Call for Papers

With this call for papers, Occupational Science Europe (OSE) invites to the 4th Occupational Science Europe Conference on September 8th-9th 2017 in Hildesheim, Germany. Occupational Science Europe is a network of researchers and practitioners interested in studying occupation from different perspectives throughout Europe and from a wide range of disciplines, encouraging inter-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration and research. In occupational science, the term occupation is not limited to work, but includes  all the various everyday activities people do as individuals, in families, and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life; occupations include things people need to, want to, and are expected to do (International Society of Occupational Science, 2017). As an interdisciplinary field, occupational science is concerned with studying the nature of occupation from various theoretical perspectives, focusing on individuals and collectives and their relationships with the sociocultural, political-historical and physical environment through their doings. One focus lies on the interaction between occupation and health. At present, there are many occupational science associations in various parts of the world.

The aims of Occupational Science Europe are to be a vibrant community and to support the theoretical development, interdisciplinary debates, and critical discourse around occupation and occupational science throughout Europe.To achieve these aims Occupational Science Europe holds an occupational science conference every two years. The 4th interdisciplinary and international conference will be a meeting space for exploring and furthering diverse and shared perspectives on occupation. It will take place in Hildesheim, Germany.

The 2017 OSE conference “Meeting in Diversity – Occupation as a Common Ground” hosted by the HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, in cooperation with the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, University of Applied Sciences, aims to create a meeting space for lively debates to explore and further diverse perspectives on occupation. By encouraging out-of-the-box thinking across disciplines and beyond traditional modes of thought, we hope to link different disciplinary and international approaches and theories to strengthen our understanding of occupation as the common ground in our field. Conference language will be English.


Potential topics of interest include both broadly interdisciplinary subjects, as well as focused occupational science topics. We invite proposals for paper presentations, panel/interactive sessions and posters addressing one of the following six themes:

  • Occupation, Diversity, Justice and Social Transformation
    Examining the potential of an occupation-based approach to issues of diversity, justice and transformation in contemporary societies.
  • Occupation as a Common Ground: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
    Exploring the role of occupation as the common ground in diverse interdisciplinary perspectives and experiences.
  • Occupation: Its Theories and Concepts in Critique/Debate
    Investigating theories and concepts for understanding and studying occupation. Introducing and debating occupational science’s theoretical and methodological foundations and applications.
  • Occupation in and Throughout Everyday Life
    Understanding everyday occupation, its contexts and meanings. Exploring occupations from various perspectives, such as life cycle, culture, and identity.
  • Occupation Between Paid Work, Voluntary Work, and Unemployment
    Examining occupation as paid work, voluntary work, and with regard to unemployment. Discussing issues such as work mobility, productivity, over-, under- and unemployment, and changing work contexts.
  • Occupation in Therapy, Health Care, and Health Promotion
    Examining the relation between occupation, health and health care. Investigating the application of occupation and its theories in the context of therapy, prevention and health promotion.

Submission formats

Abstracts for presentations at the conference may be submitted as one of the following formats

  • Research paper
    Research papers involve a presentation of 15 minutes, as well as a discussion period of 15 minutes. Abstracts may use the following structure: title, statement of purpose, description of methods, report of results, implications related to occupational science, and questions for the discussion period.
  • Theory Paper
    Theory papers involve a presentation of 15 minutes, as well as a discussion period of 15 minutes. Abstracts may use the following structure: title, background/rationale, statement of intent, argument, conclusion and description of the importance of the paper to occupational science, and questions for the discussion period.
  • Tandem Paper
    Tandem papers are a set of 2 papers that are presented together to promote interdisciplinary exchange and synthesis. In this new paper format, one researcher, familiar to occupational science, invites another one, new to the discipline, to submit and present two separate papers together as a Tandem (for more information on this new format see [TANDEM PAPERS]). Each paper involves a presentation of 10 minutes, followed by a shared discussion period of 20 minutes. Abstracts are submitted together by the inviting author, may use the above structure for research or theoretical papers and include objectives for the discussion period.
  • Panel/interactive session
    Panels are a set of 3 to 4 brief research and/or theoretical papers or an interactive discussion on a specific topic. Panels are 90 minutes long in total and include a discussion period of 30 minutes. They also may be an interactive session where a large portion of the time is devoted to discussion among panel members and all those present. Abstracts should be submitted by the panel organizer and may use the following structure: title, subject, objectives, methods, result or intent, argument and importance to occupational science, objectives for discussion period, and list of session’s participants with their credentials and affiliations.
  • Poster
    A poster presentation is a visual report of a study or theoretical discussion in occupational science and an opportunity for authors to display and discuss their work in informal interactions. All poster presenters will invite the conference audience for discussion by introducing their posters in a 1 minute talk.

Abstract Submission Deadline

Submissions must be made by the deadline of Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 – 24:00 Central European Time.

Abstracts should be 400 words or less (title, type of presentation, key words, and references are not included in the word count). Abstract should have a strong title, address one of the above six conference themes, identify three keywords and include up to three questions/objectives for the discussion period with an occupational science audience. Please also indicate the type of submission (research paper, theoretical paper, tandem paper, poster, panel/interactive session), all authors’ names with affiliations and credentials, and the primary author’s email. Abstracts should be submitted using the provided cover sheets and abstract templates (see submission) by sending them in pdf format to


In language learning, a “Tandem” approach describes pairs of leaners with complementary interests in learning the other’s language, who study together in different roles. The approach places emphasis on cultural understanding as an important part of language learning. With the new submission format “tandem papers”, we invite papers that present an issue related to the study of occupation from two different disciplinary perspectives. We aim that this format fosters a new way of thinking in occupational science by combining and relating various knowledges about what people do in new ways, transgressing disciplinary boundaries and traditional knowledge communities

Tandem papers are two papers that are submitted and presented together. Instead of having one paper co-authored by two authors, this format contains two separate papers, each presented by its own author(s). In this format, one author will be new to the discipline of occupational science, while the other situates the work of the former within the discipline of occupational science.

Here is how it works:  Find a paper (theoretical or research), which you find interesting for occupational science and invite the author to submit the paper together with you to the 2017 OSE conference. Your paper will position the first paper within the discipline of occupational science. For example, your paper may be

  • a commentary on the first from an occupational science perspective,
  • relating its concepts and terms to concepts and terms used in occupational science
  • connecting the topic of the invited paper to disciplinary concerns within occupational science by linking it to work from OS scholars, to key sources and/or concepts
  • placing the invited paper within larger disciplinary conversations, debate & concerns, for example by explaining how the presentation might contribute to the larger discipline

Each paper involves a presentation of 10 minutes, followed by a shared discussion period of 20 minutes. Abstracts, which are submitted together for the submission tandem paper, are submitted by the inviting author, who also submits questions and/or objectives for the discussion period. Each of the two abstracts should be 400 words or less and have its own title. The tandem abstracts should refer to one of the six conference themes, identify three keywords and all authors’ names with affiliations and credentials, and contact email.