2020 AIEA Annual Conference Call for Proposals 


February 16-19, 2020
Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC, USA

The Call for Proposals deadline has passed.

Proposals Deadline: August 15

*Please use this link to access your submitted proposal. Catalyst login

The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) invites the submission of proposals for its 2020 conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC. Pre-conference workshops will be held February 16-17. The conference will begin at noon on February 17 and end in the afternoon of February 19.

Please note that session presenters are required to register for the conference. We recommend taking advantage of early registration for discounted rates.

This Call for Session Proposals contains the following information:

Conference Theme and Subthemes
Choosing your session format
Session Format
Guidelines for submitting a proposal
Required information for the proposal
Important Information for Session Proposers
How to submit an electronic proposal
Selection Criteria
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and Contact Information

NOTE: AIEA does not solicit proposals for pre-conference workshops. 

Conference Theme and Subthemes

2020 Annual Conference Theme:
Rethinking Comprehensive Internationalization for a Global Generation. 

Details about the Theme and Subthemes are available at the AIEA webpage.

Submitters may also want to consult the following resources for ideas around session topics:

Choosing your session format:

  Panel Discussion Facilitated Roundtable Seven-Minute Motivators
Focus Interactive dialogue after expert presentations Peer learning through facilitated dialogue Brief information on innovative practices around a central theme
Minimum discussion time 30 mins 50 mins 20 mins
Maximum slides 8-10 per presenter 0 4 per presenter
Maximum Presenters/facilitators 3 presenters (1 chair that presents and 2 additional presenters or 1 chair that does not present and 3 presenters) 2 facilitators (1 chair that also facilitates and 1 additional facilitator or 1 chair that does not facilitate and 2 facilitators) 4-5 presenters- 1 chair (facilitator) and 4-5 presenters (7 mins each)

 *All sessions are 60 minutes long.
*Incomplete proposals will not be considered in the review process.


There are three types of sessions for which proposals may be submitted:

1) Panel Discussions:

Panels are 60 minutes long and may include a maximum of 3 presenters. A minimum of 30 minutes of interactive dialogue with session attendees is required. Feedback from previous AIEA conference attendees has shown that the most successful sessions are those that exhibit the spirit of genuine and collegial discussion and exchange of ideas. This session type is similar to sessions at other international education conference. A slideshow is permitted.

2) Facilitated Roundtables:

Roundtables are 60 minutes long, focused on specific topics, and presented/organized by a maximum of 2 facilitators. The idea of the roundtables is to delve into the deeper issues of particular topics and focus on developing solutions, approaches, strategies, or innovative thinking. They demand interaction from all participants. Facilitators briefly introduce the topic and provide background information (note that this should not be a presentation and should not involve a slideshow), then pose questions to facilitate the discussion. The outcome of each roundtable session is a collegial discussion and an exchange of ideas providing a range of perspectives and take-aways for participants.

Facilitators are requested to submit the discussion outcomes in writing to AIEA for posting on the conference website within two weeks of the conference.

3) Seven-Minute Motivators

Seven-Minute Motivators are 60 minutes long and feature several innovative programs that may stimulate participants’ thinking on issues relevant to their home campuses around a central theme. The presentations are intended to be brief and clearly focused. In each session, 4-5 presenters will make a seven-minute presentation each about their topic. Presenters will be timed and expected to stick to a strict seven-minute limit.

Presenters are encouraged to use up to a maximum of four slides in a creative way to help the audience understand what is innovative, unique, or otherwise significant about their program. Chairing a seven-minute motivator involves facilitating the session, coordinating with presenters and timekeeping.


Below are general guidelines for all session types followed by specific guidelines for each type of session format.

  • Indicate the type of session format for which you are submitting a proposal:

1. a panel discussion  2. a facilitated roundtable discussion, or  3. a seven-minute motivator.

  • AIEA will give preference to sessions that include multiple institutions and diverse perspectives.
  • Student perspectives are most welcome. Session proposals should include at least one Senior International Officer.
  • Regional diversity, including perspectives from institutions and presenters located outside of the United States, will be prioritized.
  • The purpose of the conference is to help leaders at higher education institutions (and in the world of international education at large) carry out their responsibilities and develop new ideas for internationalization. Sponsorship opportunities exist for those with services, programs or products available on the market to assist in this effort, but these services and products are not acceptable topics for sessions. We will NOT accept proposals that promote a product, program, university, or fee for service.
  • Sessions that focus on one institution and sessions that are not targeted towards a senior international officer audience will generally not be selected.

