Frequently Asked Questions about Submitting Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions about Submitting Proposals


  • Crafting a successful proposal
  • Presentation formats
  • Session participant roles
  • Entering session information
  • Logging in to the proposal submission system
  • Identifying session participants
  • Audiovisual equipment
  • Troubleshooting
  • Other questions

Crafting a successful proposal

Where can I get more information about Program Committee requirements?
Session organizers should consult the Call for Proposals and review the Session Proposal Submission Form before submitting a proposal to be sure they have all the information.

Can I submit a proposal that doesn't fit the theme?
The Program Committee establishes an annual theme each year, but will accept sessions unrelated to the theme or featured topic as long as they are of interest to labor and employment relations and related fields.

Do you accept proposals for individual papers?
Single-paper abstract submissions can be submitted to the program committee. These papers, if accepted, can be grouped with like-minded papers and formed into complete paper sessions on the program, or they may be accepted into the poster session(s). (There are also other places to submit single papers, if they are complete papers, to certain competitions.)

I have been asked to participate in two different panels. Can I submit more than one proposal?
You are welcome to submit multiple proposals. However, the LERA rules stipulate that participants may appear only once per role at the annual meeting (once as chair, once as presenter/panelist, and once as discussant). This is a relaxation of the one-appearance rule, which until more recently, meant that someone could only present once on the program. Because of the complexity of the rule now, LERA will conduct an audit after all the proposals are accepted and reach back out to individuals who may need to make a choice on where to participate.

A participant we have selected for our session participated in the last annual meeting. Does this disqualify them?
No, there is no rule against appearing on the program two years in a row.

Can I include graduate students in my session proposal?
The Program Committee welcomes participation from graduate students. Please note, however, that the Program Committee does encourage panels that include participants from different institutions.

Modes of Presentation


Do I need to submit abstracts for each presentation on a roundtable?
Yes, organizers are required to submit a brief statement or description of each panelist who will participate. Even for a panel, workshop, roundtable, etc. the Program Committee expects a short description of how the individual speakers will address the topic of the session and what they will contribute personally to the goals of the session. A sentence or two describing what the presenter will discuss is sufficient.

How many presenters may appear on a roundtable?
To assure substantial time for interaction between speakers and audience, panels are normally limited to a maximum of four participants in addition to a chair (and possibly some discussants).

Multi-sessions or linked sessions

Can I submit multiple sessions on a similar topic or theme?
Yes, you can. The Program Committee will consider the merits of each separately, and may accept only part of a multi-session. But, if all are accepted, they will be named appropriately as "Session Title: Part I", etc. in the conference program. To alert the Program Committee to your intention to submit a multi-session, please include "This is Part X of XX sessions" in the other comments and notes at the bottom of the session proposal. You can also title your session proposal accordingly.

Poster Sessions

Can I order audiovisual equipment for a poster presentation?
Poster presentations are primarily intended to use a poster as a medium of presentation, so LERA cannot supply audiovisual support. Additionally, LERA has very limited funds for AV in general.

Where can I find instructions for preparing a poster?
You will find them on the Participant Information page here.

Can I submit a session made up of multiple posters on a single theme or topic?
You are welcome to do so. The electronic system is set up to collect proposals for individual posters (which the Program Committee may organize into more than one session slot along a particular subject or theme). If you wish to submit a session made up of multiple posters on a single topic, you should submit it as an experimental session and outline your plans in the session description.
Experimental Sessions
What information should be included in the experimental session description?
Please provide a short description of the form of the session, the format's ability to engage and connect with an audience of peers, and the potential costs involved, if any. Organizers are encouraged to propose creative formats.

How do I propose a film screening?
Submit a proposal for an experimental session, and explain in the description that the session will take the form of a film screening followed by a discussion. Be sure to list the discussants as participants.

