Over the last 27 years, the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) has established itself as the leading scientific organization devoted to the goal of advancing prevention science to promote health and well-being. The cornerstone of SPR's efforts is the Annual Meeting, where the prevention science community, including researchers, practitioners, advocates, administrators, and policy-makers, come together to discuss new directions in prevention science and opportunities for the future.
The SPR Conference Committee invites submissions for the conference that focus on the core areas of interest to SPR, including the general themes of research related to epidemiology and etiology; development and testing of interventions; implementation and dissemination strategies; research, policy, and practice; and innovative methods and statistics (see below). Submissions are encouraged from researchers and policy-makers across the world at all stages of their career and from varied backgrounds including bio-behavioral sciences, communication, computer science, criminal justice, developmental science, education, engineering, genetics, human services, informatics, medicine, public health, social science, and social work. In addition to the general themes we encourage submissions related to the special conference themes described below.
This year's conference theme, Prevention Science in a Big Data World, offers the opportunity to consider ways in which the prevention science community can leverage complex data and innovative technologies to open new avenues in prevention research; two of our three special conference themes focus on big data. Recent advances in medical informatics, big data analytics, mobile health (mHealth), smartphone and portable sensor technologies, social media and web generated data, geospatial data, and administrative data from the public health, child welfare, criminal justice, and education fields have laid the groundwork for a rich data environment. Further, data integration, including integrating neurobiological and genetic data, combining data from multiple studies, and merging data on the same individuals from multiple sources (data linking), presents opportunities to leverage the power of data science in prevention. Complex, transdisciplinary data research opportunities are coming to the forefront at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with research and grant programs such as the All of Us Initiative, the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Program, the Scientific Data Council and DataScience@NIH initiatives, the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Initiative, and SAMHSA's encouragement of Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroups. In addition, the NIH recently released a new Strategic Plan for Data Science to outline a roadmap for modernizing the NIH-funded data ecosystem in terms of storing, managing, standardizing, sharing, and publishing the vast amounts of data produced by the research community.
Big data hold the promise of advancing prevention science by revealing for scientists and decision makers nuances in existing and emerging public health issues. Also, leveraging such data could guide the design and provision of nimble prevention programs to individuals at precise times of need (e.g., just-in-time adaptive interventions).
Consistent with the conference theme, the SPR Conference Committee encourages special conference theme submissions related to: (1) intensive data capture or provision of intervention content along with related analytics in prevention research and evaluation, and (2) integrating complex data sets to inform prevention science.
Our third special conference theme focuses on understanding how prevention research can address health disparities. SPR's strategic plan highlights this special theme as does the work of SPR's task force on health disparities. The third special conference theme encourages submissions regarding health disparities research, including submissions related to methods and interventions to reduce disparities and increase equity through prevention. Submissions based on this year's third special theme can intersect with the other two special themes or stand alone.
Each year, SPR selects special themes designed to highlight specific areas of research relevant to prevention science. These special themes guide the development of plenary sessions, symposia, and preconference workshops. The SPR Conference Committee encourages basic, applied, and developmental research submissions across the three special themes.
The SPR Conference Committee invites submissions under this theme related to (a) the intensive longitudinal assessment of individuals in their natural environments to inform intervention development; (b) modern intervention delivery designed to be intensive, dynamic, and/or responsive to an individual's needs in the moment; and (c) the use of advanced data analysis and visualization tools for intensive longitudinal data.
Proposals are encouraged that (a) demonstrate the integration of big data from several sources to inform prevention program development, implementation, evaluation, dissemination, and practice, (b) show interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers from fields such as computer science, informatics, and engineering in integrating big data in prevention research and evaluation, (c) illuminate the ethical and other challenges related to big data integration, and (d) demonstrate efforts to communicate big data findings to policymakers and practitioners.
The SPR Conference Committee seeks proposals that advance understanding of (a) risk and protection across and within different populations, (b) the use of big data to illuminate and help address health disparities, (c) prevention efforts that address health disparities, and (d) policies that promote equity, health, and well-being.
In addition to the conference themes above, SPR continues to encourage submissions under each of the stages of the prevention research cycle. While each of the conference themes above fit under one or more of the stages of the prevention research cycle, the conference welcomes submissions that are not specific to this year's conference theme. These may be of particular interest to early career scientists and those involved in prevention science internationally.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is sponsoring an international poster session. Posters will highlight drug abuse prevention and/or drug-related HIV prevention research completed in international settings by international, domestic, and cross-nation teams of researchers. SPR will issue a separate call for submissions to this international poster session.
To submit to the NIDA International SPR Poster Session:
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