Panel Session Proposals

  • Must demonstrate that at least 30 minutes are incorporated for discussion and interaction.
  • Should not be “talking heads” but rather allow sufficient time for adequate discussion and exchange between all in attendance.
  • Should focus on lessons learned, challenges and issues encountered, and how those were addressed.
  • Should not be a “show and tell” of a university or a program.
  • Presenters are requested to keep details or case studies from specific universities or programs to a minimum; these can illustrate points but should NOT be the focus of sessions.

Facilitated Roundtable Discussions

  • Should pose a series of discussion questions and should NOT include any formal presentations or a slideshow.
  • Target audience is specifically university leaders and sessions should focus on an issue at the strategic leadership level. 

Seven-Minute Motivators

  • Should feature several innovative practices around a central theme
  • Issue should be relevant to those leading campus internationalization at the strategic-level
  • Should have a time limit of 7 minutes per presenter
  • Should be high-energy and brief with a maximum of four slides per presenter

Required Proposal Information

A. Identification and biography

  • Session Title, Abstract and Full Description
  • Name, Contact Details, and Biography of Chair
  • Names, Contact Details, and Biographies of all proposed speakers
  • Conference subtheme category
  • Session Learning outcomes and “take-aways”
  • Audio-visual needs *only for standard and seven-minute motivators

B. Full Session Description

(Detailed description of your proposed session – maximum 500 words)

Panel Discussion

Include a content outline describing the major theme(s), challenges, lessons learned, successes and failures, application possibilities for other institutions, etc. that will be addressed in this session. In addition, please include the goals of the session, take-aways for leaders, and the methodologies to be used in the session. Remember to include a minimum of 30 minutes for discussion in the panel discussion format session. If there is more than one presenter, explain what each presenter will discuss. Please be as complete as possible and remember that the content needs to have wide applicability, comparative perspectives and an analysis of "lessons learned" useful to higher education leaders.

Facilitated Roundtable

Facilitated Roundtable sessions must describe the topic in detail, the questions posed to participants, and desired outcomes. It should be clear from the description that there is no formal presentation or slideshow planned. For the Facilitated Roundtable sessions, explain what each presenter will discuss, how the discussion will be moderated, expected outcomes and how outcomes will be collected and distributed. You are also asked to state learning objectives for the session in 50 words or less.

Seven-Minute Motivators

Include an outline describing the session theme to be addressed by presenters. Provide detailed descriptions of each topic that each presenter will discuss. Please include a description of the program and address how it was developed including responses to the following questions:
-What is the key to making this work?
-What are essential elements that make the program work?
-What are key takeaways for attendees interested in this program? 
Include a brief title (50 characters max) for each “Motivator.”

 C. Additional Comments
The session chair will serve as the key contact on the session and is responsible for communicating all session information and details with presenters.

Important Information for Session Proposers

  • Please pay very careful attention to the exact format, language and word limitation required: no more than 75 words for the abstract and for the bios.
  • Biographies may include presenters’ positions and major work accomplishments relevant to the presenter’s session topic. They must be formatted based on the sample biographies provided.
  • The biography should be written in the third person, and consist of full sentences. Important: Please observe the sample bio format provided.
  • Proposals must be complete at time of submission – it is not sufficient to note “information to be added later.” Incomplete proposals will not be considered in the review process.
  • Proposals submitted without an abstract, full description, or complete and correctly formatted bio information on all presenters listed will not be considered.
  • Presenters may not present in any more than three sessions.
  • The Conference Committee reserves the right to recommend a different session format, combine sessions, and schedule sessions. Scheduled session times may not be changed.
  • Proposals must be targeted to university leadership.

How to Submit a Proposal using Omnipress CATALYST portal

Be sure to save a copy of the proposal, as well as your Reference number, before submitting it to AIEA! Once you have successfully completed your submission, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please use the Support link located at the top of the site.

After you finish reading the Form Overview thoroughly, click on the “Next” button at the bottom of this page to get started submitting your proposal online. Be sure to have all information ready to enter, including an abstract (75 words), a session outline and description (500 words), chair and presenter bios (75 words) and contact information, and other information.

At the bottom of each page, click “Next” to continue to the next section and click “Save” to save any information entered throughout the form. If you click “Save” and there is incomplete information, you will receive an error symbols on the form indicating which sections are missing or are not meeting the criteria set within that field. The best practice is to click “Save” on every page so you can see the errors on that specific page. If you wait until the end to click “Save,” you will still receive the error message, but you will need to navigate back to the page the error is on.

