call for abstracts IS NOW CLOSED!

This conference will focus on how best to produce, integrate and communicate research evidence to develop and evaluate policies in public health. We welcome abstracts from researchers/academics, policy makers and practitioners for presentations that speak to the challenges and solutions to using all forms of evidence, including conflicting evidence, in policy-making. Presentations should focus on the conference theme and at least one of the following sub themes.


Good public policy is integral to successfully promoting and protecting the health of citizens and protecting them from illness and disability. Research evidence is an ideal foundation for good policy, but it is often challenging to integrate evidence in the process because of competing priorities, constrained resources, inter-sectoral and jurisdictional barriers, ideology, changing structures, issues with data, public opinion, and increasingly complex problems.

Sub themes

Practice-based evidence

Practice-based evidence – or evidence ‘from the field’ - acknowledges that traditional measures on efficacy or effectiveness are only one kind of input necessary for policy-making. Effective policy also requires appreciation of the expertise of providers and understanding of the context faced by those who will implement and be affected by the policy. This sub theme will explore ways to develop and integrate various types of evidence from a range of settings and stakeholders into public health policy. 

Economic evidence

Economic evaluations provide explicit information on the costs and consequences of different courses of action and can provide a framework for thinking about the structure of decisions. Economic evaluations can have a significant impact in policy making but there are many factors that influence whether or not that happens. This sub theme will explore the utility of economic evidence and the challenges presented by the environment or context, quality of the evidence, the structure of the decision-making process itself, and how the information is presented.

Communicating evidence

Evidence-informed policymaking depends not only on the existence and availability of appropriate evidence but on the effective communication of that evidence. The obstacles to effective communication between researchers and policy-makers (any of various stakeholders involved in developing policy, from analysts to senior decision makers to elected officials) are well documented in literature and recent years have seen some improvements in overcoming those obstacles. This sub theme will explore how best to strengthen communication of evidence for policy-making through new and emerging communication tools, mechanisms and strategies.

Diversity in public health policy

Evidence-informed policy must be sensitive and responsive to differences in culture, geography, gender, race/ethnicity (including Indigenous identity), age, physical or mental ability, spirituality, family status, language ability, literacy, socio-economic status, and immigration/refugee status. Effective policy making requires thinking critically about how diverse stakeholders create, accept, and use evidence in accordance with their values, beliefs, histories, lived experiences, and ways of knowing. This sub theme will explore the challenges and successes in conducting policy research that welcomes diversity and in building a diversity of evidence into public policy.

Partnerships between researchers and policy makers

Researchers and policy makers are united in their support of evidence-informed policy making but often work independently toward that goal. A partnership will mean additional demands on both parties but the benefits can be improved relevance, validity and reliability of research, and increased understanding and trust between researchers and policy makers. But partnerships between these two groups are not always easy to develop or maintain. This sub theme will provide examples of partnered or team approaches to specific policy issues.

Submitting your Abstract

To make a submission for an oral, poster, workshop presentation, or lightning talk, please complete and submit an online form by 1700 hours MST, November 27, 2017. Accepted abstracts will be notified in early December 2017. 

Registration for the conference will open November 2017 with early-bird rates available until 31 January 2018. Further details are available on the registration page. 

Presentation formats

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations will be 15 minutes each in length with 5 additional minutes to respond to questions. Presentations will be grouped according to similar themes. Audiovisual support for PowerPoint or other media will be available for all presenters. The deadline to submit PowerPoint is April 13, 2018


Posters may be a maximum of 115 cm x 115 cm, or approximately 45” x45”. Posters may be any dimensions within this size. Posters must be hung by one of the presenting authors at the start of the conference on poster boards which will be identified by the abstract number and primary author name; thumbtacks will be provided on-site. We recommend you also print letter size versions of your poster as takeaways for delegates. You will be expected to stand by your poster during receptions and refreshment breaks to respond to questions.


A workshop is limited to 75 minutes in length. They may include some presentation but must also include interaction, discussion and practical exercises. An agenda for the workshop should accompany the abstract.

Lightning Talks

The second day of the conference will begin with presentations by dyads (two people) of researchers and policy makers (government) or other decision makers (health providers, patients, citizens, agencies) in a plenary session with all conference delegates. The focus will be on the shared experience of a knowledge exchange process that was intended to support the uptake of evidence in policy making  or other relevant decision making process (see sub theme #5 above). These short presentations (maximum 5 minutes) can be presented with PowerPoint or other media as appropriate.

Structural requirements

For Oral presentations or Posters, the abstract should be structured as follows:

  • Issue that was addressed
  • Relevance to the conference theme and sub themes
  • Objectives of the research or project
  • Results
  • Lessons learned
  • Main messages

For Workshops, abstracts should be structured as follows:

  • Background – the topic to be addressed, need and rationale for organizing the workshop, relevance to the conference theme and sub themes. 
  • Learning objectives
  • Methods – describe what methods will be used for interaction and dialogue
  • Format – should include an agenda. Room layout if appropriate
  • Main messages

For Lightning Talks:

  • Background on the issue that was addressed
  • Relevance to the conference theme
  • Dyad of researcher and policy or other decision maker
  • Lessons learned
  • Main messages

Evaluation Criteria

For all abstracts:

  • Within set word limit
  • Addresses structure requirements as noted above
  • Relevant to the theme and sub themes
  •  Lessons learned are transferable to others
  • Clarity of the main messages

For workshops:

  • As above
  • Feasible and reasonable learning objectives
  • Workshop plan is appropriate to a workshop format

Other important information

Abstracts must be submitted in English.

Abstracts must be submitted online HERE.

Abstracts should not exceed 400 words.

The primary author will be expected to present unless otherwise indicated.

Presenters are responsible for their own registration and travel costs.

For technical inquiries regarding the submission form or process, email:
For all other inquiries, email Gayle: gscarrow@MSFHR.ORG