Call for Submissions

Consumer Vitality with an Eroding Middle-Class: Possibility or Pipe-Dream?

The planning committee for the 2016 Family Economics and Resource Management Association seeks submissions for presentations at the 2016 FERMA Conference scheduled for March 9 – 11 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the conference is “Consumer Vitality with an Eroding Middle Class: Possibility or Pipe-Dream?” The committee is particularly interested in how changes in wages, salaries and benefits–including the effects of two decades of stagnant earnings for individuals and households in the middle and lower economic tiers—are affecting consumer decision-making, consumption, and quality of life.

Submissions are sought in the following forms: refereed papers, refereed posters, educational resource exchanges, and symposia/workshops. FERMA papers, presentations, and posters should cover the areas of family economics, housing, family resource management, consumer decision-making, consumer economics, consumer policy, personal finance, and related issues.

The FERMA conference provides a constructive environment for the development of research and education programs. Faculty, field staff, and students (graduate and undergraduate) are encouraged to present work at any stage of completion, including work that may be in a relatively early stage. First-time submitters and seasoned professionals alike can expect an environment supportive of their work. The deadline for all submissions is midnight October 19, 2015.

Refereed Papers.
Research-based, conceptual, policy-oriented, or educational papers are requested for presentation by the author(s) at the conference. Submissions should include the title, a short abstract (150 words or less), the purpose, a literature review, theoretical or conceptual framework, overview of methods, findings and conclusions, implications, and recommendations.

Refereed Posters. Proposals for posters in the form of an extended abstract of work that is conceptual, research-based, policy-oriented, or educational are requested. Accepted posters will be presented during an hour-long session at the conference. The extended abstract (5 to 10 pages) should include the title, purpose, a brief discussion of methods, pertinent data and/or facts about your research or program, and conclusions, recommendations, or implications.

Educational Program Resource Exchanges. Proposals describing educational programs are requested for presentation at the conference. Presentations may cover program design and evaluation, educational materials, teaching approaches, or related educational efforts. Proposals should include a title, a short abstract (150 words or less for inclusion in the conference program), the purpose of the work (target audience and desired outcomes), an overview of the work (what was done and how), and the impact/results.

Symposia/Workshops. Symposia are organized discussions by widely recognized experts on specific topics. The organizer of the symposium will chair the session and set the agenda. A panel discussion or series of paper presentations should lead to joint conclusions and implications for policy, research, or instruction. A workshop is a training session in which participants will develop specific skills related to policy, research, and/or instruction. Submissions should include a title, a short abstract (150 words or less) for inclusion in the conference program and proceedings, the objectives of the session, evidence of widely recognized expertise, an overview of the content, and the benefit to FERMA members who participate in the session.

Conference Program and Proceedings.  If accepted, the short abstract will be published in the conference program. The electronic conference proceedings will include short or expanded abstracts for all presenters and papers from authors not interested in pursuing the refereed e-journal publication opportunity in the Special Issue of The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues.

General Submission Guidelines

  • At least one of the authors of each submission must agree to register, attend, and present at the 2015 FERMA conference, March 9-11, 2016.
  • Individuals are limited to two submissions/presentations as lead author, however they are not limited in the number of times they may submit or present as co-author of presentations. There is no limit on the number of posters that may be submitted/presented.
  • You MUST use the 2016-FERMA-Proposal-Cover-Sheet for each submission (download to use as an interactive PDF form). Name the PDF cover sheet with the last name of the primary contact (i.e. Rupured.pdf). For multiple submissions, add a number to each file name (i.e. Rupured1.pdf and Rupured2.pdf).
  • An MS Word document with the same file name (with the extension .doc or docx) should accompany each PDF cover sheet. The title of the submission should appear on the top of the first page of this document and should contain either an extended abstract (5 to 10 pages) or a complete paper (up to 50 pages). Please note: other than the file name, the document should NOT include personally identifying information.
  • The MS Word file should be formatted on 8 ½ x 11-inch paper with 1-inch top, bottom and side margins, double-spaced in 12 pt Times New Roman font, and prepared according to the most recent APA Guidelines.
  • Except for symposia and workshop proposals, all submissions are blind peer reviewed. Evaluation criteria for refereed papers and posters are clarity of purpose, significance of purpose and background, appropriateness of data and methods, and importance of implications for family or consumer economic well-being. Evaluation criteria for educational program resource exchange, symposia and workshop submissions are clarity of purpose, timeliness of topic, evidence of appropriate expertise, originality/creativity, interest to membership, and benefit to the profession.
  • For each submission, send an e-mail message with the PDF cover sheet and MS Word file attached to Authors may e-mail submissions at any time prior to the deadline. If changes are necessary after submission, authors can resubmit both required documents together before midnight October 19, 2015.
  • Upon acceptance, authors will receive further instructions on preparing PDF files for inclusion in the conference program and proceedings.
  • Acceptance of submissions implies agreement by at least one author to attend the conference to present the work. The amount of time available for presentations is contingent upon the number of accepted proposals.
  • Submissions will be confirmed via e-mail no later than October 26, 2015. Authors who do not receive a confirmation e-mail from by this date should contact Dena Wise by e-mail ( or telephone (865) 974-8198.
  • Important dates:
    • October 19, 2015 (Friday, midnight) Deadline for all submissions
    • November 11, 2015 (Friday) Authors notified of acceptance/rejection
    • February 5, 2016 (Friday) Deadline for revised abstract (short or expanded) submissions for inclusion in the conference program and proceedings
    • October 19, 2015 (Friday): Deadline for initial manuscript submission – refer to the “Manuscripts”  for additional information
    • March 9-11, 2016 (Wednesday through Friday) FERMA conference, New Orleans, LA

 Student Scholarship Program

Description: The FERMA scholarship program encourages student submissions and participation in the biennial conference by waiving the registration fee for scholarship recipients. The specific number of scholarships available in a given year is based upon available resources and conference costs.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student during at least one semester in the previous calendar year.
  • Pursuing a degree in family economics and resource management or a closely related field.
  • Submitted a paper, poster, educational program resource exchange or workshop/symposia for presentation at the biennial conference.
  • Is expected to participate in all conference sessions.

 Selection Criteria

Recipients will be selected by the conference planning committee based on the following priorities:

  • Quality of proposal and reviewers’ comments
  • Students accepted for presentation at the conference WITH NO COAUTHORS will receive first priority.
  • Students accepted for presentation at the conference AS FIRST AUTHOR will receive second priority.
  • Students accepted for presentation at the conference AS A COAUTHOR will receive third priority.
  • In the event of a tie at any level above, the type of submission will be prioritized as follows: paper, poster, educational program resource exchange, and workshop/symposia.