Call for Papers - CAOT Conference 2021

June 16-19, 2021

CAOT is accepting abstract submissions from September 1 to November 2, 2020 inclusive. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and strategies for enabling occupation, advocating for change, introducing innovations, influencing health care delivery, and more. You could be part of the largest occupational therapy conference in Canada, and your work can contribute to the growing body of evidence needed to continually move our profession forward. Plan to be part of this uplifting knowledge exchange activity at the CAOT Conference June 16-19, 2021. 

Please read these requirements before completing the submission form.

Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm EST ON November 2nd, 2020

An abstract and an abstract summary must be submitted via the online abstract submission form. Abstracts are peer-reviewed and should not contain identifying information, refer to submission guidelines. Abstracts are published in the online conference program.

Although we are not restricting the number of abstracts that can be submitted by any one individual, we will only offer two presentations from any one individual as primary author.

Types of sessions*

A topic may only be submitted in one category of presentation. Please choose the category that best fits your topic. Any abstract whose research is ‘in progress’, may submit their abstracts for a poster presentation. If accepted, you are eligible to submit your completed results by March 1st, for consideration of an alternate session type.

Oral (paper) presentation
Paper presentations are sessions in which scientific, theoretical, professional issues and practice information is exchanged. It is recommended that only one person present.
The total length of the session is 25 minutes. This includes any Q&A time. (accepting CSOS submissions in this format)   

Extended discussion
Extended discussions consist of two parts: a presentation by one or more speakers for part of the session (approximately 20 minutes) and a group discussion or learning experience on the topic, facilitated by the presenter(s). Abstracts must include a description of how the session will be facilitated.
The total length of the session is 55 minutes. This includes any group discussion and Q&A time.   

Poster presentation
A poster presentation is a visual display session. Topics may include scientific, theoretical, professional issues or practice information. The presenter will be expected to prepare a brief overview of his or her poster presentation and be available for questions and discussion. Poster presentations will be electronic and be presented on monitors.

Presenters will be required to upload their poster two weeks in advance. 
The total length of the session is 25 minutes. This includes any Q&A time. (accepting CSOS submissions in this format)  

NEW! Virtual poster presentation
Not able to attend the conference to present your poster presentation? There will be a limited number of poster presentation slots that will allow you to present your poster virtually. You will login through Zoom at your presentation day/time. 

Hands-on learning session
Hands-on learning sessions are skills-based sessions with the aim that delegates will be able to take these skills back to their practice. Abstracts must include learning objectives under the 'objectives' heading. 

The total length of the session varies. 

* Note if the conference moves to a virtual conference for 2021, all presentations will be virtual. 

Abstract submission requirements

Oral (paper) or poster presentations:

Abstracts must include a title and should present a clear and accurate overview of the topic.
  1. Abstracts must be one, single-spaced paragraph only.
  2. Abstracts are limited to 250 words .
  3. The title of the abstract is limited to 10 words. 
  4. The following five (5) headings must be used:
    a. Introduction OR rationale
    b. Objectives
    c. Methods OR approach
    d. Practice implications or results
    e. Conclusions
If you do not use the five headings, your abstract cannot be considered. 

Extended discussions or hands-on presentations:

Abstracts must include a title and should present a clear and accurate overview of the topic. 
  1. Abstracts must be one, single-spaced paragraph only.
  2. Abstracts are limited to 350 words.
  3. The title of the abstract is limited to 10 words. 
  4. The following five (5) headings must be used:
    a. Introduction OR rationale 
    b. Objectives 
    c. Session description (structure of the session) 
    d. Practice implications or results
    e. Conclusions

If you do not use the five headings, your abstract cannot be considered.

You will need to provide the following for your abstract: 

Area of focus

Acute conditions
Advocacy/Change agent
Chronic conditions
Early childhood
General/Professional issues/Practice
Health and well-being
Mental Health
Occupational therapy education
Primary care/Primary healthcare/Population health

Client group

Children and youth
Older adult
Not applicable

Reference list (for in-text citations within abstract only)

Author names, employers and email if you wish it to appear on the app. Max 10 authors. You will be asked to specify if the authors are primarily: Researcher/academics, practitioners or students.

Choice of two key words

Hands-on submissions will also be required to provide the following:
What is the minimum amount of time you require for your session to accomplish your objectives?
Please provide a list of existing evidence-base for theory and practice (include references to articles, systematic reviews and other sources of evidence).

CAOT student submissions

Only current students of entry-level occupational therapy programs are eligible to make student submissions. Individuals can submit in the student category if the primary author is graduating in the year of submission or later. For example, individuals who are graduating from an entry-level program in 2020 can submit by the November 2, 2020 deadline for the 2021 conference. Qualifying students are invited to present in the paper or poster categories only. Please check the box on the abstract submission form to indicate that your submission is a student submission. All other guidelines for submission apply. Please ensure that you have selected either the paper or poster category only. A student submission does not automatically qualify you for student registration. Registration fees are applied based on your current membership type and not your membership type at the time of submission.

Student poster competition
When students submit their abstracts, they can opt to participate in the student poster competition at conference. There will be a prize for the best entry-level student poster presentation and one for the best post-graduate student poster presentation. The primary author must be an entry-level student or a post-graduate student.

CAOT Student Bursary for Conference 2021
This bursary opportunity is available to each Canadian university. Funds will be collected with registrations, from previous conference delegates who opted to support the bursary. Funding will also come from 2020 conference exhibitors. All entry-level students will be eligible for this award if their university has five students whose abstract has been submitted and accepted, and who plan to present it at conference. The winner of this bursary is the student with the top ranking abstract from each eligible university program. They will receive a share of this bursary up to a maximum of $500 (depending on donations collected) plus a complimentary registration. This applies to only the primary author and they must be an entry-level student at time of submission. If there is more than one primary student author, the bursary and registration can be shared. 

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest can occur when you (or your employer or sponsor) have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence your submission.

Potential conflicts of interest in relation to your submission could include consultancies, employment, grants or fees/honoraria.

When making a declaration, the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that the author(s) of the abstract submission has/have with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product. Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed on the abstract submission form.

Before submitting- read the submission guidelines to ensure you have all of the required information and have formatted everything correctly. 

Submit an abstract    You will need to login to your CAOT account or create a guest account.

If you attempt to submit and have technical difficulty, email right away with your submission. Emails that arrive by the deadline, will be accepted. Any submissions after midnight, November 2nd will not be considered. 

If you need to update your already submitted abstract, please email before November 2nd, midnight EST.

Tips for preparing abstracts


If you have any questions about submitting an abstract, please contact us at or call 800-434-2268 ext. 232

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