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Call for Proposals

What's Next?
  • The Call for Proposals is now available.
  • *EXTENDED* Call for Proposals Application is now extended to February 27, 2013.
    A three day grace period for submissions has been issued due to recent problems with the application page and confusion with the submission deadline. The Conference Co-Chairs would like to apologize for any confusion.
  • Technology Demonstration Area Call for Proposals will be issued March 8, 2013.

You are invited to submit a presentation proposal for the 13th U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Community Involvement Training Conference, which will be held July 30-August 1, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Please check back in the next few weeks for updated information on dates and conference location. This biennial conference is for EPA managers, project staff, and partners who plan and implement community involvement, partnership, stewardship, outreach, and education programs.

Theme and Focus Areas

The theme of this year's conference is "The Next Generation of Community Involvement" and our goal is to provide an exceptional conference that both informs and trains EPA staff as well as Agency stakeholders and partners in best practices to enhance community involvement.

In keeping with both our conference theme and goal, we are asking you to propose a presentation focusing on topics, ideas, challenges, and opportunities within one or more of the five categories below:

Category 1: Communication and Collaboration through Technology

  • Using technology (such as social media, online learning, video, etc.) to enhance and improve efforts to educate, reach, and/or engage communities
  • Considering current and future impacts of technology on community involvement

Category 2: Cultural Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Environmental Justice

  • Working with communities of various ethnic, linguistic, religious, social, and economic backgrounds and adopting approaches to reach all members of a community
  • Coordinating and cooperating with other nations (e.g., U.S./Canada, U.S./Tribal Nations, U.S./Mexico)
  • Working for and with communities overburdened by environmental pollution and underprovided with environmental benefits (such as clean air, clean water, clean land, green space)
  • Encouraging awareness of one's own cultural worldview and attitude toward cultural differences
  • Sharing lessons learned from collecting data on environmental improvements in environmental justice communities
  • Demonstrating community involvement in identifying and addressing environmental justice concerns

Category 3: Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies

  • Utilizing creative approaches for public meetings and outreach
  • Thinking "outside the box" about how to communicate scientific/technical concepts in an understandable way (e.g., communicating risk about contaminated groundwater, treatment technologies and processes)

Category 4: Facilitating Effective Collaboration

  • Collaborating among different organizations and programs (federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private) to enhance community involvement, such as with technical assistance
  • Fostering strong internal collaboration and communication skills to enhance community involvement
  • Encouraging conflict management and resolution (i.e., ability to navigate high emotional disagreements or conflicts in a way that decreases tensions and leads to parties engaging in solutions)

Category 5: Additional Community Involvement Related Topics

  • Please specify your focus area and explain how it addresses the conference goal (Conference Goal: To provide an exceptional conference that both informs and trains EPA staff as well Agency stakeholders and partners in best practices to enhance community involvement)

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Proposal Criteria

Proposals must be submitted in writing and conform to the application instructions. Proposals will be evaluated on content, relevance to the conference goal and theme, audience engagement, inclusion of diverse perspectives, presenter effectiveness, and learning objectives. A thorough proposal will address all of the following criteria:

  • Content: The proposal should clearly and concisely explain the topic(s) that will be covered during the training or the presentation.
  • Relevance: Is the proposal relevant to the conference theme, focus areas and/or the conference goal (Conference Goal: To provide an exceptional conference that both informs and trains EPA staff as well as Agency stakeholders and partners in best practices to enhance community involvement.)
  • Audience Engagement: The proposal should incorporate how the presenter or trainer intends to engage the audience either through a basic question and answer session or through other methods such as facilitated dialogue, interactive exercise, and role playing.
  • Diverse Perspectives: The proposal should demonstrate that different ways of thinking and viewing issues will be considered during the presentation or training session.
  • Presenter Effectiveness/Experience: The proposal should both highlight past presentation or training experiences and the public speaking strengths of the presenter. Presenters who have minimal past experiences should try and convey their effectiveness as a public speaker.
  • Presentation Learning Objectives: The proposal should clearly explain the learning objectives by following the directions provided in the application.

