RECS 2024 Call for Proposals

Thank you for preparing a proposal submission for the Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) 2024. This page provides an overview of the RECS 2024 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 2024, visit the CATALYST Proposal Submission Site.

The extended deadline for proposal submissions is Monday, August 21, 2023, at 11:59 pm ET.

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

View a recording of the virtual information session held on June 22 to hear more about the conference, conference tracks, proposal types, tips for preparing a successful proposal, and how to submit a proposal through the website. The recording begins with a presentation and screenshare of the RECS website and CATALYST proposal submission site, followed by a Q&A session with attendees. The information session slides are also available for self-paced viewing.


RECS 2024 is being planned as an in-person event, to be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, on May 29–31, 2024. All accepted presenters should be prepared to present in person at the conference. If changes to the conference schedule or format become necessary, all accepted presenters will be notified by email.

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, roundtables, and Emerging Scholars posters. OPRE encourages proposals that include speakers with diverse perspectives and proposals with a focus on equity. For additional information on the criteria that OPRE will consider in reviewing proposals, please view the Call for Proposals Guidelines and Submission Instructions.

Proposal Submission Site Tips

The RECS 2024 Call for Proposals uses a submission platform called CATALYST. It is recommended that submitters review the CATALYST Quick Start Guide within the Call for Proposals Guidelines and Submissions Instructions prior to submitting a proposal.

Proposal Submission Types

A complete description of each proposal submission type is available in the Call for Proposals Guidelines and Submission Instructions.

  • Full conference sessions include a minimum of two and maximum of three speakers, plus a session moderator. A variety of formats is available for full conference sessions. Full conference sessions will be 75 minutes total in length, including at least 15 minutes for questions from the audience.
  • Individual presentations consist of content to be presented by one person at the conference as part of a conference session. Individual presentations should be 15 to 20 minutes in length. RECS conference organizers will group accepted individual presentations together to form full conference sessions. Please note that co-presenters are not allowed.
  • Roundtables will be 60 minutes in length and may include up to two facilitators. This small-group discussion-based format is intended to be an opportunity for attendees to meaningfully connect with one another while participating in interactive conversations on topics relevant to RECS track(s) and audiences.
  • Emerging Scholars posters are printed posters to be displayed in a poster gallery at the conference hotel. During at least one session of the conference, Emerging Scholars poster presenters will be asked to present their research in a short 5- to 10-minute talk and then engage with individual attendees who visit their posters to learn more.

Conference Tracks

Each submission requires a primary track selection and an optional secondary track selection. Conference track descriptions are available in the Call for Proposals Guidelines and Submission Instructions.

  • TANF Programs, Policies, and Populations (TANF)
    This track focuses on 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 features 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 features studies that examine topics related to job placement and retention, and training strategies that promote upward mobility in the labor market for people with low incomes, 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 also includes sessions on topics 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 families with low incomes to become employed as they receive federal safety net benefits (e.g., Medicaid, food assistance, EITC, housing subsidies, child support, etc.). This track features studies on poverty reduction programs aimed at supporting family economic self-sufficiency among people with low incomes and in vulnerable situations.

Emerging Scholars

OPRE is particularly interested in fostering the work of new and Emerging Scholars in the field of family self-sufficiency. To support this effort, OPRE will feature work from Emerging Scholars at the 2024 conference. Emerging Scholars are early in their research careers and can include recent PhD and Master's graduates (2019 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, including the poster session described above, and networking opportunities. You will be asked to indicate whether you are an Emerging Scholar on the proposal submission form in order to open Emerging Scholars-specific opportunities to you.

Speaker Travel

OPRE may be able to support travel and lodging for a limited number of speakers, including Emerging Scholars. The CATALYST 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 all questions to