Western Psychological Association

WPA Convention – Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals PDF

Proposal Instructions: The instructions for completing your submission are presented below. Please read the instructions carefully before you begin. We also urge you to read our article on preparing abstracts for submission to WPA: Click on this link to view Writing a Conference Abstract: Some Suggestions and Common Errors. The deadline for submission is 11:59 PM (PST) at the end of the day on November 15. All correspondence regarding your submission is completed via email — to make sure that you receive emails from WPA, please add vmedici@westernpsych.org to your Safe Senders in your email account.

Registration and Membership: All authors planning to be the primary presenter of a paper or poster at the convention must be registered for the convention at the time of submission or by the November 15 deadline.

There is only one type of registration for students. Student registration includes WPA student affiliate membership. Registration does not require immediate payment. When you submit a registration form, an invoice is generated. You may then pay by credit card; however, you may delay actual payment until the early registration deadline in March. To complete your payment, simply log in and click on payment due reminder link.

Professionals may submit as a member or non-member. Members receive a discounted registration fee. Professional membership applications/renewals must be completed prior to registering for the convention. When you complete a membership or registration form, an invoice is generated and you are given the option to pay online via credit card or by check. You may also log in later to complete payment.

Note: We expect presenting authors to register for the convention now (this is usually the first author). Other authors or individuals  wishing to attend the convention may register later (we urge everyone to register before the early registration deadline of March 31). If you are an author on multiple proposals, you need to register only once. If you wish to be considered for a student scholarship, please note the requirements described below.

In the event that your proposal is not accepted for presentation and you then elect not to attend the convention, you may request a FULL refund. See the WPA website for the refund schedule.

Types of Proposals: Our convention is designed to provide a forum for the exchange of research and ideas. You may submit proposals for poster presentations, one-speaker papers, or symposia.  You must select a type of proposal when you complete the submission form.

There are two special categories of poster presentations: 1) posters submitted for consideration for inclusion in the Psi Chi poster session — the first author must be a student and Psi Chi member; 2) posters submitted for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Poster Exchange. Details on the types of presentations are provided below.

Posters: Poster presentations are organized by topic in sessions with 40-60 posters per session. Each poster session lasts for 60 to 90 minutes. Most poster submissions describe empirical work. We recognize that research may not be complete when submitted in November. However, it is expected that there will be data collection and results ready for the conference. Thus, posters that do not reflect data collection and results are not acceptable and should be withdrawn. For more information on the guidelines for partially completed research, see Writing a Conference Abstract: Some Suggestions and Common Errors.

One-speaker papers: These oral presentations are organized into sessions consisting of 3-5 individual papers. Each paper is given 15 minutes of presentation time, including time for questions. Undergraduate students must submit posters rather than one-speaker papers. Only professionals and graduate students may submit one-speaker papers.

Symposia: Usually 3-5 papers are presented in a topical session organized by the Symposium Chair. Symposia are limited to a maximum time of 90 minutes. See special instructions below for submitting a symposium proposal. Only doctoral level professionals and graduate students may submit a symposium proposal.

Submitting a Symposium Proposal: The chair of the symposium should fill out the Symposium Submission Form. A synopsis of the symposium (as you wish it to appear in the WPA Program) is required. The proposal form asks for information on each of the presentations: 1) Title, 2) Name and Affiliation of Presenter(s)/Author(s), 3) a brief abstract of the presentation. The chair of the symposium normally obtains this information well in advance of the submission deadline and pastes the information into the submission form. Please contact the WPA Office if you have questions about this process.

Psi Chi Poster Session Submissions: Students holding membership in Psi Chi may elect to submit proposals for a special poster session that WPA has reserved for Psi Chi (usually held on Friday at 8am). Psi Chi members presenting in the Psi Chi Poster Session will also be eligible for a Psi Chi Research Award. Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, sponsors and organizes the Psi Chi Poster Session. Please note the following when submitting a proposal to the Psi Chi Program:

  • Psi Chi has requested that these presentations be in poster format only. Submissions should be empirical research that has been completed.
  • Be sure to indicate on the Submission Form that you wish to have your poster considered for presentation in the Psi Chi Session. When selecting the “Type of Proposal” on the submission form, choose the Psi Chi poster option — not the regular poster or one-speaker paper.
  • Like every other individual who submits a proposal to the convention, members of Psi Chi must register for the Convention at the time their proposal(s) are submitted.
  • Poster submissions that are not accepted for the Psi Chi Poster Session will be reviewed for inclusion in the regular WPA program.

STP Teaching Activities Exchange: WPA and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology will again organize the STP Teaching Activities Exchange. The purpose of this poster session is to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of innovative ideas that are of interest to those concerned with quality teaching. If you wish to have your poster in this session, please select the STP EXCHANGE option when indicating the type of proposal on your submission form.

