Call for Abstract Reviewers & Thematic Subcommittee Members, Deadline: 11/4/2019

Volunteer to review (click here) and get a firsthand look at the abstracts submitted for the 2020 Annual Meeting and help to develop the scientific content presented during the meeting. Volunteer to review by Monday, November 4, 2019 to make a significant contribution to SPR 2020! 

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to serve on the SPR Abstract Review Committee for the 28th Annual Meeting “Why Context Matters: Towards a Place-Based Prevention Science.” The annual meeting will take place May 26-May 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The SPR Conference Program Committee will need many volunteers. There are two stages in the review process to help shape an interesting and well-rounded program. The first is to review and score the abstract submissions and the second is to serve on one of the thematic subcommittees. You are invited to serve on one or both stages of the review process.

The first stage is the Abstract Review during which the abstracts are scored. The abstracts will be assigned mid – late November with reviews completed by the last week of December. The review process is completed on-line via the SPR/Confex abstract management system. The total process can take 2 – 4 hours depending upon the number of abstracts assigned. Typically each reviewer is assigned 20 – 24 abstracts and each abstract is blind-reviewed by three reviewers. We project we will need more than 125 reviewers. The research strength and professional reputation of the SPR Annual Meeting derives in part from the rigor and integrity of our blind, peer review process. The more reviewers who volunteer the fewer the number of abstracts each person will be asked to review.

Mentor/Student-Mentee Opportunity.  For the 2019 conference we initiated the  SPR Mentor/Student-Mentee abstract review program for the first stage of the abstract review process which we are now offering to the SPR membership.  Please consider forming a Mentor/Student-Mentee Review Pair or a Mentor/Student-Mentee Review Group for the first stage of the review process. Mentors may identify a single mentee or a group of mentees.  We encourage students to approach their mentor or a faculty member to serve as their mentor. Please see the procedures and guidelines (link to PDF). Only the Mentors will sign up to review.  During the sign-up process, Mentors will be asked for their Mentee information.  The Mentor is responsible for sharing the abstracts and scoring criteria with their Mentee(s) and for entering the scores into the online abstract review system.  Upon completion of the abstract review process the SPR administrative office will confirm with the Mentor the Mentees who participated.  Mentors and Mentees will be acknowledged as members of the Abstract Review Committee in the conference mobile app.  (If you are a Mentor and would like to review additional abstracts as a “regular” reviewer, please sign up for both opportunities.)

The second stage is the Abstract Thematic Review which takes place after the abstracts have been scored. The thematic subcommittees determine which abstracts will be accepted for presentation based upon the blind, peer review score and to create a program that has a balance of authors, format types and thematic content. As a member of a thematic subcommittee you would work to identify those abstracts best suited for paper symposia, poster forums, individual presentations, roundtable discussions, poster presentations, 20 x 20 presentations and the TED-Like Talk format. The time commitment is relatively brief and the work will be done in late January/early February 2020. The work of the subcommittees is conducted via e-mails and one conference call.

If you are able to serve as an abstract reviewer and/or as a member of a thematic subcommittee, please go to to complete the questionnaire and indicate the conference theme(s) which you would be willing to review. To participate, please complete the questionnaire by Monday, November 4, 2020. You may find the Call for Papers helpful in determining the theme(s) you would review; click here to access the Call for Papers.

Members at all career levels are needed and encouraged to participate. In addition to being an excellent opportunity for students and early career professionals, this is a relatively small time commitment and an easy way for all members to provide service to SPR. Serving as a reviewer is also a way in which you are able to ensure that the program reflects your interests in prevention science. If you haven’t reviewed recently, please consider volunteering.

Reminder: The deadline for abstract submissions is Thursday, October 31, 2019!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I appreciate your willingness to help.


Rachelle Musci
Chair, 2020 Abstract Review Committee

Questions? Email Jennifer Lewis at or call at 703-934-4850, ext. 3.