2016 Call for Papers

Careers, Care and Life-Course "Fit:" Implications for Health, Equality, and Policy

call for papersThe Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) invites submissions for the 2016 Conference, Careers, Care, and Life-Course “Fit:” Implications for Health, Equality, and Policy, to be held June 23-25, 2016 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., with a preconference Congressional briefing on June 22.  

The Work and Family Researchers Network is an international membership organization of interdisciplinary work and family researchers. We seek fresh and innovative scientific contributions on work and family issues from investigators in diverse disciplines. We value all disciplinary perspectives on the issues, including, but not limited to, anthropology, business and management, economics, family studies, gender studies, history, political science, philosophy, psychology, public health, social work, sociology, and related fields. The voices of all stakeholders are needed to understand and address work and family issues to advance knowledge and practice. We also encourage policy advocates, policy makers, and work-life practitioners to submit evidence-based contributions. Continuing at the 2016 conference will be a practitioner “track” in an effort to encourage practitioner and policy-oriented submissions and promotion of researcher and practitioner/policy maker collaboration.

Submission Deadline: November 2, 2015    

Click here to begin the submission process for individual paper abstracts. Please Note: Proposals for symposia, panel discussions, workshops, and author-meets-critics sessions should be sent to the WFRN via email at workandfamily@sas.upenn.edu and not submitted via the conference submission software.          

WFRN’s 2014 conference built on the success of the 2012 inaugural event, and was a huge success! There were over 750 presenters and 200 sessions that discussed the latest work and family research from around the world. Approximately 40% of the attendees were from outside the U.S., and represented 42 countries. Like our earlier conferences, we expect that the 2016 conference will draw many global attendees in addition to providing numerous opportunities for networking and sharing ideas with colleagues. To make it a success we need your participation!

Fresh and innovative submissions responsive to the conference theme of Careers, Care, and Life-Course “Fit:” Implications for Health, Equality, and Policy are especially encouraged. We want to showcase the fact that individual, family, organizational, state, national and international research – qualitative and quantitative – has implications for workers’ and working families’ life quality as well as for understanding gender and other inequalities at all stages of the life course. The challenge is to bring scholarly evidence to bear on a wide range of policy issues, to build the policy case for basic as well as applied research on the work/family /gender/health interface, and to demonstrate the collective value and impact of our interdisciplinary and international field of inquiry. Moreover, careers, care, inequality and policy development are occurring on a moving platform of change in an uncertain global economy. New digital technologies are also transforming where, when, and how work is done along with changes in the traditional employer/employee contract, an aging population related to declining fertility, the aging of the large Boomer cohort, and new medical technologies and lifestyle changes promoting extended life expectancy.

Specific goals for the 2016 WFRN Conference are to:

  • Stimulate interdisciplinary and cross-national sharing of innovative research and approaches to work and family, including policy implications of our scholarship.
  • Focus on careers and care and their fit or misfit at various stages over the life course, as well as their interface with gender, class, race/ethnicity, and other forms of enduring and intersecting inequalities.
  • Concentrate scientific, policy, and practical attention on work and family issues emerging from the changing global economy, digital technologies, corporate financialization, an older workforce, and aging populations.
  • Break down the researcher-practitioner divide impeding the design, implementation, dissemination and translation of work and family research that beneficially impacts workers and employers.
  • Engage WFRN officers, committees, and members in solidifying the foundation and building the infrastructure needed to create a vibrant, strong and impactful organization.
  • Foster opportunities for networking and interdisciplinary collaboration that promote professional development of both emerging and established researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

We invite submissions of papers, posters, and symposium proposals that address all aspects of the work-family or career-care interface. Submissions focusing on basic research, policy evaluations (particularly those with an international focus), and illustrations of strong evidence-based applications in existing organizations and across the life course will serve as the basic building blocks of the conference. However, we also encourage “outside the box” submissions that include (but are not limited to): theory development; historical perspectives on work and family and how they inform the future; international comparisons; point-counterpoint perspectives on volatile topics; political analyses or policy evaluations; novel research strategies to work and family (e.g., action research, ethnography, new statistical techniques); and solutions for improving the translation of research to policy and practice.

Examples of possible topics include (but are not limited to): alternative work arrangements; women’s and men’s shifting career and/or care opportunities, trajectories, and implications; job performance; overwork; underemployment; precarious employment; nonstandard work shifts; lower wage work; stress, health and well-being across contexts or over time; work-family conflict and enrichment; family and paid sick leave; organizational policies; social media and the workplace; public policy lags, comparisons, or innovations; international comparisons; digital technologies and their implications for work and home life as well as the connections between the two; time use; older workers, couple retirement timing, and parental or other adult care; pre-school and after-school programs and care; and the global economy and its implications for work and family relationships. Work and family issues for different life course stages and special populations, including military families, immigrant families, single-parent families, racially and ethnically diverse families, and gay and lesbian families, are also welcome.

