Call for Abstracts

Submission deadline June 18, 2018

The NNHRT Conference Committee welcomes abstracts addressing topics related to the theme of the 2nd Annual National Native Health Research Training Conference, Indigenous Research: Native Approaches to Sustainable Health, and focusing on AI/AN research-related activity consistent with the four tracks described below. We invite abstracts from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and we are interested in a diversity of (inter-)national, regional, and local perspectives. Submissions by researchers, health care practitioners, health systems experts, and doctoral students engaged in research are welcome. Researchers from all organizational and institutional types (health service providers, governmental agencies, Tribal Colleges and Universities and other institutions of higher education) are encouraged to submit abstracts. We particularly welcome new scholars and members of AI/AN Tribes and other Indigenous populations interested in creating and engaging with a community of scholars through participation in the annual NNHRT conference.


Introduction & Background
In 2017, the Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the National Native Health Research Training Initiative (NNHRTI) to promote Tribally-driven research activity through educational and training opportunities, including the first of five annual conferences that will build capacity and disseminate new and best practices for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health research. The 5-year initiative and each of the five annual conferences are sponsored by the IHS and hosted by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and the Native Research Network (NRN).


Conference Objectives

  • Increase opportunities for AI/AN scientists and health professionals to share knowledge gained from health sciences research with AI/AN students and other scientists and health professionals.
  • Increase the dissemination and use of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health science research findings to address the health needs of AI/AN communities.
  • Enhance Tribal-academic collaborations and improve the ability of Tribes to better understand research findings, particularly related to the physical, biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, cultural, and social implications of research.
  • Increase the effective use of Traditional Medicine, Indigenous Knowledge, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge/Environmental Health to enhance protective factors/effects and to improve health outcomes among AI/ANs.


AI/AN research has led to important advances with respect to specific health issues (e.g., vaccines for preventable diseases, diabetes prevention) as well as approaches to conducting research in AI/AN communities (e.g., Indigenous and Community-based Participatory Research). Further, studies conducted by and for AI/ANs have demonstrated the benefits of designing and evaluating health care and research programs that are founded on cultural and traditional practices, spirituality, sovereignty, self-reliance, and collaboration. However, greater attention needs to be placed on developing research methods consistent with traditional AI/AN ways of knowing in evaluating and improving systems for health care delivery and research.


2nd Annual NNHRT Conference Theme
Indigenous Research: Native Approaches to Sustainable Health


Conference Tracks
The conference will have four tracks, which are described below. Examples of types of questions that could be considered for each track are included; however, these should not be considered exclusionary. They are intended only to be illustrative.


  • Behavioral Health (BH): Sessions within the BH Track seek to address the mental and behavioral health issues by sharing research impacting Native communities that demonstrate potential for effective and innovative interventions and innovative approaches to health care and community settings. Specific topics may include:

    • Care for individuals with serious mental illness and with substance use disorders;
    • Building quality improvement capability among mental/behavioral health providers and organizations;
    • Innovative approaches to mental/behavioral health care in low-resource settings;
    • Intervention for individuals with traumatic exposures and adverse childhood events;
    • Innovative behavioral health outreach to Tribal College and University students; and,
    • Effective interventions to address Native men’s mental and behavioral health.

  • Biomedical and Health Systems Research (BHSR): Sessions within the BHSR track will highlight new advances in biomedical and health systems research in improving primary healthcare delivery, as well as innovative approaches in research that incorporate traditional AI/AN methodologies. The session will explore, among other questions: How are AI/AN researchers using traditional and cultural-based knowledge to break new ground in biomedical and health systems research? How can Western biomedical research models be informed by Traditional Knowledge? How are approaches to AI/AN research changing in response to community inclusion and consultation? What are good models for collaboration between Tribal and non-Tribal community-based health care providers that promote access to services, continuity of care, or public health? What is the future of biomedical and health systems research in AI/AN communities?


  • Traditional Medicine: This session will focus on the value of Traditional Medicine in promoting AI/AN health. The session will explore: What are successful models of Traditional Medicine-based or related treatment? What challenges do researchers face today when evaluating the effects of Traditional Medicine in practice? How are these challenges being met? How are Traditional Medicine models changing? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different models? Are certain Traditional Medicine practices associated with certain outcomes? How will this information enhance Tribal-academic collaborations and improve the ability of Tribes to use research findings?


