Every year, the SSO:USA Annual Research Conference brings together leading researchers, scholars, therapists, and students to exchange ideas and share their work related to the study of participation in daily activities, or those activities that occupy our lives. We are excited to announce that the 2023 Annual Research Conference will take place October 19 - 21, 2023 at the Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The pandemic is ongoing and public health guidance is evolving rapidly. SSO:USA will be monitoring events closely and will adjust our meeting plans as needed to ensure the safety of all attendees.


Conference Theme: Envisioning the Future of Occupational Science

Saint Louis has a rich history along the Mississippi River, with hundreds of miles of trails and views. Learn about the native Mound Builders or stop by the historic courthouse where Dred Scott’s freedom was recognized before being overturned by the Supreme Court a decade later. Visit the St. Louis Art Museum, the showcase of the 1904 World's Fair (with free admission), or just hang out in the Arts District with its extravagant architecture, music, stage, and nightlife scene. Famous for over 50 museums, the Gateway Arch to the West, ballparks, and breweries, there will be plenty to do with your downtime in St. Louis. Check out these ideas and more at https://explorestlouis.com/discover/

Pre-Conference Institute: 

Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: In recognition of Dr. Ruth Zemke's mentorship, questing intellect, and ongoing efforts to foster an occupational science community of researchers, this Lectureship was named in her honor. The lectureship is designed as a forum to present visionary, theoretical, and critical analyses of occupational science.

  • 2023 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science: Dr. Elelwani Ramugondo

Occupational Balance:  One of the unique features of SSO:USA conferences is the attention devoted to balance and the quality of participants’ experiences.  Researchers should leave an SSO:USA conference refreshed, stimulated, and energized to return to their work.  Shared meals, conference break blocks, and a range of balance activities encourage attendees to rejuvenate, network, and explore unique aspects of local culture.  

  1. Go to the City Museum
  2. Visit one of the many local wineries
  3. Eat amazing Italian food at "The Hill" in St. Louis
  4. Take a tour of Anheuser Busch and visit the Soulard Farmer's Market nearby
  5. Go to the Botanical Garden
  6. Go to a St. Louis Blues hockey game or the Cardinal's Hall of Fame
  7. See the Clydesdales at Grant's Farm
  8. Indulge at a St. Louis favorite, Ted Drewes
  9. Visit Forest Park
  10. Listen to Blues music

Annual, BYOT "Bring Your Own Talent" Circle Tradition: To be Announced (TBA)


Conference Theme: "Envisioning the Future of Occupation Science." Abstracts related to the conference theme and occupational science will be considered.

The Call for Papers window of abstract submission is now open. Please see the Call for Papers guidelines in preparation for your abstract submission. When ready to submit, please visit the following site to create an account and submit an abstract.

The deadline to submit an abstract is: February 17, 2023.

If you have any questions regarding abstract submission, please contact Dr. Jeanine Blanchard at [email protected].
If you are an SSO:USA member in good standing, please reach out to Dr. Blanchard to inquire about assisting with Abstract Reviews.

Submit an Abstract


Conference Registration is currently not open. Please check back in late Spring of 2023 for rates and registration options.


The conference will be held at: 

St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
1820 Market Street
St. Louis, Missouri, 63103


The Society holds an annual silent auction at conference to facilitate student scholarship in occupational science. Donated items collected prior to the annual conference support this activity. Consistent with the mission of the Society, proceeds from the Silent Auction foster the development of researchers by funding student research projects and presentations on the study of occupation. The auction began with the efforts by Dr. Phyllis Meltzer to obtain donations of hand crafted and artful objects for fund-raising in support of the work of SSO:USA. The auction has expanded to include a wide range of items and opportunities, whose auction proceeds support student research in the study of occupation.The society welcomes donations of artful handmade objects as well as other items such as gift certificates, books, jewelry, vouchers for trips or vacation stays, souvenirs of the conference location, etc.  


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For website/technical questions, please contact [email protected]. For event questions and sponsorship opportunities, please contact [email protected].