Important Announcement—2021 AERA Annual Meeting Shifts to Virtual ONLY
Important Announcement—2021 AERA Annual Meeting Shifts to Virtual ONLY

July 30, 2020

Dear AERA Members, Recent Annual Meeting Participants, and Friends of the Association,

On behalf of AERA Council, we announce that the 2021 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting will be held in a totally virtual format on April 9 to 12 (formerly April 8 to 12), with extended programming. 

The COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible to plan for a place-based meeting in a way that would allow for a safe and healthy convening for AERA Annual Meeting participants. We also want to be sure that the presence of AERA visitors for a conference does not lead to any further transmission of the virus. We thank the city of Orlando and our hotel partners for their flexibility. We look forward to holding our Annual Meeting in Orlando in 2025.

The 2021 AERA Annual Meeting will not ONLY be virtual but it will be delivered through a flexible internet platform that will provide for synchronous and asynchronous sessions, interactive paper presentations, workshop and professional development courses, plus networking and meet-up opportunities that can accommodate informal gatherings, receptions, and events.

Please note that the submission deadline is August 14, 2020 at 11:59 PDT. This is a first for AERA—the opportunity to present a paper or submit a session proposal for the 2021 Annual Meeting from every continent, every hemisphere, and every time zone irrespective of considerations that otherwise preclude place-based attendance. AERA is committed to maximizing participation consonant with peer review. If there is a substantial increase in the number of submissions, we intend to maintain our success rate through an increased number of acceptances. Assuming quality submissions, enlarging the program is more possible in virtual space. 

We encourage your submissions in this time of transformation. Registered presenters and other registered attendees will have the benefit of participating in a unique convening that will continue to be an accessible asset for registrants through rebroadcasting well after the Annual Meeting concludes in April. Those with accepted papers will also be able to have their papers available through the AERA Online Paper Repository and their presentations available in the AERA Interactive Presentation Gallery.  

In the months ahead, AERA will unfold special features of the AERA virtual meeting and how AERA intends to create this meeting responsive to those who aim to attend. The third week of August, we will be holding two town hall meetings to gather your input about the 2021 virtual meeting regarding what you most wish to experience and receive. We have already been expanding our attention to issues of accessibility and will continue to give this priority consideration. These town hall events will take place on August 19 and 21 from 3:00-4:30 pm EDT.  Stay tuned for further announcements. 

We also seek your ongoing commitment to membership in AERA without interruption in 2020, with our special thanks for doing so. After announcing cancellation of the 2020 Annual Meeting in early March, membership renewal and new memberships came close to a virtual halt while AERA special programming, support, and services have been on the rise. We realize that resources for many are tighter than ever before, and we want to acknowledge and respond to those circumstances while still maintaining the vitality of what we offer our research community.

We ask that you stick with us by renewing or joining now. Membership fees for the five months remaining in 2020 are being deeply discounted up through the cut-off date of September 30th. You will be receiving an email next week from our membership team outlining this special offer.  

As an educative organization, AERA seeks to create an infrastructure and provide an innovative Annual Meeting environment that will support your research commitments, collaborations, and formal and informal networking opportunities. Please prepare your 2021 submission by the August 14 deadline and please also join a town hall meeting the week immediately following on August 19 and 21. 

Take care and be safe,


Felice J. Levine, PhD
AERA Executive Director
202-238-3201 (office)


Shaun R. Harper, PhD
AERA President