Call for Proposals 2019

Speak at the 37th Annual Midwives Alliance of North America Conference

The MANA Program Committee invites abstract submissions for the 37th Annual Midwives Alliance of North America Conference, SUSTAIN,  to be held October 31 - November 3rd, 2019 in Austin, Texas at Lost Pines Resort.


Abstract submissions are now closed. Thank you for your interest.

The Midwives Alliance is committed to fostering a community rooted in respect and cultural humility, and expects all abstracts submitted to be mindful of how the content applies to and impacts people of diverse racial, ethnic, sexual identity, gender, religious, or socioeconomic backgrounds. 


WHO: This is an interdisciplinary conference, and we encourage submissions from researchers, practitioners, community members, community organizations, educators and students.

WHAT: There is a strong preference for research and clinical practice abstracts meeting the requirements for the NARM Bridge Certificate. There is also a preference for proposals that focus on this year’s theme of SUSTAIN, and that are aligned with the MANA Mission, Vision, and Goals.

All general abstracts submitted for presentation must go beyond MANA or ACNM core competencies or show new learning (new research, new models, etc.) and have appropriate documentation of references.

MANA will apply for CEUs from ACNM and MEAC.

We also welcome entry level sessions for a student track which meet MANA Core Competencies but do not qualify for CEUs. We require at least one NARM approved preceptor be present in these sessions. Please email Claudia Breglia for more information on the student track.

WHEN:  The deadline for submission is March 15, 2019. There will be no extended deadline. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 15th, 2019.

Submission of an abstract signifies intent to attend and present if accepted.


Topics relevant to full-scope clinical midwifery are sought including primary care, evidence-based practice, global health, education, business, and policy that expand on current practice or introduce novel approaches to care.

Topics relevant to sustainable midwifery practice are sought including business models, respectful peer review, social and birth justice, or student/preceptor relationships.


  • Advanced clinical skills
  • Postpartum physical and emotional health
  • Newborn care in the first six weeks
  • Pharmacology
  • Community based participatory research
  • Qualitative work (including narratives / oral histories)
  • Social and birth justice topics
  • Grant writing/Abstract writing
  • Models of sustainable practice
  • Sustainable student/preceptor relationships
  • Professionalization of midwifery, licensure efforts
  • Midwifery leadership and policy development

The submission of an abstract does not guarantee participation in the program. Due to the necessary processes and time table of the Program Committee to review and score abstracts, any late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

The Program Committee is aware that the process of writing abstracts may be a new skill for some presenters. We have volunteers available for questions, and assistance from February 15th through March 15th. Please email the CEU Chairperson for assistance.

Abstract Review Scoring

The Program Committee will begin the review process after the call for abstracts has closed (March 15, 2019). Abstracts are scored on a standardized rubric (download rubric here) which assigns 5 points to each of the following metrics:

  • Abstract relevance to the MANA Mission, Vision, and Goals
  • Abstract relevance to the MANA Conference Theme – SUSTAIN
  • Writing quality – Overall writing quality is careful and grammatically correct
  • Substance and organization – Abstract presented in a clear, concise, and justified manner
  • Quality of abstract – Abstract maintains a flow and consistency demonstrating knowledge of subject matter
  • Midwives Model of Care™ – Abstract reflects the MMOC, based on partnerships with individuals, families, and communities
  • Cultural awareness and humility – Abstract shows speaker’s awareness of/respect for cultural differences, insights into personal bias or unconscious racism in content, practice, and delivery, and awareness of potential harm/impact of the work being presented on vulnerable communities
  • Speaker qualifications – Speaker has qualifications to present this session
  • Session description – Session of interest to MANA conference attendees
  • Session content – Session content goes beyond the “Core Competencies” and qualifies for CEUs

Additional points are assigned to Research abstracts at 5 points for each of the following:

  • Methods – Appropriate design, sampling strategy, analysis, and discussion of limitations
  • Results – Clearly stated in relationship to research questions or purpose
  • Discussion – Accurate interpretation of results, thoughtful analysis, and clear recommendations for future research and practice
  • Outcomes – Uses appropriate evaluation methods to assess initiative’s effectiveness
  • Relevance – Describes knowledge gained or lessons learned and offers a new contribution to the field

Abstract submissions will close on March 15, 2019. All submitters will be notified of the Committee’s decision at the end of the review process.