How do I propose an off-site session?
Organizers of offsite sessions are responsible for making arrangements with the proposed host institution prior to the submission of a proposal. LERA cannot pay rental or site use fees for offsite sessions. Proposals for offsite sessions require pre-approval by the Program Committee. Organizers of intended offsite sessions should contact the chair and co-chair of the Program Committee, explaining how the location will enhance the intellectual content of the session and clearly describing the arrangements that have been made for meeting space, transportation (if necessary), etc. Organizers must provide the name, e-mail, phone number, and mailing address of a staff member at the host institution who is aware of plans for the session.

Logging in to the Proposal System

Can I submit a proposal if I am not a LERA member?
Yes. You will need to create a user account by following the link from the log in screen.

How do I log in?
Following the link to the submission system on the Call for Proposals page should automatically log you into the system. You can use your login credentials to return and modify the session data until you are ready to submit it, or up until the CFP deadline.  The system will automatically e-mail you a message with all the details of your submission after you submit it.

Entering Session Information

Is there a word limit for session submissions?
Yes, many fields are limited and you will find limits explained throughout.

Is there a word limit for session abstracts/descriptions?
The system will accept up to 500 words for full session descriptions, but only 100 words for brief session descriptions.

What should the session abstract include?
A good session abstract includes a short description of the session and how the individual speakers will address the subject(s) and how the papers/presentations will fit together. You should also describe the broad audience for the session. It is in your interest to sell the panel a bit.

What is “Co-sponsorship”?
Organizers of joint sessions with LERA interest sections, industry councils, or affiliated societies should identify the sponsor using "other comments and notes" field. 

Why do I need to select an area of primary interest, secondary areas of interest, or industries that may be associated with my session proposal topic?
We collect this information primarily for the convenience of the Program Committee, so that they can balance the range of topics covered by the program and assign reviewers with expertise in the broad subject matter covered in the proposal. It is also used to create a topical index. Please make the selections that best describe your material. Please make any suggestions in the "other comments and notes" section of your session proposal for other tags and categories.

Can I choose more than one?
You may only choose one primary area of interest, but for secondary areas of interest or industries you can select multiple categories.

Do I need to include an abstract for each paper or presentation?
Yes, the Program Committee requires an abstract of up to 300 words for each paper presentation. This allows the Program Committee to get a better sense of what each presenter will talk about, and allows organizers to elaborate on ideas introduced in the session abstract.

Identifying Session Participants

How many people can be on included in a session?
To assure substantial time for interaction between speakers and audience, panels are normally limited to a maximum of five to seven participants, including chairs and discussants. Please note that a chair can serve as a discussant (offer discussant remarks in the session, but they will only be named as chair), and that organizers do not count towards the limit.

Can I enter multiple authors for a paper presentation?
Yes, you will be able to identify up to five co-authors of any given paper, and please input them in the author order you wish to be printed in the program. You will also be asked to identify which of those authors is the presenting author, and there can only be one.

How do I identify the chair and organizer?
The session form will walk you through each of these roles. These can be the same individual, unfortunately, we do not have the facility to copy data from one to the next. You must enter an organizer and chair for each session.

How do I list the same individual as both chair and discussant?
You cannot do that. Chairs can act in the capacity of discussants within the session, but we cannot list them in both capacities in the program.

Does every session need a chair (or moderator)?
We require a designated chair/moderator for each session—to provide introductions, manage the time, and facilitate interaction with the audience. You will not be able to proceed with your submission until you have identified a chair.

At what point do I need to provide further biographical information on session participants?
If your session is accepted, we will reach back out to you with a list of requests and new deadlines, and one of these will be to supply us with brief biographical sketches for everyone participating in your session. A brief (no more than 250 words) paragraph describing the participant's professional accomplishments, major publications, etc.

Can I include a link to a CV posted on a personal or department web site in the biographical paragraph?

Is there a word limit for paper and presentation abstracts?
The system will accept abstracts of up to 300 words.

Can the proposal submission automatically call up details on LERA members?
Not, not at this point. However, while completing your session proposal, you could be checking the LERA membership directory for participant details. Non-members are not listed.