Consistent with our goal to advance, promote, and disseminate work and family research, and to encourage knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among a broad community of stakeholders, we welcome proposals for innovative sessions such as the following: professional development of work and family scholars (e.g., research incubator sessions, methodological workshops, grant writing, publishing strategies); “going deeper” sessions that focus on surfacing invisible issues underlying work and family; delivering high-quality teaching and training in work and family issues; effective communication of research findings to distinct end-users (e.g., policy makers, organizational leaders); and translating research into organizational, community, and policy interventions.

Submission Instructions

Submission deadline to WFRN Conference website: November 2, 2015.   Click here to begin the submission process.  

Eligibility: Although anyone can submit, only members of the Work and Family Researchers Network who have paid their 2016 WFRN membership dues and conference registration fees may appear on the conference program. Dues and conference registration fees may be paid after decisions about submissions have been made.

In order to promote broad participation of the work-family community, individuals may be a first author or main presenter on no more than two submissions. This limit does not apply to other session roles. For example, conference participants may be co-authors, moderators or have other service roles on any number of sessions.

Submitting Previously Presented Work: If you are interested in submitting a presentation for the 2016 WFRN conference that has been previously published or presented at a conference, please reference this in your Call for Papers submission and indicate the addition of new components (i.e., updated analyses or content). Original work or previous work with new analyses is strongly preferred and will be given higher priority during the selection process.

Abstracts for four types of submissions are invited (please note that proposals for symposia, panel discussions, workshops, and author-meets-critics sessions should be sent to workandfamily@sas.upenn.edu and not submitted via the conference submission software):

1. Individual Papers. Submissions of individual papers should provide a title and an abstract of 500 words maximum or 3000 characters. The papers may be slotted into a regular session, included for presentation in a roundtable format, or designated for a poster presentation. Contact information including email addresses should be included for the first author and all co-authors. To the extent possible, the abstract should include a problem statement, motivation, approach, brief results, and conclusions.

2. Symposium Proposals, with should include three to four papers on a single theme, or competing or alternative opposing perspectives on a theme. Two types of symposia will be considered: Presenter Symposium and Panel Discussion.

(a) A Presenter Symposium involves a series of papers on a pre-set theme arranged by the symposium organizer. Submissions for this type of symposium require an abstract of 500–1000 words describing each presentation and the major theme that connects the presentations. A list of paper presentations, including contact information and paper titles, is also required. The proposal should indicate if the symposium will include a presider and a discussant. Symposia will be allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

(b) A Panel Discussion engages a group of panelists in an interactive discussion. These discussions do not require papers or presentation titles associated with each individual participating panelist. Submissions for this type of symposium require an abstract of 500–1000 words describing the major theme that forms the basis for the discussion. A list of panelists, including contact information, is also required. The proposal should indicate if the symposium will include a presider and a discussant. Symposia will be allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

3. Professional Development Workshops. In addition to the customary academic conference sessions, the WFRN conference will feature a number of professional development workshops. Examples include:

• Research incubator workshops
• Methodological workshops
• Grant writing workshops
• Publishing strategies
• Interdisciplinary workshops designed for researchers in traditional disciplinary departments
• Teaching workshops oriented to undergraduates or graduate students
• Training workshops oriented to managers and policy makers
• Policy workshops to help explain what policy makers need from researchers
• Communication workshops aimed at improving the effectiveness of communicating research to the press and to organizational and public policy makers
• Translation workshops designed to help facilitate the connection between research and organizational, community and policy interventions

Submissions for Professional Development workshops should include a 500–1000 word abstract of the goals of the workshop. Workshop leaders should be identified, including contact information. Any workshop participants in addition to the workshop leaders should be identified and their roles explained. Workshops will be allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

4. “Author Meets Critics” Sessions. This session invites nominations of recently published books that might generate an interesting discussion and opportunities to debate perspectives. The names of potential discussants are welcome, but optional.

2016 Conference Program Committee:
• Chair, Phyllis Moen, University of Minnesota, phylmoen@umn.edu  
• Co-chair, Anne Kaduk, University of Minnesota, kaduk003@umn.edu
• Co-chair, Suzan Lewis, Middlesex University London, s.lewis@mdx.ac.uk
• Co-chair, Hanna van Solinge, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, solinge@nidi.nl
• Orfeu Buxton, Pennsylvania State University, Brigham & Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, orfeu@psu.edu
• Dan Clawson, University of Massachusetts Amherst, clawson.dan@gmail.com
• Sarah Damaske, The Pennsylvania State University, sad32@psu.edu
• Anna Haley-Lock, University of Wisconsin-Madison, haleylock@wisc.edu
• Jerry A. Jacobs, University of Pennsylvania, jjacobs@sas.upenn.edu
• Kathy Kacher, Career/Life Alliance Services Inc., kkacher@clalliance.com
• Lisa Leslie, New York University, lleslie@stern.nyu.edu
• David Maume, University of Cincinnati, maumedj@ucmail.uc.edu
• Maureen Perry-Jenkins, University of Massachusetts Amherst, mpj@psych.umass.edu
• Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Boston College, pittcats@bc.edu
• Tanja van der Lippe, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, t.vanderlippe@uu.nl

For information about conference registration, click here - and conference logistics are available here

Questions? Email workandfamily@sas.upenn.edu - and stay tuned for more details about the Conference Program.

WFRN Leadership