) around a significant issue relevant to the conference theme. Note that work presented in these panels should not yet be published. All proposed panels should include a moderator and 3-4 presenters.

The IAPHS annual meeting is aimed at fostering cross-pollination of ideas among panel members and an interdisciplinary audience. Panels should not be comprised of presenters from a single academic discipline. For an example of interdisciplinary panels from the 2017 conference, see

Poster presentations:

Individuals or co-authored teams are welcome to submit an original abstract for consideration on the program as a poster presentation. Posters may present original research, practice, theory, methods, new ideas on student training, or technological innovations.

Submission Policy

Abstracts submitted for poster sessions or panels

May be submitted: 

  • Abstracts of work that has been neither published nor presented at another meeting.
  • Abstracts derived from papers under review by a journal but not yet accepted.
  • Abstracts that have been submitted to other meetings for presentation and are under review (however, if accepted may not be presented both at IAPHS and another meeting).

 May not be submitted:

  • Abstracts derived from papers that have already been published, either in print or in an online format
  • Abstracts based entirely on research that has been presented at other meetings, even if unpublished.

Submission Guidelines and Criteria for Review

General Guidelines for All Submissions

Submissions must focus on population health, broadly defined.

  1. Submissions should not include unnecessary disciplinary jargon. Remember that there is a strong likelihood that your submission will be reviewed from at least one person outside of your field. If the reviewers do not understand your submission, it is less likely to be selected.
  2. If you panel submission or poster abstract is based on original research, you must include enough details about your data and/or results to convince the Program Committee that your work will be ready for presentation at the October meeting.
  3. Priority will be given to submissions that will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience.
  4. Submissions will be evaluated based on:

           a. Clarity of the formulation/conceptualization
           b. Assessment of the methodological approach(es) as appropriate
           c. Novelty of the results or discussion
           d. Innovation of the overall project or panel
           e. Fit on the program with other sessions
           f. Ability to speak to an audience that includes researchers and practitioners from
              multiple fields and sectors

Panel Guidelines

Panel proposals must include a description of the panel (1000 words or less), a listing of the panelists, talk titles for each panelist, and a moderator for the panel. All panel members, as well as the moderator listed on the panel submission, must indicate a willingness to attend the conference and participate on the panel. Contact information and each panelist’s professional affiliation also need to be included.

Poster Submission Guidelines

Poster abstracts that highlight original research must be 500 words or less and must communicate to the Program Committee the question that is guiding the research, the significance of the research, data/methods, and preliminary results. These poster submissions must be based on unpublished research. Poster submissions highlighting population health practitioner work, data sets, student training, or other non-research related topics must also be 500 words or less and also communicate the significance of the work and its relevance to the interdisciplinary population health field. Abstract submissions will be judged on the extent to which the research, practice, or training is pushing boundaries in this area of study, is clear and complete, and is related to the theme of the meeting.

You will be notified as to whether your submission will be included on the program on or before June 15, 2018.

If you have questions about your submission, please contact:

Sue Bevan