RECS 2022 Call for Proposals

Thank you for preparing a proposal submission for the Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) 2022. This page provides an overview of the RECS 2022 Call for Proposals. It is recommended that all proposal submitters review the complete set of instructions prior to starting a submission.

To submit a proposal for RECS 2022, visit the RECS Proposal Submission System.

Submitting a proposal for the first time or want a refresher?

View a recording of the virtual information session held on July 22nd to learn more about the conference, conference tracks, proposal types, and tips for a successful proposal. The recording begins with a presentation and screen share of the proposal submissions site, followed by a question and answer period with attendees starting at the 16-minute mark. Information session slides are also available for self-paced viewing.


RECS 2022 is currently being planned as an in-person event, to be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, on June 1–3, 2022. All accepted presenters should be prepared to present in-person at the conference. Should future public health guidelines affect the ability of conference attendees to gather in person, all accepted presenters will be notified of any changes to the conference schedule or format.

The conference focuses on programs, policies, and services that support families on the path to economic self-sufficiency. Conference presentations will feature research findings and their policy and practice implications for an audience that includes researchers, practitioners, state and local administrators, and federal officials and policymakers. OPRE invites proposals for full conference sessions, individual presentations, and roundtables.

OPRE will consider the following criteria for proposals:

  • Relevance to family self-sufficiency policy or program design and administration as outlined in the conference track descriptions
  • Methodological rigor, including the use of experimental and quasi-experimental designs, strong qualitative work, innovative uses of data, or well-designed alternative research methods
  • Innovative approaches or new contributions to the field
  • Accessibility to a range of attendees, including non-researchers
  • Clarity of description

OPRE has a strong preference for presentations that highlight recent findings from empirical research, particularly research based on rigorous, experimental designs. OPRE also welcomes studies using other innovative methodologies that do not use traditional randomized controlled trials. Presentations that feature or combine research findings with input from state and local practitioners are especially welcome. OPRE encourages session organizers to broaden their networks and familiarize themselves with other work in their topic area in order to submit full conference proposals when possible. OPRE may request a draft presentation or paper prior to making a final decision.

In response to the Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government issued on January 20, 2021, OPRE invites proposals with a focus on equity. If a presentation has an equity focus, please indicate that in your submission and provide a brief 1–2 sentence description (50 word limit). An equity focus is not required for acceptance into RECS.

Proposal Submission Types

All sessions should reserve 15 minutes at the end for audience questions and discussion.

Full conference sessions will be 75 minutes in length and may consist of up to three individual presentations, two individual presentations and prepared commentary on the presentations from one discussant, or some other format. If the session is accepted, a moderator will be assigned if one is not identified in the proposal submission. OPRE reserves the right to accept individual presentations from a proposed full conference session and not the whole session.

A minimum of two individual presentations must be entered to submit a full conference session.

The session organizer of a full conference session will be responsible for gathering and entering all speaker and presentation details to be submitted within the session. It is recommended that session organizers review the full conference session instructions prior to starting a submission. An email template that session organizers can use to request speaker and presentation details from anyone who will participate in the session is available separately in a Microsoft Word document.

Individual presentations are content to be presented by one person at the conference. Individual presentations should be approximately 15 minutes in length. Conference organizers will group accepted individual presentations together to form full conference sessions. It is recommended that presenters review the individual presentation instructions prior to starting a submission.

Roundtables will be 60 minutes in length and may include up to two facilitators. This discussion-based format is intended to be an opportunity for attendees to participate in interactive conversations on topics relevant to the research highlighted at the conference. Roundtables should be planned to be discussion-focused rather than a lecture-based presentation with slides. It is recommended that roundtable facilitators review the roundtable instructions prior to starting a submission.

Emerging Scholars

OPRE is particularly interested in fostering the work of new and emerging scholars in the family self-sufficiency field. To support this effort, OPRE will feature work from emerging scholars at the 2022 conference. Emerging scholars are early in their research careers and can include recent PhD and Master’s graduates (2017 and later), as well as individuals who are currently in graduate school. OPRE will host specific opportunities to feature the work of emerging scholars during the conference, which may include a special poster session. You will be asked to denote whether you are an emerging scholar on the proposal submission form.