Audiovisual Equipment

What equipment is standard in meeting rooms?
Unlike university or college classrooms, there is no “standard equipment” in hotel meeting rooms. However, a typical conference setup for us is to have a meeting room set for a session with a speakers’ table and podium or lectern with a light, and a microphone (in rooms large enough to require one). Seats will be arranged theater style unless otherwise specified. Panel sessions and roundtables will be arranged with microphones for panelists (in larger rooms). Presenters must supply their own laptop computers, but the organization will provide the LCD projector and connecting cords for PC and PC compatible machines. If you work on a tablet or Apple machine, you will want to bring connecting cord for the LCD projector with you, just in case.

Will LERA pay for audiovisual equipment?
LERA can only cover a very basic AV setup, the LCD projector, the drop-down screen, and microphones and house sound for rooms large enough to require them.

Do I need to order a screen to go with my projector?
No, LERA will order a package including a screen, cart, and the necessary cables and connections (for PC machines).

Why is there no option for ordering a computer or an Internet connection?
Due to the cost of rental, the LERA does not provide laptop or desktop computers for sessions. Those who would like to make electronic presentations must supply their own laptop computers.

What if we need a DVD player or something else that is not standard?
Please describe your requirements and we will consider if that request can be accommodated.


How long will it take to submit a proposal?
It should take from 30 to 60 minutes to complete the electronic proposal, provided you have collected all necessary information in advance.

Will I have a chance to proof my work?
Yes, you will see a summary screen before submitting the proposal. Please proofread carefully to be sure that you have entered all session information carefully.

What if the system is inserting odd characters?
Try saving your proposal as plain text before pasting information into the system.

Why is the system lowercasing acronyms in my title?
If an acronym such as UNESCO is saving as "Unesco," try retyping it directly into the system to overcome the case lock.

Can I modify a proposal after I submit it?
Yes, as long as it is before the CFP deadline. However, this is a hard deadline, and you will not be able to access or modify your proposal once the deadline has passed. If the session is accepted, you will have to opportunity to make changes to session information before the program goes to press. Abstracts will be posted online as submitted to the Program Committee; individuals will not have the opportunity to edit abstracts after the CFP proposal deadline.

If you think some of your data is incorrect or did not go through
As long as the majority of your session proposal data has been entered by the midnight PST on CFP deadline, your chance of having your proposal accepted will not be affected. Please contact tech support so that the data entry issue can be corrected.

Help, the screen went blank!
If you experience computer problems, you will be able to retrieve a submission in process by logging in with the ID and password e-mailed to you when you began the submission.

When will I know whether my proposal has been accepted?
The Program Committee will notify session organizers of its decisions via e-mail in December or January.

What if I don't hear from the Program Committee?
Experience has shown that the e-mails sent by the committee are occasionally caught in spam filters. Please contact LERA if you do not hear anything by February.

Other Questions

Should I register for the meeting when I submit my proposal?
Although some professional organizations require proposals to be accompanied by meeting registration materials, LERA does not. Everyone on the program, including chairs and discussants, must register for the annual meeting when registration opens.

Does LERA provide scholarships to enable under-represented minorities who require financial assistance to attend the meeting?
Yes! Funding is limited so apply early. You can find further details here.

Does LERA provide scholarships to enable graduate student to attend who require financial assistance to attend the meeting?
Yes! LERA requires that you attend the PhD Student Consortium to tap into this assistance. Please find details here.

Do I have to be a member of the LERA to present at the annual meeting?
At least one member of your session must be a LERA member to be eligible to have your session on the program. In addition, at least one author of any paper listed on the program must be a LERA member to be eligible to be on the program.

Can I participate in a session remotely?
The LERA does not formally allow presentation via Skype or Zoom, as we find that it detracts from the experience for attendees, due to issues with sound quality and connectivity. It is also more difficult for the audience to interact with presenters who are not physically present. We do, however, allow presentations in absentia, and we also allow registered presenters to pre-record remarks, and these can be streamed in the session by the session chair or moderator.