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Symposium Proposal Writer's FAQs

How can I improve my chances of acceptance?

First, make sure you have an idea of relevance to contemporary social work. Second, follow the Call for Proposals outline. The outline is intended to provide step-by-step guidance in preparing your materials. Be sure you have completed all the steps. Please stick to the word-length limits!

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Should I use a catchy title?

Use a clear description that conveys what you will cover and sparks interest along with a catchy title. Not everyone will understand the jargon of a specialized field. Length of title should not exceed 8 words.

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Are submissions rated anonymously?

Yes. It is important that the material providing names and contact information for presenters be separate from the proposal itself. The best way to do this is to follow the instructions precisely; it is clearly indicated which pages of the proposal require names and which don’t. Contact information is only used after an anonymous review.

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How does NASW ensure anonymity?

Massachusetts NASW staff assigns a code number to each proposal. Reviewers receive proposals identified only by code numbers. Reviews of each proposal are returned using only the code number.

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What are the evaluation criteria?

The evaluation criteria used by the reviewers are identical to the criteria listed in the Call for Proposals. Proposals are rated from 1 to 5 by at least two reviewers and acceptances are based upon the highest numerical ratings. This is typical for professional conferences.

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What are the benefits of presenting at the Symposium?

First you get to present at the premier gathering of Massachusetts social workers. Your audience is large and skilled. This gives you great visibility within the social work profession. Second, people who attend your presentation are likely to use your work, and to promote your name and expertise.

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How are presenters compensated?

All presenters are provided with a substantial reduction in registration fees. We wish we could acknowledge the contribution of presenters by allowing them to come to Symposium without cost. However because Symposium fees are set low to allow maximum participation, we are unable to give presenters free attendance. It is our hope that the reduced registration fees for a presenter acknowledge the importance of their contribution. By contrast, most professional conferences do not offer subsidies or payments to presenters.

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When do I hear if my proposal is accepted?

The Symposium Program Committee will notify authors of all proposals by September 30, 2015.

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What if I need audio-visual equipment?

If your session requires audio/visual equipment, please request it in the proposal. Available AV equipment includes flip chart/markers, LCD projectors with screens (you must bring your own laptop) or screen alone. A limited number of TV / VCR / DVD players will be available.

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Is there training for presenters who want to present more effectively?

Yes, the Chapter will offer a training session on effective presentations to authors of accepted proposal in the winter prior to Symposium. This is FREE and CEs are available.

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