Registration Fees: Every individual who plans to make a presentation must register by the submission deadline. You do not need to complete payment at the time of registration.

The following table lists the Convention registration fees. Convention registration and WPA Membership forms are provided on the WPA web site. Members are those who have paid their dues for the current July 1-June 30 academic year. Prior members who did not pay dues last year are considered non-members.

  • Current year WPA Professional Member registration $75
  • Professional Non-Member registration $150
  • Student registration $75 (includes student affiliate membership in WPA)

Convention pre-registration ends on March 31. After that date, registration is on-site only. On-site registration fees increase by $15 in each registration category. Current year professional memberships are not accepted after March 31 and are not accepted on-site at the convention.

Student Scholarship Awards: WPA Student Scholarships are dependent on the availability of funds. We anticipate that we will be able to award a limited number of scholarships to eligible students. To be eligible a student must be 1) registered for the convention, and 2) the first author of the submitted poster or paper. Please indicate on your Submission Form that the first author is a student wishing to be considered for a scholarship. Recipients of these scholarships will be determined on the basis of a masked review by the Program Review Committee. These scholarships are intended to help defray the costs of attending the Convention and presenting the award-winning research. Receipt of the monetary scholarship is contingent on the scholarship recipient attending the convention and presenting the research. Scholarship recipients (only) will be notified by email on or about February 15. The names of the scholarship recipients will be published in the Convention Program and awards will be presented at the WPA Awards session during the convention.

Requesting Space for Special Meetings: As we have done in the past, WPA will make space available at no charge to organized professional groups who wish to hold meetings that are generally consistent with the purposes and goals of our association. If you wish space for a special meeting, submit a request to the WPA Office describing the nature of the meeting, who will host or chair it, and how you would like it to be listed in the program. These requests should be received by the submission deadline. Because the space available for such meetings is limited, these requests will be honored in the order in which they are received. All such meetings will be scheduled so that they do not conflict with the program. Your meeting will be listed in the program without charge. The WPA Executive Board expects that all persons who participate in these meetings will register for the WPA Convention.

Submitting Your Proposal: Before you enter the submission site, we suggest that you have the following available, ideally in an open document so you can copy/paste into the submission form. Please proof for possible errors.

  • Title of presentation, limited to about 10-15 words.
  • Author information – for each author, you will need to have the name typed exactly as it should appear in the program, author affiliation/institution as it should appear in the program (be careful of abbreviations), and email address. When listing authors, do NOT use degrees (e.g., PhD) or licenses (e.g., LMFT) or titles (e.g., Dr.). The WPA format for authors is simply Firstname Lastname (with initials if appropriate). Do not use APA reference style. Use correct capitalization. Please check the preferred name and spelling with all authors – this will help us avoid making expensive corrections to the program and unfortunate situations is which the same person has different names on each of several papers.
  • 350-word abstract.
  • Make sure the email address address you use is spelled correctly (if you do not receive emails about your submission, check with the WPA office), that the address will be valid for six months, and the address that will accept email from jsmio.wpa@gmail.com (some student mail systems do not allow mail from outside the university; other mail systems allow you to authorize mail addresses that you will receive in your inbox).

Submission Forms: You must create a new submission account to begin the submission process. Begin by creating a new account or logging into your account.

This account is totally separate from your WPA membership account. You may wish to use the same password for both accounts. Be sure to print and save the confirmation emails you receive when you create your account and submit you proposal. When you create the new submission account, you will be given the option to do a new submission or log out. If you are planning on submitting at the last minute, it is a good idea to create your account early to save time and make sure that your browser is compatible with the submission software.

After your submission account is active, you may log on to the account to create a new poster/paper/symposium submission or edit an existing submission. You will be able to log on until the submission deadline. Note: You will receive a confirmation receipt when you successfully submit your abstract or symposium. If you do not receive the confirmation, log on to check your submission and make sure you have provided the correct email address. Print your confirmation.

Submission Checklist:

_____ Poster or One-Speaker Paper? Undergraduates must submit as a poster. Grad students and professionals may do either.
_____ Review Writing a Conference Abstract: Some Suggestions and Common Errors
_____ Prepare a document that includes 1) title (about 10-15 words), 2) each author with correct name, spelling, affiliation, and email address, 3) up to 350-word abstract. Type exactly as you wish the title and authors to appear in the printed program. No degrees or titles with author names.
_____ Ask co-authors and faculty research mentor to review document for accuracy, spelling, grammar. Names should not include titles, degrees, licenses.
_____ Click here to create submission account. Record user name and password information for later use.
_____ Submit the convention registration prior to the submission deadline.
_____ For symposium chairs: Ask presenters to provide you with title, list of authors and affiliations, and 150-word abstract.