The 2021 NCFR Annual Conference will be presented in a virtual format. Look for specific, in-depth instructions for presenters in the links below.

Video Overview

NCFR member I. Joyce Chang, Ph.D., has created an overview for Virtual Presentation Tips and Tools which you can watch in the video below.


Conference Terminology

A glossary of common terms and lingo you’ll encounter throughout the conference.

Session Types

  • Plenary Session: The main, featured addresses at the conference (usually there are four). The topics of plenary addresses fit closely with the conference theme. Plenary presenters are all well-accomplished in their disciplines.
  • Special Session: Sessions for which the presenter/s were invited who are all well-accomplished in their disciplines. Special sessions are organized by one or more of NCFR's sections.
  • "Invited" Session: This means the presenters were invited to present. All conference attendees are welcome to attend these sessions.
  • Concurrent Session: Presentations in different locations that are occurring at the same time. There are several concurrent session periods throughout the conference. A concurrent session could be a paper session, symposium, lightning paper, or workshop format.
  • Paper Session: 3-4 presentations centered around a common theme. Each presenter has 12 minutes to present. NEW this is year is that after the presentations, sessions will include facilitated group dialogue and interaction, with the hope of identifying priority next steps for the field.
  • Interactive Paper Session: 4-5 papers centered on a common theme. Papers should focus primarily on key findings/ observations, contributions, and methodological rigor. Each presenter has 8 minutes to present. A maximum of 8 slides are to be prepared in advance. After the presentations, sessions will include facilitated group dialogue and interaction.
  • Resource Exchange Roundtable: Organized by the Advancing Family Science and Education and Enrichment sections, the resource exchange roundtables are an interactive opportunity to demonstrate an educational, administrative, enrichment, or pedagogical (e.g., specific curricula or teaching technique) resource that has been particularly useful when working with students, families, professionals, or other populations. An overview is given by the leader who then facilitates active discussion about the topic. It is expected that presenters provide a tangible resource to participants.
  • Symposium: A presentation and discussion by 3-4 experts on a particular topic. A discussant integrates and summarizes the papers, develops implications for policy and practice from the research, and facilitates audience discussion.
  • Poster Session: A graphical, instructional display containing a short abstract, headlines, charts, graphs, pie charts, or other illustrative information. It provides an opportunity for in-depth discussion of presentations with attendees. Posters are scored using the same criteria as papers, symposia, and workshops and are equal in merit to all other formats. Posters presenters may choose to use the usual poster format or a new poster format. Watch a video on the new poster format.
  • Interactive Workshop: These workshops focus on the co-creation of new knowledge and skills in real time. The focus of these can be quite broad. What is important is that any proposed workshop focus on a collaborative effort to brainstorm or otherwise address a need that moves our work forward. Examples include: developing or demonstrating novel research methods, processes, or analysis strategies such as how to successfully recruit underrepresented samples, developing a new measure, or training in the collection of biomarker data; theory development; conceptualizing emerging or novel phenomenon; developing or demonstrating novel clinical, programmatic, or education practices; policy development or evaluation; leadership/administrative skills; community engagement; and ways to adapt or improve the inclusiveness of any of the above. 
  • Traditional Workshop: Traditional workshops are training sessions in which the presenter leads participants through exercises or skills development in a given field with time set aside for Q&A and discussion.


NCFR Sections and Other NCFR Groups:

  • Advancing Family Science Section (AFS): Expands, strengthens, and enhances Family Science as a scholarship discipline.
  • Affiliate Councils (AC): State, regional, and student chapters of NCFR.
  • Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE): NCFR offers the CFLE credential, which is recognized widely for Family Life Education (FLE) professions and recognizes professional expertise and understanding in each of 10 FLE content areas.
  • Education and Enrichment Section (EE): Shares information on effective Family Life Education, teaching materials and methods, and marriage enrichment interests.
  • Families and Health Section (FH): Promotes the health of diverse families and their members across the life span through interdisciplinary activities that facilitate excellence in family health practice, research, education, and policy development.
  • Family Policy Section (FP): Devotes itself to promoting effective social action for individuals and families by monitoring pressing policy issues, evaluating the potential impacts of new policies, working for effective change, and creating strategies to educate and raise awareness resulting in improved quality of life for individuals, families, and society.
  • Family Therapy Section (FT): Unites members who share common interests, goals, and purposes in marital and family therapy.
  • Feminism and Family Studies Section (FF): Works to integrate feminist scholarship and perspectives into theory, research, and applied work with families.
  • Focus Groups: Topic-interest groups for NCFR members. The topics are more specific than Section topics (e.g. families and technology, adoption), and so they tend to be a smaller group of members.
  • International Section Section (IN): Generates better understanding of unique variations of family process throughout the world by promoting cross-national family research, facilitating communication among international family scholars, sharing information on current and proposed research projects, and sponsoring educational cross-national family programs, presentations, and seminars.
  • Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Families Section (REDF): Unites members who are concerned with issues pertaining to ethnic minorities families, to help create a better understanding of the variations in families from diverse ethnic groups.
  • Religion, Spirituality, and Family Section (RSF): Furthers the cause and study of religion and its relationship to the family. The study and examination of the impact of religion on family life is examined as well as the relationship of religion to other family-related disciplines.
  • Research and Theory Section (RT): Facilitates research and theory activities in all content areas related to marriage and the family.
  • Students and New Professionals (SNP): Includes anyone who is a student (undergraduate or graduate) or a new professional (within five years of last degree).
  • Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop (TCRM): A forum for the discussion, development, and refinement of theory and research methods relevant to the study of families.