  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge/ Environmental Health (TEK/EH): Sessions within the TEK/EH track will explore the intersection and interactions between TEK and EH research. Talks will focus on the value of TEK to complement and expand upon Western scientific methods and will touch upon the potential for successes as well as the challenges of applying different but potentially complementary knowledge systems. Presentations will highlight the importance of raising awareness about culturally appropriate approaches among environmental health scientists working collaboratively with Tribal nations. The sessions will also include discussion of intergenerational learning, and the training and skills to increase Tribal community engagement in research using case examples of successful Tribal-academic partnerships. The session will consider questions such as: How is TEK being applied in contemporary research contexts to address pressing environmental concerns? How can TEK inform EH research, and vice versa? How can TEK be used in ecological management and policy development? What is being done to prepare AI/AN tribal college students, scientists, and health professionals to incorporate both TEK And current EH research methodologies in AI/AN health studies?

Call for Abstracts Information

Submission deadline:
A completed Abstract Submission Form must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on June 18, 2018.


Submission format:
Abstracts must be submitted using the NNHRT Conference Abstract Submission Form. A printable version of the call for abstracts can be downloaded here.


Types of Presentations & Submissions: Abstracts may be submitted for a podium presentation, either as an individual presenter or panel session, or a poster presentation.


Abstract selection and notification:
The NNHRT Conference Abstract Selection Committee (Committee) will review abstracts and assign the presentation date and time for each accepted podium-individual presenter or podium-panel session, and poster presentation on the conference schedule. The Committee reserves the right to accept abstracts as a podium-individual presenter, podium-panel session, or poster presentation.


If your abstract is selected for presentation, you will be notified by email with the presentation date and time. The notice will be sent to the presenting author of each abstract. If the study has more than one author, the contact person is responsible for sharing this information with their coauthor(s).


Conference Registration
All presenters are required to register for the conference.  The registration fee will be waived for all accepted presenters.


Podium Session: Session consisting of presentations of completed research, projects/best practices, methodology papers, and theory development/conceptual analysis papers. There are two types of podium sessions:

  • Individual Presenter Session: A single abstract selected by the committee presented by a single individual.


  • Panel Session: A session presented by multiple researchers discussing three (minimum) to five (maximum) related research topics. Panels may consist of research papers, methodological and theory papers, or project/best practices papers. Panels may also consist of a mixture of the types of papers. Panels need only submit one abstract, including information on all aspects of the panel.

Poster Session: A visual display of work completed or in-progress. In-progress research will be considered only for poster presentations.


General Abstracts of all papers should reflect or include:

  • Aligned with one or more of the four NNHRT Conference tracks
  • Relevance to AI/AN or other Indigenous issues
  • Quality and Completeness of Science/Design, Internal consistency of purpose/aims and methods
  • Clarity or Completeness of Abstract
  • Innovativeness or Originality of Subject Matter, Implications and significance of the study/project/theory for the discipline and improving outcomes for AI/AN people
  • Culturally Appropriate Indigenous research

Specific Criteria
In addition, the Committee will use the following specific criteria when selecting abstracts for podium or poster sessions:


Research papers (including instrument development, other methodological studies and
research-based best practices)*:

  • Purposes/Aims
  • Rationale/Conceptual Basis/Background
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Implications

Theory Development/Concept Analysis papers

  • Purposes/Aims
  • Description of theory or definition of concept to be discussed
  • Internal consistency of the theory developed; concept analysis approach or process used
  • Logic linking the theory or concept to practice or research problem
  • Conclusions, including a statement about the utility of the theory or concept for practice or research

Project/Best Practices papers

  • Purposes/Aims
  • Rationale/Background
  • Brief description of the undertaking/best practice, including the approach, methods, or process used
  • Outcomes achieved/documented
  • Conclusions, emphasizing implications for clinical, collaborative, or educational practices
  • Recommendations for research, community partnerships, or future undertakings

*A word about Literature Reviews as Research: To assist abstract submitters, the Committee offers this additional information:

  • Meta-Analysis involves calculation of a summary statistic (effect size) across empirical studies with the same design (RCTs, descriptive or epi) and research questions.
  • Literature Review does not involve calculation of a summary statistic but is based on the conclusions/opinions of reviewers regarding the quality, grade or level of evidence across empirical studies. Abstracts for literature reviews must demonstrate a systematic review and include search methodology.
  • Meta-Synthesis is used to describe the evaluation of research findings (meta-interpretation), research methods (meta-method), or theoretical frameworks (meta-theory) across qualitative studies. The methods you used and the results need to be clearly presented as with any research abstract consistent with forms of literature review listed above.

The paper has not been presented or accepted for presentation at a regional or national meeting or accepted for publication by the abstract submission deadline.


Research, projects/best practices, and theory development/concept analysis undertakings must be completed by the abstract submission deadline to be eligible for podium presentation either as individual papers or as part of a panel. However, these papers will automatically be considered for poster presentation.


In-progress research or projects are eligible for poster presentation.


Completed research, projects, and theory development/concept analysis papers are also eligible for poster presentation.


Follow all instructions listed within the Form. Should you have questions, please email