2013 AER Conference: What You Asked Us to Improve

by Maeve Luthin, JD, Professional Development Manager

Many thanks to all of you who completed your 2013 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference evaluations! We have poured over your feedback, and are pleased to be able to share with you the items you flagged as our top successes and those most in need of improvement. In today’s post, I’ll share what we’re working to fix before the 2014 AER Conference in Baltimore next December.

The Hunger Games: We ran into problems with lunches during the conference: there simply wasn’t enough lunch for everyone. We promise to work more with our food and beverage provider to do better next year and we are grateful for your patience with us.

About a Poster: While the “Innovations In…” series was a big hit, many of you spoke up about how we could do a better job of highlighting the posters onsite (and online!), and in connecting authors with attendees for Q&A. You gave us some great suggestions for how to improve the visibility of the poster display, and for anyone who was wondering—all abstracts are available on the Passport!

Mr. Smith Goes to All the Sessions: We tend to schedule multiple concurrent events during any given timeslot, and so far, none of our attendees have been able to successfully bilocate (although PRIM&R staff members have come close). Many of you felt that there were too many breakout sessions to choose from at any given time, which not only made the what-session-do-I-attend decisions difficult, but also left you with a nagging anxiety over your final selections. While we do have constraints in solving the quantum physics side of the equation, we will work on developing some new approaches to this challenge for 2014.

The Social, Behavioral Network: To our social science, behavioral, and educational research (SBER) friends—thank you for your feedback! We will do a better job of incorporating topics important to your work in our plenary sessions, and we’ll work on ways to improve onsite networking opportunities for SBER attendees in 2014. To that end, we encourage you to contribute to our Call for Session Proposals and Speaker Suggestions.

Some Like it Advanced: Some of you shared that breakout sessions labeled as advanced ended up covering basic information, and that you would like presenters in these sessions to focus on applying the regulations, instead of reading them. We will continue to work closely with faculty members to ensure that the descriptions of the sessions match the content presented.

Look for another post later today about what you liked at the 2013 AER Conference, and thanks again for sharing your feedback!