5th annual BC Substance Use Conference

Call for Abstracts

Conference dates: April 20-22, 2023

For our 5th annual BC Substance Use Conference, we will be hosting a blended conference, with both virtual and in-person options for attendance. The in-person program will be held at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, and the audience will be a mix of researchers, health care providers, community partners, and people with lived and living experience.

The conference theme this year is The Challenge of Change. We hope this theme will empower conference attendees to better understand and adapt to the rapidly changing landscape within which we live and work.

To showcase a broad range of important research being conducted, we are opening both oral and poster presentation opportunities to five key groups from across BC: BCCSU research teams, regional health authorities (RHA), First Nations Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority, other academic/research institutions, non-profit organizations, and community groups.

The process and timeline for abstract submission and review are outlined below.

Important Dates & Timeline

    • Submission Deadline: February 28, 2023 – all abstracts must be submitted by this date to [email protected] with “Conference Research Abstract Submission” in the subject line
    • Notification of Acceptance: March 10, 2023 – the conference research review committee will review abstracts and notify all applicants by this date
    • Confirmation of Acceptance: March 17, 2023 – applicants will be required to confirm whether they will be presenting by this date to [email protected] with “Confirmation of Acceptance” in the subject line
    • Slide decks and/or poster information to be submitted to UBC CPD by April 14, 2023

Conference Learning Objectives

    1. Describe how the foundational models of evidence-based, trauma- and resilience-informed, patient-centred, and culturally safe care result in more effective and equitable care for people who use drugs and their families across the continuum;
    2. Describe new evidence-based research findings and innovative implementation models from around the province related to the care of people who use drugs;
    3. Adapt and highlight practice tools and evidence-based interventions that acknowledge the complexity of substance use and substance use disorders, and advance innovative solutions that can streamline our system and create practice changes in BC;
    4. Incorporate and prioritize Indigenous perspectives of holistic wellness in relation to substance use care;
    5. Incorporate the full spectrum—from prevention, harm reduction, and safety, to treatment, relapse, recovery, and wellness—to improve care and support for those who use drugs, recognizing that wellness looks different for everyone.

Abstracts Must Include

    1. Presentation title (maximum 10 words)
    2. Presenter name, title, and contact details (and co-author(s), if applicable)
    3. Preferred presentation format: oral or poster*
    4. A maximum 350-word abstract that that describes:
      • Objective
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Conclusions
    5. Selection of one of the following three tracks:
      • Continuum of care for SUD - exploring care trajectories for PWUD, from prevention, harm reduction, SU treatment and recovery
      • Epidemiology/social and structural perspectives - exploring the distribution and determinants of substance use, including impacts of societal and structural factors
      • Special populations - exploring substance use as it relates to different groups (e.g., based on gender, race, rurality, etc.)
    6. A maximum 100-word description of how your abstract fits into the overall conference theme, “The Challenge of Change”.

*Note: Currently there are a limited number of oral presentation spots planned. If your submission is not successful for an oral presentation, it will still be considered for a poster presentation. If you would prefer a poster presentation, please indicate this with your submission.

Criteria for Acceptance

All proposals will be evaluated by a review committee according to the following criteria:

Title / Structured Headings / Overall Presentation:

Is the title specific, adequate, and concise? Does it accurately describe the population studied, the study design or method of data collection or analysis, the research objective or question?

Introduction/ Objectives / Hypotheses or Research Question(s):

Is the context made clear? Is the scientific rationale clearly stated? Are the aims, objectives, hypotheses, or research question(s) clearly stated?


For all types of study, are the methods clearly described? Are the data sources clearly specified? Are the methods, analytical techniques and software tools specified? Are the methods appropriate to the question being investigated?


Are results available and described appropriately to be confident that sufficient material will be presented at the conference? Abstracts should not say only that ”results will be presented.”


Are the conclusions clear and concise? Do they reflect the aims and objectives? Are they supported by the results presented? Are key study limitations acknowledged? Where appropriate, are the implications made clear for policy, practice, and further research?

Interest, appeal, and impact:

Is it interesting? Does it fit within the theme of the conference? Would it appeal to a broad audience? Does it have the potential to create impact (i.e., change clinical or public health practice or policy, improve health, reduce inequalities in health, change the course of science)? Is it novel, exciting, or more methodologically rigorous than other studies in the area?

Additional Information

There are plenty of online resources with tips on creating oral and poster research presentations, such as this one: https://guides.library.ubc.ca/science_101/posters

If you have any questions about this process, please contact  [email protected] with “Conference Research Abstract Submission” in the subject line.

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