Proposal Submission and Review Processes FAQ
The entries below represent the most commonly asked questions regarding the UCEA Annual Convention and UCEA Graduate Student Summit proposal submission and review processes.
Who reviews my submission?
UCEA Annual Convention submissions are blinded and reviewed by two peers (e.g., professors, graduate students, researchers, etc.). All scholars who submit proposals are asked to peer review other blinded proposals.
Graduate Student Summit submissions are blinded and reviewed by two peers, both of whom will be either a fellow graduate student or a member of the GSC.
What is a typical timeline for submissions?
The UCEA Annual Convention submission deadline is typically early May. Authors are notified of acceptance or rejection in mid-to-late June.
The Graduate Student Summit submission deadline is typically mid-May. Authors are notified of acceptance or rejection in mid-to-late Jun.
What are the reviewers looking for in my submission?
UCEA Annual Convention proposals for papers, symposia, and international community building sessions will be evaluated for:
- relevance of research problem, policy or topic to the convention theme and/or broader discourse in the field regarding leadership preparation;
- thoroughness and clarity of the proposal;
- theoretical framework, methods, analysis, and presentation of findings (for empirical research); and
Graduate Student Summit proposals will be evaluated for:
- relevance of theme to the summit;
- thoroughness and clarity of the proposal;
- quality of writing;
- feasibility of fulfilling the goals of the proposal ;
- theoretical framework, methods, analysis, and presentation of findings;
- innovative perspectives, frameworks, and methods; and
How is my submission scored?
The following elements are rated on a scale from 1 (Unacceptable) to 5 (Excellent)
- Relevance of proposal to convention theme
- Appropriateness of theoretical framework/perspective
- Appropriateness of methods/modes of inquiry
- Quality of analysis
- Quality of writing
And audience appeal is rated on a scale from 1 (Low Appeal) to 5 (High Appeal)
What if my submission is not accepted?
First, understand that even senior faculty and well-established scholars sometimes have proposals not accepted to conferences or journals. If your proposal is not accepted, you should take time to reflect on feedback the reviewers provide. Use that feedback, feedback from other scholars and colleagues, and your own professional judgment to revise and improve your proposal and your paper. The revised proposal can be submitted for consideration in future conferences.
There are some typical reasons a proposal is not accepted. First consider whether or not the proposal met the requirements established in the call for submissions. Consider whether the proposal was complete both in its technical writing and in the development of ideas. Does the proposed work make a contribution to the literature? Sometimes proposals do not mark a clear contribution to the field because of a lack of depth or because they covers material already found in the literature. Finally, think about how your ideas are communicated in writing. Does the proposal accurately and clearly represent your ideas and intentions?
What if my paper is not complete by the time the Convention/Summit rolls around?
Many scholars recommend only submitting a proposal if you have a complete paper. Submitting proposals based on completed papers can save you some stress as the convention approaches, but it can also help speed up the revision and publication process.
However, if your paper is not complete when the proposals are due, then you must complete a draft for the convention. This is beneficial for you as a developing scholar, but it is also considerate of other scholars’ time. Reviewers and discussants volunteer their time to read and evaluate your work. If you will not have a viable draft completed in time for a discussant to carefully review your paper, then you should have the professional courtesy to notify the convention/summit and your chair/discussant that you wish to withdraw your submission.
Should/Can I submit to both the Graduate Student Summit and the UCEA Annual Convention?
Yes, absolutely! All are encouraged to submit proposals to both the summit and the convention.
Can I submit the same proposal to the summit and to the conference, or do they have to be two different proposals?
While there are certainly similarities between their calls for proposals, responses to the Annual Convention and the Graduate Student Summit should be independent documents crafted to respond to the unique characteristics of each.
What should my submission look like?
For some proposal submitters, this is the first time submitting something for a professional conference. If so, firstly, we applaud your efforts! Secondly, the proposal submission process can be daunting, so listed below are two exemplar proposals for each of the three session types: individual paper, individual Ignite! presentation, and individual roundtable. (NOTE: We’re in the process of reviewing last year’s proposal pool to upload the most current exemplars. They’ll be up by early March, so check back!)
- Exemplar Individual Paper Proposal Submission #1
- Exemplar Individual Paper Proposal Submission #2
- Exemplar Individual Ignite! Presentation Proposal Submission #1
- Exemplar Individual Ignite! Presentation Proposal Submission #2
- Exemplar Individual Roundtable Presentation Proposal Submission #1
- Exemplar Individual Roundtable Presentation Proposal Submission #2”
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