At the end of the form, click “Submit” to officially submit your proposal. You will know your submission was successful when you receive an electronic acknowledgement. If this acknowledgement is not received, please return to your Dashboard and review your incomplete submission(s) within your profile.

If you are entering more than one proposal, you can submit another proposal:

  1. At the confirmation page after submitting, a link is provided to submit another.
  2. From your Dashboard, go to Submissions. You should see "+ Create Submission" to the right of the event name.

If you encounter technical difficulties, please use the Support link at the top of the site.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Advisory Committee and evaluated with the following criteria foremost:

  • Relevance to senior leaders in international higher education
  • Connection/Applicability to the conference themes
  • Originality and quality of the proposed session
  • Relevance to both U.S. and international audiences
  • Presence of multiple perspectives
  • Diversity of Presenters (i.e., regional, institutional)
  • Realistic allocation of time, including substantive time for discussion among session participants
  • Substantive issues discussed during the session with time set aside for discussion
  • Background and experience of presenters

*Highly encouraged to have a diverse group of presenters from higher education institutions and include an SIO from anywhere in the world.

Please use this link to review the AIEA Conference Proposals Assessment/Recommendation Rubric.

Note again that sessions should not promote marketed products, programs, universities or services in any way.

Session proposals should NOT be a “show and tell” but rather a focus on challenges, trends, and lessons learned, with ample time for discussion.

We will NOT accept proposals that promote a product, university, or service. Innovative programs can be featured in the Seven-Minute Motivator session, but should not be a focus of standard or roundtable session. Sponsorship opportunities exist for those with services, programs or products available on the market to assist in this effort, but these services, programs, and products are not acceptable topics for sessions.

The Conference Planning Committee will have to choose among many proposals, some of which may be similar, and will seek balance among topics and areas of importance to the membership. Proposals of equal merit cannot in all instances be selected when the result would be an imbalance in the conference’s overall coverage of topics, audiences, and regions.

Please also note that proposers may be asked to collaborate with others who have proposed a similar session on a combined session.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I hear about whether my proposal is accepted or not?

You will hear by late October, if not sooner, regarding the status of your proposal.

How are the proposals reviewed?

Members of the conference advisory committee will review proposals. There are at least three readers for each proposal.

Can I request a specific date or time for my session?

No, due to the complexities in conference scheduling, AIEA is unfortunately unable to accommodate specific requests for session scheduling. Sessions will be scheduled between noon on Monday, February 17 and 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19. Please make sure you and your co-presenters/facilitators are available during this time frame. If selected, session chairs will be notified of the session date and time in December.

Do presenters receive a discount in conference registration fees?

No, there is no discount in conference registration fees for presenters. We recommend that presenters register early to take advantage of early-bird discounts. Details are available at www.aieaworld.org.

I’m interested in the Seven-Minute Motivators session, can AIEA help me connect with other possible presenters?

Yes, a google document has been create for presenters who are looking to connect with others who are interested in presenting on similar topics. Please use the link below to go to the google document to review the list and add your contact information and presentation idea. 2020 AIEA Annual Conference: Call for Proposals Coordination

If I am using PowerPoint, am I required to bring my own computer?

Yes, you will need to provide your own laptop, and Mac users should bring appropriate adapter cables (HDMI cables).

If I have handouts, am I required to bring copies to the conference?

Yes, you should bring at least 50 copies of your handouts to the conference. We will also make copies of handouts and presentations available on the website and mobile app if submitted to [email protected]. 

Questions and Contact Information

For questions regarding:

  • Conference theme and subthemes
  • Session format
  • Guidelines for submitting a proposal
  • Required information on the proposal
  • How to submit an electronic proposal
  • Selection criteria

Please contact: AIEA Secretariat: [email protected] — Telephone: (1) 919 893-4980. 

For Technical Support
Please utilize the Support link at the top of the page. A tech advisor will contact you within 24 hours, during normal business hours, 8 AM to 5 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday, excluding US holidays. Questions sent after 5 PM Friday will be answered on the following Monday.

We highly encourage this method of communication as we can track which site you are submitting on. This will speed up any technical diagnostics we need to run before solving the issues.

August 15, 2019, 11:59 PM EST – Deadline for submitting proposals
December 16, 2019 - Early registration deadline
January 16, 2020 - Regular registration deadline
February 5, 2020 - Last day for online registration

There is a limit of one started/incomplete submission allowed at one time for this submission form. When you complete an incomplete submission, you will be allowed to begin a new submission.

For questions or feedback on session proposals, session chairs can reach out to the AIEA Secretariat ([email protected]).