2024 AHEAD - Proposal Reviewers

Thank you for considering being a reviewer of conference proposals for AHEAD’s annual conference: Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education. We recognize that participating in this process can represent a significant time commitment; your contribution is greatly appreciated! Conference reviewers play an important part in ensuring that AHEAD’s conference provides high-quality, relevant professional development. We hope you’re planning to be with us in Baltimore next July! But even if you cannot attend, we welcome your participation in this process. 

Important Dates and Deadlines 

  • Complete the reviewer interest form by November 6, 2023 
  • AHEAD will assign you proposals to review in November 2023, based on your responses there 
  • Reviews due: December 22, 2023 

    What is the proposal review process? 

    • We must pare down several hundred proposed presentations to about 150 available concurrent slots. 
    • Each proposal will be sent to at least three reviewers. 
    • We anticipate it will take you approximately 10-20 minutes to read, consider, and complete the online feedback form for each proposal. 
    • The proposals you receive will be anonymous. This is because we’d like you to not be swayed in your feedback by what you already know of the possible presenters. AHEAD has received a short bio of each presenter, with which to evaluate individual qualifications to deliver the information described in the proposal. 
    • Using your feedback and the presenter bios, the AHEAD review committee will make final programming decisions.
    • We have done our best to make this a blind review process, but we expect that some information that reveals the presenter(s) may slip through the cracks. Please do your best to evaluate all proposals on the merits of the submission alone.   
    • It will be very clear in the form which of your responses will be visible to the proposers and which will be private. Please do provide feedback directly to the presenter where appropriate, so they can learn and improve their future sessions. 
    • If you do receive information that reveals information about the presenter(s) or see evidence of either excellent or inadequate professional background in the session descriptions, please share that in your feedback. 
    • Please let us know if a conflict of interest arises during the review process, so we can substitute a proposal for the one you feel you should not review. 

          Review Criteria 

          You will rate each proposal using software called Oxford Abstracts. Most feedback is provided through a 5-point Likert scale using the following criteria:  

          • QUALITY: This proposal offers essential, high impact information, addresses current issues, and/or builds on concepts that are important for AHEAD members. The ideas conveyed through the proposal are important to enhancing equity in higher education. 
          • INNOVATION: This proposal offers creative, cutting-edge, innovative, or provocative ideas and/or a novel approach to a common issue. After attending this session, participants would have new inspiration, motivation, and tools to take back to their institutions. 
          • VALUES: The concepts presented in the proposal are consistent with AHEAD's values of diversity, equity, social justice, individual respect, and inclusivity. 
          • DIVERSITY: The proposed session enhances the diversity of perspectives offered at the conference by including content featuring or focused on typically underrepresented groups of people or institution types (e.g. traditionally marginalized people—LGBTQ, people of color, indigenous people—or institutions such as community colleges, HBCs, or small private colleges). 
          • ENGAGEMENT: The proposal provides evidence of an opportunity for participants to learn actively and/or engage with the material through participatory activities, discussion, or a question/answer period.  
          • PRESENTATION: The proposal is clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically sound. The authors have demonstrated attention and care in the development of this proposal. References are included, if necessary/important to the topic. 

            Finally, you will be asked to comment on the proposal and to recommend or not recommend its acceptance.  

            • If you feel the proposal has merit but would best contribute to the conference as a poster session or part of combined session with other proposals, you can provide that feedback. 
            • If you review a proposal that does not forward the field, is based in older notions of disability and access, or includes information you know not to be accurate, please feel comfortable not recommending it for presentation. As you do that, remember that your recommendation alone will not decide whether a proposal is accepted—multiple reviews will be taken into account. 

            Reviewer Tips 

            • Read all the proposals you receive before you begin scoring to get a feel for overall quality. One approach is to then rate them against each other. Depending on the proposals you receive, this may also help you evaluate similar content and select the best proposal(s) for that particular topic. 
            • Pace yourself by rating no more than 3-4 proposals at a time. Breaking up your review process in this way will prevent fatigue and keep your mind fresh. 
            • Remember that all sessions should be educational in nature. While some vendor sessions will be accepted, we want to ensure that they offer more than an advertisement and will contribute to the educational content of the conference. 
            • Ask yourself if the main lessons from the session are clear. 
            • Ask yourself if you would attend the session or recommend it to a colleague. 

              Information about proposal submissions can be found on the AHEAD website. 
              THANK YOU! Please contact AHEAD’s Professional Development team at profdev@ahead.org with any questions regarding the review process.