Black Doctoral Network Western Regional Conference
“Breakthrough to Excellence” 

April 8, 2021

The Black Doctoral Network Western Regional Conference Committee is inviting abstract submissions for the 2021 conference themed “Breakthrough to Excellence.” This conference highlights academic and professional topics that encourage and foster excellence through self-awareness and empowerment. The turbulence of contemporary political and social times calls for an increased ability to tap into one’s own personal power. This year’s conference will highlight topics such as emotional intelligence, embodied power, resilience, mentoring, civic engagement, and interpersonal communication. Key issues addressed at this conference will include the rise in divisive political rhetoric, hate crimes, and economic and social inequities. New problems require new solutions and it is essential for scholars and leaders to raise the bar by providing competencies and skills that push boundaries by challenging structural and societal norms. The 2021 theme encourages attendees to lead and inspire others to Breakthrough to Excellence. The BDN Western Regional Conference is an interdisciplinary event that brings together academics and professionals from the social sciences, STEM, and humanities to address way to positively impact and inform each other’s work and engage our communities. Submission of abstracts from graduate and doctoral students, recent Ph.D. graduates, and academic professionals across disciplines are welcome.


The theme of the annual meeting asks: What competencies and skills are needed to increase emotional intelligence in order to succeed in turbulent times? What opportunities exist for developing personal power in advancing collective and professional goals? What skills are needed to achieve goals while having the biggest impact possible? Papers that will reflect on this theme are especially encouraged, but we consider submissions on any related topic. 


The purpose of the workshops is to provide opportunities for professional development through hands-on training, as well as to engage in focused discussions that offer new knowledge, resources, and set of skills to the attendees. We welcome proposals that address the theme of the conference: how to empower ourselves and others and develop stronger resilience within individuals and communities, mechanisms for overcoming social, political, and economic hardship, steps to using our intellectual capital to foster equity and engender social change and strategies for developing skills and competencies that foster excellence. 

Priority Deadline: Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:59PM EST.

Rolling Deadline: Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 11:59PM EST.



We accept abstracts from (1) individuals who wish to present on a panel and from (2) groups who want to create their own panel. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words typed, double spaced, using a 12pt font. Your presentation should describe the purpose, methods and conclusions of your research. Submissions should be anonymous – please do not include your name or the name of your institution on the document. Include the title of your abstract and note whether it is an individual or a group submission. Individual presenters will be assigned to a panel and will have 15 minutes to deliver their presentations. Group presentations will be given 45 minutes to deliver their presentations and requires at least three presenters. You may not submit or take part in more than one panel presentation; presenters may give one and only one paper at the conference. However, you are welcome to make a workshop submission.


Workshop proposals should be in the form of abstracts no more than 300 words in length. In your proposal be sure to include the title of your workshop, describe the purpose of the workshop, its format (including the kinds of educational materials you might use), what participants can expect to gain from it, state your intended audience (faculty, professionals, undergraduate students, anyone, etc.), and describe your experience and qualifications in the subject area. Submissions must be from advanced graduate students, doctoral degree holders, or seasoned professionals. A CV/résumé is required as part of the application. Workshop sessions will last 45-60 minutes.



Submitting author will receive a confirmation message upon submitting the abstract.

Priority Deadline Submissions: Acceptance announcements will be sent via email in mid-February to the submitting author. Accepted presenters and co-presenters must register for the conference and confirm their acceptance by March 5, 2021. Failure to register and confirm acceptance by March 5th will result in rescinding acceptance. 

Rolling Deadline Submissions: Acceptance announcements will be sent via email starting late-February to the submitting author. Accepted presenters and co-presenters must register for the conference and confirm their acceptance within 14 days from their acceptance notification. Failure to register and confirm acceptance will result in rescinding acceptance.

For questions regarding the Call for Papers & Workshops please contact:

Deandra Taylor      

Black Doctoral Network Western Regional Conference
“Breakthrough to Excellence”
April 8, 2021

The Black Doctoral Network welcomes undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars to participate in our Western Regional Online Conference, themed “Breakthrough to Excellence." If you have a research project, thesis or dissertation work you would like to present as a poster at a professional virtual conference, the poster session is a good opportunity for you to showcase your academic work and receive constructive feedback from scholars in a friendly and engaging environment.

 Why Should You Participate?

  • Gain experience in presenting scientific papers
  • Gain exposure and feedback for your work
  • Develop skills in effective communication for an academic audience  
  • Meet students and faculty from graduate programs across the country

 Abstract Details
Abstracts may be submitted by current undergraduate, master's and doctoral students, and post-doc scholars from all racial backgrounds and on any topic. Previous accepted abstracts came from the fields of education, environmental sciences, biology, business, sociology, and health to name a few. 

The abstract must be no more than 300 words in length. Include the title of the poster, issues you address in your work, your methods and theories, and results/conclusions of your research (if available). 

We will send decision notifications starting February 15 and on a weekly basis thereafter. Only one poster may be presented per presenter and one presenter per poster. All presenters must be 18 years or older. 

Decision Notifications

We will send decision notifications on a weekly basis starting February 15.  

Priority Submission Deadline: February 7, 2021 at 11:59PM EST.
Final Submission Deadline: March 7, 2021 at 11:59PM EST.
Registration Deadline: March 19, 2021

Registration Information
Registration will open early February and prices will range from $30-$125. More details to come.

Presentation Format

All accepted poster presenters will be required to submit their photo, a PDF version of their poster, and a pre-recorded video or audio recording of their presentation. Presentations must not exceed 5 minutes in duration. In addition, once the final deadline has passed, the selection committee will select and invite a few top ranked presenters to make a live presentation during the conference. The live presentation will consist of a 5 minute presentation and a 5-10 minute live Q&A session for each selected presentation.

Poster Details
Presenters must include, but are not limited to, these sections on their poster.

  • Title: project title
  • Authors: your name, faculty advisor's name, university name
  • Purpose (or Objectives or Introduction)
  • Theories & Methods
  • Results or Findings
  • Summary/conclusions  

For questions regarding the Poster Competition please contact:
Deandra Taylor      

Black Doctoral Network Inc.