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Call for Papers: PCD 2024 Student Paper Contest

Announcement posted 3/30/23

2024 student research paper

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) welcomes submissions from students at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, recent postgraduates, and medical residents for PCD’s annual Student Paper Contest. PCD is interested in publishing papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, and population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and COVID-19 and chronic conditions. The journal is also interested in research examining the role that social determinants exact on health, including the less explored determinant of racism.

PCD’s 5 primary goals for this publication opportunity are to:

  • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become familiar with a journal’s manuscript submission requirements and peer-review process;
  • Assist applicants to connect their knowledge and training on conducting quality research with a journal’s publication expectations;
  • Develop applicants’ research and scientific writing skills to become producers of knowledge in addition to consumers of knowledge;
  • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become first author on a peer-reviewed paper;
  • Promote supportive, respectful, and mutually beneficial author―mentor relationships that result in strengthening applicants’ ability to generate and submit future scholarly manuscripts.

Submission Requirements

PCD uses PCD ScholarOne Manuscripts for manuscript submission and tracking. Before submitting your manuscript, please read the instructions below in addition to the information provided on the PCD website under Manuscript Requirements.


  • Student applicants must be currently enrolled in a high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program. Postgraduate applicants must have received their graduate degree within the past 12 months and be participating in a medical residency, postdoctoral fellowship, or similar training program under the supervision of a mentor, advisor, or principal investigator.
  • Applicants should meet the standard to serve as first author. The first author is the person who conducted or led the topic being presented and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. The first author must also ensure that all other authors meet the criteria for authorship.
  • Applicants and coauthors are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards in submitting scholarly work to the journal for consideration. Applicants and coauthors should become familiar with the journal’s Editorial Policy.
  • Applicants (not mentors) must serve as the corresponding author for manuscripts submitted in conjunction with the student research collection. No exceptions will be allowed.
  • Manuscripts must report on research done while in one of the qualifying student or postgraduate categories listed above.
  • The research must have been completed within the last 12 months.
  • Manuscripts must not be published previously or submitted elsewhere for publication.
  • Manuscripts must represent original research submitted as Original Research or GIS Snapshots article types. Other article types will not be considered. For a detailed explanation, see information on Original Research and GIS Snapshots articles on PCD’s Types of Articles page.
  • Students and recent postgraduates must submit a cover letter indicating their interest in being considered for the Student Paper Collection and the name and contact information of their advisor. The cover letter must also indicate current level of academic enrollment: high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree, or applicable postgraduate residency, fellowship, or other training program. In addition, applicants should address all routinely required disclosures in the cover letter. Learn more about general cover letter requirements on PCD’s How to Submit a Manuscript page.
  • Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from their advisor confirming either the student’s enrollment in a degree program or the postgraduate candidate’s residency or fellowship. The advisor must confirm that the research was conducted while in training under the advisor’s supervision. The advisor’s letter must confirm that the applicant conceptualized the analysis and was the primary author of the manuscript. The advisor’s letter must also acknowledge that the advisor recognizes that no one other than the applicant can serve as corresponding author.
  • Applicants should submit the cover letter and advisor letter when they submit the manuscript.


Manuscripts must be received electronically no later than 5:00 PM EST on Monday, March 25, 2024.

Manuscript Review Process

  • Not all manuscripts submitted for consideration will undergo peer review. The Editor in Chief will screen and determine which manuscripts advance to peer review. The decision to advance papers to peer review will be made based on fit, quality, and available human capital to handle submission volume.
  • Applicants and advisors must understand that the decision-making process to identify which manuscripts will advance through the various stages of review is a lengthy process. Therefore, applicants and advisors must have patience as the decision-making process moves through review stages.
  • An applicant receiving comments and suggestions on a manuscript does not mean the manuscript will be accepted for publication.
  • Applicants interested in getting a sense of where manuscripts are in the review process are encouraged to contact the journal. Such inquiries should come directly from the applicant serving as corresponding author.


Winners in each category will receive the following recognition:

  • Acknowledgment in the Editor in Chief’s collection editorial
  • Special promotion on the journal’s social media platforms
  • Accompanying podcast to discuss the paper
  • Potential selection as a peer reviewer to determine next year’s winner

Helpful Hints

Please be sure to visit the Author’s Corner section of PCD’s website for important information on what to avoid when developing the manuscript, tables, and figures. Students and mentors are encouraged to review previous collections of student papers, by visiting the PCD website at CDC – Preventing Chronic Disease: PCD Collections.

