What Is Our Conference’s Epidemiological Footprint?
Help us find out
Our team is conducting a mixed methods research study of NAVSA 2022 Just Victorians to understand academic conference participant awareness, behaviors, and risk perception regarding COVID-19. This research seeks to evaluate an academic conference’s “epidemiological footprint” and the effects of mitigation strategies on attendees’ experiences. Given this is the organization’s first in-person conference since 2019, it provides a unique opportunity to generate information to develop best practices for NAVSA, as well as other professional organizations. Participants will be compensated with Amazon gift cards for completing surveys and/or interviews before, during, and after the conference (see below for details on payment).
We expect the results of this study, “Best Practices in COVID-Safe Conferencing,” will contribute to a better understanding of the specific behaviors associated with conference attendance and potential strategies to make in-person conference attendance safer, practical, and more accessible for all attendees and the host communities.
The research team comprises faculty from Lehigh, Muhlenberg, and San Francisco State University. While the lead researcher (Servitje) is a conference organizer, this study is not run or funded by the conference. NAVSA 2022 and (NAVSA) have allowed for data collection at the conference should conference attendees choose to participate.
If you are interested in participating, please keep an eye out for the recruitment email that will be sent out on 9/16. Otherwise, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for a link to the recruitment message. You must be a registered conference attendee to participate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate?
Anyone attending the conference can participate in the multipart survey and onsite interviews. Remote participants can participate in remote interviews. Surveys will be emailed to participants and can be completed from any mobile device.
What is the Compensation?
While it would be most helpful if you complete each survey, you can opt-out of any survey at any time. Participants will be compensated with Amazon gift cards for completing each part of the survey and receive bonuses for completing multiple surveys:
- Presurvey: $10
- Daily Check-In: $5 per day. $10 bonus for completing daily check-in
- Post Conference Debrief: $10
- Bonus Completion of Surveys 1-3: $10
- Post Conference antigen surveys (5 days): $5 per day; $10 bonus completing all days
- Bonus completion for all surveys (1-4): $10
- Interview: $20 (separate consent required)
How long does it take to complete a survey?
- Presurvey: 5-10 minutes
- Daily Surveys (days at the conference): 3-5 minutes (+15-20 minutes for rapid test results)
- Post Conference Debrief: 10-15 minutes
- Post Conference Antigen test surveys: 3-5 minutes (+ 15-20 minutes for rapid test results)
- On-site interview: 45 – 60 minute
What kinds of questions are included in the survey/interview?
Questions will address vaccination status, testing practices, perception of the level of risk for professional and daily activities, and use of masking during different situations–all questions have an option to decline to answer.
Who are the members of the research team?
- Lorenzo Servitje, PhD, MPH; Health, Medicine, and Society & English, Lehigh
- Kathleen Bachynski, PhD, MPH, Public Health Program, Muhlenberg
- Chrysan Cronin, DrPH, MPH, Public Health Program, Muhlenberg
- Thomas McAndrew PhD, Biostatistics, College of Health, Lehigh
- Martha Lincoln, PhD Medical and Cultural Anthropology, San Francisco State University
- Jessecae Marsh, PhD, Psychology and Health, Medicine, and Society, Lehigh
How can I get more information about this study?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Lorenzo Servitje (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
Do I have to participate in the surveys or interviews to get free masks and antigen tests?
No, the provision of PPE, tests, and other forms of COVID-19 mitigation are free and provided by the NAVSA 2022 Conference. They are not tied to participation in the survey.
If I take antigen tests, do I have to report the results?
You will be asked about testing and results in the daily surveys, as this is important data for us to capture, but you can decline to answer. If you test positive, the conference organizers urge you to isolate and consider a confirmatory PCR test. Please text NAVSA 2022 support line (833) 676-3967 if you test positive and need support, which can include: needing help with PPE (personal protective equipment), tests, food delivery, and/or financial and logistical assistance getting/paying for a single room if you are sharing. Please visit NAVSA 2022’s COVID “Conscious” Page.
Will my responses to surveys and/or interviews be anonymous and confidential?
All survey responses will remain confidential and will be de-identified before data analysis. Email addresses will be used for participants to log into the surveys and to facilitate sending Amazon gift card compensation. Upon completion of the surveys and subsequent compensation, email addresses will be removed from all records, and recorded responses will be de-identified from any participants before data analysis.
Why should I participate?
A combination of both qualitative and experiential data about thoughts, feelings, and beliefs surrounding COVID-19 risk and mitigation at conferences, coupled with quantitative data on positivity rates, air quality, and PPE utilization, can help develop best practices and evidence-based guidelines for sustainable academic conferencing in the face of current and future pandemics.
How do I participate in the surveys?
If you are interested in participating, please keep an eye out for the recruitment email that will be sent out on 9/16. Otherwise, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to the recruitment message. You must be a registered conference attendee to participate.
Can I participate if I am a remote attendee or presenter?
Yes, you may do an interview. Please see below.
How do I participate in an interview?
Please email Martha Lincoln, email@example.com, to arrange an in-person (or virtual) interview. When emailing, please suggest 2-3 good times/dates to speak. Interviews will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.