Presentation Guidelines

The Program Committee selects the individual abstracts based on the information contained and disclosed within. As such, the Committee reserves the right to rescind acceptance and placement of a presentation at any point on any issue. This includes but is not limited to: incomplete submission information, non-return of signed speaker contract within deadline, any presenter changes without prior Committee approval, non-submission of speaker slides, non-registration on appointed conference days, etc.

The individual submitting the abstract is considered the primary contact. All correspondence will be with the primary contact person ONLY. The primary contact person is responsible for providing any communication details to the other presenters. Speakers may NOT be added after abstract submission. If it becomes necessary to make a change of speaker, this information will be communicated to the CEU Chairperson.  

Under no circumstances may a session be used as a place for direct promotion of a presenter's product, service, or monetary self-interest.

Slides/videos. Presenters will be required to submit their presentation including powerpoint slides, videos, and other media for review by the program committee no later than October 1, 2019.

Some participants are sensitive to the visuals or media used in presentations. Some sessions will, by nature of the topic, have more possible traumatic or contentious content. Ex. An instructor teaching domestic violence in pregnancy may show a clip of a couple in which there are examples of abusive behavior. The session may be highly desired by the midwifery community, but some may wish they had prior warning of visual content. Attendees will have different levels of political and cultural differences, as well as different levels of safety needs and traumatic stress. It is beneficial for the speakers to be self aware and compassionate that this can create triggering in some participants.

Some attendees may feel unprepared for the visuals, although they understand it is relevant to the topic discussed. In order to inform attendees of possible triggering by content being used during a session, the Program Committee and coordinators for conference ask that those triggers be identified as much as possible in the speaker contract. Note: this does NOT have an impact on scoring or decision making by the Program Committee but is for participants to determine which sessions they will attend.

If abstract is accepted:

  • Presenters agree to register for the conference for at least the day of their presentation, including poster presenters.
  • Presenters will return signed Speaker Contracts within one week of receipt.
  • Presenters agree to work with the Program Committee to revise presentation titles, reassign the identified topic area, or edit the program summary for promotional and program materials.
  • Presenters agree to submit a copy of their visual presentation by the deadline specified in the Speaker Contract. Failure to submit will constitute a violation of contract and Speaker’s session will be removed from the conference schedule.


Preconference Workshops:

  • Presenter(s) are responsible for their own travel, lodging and meals.
  • Half and full day pre-conference workshops are offered at an additional cost.
  • Profits will be shared 50/50 with presenters AFTER expenses. Expenses will be primarily audio visual. We do not offer coffee breaks or meals on pre-conference day.
  • The conference committee will confer with selected presenters to set fees. (Fees for comparison sake have been approximately $75 for half day and $150 for full day workshops.)
  • Presenter is responsible for all duplication and cost of handouts.
  • Presenter agrees to partner with MANA in workshop promotion via their own networks and social media mechanisms.

Plenaries and Breakout Sessions:

  • Presenters are responsible for their own travel & lodging.
    Presenters are eligible for one complimentary conference registration on the day they are speaking. This is ONLY provided to the primary presenter unless otherwise pre-approved and authorized by the Program Committee in advance. 

Presenter on site responsibilities:

  • Check in at conference registration for badge
  • Have presentations on a portable storage device as well as an adaptor for your specific software. Laptops will be provided for plenary and breakout sessions.
  • For pre-conference sessions, presenters must bring their own laptops.
  • Check in to session/workshop room 20 minutes prior to start time.

We strongly recommend you keep a copy of all this information for your records.


  • Starred* fields are mandatory and must be filled in before you can submit your form.
  • We suggest saving your abstract submission entries in a Word document.
  • Fill out a separate form for each individual session you would like the committee to consider.
  • Incomplete submissions may be subject to a lowered score or not considered

Thank you for sharing your expertise with MANA!