About the Journal

PCD is a peer-reviewed electronic journal established to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The journal is published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

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Call for Papers: Implementing and Sustaining Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Approaches to Support Healthy Behaviors in Diverse Settings

Announcement posted 6/28/22

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) welcomes submissions for its upcoming collection, “Implementing and Sustaining Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Approaches to Support Healthy Behaviors in Diverse Settings.” Over the past decade, there has been increased understanding that health behaviors are not only shaped by individual choices but also influenced heavily by the environments in which they occur. The use of PSE approaches have emerged as a possible avenue to reach populations by implementing a combination of strategies that create supportive conditions for individuals to adopt and sustain healthier behaviors to prevent or manage chronic disease. PSE approaches seek to create settings, environments, and/or conditions that are readily available and easily accessible, thus helping individuals to make healthy choices in schools, communities, worksites, hospitals, restaurants, and beyond. Policy approaches include developing policies at the legislative or organizational level that institutionalize new rules or procedures, such as laws, ordinances, mandates, or regulations. Systems approaches involve changes made to rules, processes, and infrastructure within a given setting. Environmental approaches seek to make changes to physical, social, and economic environments. Key to the use of PSE approaches is the identification and implementation of strategies across all 3 domains to achieve the greatest potential to collectively enhance conditions that improve population health.

For this collection, PCD encourages the submission of manuscripts covering diverse topics using various PCD article types. Please refer to the Types of Articles page on PCD’s website for specifications of each article type.  This collection of papers will focus primarily on the impact (evaluation) of PSE interventions with less focus on papers that are descriptive in nature. For example, papers that focus on implementation and scaling up of novel PSE approaches and their impact on chronic diseases and risk factors will be prioritized. Special consideration will also be given for papers that incorporate principles of health equity.

Examples of topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Evaluation of PSE interventions in these 3 domains:
  • (1) Policy Change
  • Establishing policies for smoke-free zones and public events
  • Establishing healthy food options in vending machines in public places
  • Requiring use of safety equipment in work settings to avoid injuries
  • Changing local zoning ordinances to display produce outdoors
  • Changing community park laws to allow fruit trees
  • Establishing healthy concession stand policies in local parks or recreation facilities


  • (2)  Systems Change
  • Creating training or certification systems that align with change policies
  • Developing plans for implementing new PSE-related interventions
  • Developing and implementing screening protocols in healthcare settings to identify food insecurities and make referrals to low-cost or no-cost food sources
  • Implementation partnerships with local farmers to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Provision of health insurance discounts, incentives, or rewards for exercising or reaching health goals


  • (3) Environmental Change
  • Installing signage on already established and/or newly established walking and biking routes and grocery store aisles
  • Increasing availability of healthy food choices in restaurants or cafeterias
  • Incorporating sidewalks or walking paths into community design
  • Increasing the number of parks, greenways, and trails in a community


  • Methods that that can be adopted to evaluate PSE approaches
  • Systematic reviews to identify effective PSE approaches
  • Barriers and facilitators of implementing PSE approaches
  • Implementation and scaling up of PSE approaches
  • Cost and cost effectiveness of PSE approaches
  • Epidemiology of PSE approaches (ie, papers describing the proportion [prevalence] or changes over time [trends] in PSE approaches)
  • Bidirectional impact and relationship between PSE approaches and health equity


Submission Guidelines

Although not required, corresponding authors are strongly encouraged to submit an inquiry to the journal in advance of submitting a manuscript to determine suitability. PCD asks that only the corresponding author submit an inquiry to the journal for review. The corresponding author is the person who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the submission, peer-review, and publication process if the paper is accepted. The corresponding author’s inquiry should include the following information:

  • Article title
  • Name of the corresponding author
  • Author name(s), degree(s), title(s), and affiliation(s)
  • PCD article type (visit https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/for_authors/types_of_articles.htm)
  • Has the article ever been submitted elsewhere for consideration? If yes, please indicate the name of the journal, the date of the final decision, and an explanation of the decision
  • Indicate that this inquiry is related to this Call for Papers
  • Abstract (300 words or less)

PCD will provide feedback to the corresponding author about the journal’s interest in the proposed manuscript and guidance on what information is needed.

 The deadline to receive final manuscripts is June 30, 2023. If accepted, your manuscript will be reviewed and published on a rolling basis. Articles will be assembled into a PDF collection accessible on the PCD website after all accepted papers have been published. Cover letters to the Editor in Chief are required and must state that the submission is for consideration in the PCD collection, Implementing and Sustaining Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Changes to Support Healthy Behaviors in Diverse Settings.

About the Journal
PCD is a peer-reviewed public health journal sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and authored by experts worldwide. PCD was established in 2004 by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion with a mission to promote dialogue among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers worldwide on the integration and application of research findings and practical experience to improve population health. For more information about the journal, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/pcd.


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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions.