Channel Descriptions

Conference Presentation

Description: AIHA Connect presentations are opportunities to share data and information through an educational session, case study, scientific research presentation, pop-up presentation, or poster formats.

Target Audience: OEHS or public audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you want to share OEHS information, trends, technology, and best practices with a live or virtual audience at the annual AIHA Connect conference.

Format Outline:

  • Case studies and scientific research presentations are 30 minutes in length and have single presenters. Your presentation will be paired with another speaker's 30-minute presentation on a similar topic for a single 60-minute Research Roundup session.
    • Scientific research presentations generate knowledge and understanding of a chemical, physical, or biological agent's basic mechanisms based on research conducted in a laboratory, on a sample of subjects, or in a sample of facilities or situations. Abstracts and presentations must include a research objective, detailed methods, results, and data-driven conclusions and may also include data review and analysis.
    • Case studies take a problem-solving approach to real-world problems or actual situations that have been investigated or tested. Abstracts on instructional topics—such as those that describe a new methodology or equipment—should be submitted under this format. Abstracts and presentations based on professional practices must clearly present the situation or problem at issue, your proposed resolution, and the results and lessons learned.
  • Educational sessions are 60 minutes in length, involve 1-3 presenters, and address topics within OEHS. They may be delivered as traditional lectures, interactive problem-solving sessions, or other setups. We encourage sessions to involve attendee participation and for presenters to create engaging educational experiences.
  • Pop-up sessions are 25 minutes in length, have 1-3 presenters, and are short, interactive sessions that deliver targeted education in small but timely doses. These sessions are held outside of session rooms in open areas of the convention center.
  • Professional posters publicize your work to conference attendees through a poster that summarizes your research and generates discussion and feedback.
Professional Development Course

Description: Professional Development Courses (PDCs) are held immediately before and after AIHA Connect. PDCs are live events that include in-person and sometimes virtual attendees. Similar to a workshop, they can involve lectures, discussions, and problem solving or hands-on exercises.

Target Audience: OEHS audience

Right for Me? Choose this format if you would like to deliver an in-depth, intensive, formal learning experience designed to broaden knowledge and enhance technical competence.

Format Outline:

  • A PDC can be a half-day event lasting for 4 hours, a full-day event lasting for 8 hours, or a two-day event lasting for 16 hours
  • There is no restriction on the number of presenters for a PDC

Submission & Approval Process Guidelines for Presentations and Professional Development Courses at Conference

Proposals for conference presentations and Professional Development Courses (PDCs) must be submitted during the annual Call for Proposals. The call usually opens in June and closes in September.

For Conference Presentations:

Step 1: Submit presentation content via the online submissions system. For specific data collected, visit https://aihaconnect.org/.

Step 2: Each conference presentation proposal receives a two-level review. First, at least two technical reviewers, selected from volunteers within the AIHA membership to serve as subject matter experts, review submissions to ensure they are scientifically sound, innovative, and relevant to the profession. There is no cap on the number of reviewers that may be assigned to a proposal. This technical review process occurs prior to a second review by the Conference Program Committee (CPC) review and assists the CPC in selecting the final content to be presented in the next conference's education program.

Questions asked and answered by the reviewers during the conference presentation technical review process include:

  • Will this presentation be of interest to the AIHA Connect audience?
  • Is the content of this session current and relevant to OEHS professionals?
  • Is this proposal clear, well-organized, and well-written?
  • Should this presentation be accepted for the AIHA Connect program?

In addition to scores and feedback from technical reviewers, the CPC also uses attendee ratings from previous conferences to inform their selection. Finally, data from AIHA surveys help identify content priorities and needs for the current year's conference. The review process is blind, and speaker information is not shared.

Step 3: The CPC holds a virtual meeting and makes final program selections.

Every proposal is reviewed to ensure that the final program covers a well-balanced set of conference presentation topics. Conference tracks are identified based on the accepted proposals. If there are gaps in topic areas that the CPC wishes for the conference program to cover more completely, the CPC may reach out to specific AIHA members or committees to develop curated presentations. After major current events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, sessions may be added to the program without undergoing the official review process. The CPC will determine these session's merit on a case-by-case basis.

Step 4: AIHA staff schedule sessions and send out acceptance and declination notifications. The CPC must be selective about the content offered at each conference as many more proposals could be submitted in any given year, that the AIHA Connect program could accommodate, and convention center spaces are limited.

Proposals may not be accepted due to poor writing, inaccurate technical information, or a lack of data. For a conference presentation proposal to be eligible, it should incorporate some data findings that attendees would find relevant and useful in their daily work as OEHS professionals. Proposals may also be declined due to the review process having found a lack of audience appeal and relevance to the OEHS profession. Some topics may also be better suited to a webinar or magazine article than a session at the conference.

Finally, if too many proposals are submitted in any given topic area, the CPC will select the proposals with the highest technical review scores or that touch on a different perspective on the same issue to ensure that the conference program represents a good balance of information and viewpoints. The CPC also reviews content to ensure that it aligns with AIHA's strategic goals and the educational needs expressed by members through surveys.

Step 5: Accepted conference presentations are held in-person or virtually at AIHA Connect.

For PDCs:

Step 1: Submit PDC content via the online submissions system. For specific data collected, visit https://aihaconnect.org/.

Step 2: Each PDC submission receives a two-level review. First, technical reviewers, selected to act as subject matter experts, review submissions to ensure they are scientifically sound, innovative, and relevant to the profession. This technical review process occurs prior to a second review by the Continuing Education Committee (CEC) and helps the committee select the final content that will be included in the next year's conference program.

Questions asked and answered by the reviewer during the PDC technical review process include:

  • Is the topic relevant to OEHS?
  • Is the topic classed as a new/emerging, core/foundational, or waning in terms of prominence on the OEHS radar?
  • Does the proposal have a sound technical basis?
  • Is the course description clear and concise?
  • Are the learning outcomes appropriate for this course level?
  • Does the outline describe content appropriate for the selected introductory, intermediate, or advanced course level?
  • Should the CEC accept or reject the proposal?

Following the technical review, each proposal is evaluated by at least two members of the CEC to ensure that it is relevant to the profession, titled properly, and meets its stated objectives. The course outline and teaching methods are critiqued, and presenter credentials and biographies are reviewed. The committee then considers all proposals and their ratings to ensure that the program reflects a well-balanced set of topics, the educational needs expressed in member surveys, and AIHA's strategic goals. AIHA offers a flowchart illustrating the process of reviewing and accepting PDCs.

Step 3: The CEC holds a virtual meeting and makes final program selections.

PDCs are selected to represent the diversity of topics within the OEHS field. Every year, courses are chosen to complete a balance of skill levels comprised of 40 percent introductory, 50 percent intermediate, and 10 percent advanced courses. Of these, 75 percent are selected: full-day courses, 15 percent that lasts for one-half day, and 10 percent, which last for two days. One PDC is chosen that addresses each CPAG content priority, and at least one-quarter of courses hosted each year are new. For courses conducted at previous conferences, student evaluations are the major factor in the review process: the top five courses from the previous year, based on ratings and attendance, are automatically accepted. The number of final selections is limited by the number of rooms available at the convention center.

Step 4: AIHA staff schedule sessions and send out acceptance and declination notifications. Many more proposals are submitted than can be accommodated at AIHA Connect. There are several reasons why a particular course may not be selected for the program, including its lack of relevance to AIHA members, concerns about the accuracy of the technical information presented, inadequate evaluations by previous students, an overabundance of courses offered in one topic area, concerns that content is overly similar to another course's, the need for course rotation, and a lack of interest by the members at large.

Step 5: Accepted PDCs are held in-person or virtually before and after AIHA Connect.

    Ready to submit your idea?

    In-person teachings (i.e., PDCs and sessions at AIHA Connect) are submitted during the annual Call for Proposals that usually occur in June of each year and close in September.