Call for Abstracts--CLOSED

One of the goals for the Future of Occupational Health Symposium is to stimulate discussion and sharing of ideas and solutions for the future challenges faced by the occupational health and safety professions. The research community has not yet fully explored many of the ideas and solutions that may be contemplated and discussed.  Consequently, traditional research abstracts and presentations may not be entirely relevant to the purposes of this Symposium. Alternatively, we are soliciting abstracts describing new approaches addressing occupational health challenges in the future, as they relate to nine themes:

  1. Globalization
  2. Vulnerable populations: immigrants, minorities, women
  3. Insurance and occupational health (e.g. workers’ compensation,  Affordable Care Act, etc.)
  4. Work organization
  5. Emerging production technologies and ‘green’ production
  6. Emerging investigative techniques
  7. Measurement of burden and impact
  8. Occupational health education: to the student, worker, and professional
  9. Climate change

Each of these nine themes will be discussed in the context of three core tracks: research, policy, and professional practice. This will potentially result in 27 focused discussions, as outlined below.













Successful abstracts will pose a question that will fit into one of the nine themes and three core tracks outlined above. The problem discussed could be current and emerging issues, or those anticipated in the next 20 years. Your problem statement should identify a clear challenge for the field in the future, and propose possible solutions or approaches to further elucidate the question. If your abstract is accepted, you will be asked to present your ideas in the context of one of these discussion sections.  A facilitator will be selected from among the presenters in each discussion section.

Please email the following to Marissa Baker ( by June 1, 2015; submissions should be limited to 250 words (not counting your name or title).

Your Name:

Your title and affiliation:

Theme your problem statement represents:

Core track your problem statement represents:

Problem statement:

Brief overview of suggested approach, solution, or research question:


Example Abstract

Your Name: Marissa Baker

Your title and affiliation: University of Washington Occupational Hygiene PhD student

Theme your problem statement represents: Occupational health education

Core track your problem statement represents: Graduate level education

Problem statement: Graduate level occupational hygiene education is largely set in the context of a large research institution, with common curricula centering on research methods and design, hazard identification and mediation, and methods to collect exposure data. However, this classwork may not aptly prepare students entering a professional setting, who lack the hands-on practical experience to thrive in the business world.

Brief overview of suggested approach, solution, or research question: I suggest graduate programs look at curricula that would benefit students who go into professional practice—which is where the majority of graduates land. This may include classes in economics, supply chain management, and health promotion, all topics that occupational hygienists in an industry setting would need to be knowledgeable about. Especially at the masters level, the majority of students will become practicing industrial hygienists (as opposed to going into research) so the curricula should reflect this, while the research classes could be taught at the PhD level. Thus, I think future education should be more customizable to the student’s long-term plans in the field, so those hoping to do research are prepared for research but those hoping to work in an industry setting have the unique skill set to achieve in that field, as well.