Conference Tracks

Each submission requires that a primary track be selected from the list below. A secondary track may also be selected.

  • TANF Programs, Policies, and Populations (TANF)
    This track focuses on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and TANF-related programs, including innovative practices and strategies for promoting employment and serving populations eligible for and/or served by TANF programs. It will feature studies that further our knowledge of state, local, and tribal TANF programs and how TANF populations are served by and access related programs.
  • Employment and Mobility in the Labor Market (Employment)
    This track focuses on stable employment as a pathway out of poverty and will address a variety of topics related to job placement, retention and training strategies that promote upward mobility in the labor market for vulnerable populations, including career pathways initiatives and other innovative approaches.
  • Youth Well-Being and the Transition to Adulthood (Youth)
    This track explores ways to support youth well-being, the integral relationship between youth well-being and family economic security, and the promotion of self-sufficiency for young adults. This includes studies on promising approaches such as home visiting and strategies that coordinate adult and youth services. This track also features work related to youth employment and the transition to adulthood.
  • Strengthening Families, Fatherhood, Marriages, and Relationships (Families & Fatherhood)
    This track features studies examining strategies to strengthen relationships within families, support father involvement, and promote healthy relationships. This includes studies related to healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, and teen pregnancy prevention.
  • Evaluating Social Programs, Building Evidence, and Using Data (Evidence)
    This track features a range of presentations focused on how to build, replicate, and use evidence in social service programs. It will also include sessions relevant to practitioners and non-research audiences, such as program approaches to using data to support continuous quality improvement and alternatives to randomized controlled trials.
  • Approaches to Alleviate Poverty and Expand Opportunity (Alleviate Poverty)
    This track presents a broad range of research on poverty, stability, and approaches to assisting low-income families become employed as they receive federal safety net benefits (e.g., Medicaid, food assistance, EITC, housing subsidies, child support, etc.). This track will feature studies on poverty reduction programs aimed at supporting family economic self-sufficiency among low-income and vulnerable populations.

Proposal Submission Site Tips

RECS 2022 Call for Proposals uses a submissions platform called CATALYST. It is recommended that submitters review the CATALYST Quick Start Guide included in the complete set of instructions. To submit a proposal for RECS 2022, visit the RECS Proposal Submission System.

  • Google Chrome is the preferred browser.
  • All proposals must be in English.
  • Proposals must adhere to the word limit for each section.
  • Your submission dashboard will reflect all proposals in progress, submitted, and withdrawn.
  • When logged in, all messages sent from the proposal system are reflected in the messages tab. Messages can be accessed by clicking on the arrow next to your name in the top right corner and selecting Messages. In the event than an email from CATALYST goes to the spam folder of your inbox, you can still view all messages sent by CATALYST here.
  • Click Save on the bottom right of your screen as necessary. Submissions do not autosave. *If required fields are missing data, you will see the missing data tabs indicated with a red triangle.
  • A submitted proposal can be edited until the deadline of September 3, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET. After completing edits, you must click Submit again for your submission to be considered for the conference.

Speaker Travel

OPRE may be able to support travel and lodging for a limited number of speakers, including emerging scholars. The proposal submission site includes an application for travel support. You MUST complete this application to be considered for travel support. OPRE cannot consider requests for travel support without a completed application. OPRE has limited travel funds and will not be able to cover travel costs for all speakers.

Scheduling Requests

If your proposal is accepted, you will be expected to be available to present in-person during any of the conference sessions. If you have scheduling limitations, please email them to Please limit scheduling requests to reasons of great importance including religious observances, medical needs, or international travel limitations. OPRE does not guarantee that it will be able to honor all scheduling requests.


Please direct questions about conference content to Lauren Deutsch ( or Marie Lawrence (

Please direct all other questions to