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Instructions for Submitting a Proposal

Please answer the proposal application questions completely and provide all the information requested. You must answer all of the questions. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Submit your proposal by close-of-business on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

There are two ways to complete and submit your presentation proposal for the 2013 conference:

  1. Complete and submit your proposal here on the website. Exit disclaimer
  2. Download the MS Word fill-in form application (11 pages, 154 K), answer the application questions, and save your document as either a MS Word, or PDF file. Submit the document via email to: ciconference@emsus.com

If you cannot use either of these approaches, please contact our conference coordinator, Environmental Management Support, by email at ciconference@emsus.com or by phone at 301-589-5318.

The lead presenter for each application will be notified via email within one week of receiving the application to verify receipt. If you do not receive an email notification, it is an indication that your proposal was not received. If that happens, please contact Catherine Sims, EMS Inc. via e-mail at catherine.sims@emsus.com or 301-589-5318.

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What You Need to Know About Presenting at the Conference

Session Length: There will be 90-minute concurrent information sessions. The rest of the sessions will consist of 3-, 4-, and 7-hour trainings/tutorials. Field trips may be approximately 3 to 4 hours.

Registration: All presenters and co-presenters must register for the conference.

Conference Fee: Non-EPA presenters need to pay a conference fee (in the $100 range). This fee helps offset the costs for light refreshments.

Travel Reimbursement for Speakers: EPA, through its support contractor, Environmental Management Support, Inc. (EMS), has limited funding available to reimburse the travel-related expenses for one non-federal speaker for each proposal accepted. This speaker must arrange and pay for all their travel-related expenses and will be reimbursed for expenses after the conference. If you are requesting travel reimbursement for yourself or other co-presenters, complete Part III of the application.

Audio-Visual Equipment: Computers with PowerPoint software (or other needed software) and LCD projectors will be provided for all presentations. Presenters needing additional audio-visual equipment should request this equipment on the application form.

Presentation materials/handouts: The conference planning committee is striving to make this an environmentally friendly event, so lengthy handouts are discouraged. However, a limited number of copies may be provided for the 3-, 4-, and 7-hour training sessions. Paper copies for shorter presentations will not be provided. We encourage presenters to provide electronic copies of their presentation materials in advance so that these materials can be posted on the conference website and downloaded by those signing up for the session. If you have questions about providing your own paper copies of documents or having them reproduced for your session, please contact the conference coordinator at the email address or phone number listed below.

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Proposal Submission Process/Schedule

  • January 14 — February 27, 2013
  • Use the on-line application form or complete and submit a written proposal (by mail, fax or email)
  • February 27, 1013
  • Deadline for the submission of proposals.
  • Early February — March 1, 2013
  • Email acknowledgment of receipt of your proposal. If you do not receive an email, it is an indication that your proposal was not received. Please contact Catherine Sims at catherine.sims@emsus.com or 301-589-5318 as soon as possible.
  • April 3 — April 19, 2013
  • Notification by telephone of presentation selection.
  • May 10, 2013
  • Official notification emailed to the lead presenter
  • May 1, 2013
  • Notification by EMS about travel reimbursement request.
  • June 24, 1013
  • Audio-visual equipment needs/room set up confirmed.
  • July 15, 2013
  • Presenters submit electronic copies of presentation materials
  • July 30 — August 1, 2013
  • 2013 U.S. EPA Community Involvement Training Conference in Boston, MA

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If you have any questions about the Call for Proposals for the 2013 EPA Community Involvement Training Conference, please contact any of the following people:

Elana Goldstein, EPA Conference Co-Chair
Office of Water
Phone: 202-564-1800
Email: goldstein.elana@epa.gov

Laura Knudsen, EPA Conference Co-Chair
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Phone: 703-603-8861
Email: knudsen.laura@epa.gov

Pam Harting-Barrat, EPA Conference Co-Chair
EPA, Region 1
Phone: 617-918-1318
Email: harting-barrat.pamela@epa.gov

Catherine Sims, Community Involvement Conference
Environmental Management Support
Phone: 301-589-5318
Email: ciconference@emsus.com

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Call for Proposals and Application Forms/Instructions

Instructions for Submitting a Proposal (PDF) — A copy of this page in PDF format.

Submit your proposal using the On-Line Interactive Application Exit disclaimer

You can also download the proposal application as a fill-in form in Microsoft Word format if you wish to submit your proposal via e-mail, fax or regular mail.

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Other Ways to Participate

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