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Submit a Symposium Proposal

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“The ASPET annual meeting is the place to discover and to present the highest quality, innovative science in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics.”

ASPET invites members to submit proposals for symposia to present innovative science at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2020 in San Diego, California, April 4-7, 2020

The proposal submission portal will open on January 11, 2019. 

Symposium proposals for 2020 are due Friday, March 1, 2019 by 5:00 pm ET.

What's New

This year symposium chairs can share their online drafts with their co-chairs. Both will be able to make edits directly in the online proposal form. The originating chair must be an ASPET member and is the only one permitted to submit the final version of the proposal.


Access the Submission Portal to Submit Symposium Proposals

Access Submission Portal

How to Submit a Proposal

All proposals must be submitted using the ASPET online Submission Portal. 

At least one chair must be a member of ASPET. Only members can log in to the portal to complete the proposal form

How to Access the Form

  • Enter the ASPET Submission Portal using the box above
  • If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to login using your ASPET Member Username and Password. For assistance with your login credentials, contact us at or call 301-634-7060.
  • You are now in the submission portal. Click on “Symposium Proposals” and follow instructions from here to access the Symposium Proposal form.

Technical Tips

  1. Log in to the Submission Portal well in advance to make sure your login/password works properly and to familiarize yourself with how it is set up.
  2. Since this starts with your login as a member, be sure your membership dues are current.
  3. Start an online proposal now to get your ideas flowing and come back often to update it until March 1, 2019. The system will save your draft.
  4. Print your draft or save it as a PDF so you can share it with others to get feedback.
  5. Use the new "Manage Collaborators" button to allow a co-chair to view and edit the proposal form.

For a preview of the questions to expect in the portal, you can view screenshots of the proposal form at any time.

We cannot accept PDF proposal submissions. 

Proposal Tips / Guidelines

As you develop your proposal, consider the following tips and guidelines:


Proposals with qualified speakers who include a diversity of gender, ethnicity, race, and age are preferred. Proposals with qualified speakers that represent diverse sectors such as government, industry, and academia, are preferred. No more than one speaker from a single institution should be proposed.  Chairs should be from different institutions as well.

Opportunities for Young Scientists  

Symposium chairs are encouraged to include one to two short talks by junior speakers selected from the abstract-submissions or from labs working in the area related to the symposium topic. 

Division Sponsorship

Symposia that will be of interest to members from multiple divisions are a priority area for selection. One does not need to be a member of a particular division to submit a symposium through that division. 

Tentative Proposals 

Proposals that need extensive revision after the program committee’s review may be deferred for consideration for the following year. You are encouraged to work with the division representatives in advance to refine your concepts and proposals. 

New Topics  

The number of symposia approved will be limited. We discourage proposals on topics too similar to ones presented at other recent scientific meetings. Session and speaker lists from past meetings can be found below.


Symposia will be programmed into either 90 minute or two hour time slots. While lectures are very important in the exchange of scientific information, equally important is the opportunity to engage the audience in discussing and thinking about what has been presented in the lectures. This can be done in many ways including question-and-answer periods, panel discussions, small group discussions, moderated interviews to discuss implications, etc. Additional format ideas are included within the proposal form.

Securing Speakers 

During Round 1 of proposals, you are asked to propose speaker names and talk titles. If you talk to potential speakers, please be sure you are clear that the symposium is just in the proposal stage, it may not get accepted, and if accepted you may be asked by the committee to make revisions that would no longer make that particular speaker’s talk relevant to the session objectives. If you propose speakers who are pillars in the field and are often challenging to schedule, you may want to get provisional agreement that they will speak if selected and that they don’t have other commitments for April 4-7, 2020. If this provisional agreement is obtained, please note that in your proposal. 

If you are selected to further develop your proposal for Round 2, you will be asked to confirm speaker availability. You will have 4 weeks to secure this before Round 2 proposals are due May 16, 2019. At this point, proposals could still be rejected or asked for revisions that would affect the speaker selection. Confirmations of approved symposia will be sent by July 1, 2019.

Responsibilities of Symposium Chairs 

If you are selected, your responsibilities include:

  • To complete a chair agreement form
  • To contact and secure participation of all proposed speakers
  • To promote abstract submissions in topic areas related to your symposium to your existing network of colleagues.
  • To personally encourage any non-member co-chairs or speakers within your symposium to join ASPET.
  • To hold conference calls as appropriate to ensure speakers understand the objectives of the session, the flow of the material, what areas each will cover, and other session details.
  • To arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your symposium and to stay for its entirety.
  • To introduce each speaker by name and/or bio and to moderate any Q&A.
  • To keep the symposium on time and to the published speaker order.

Symposium Submission Timeline

Symposium Submission Timeline

Below is the timeline for submission of symposium proposals for the 2020 ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology which is scheduled for April 4-7, 2020 in San Diego, CA:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Submission Portal opens for collection of symposium proposals for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2020.

January / February  

Division officers and proposal submitters work together to develop symposia topics.

Friday, March 1, 2019 

Deadline to submit a Symposium Proposal for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2020. 

March 5–19, 2019

Division representatives review and evaluate submitted proposals using the ASPET online submission portal.

April 6–9, 2019 at ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2019 

Division business meetings taking place during the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2019 include discussions of proposed symposia and priorities for topics most of interest to the division membership.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The ASPET Program Committee meets to determine which symposia proposals will move on to Round 2. This meeting will include feedback from divisions via their Program Committee members.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Symposia submitters will be notified by this date and finalists will be asked to submit additional symposium details including confirming speaker availability in a Round 2 proposal due by May 16, 2019.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Deadline for receipt of revised symposium proposals from the finalists who were selected in April.

May / June 2019 

Division representatives review and evaluate revised proposals from finalists and select top submissions to present at the Program Committee Meeting.

June 2019 

The Program Committee meets to discuss final symposium selections for the program at the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2020.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Submitters will be notified by this date if their proposal has been selected for presentation at the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2020.

Division Representatives

ASPET divisions play a vital role in 1) providing the highest quality, innovative science that is critical to the specialists within their field and 2) sharing the advances in their field that have broad impact with scientists in other ASPET divisions and EB societies.

You are encouraged to work with the division representatives to develop and refine symposium ideas in advance of submitting your proposal. However, proposals cannot be submitted directly to division representatives. The online portal must be used for all final submissions.

Keep in mind that proposals that are of interest to multiple divisions may be given preference. Division members are encouraged to collaborate on proposals.

Division Representatives

  • Behavioral Pharmacology: Greg Collins
  • Cancer Pharmacology: Mary-Ann Bjornsti
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Sarah Lindsey
  • Drug Discovery and Development: Donald Button
  • Drug Metabolism and Disposition: Nina Isoherranen
  • Molecular Pharmacology: Lisa Hazelwood
  • Neuropharmacology: Habibeh Khoshbouei
  • Pharmacology Education: Nicole Kwiek
  • Toxicology: Brian Cummings
  • Translational and Clinical Pharmacology: Ray Adili

Topics not noted above can be coordinated with our at-large program committee members: Mark Hernandez, Michael Jarvis, Amreen Mughal

Proposal Review Process

How Does a Symposium Get on the ASPET Program?

As proposals are submitted, ASPET staff review them for completeness. Your proposal is then sent to the division topical areas you selected on your form where it is reviewed by the division representatives - see the evaluation criteria.

If time permits with an early submission, a division may ask for a submitted proposal to be re-opened for revisions. Early submission is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. You are also encouraged to discuss proposal ideas in advance with division representatives to help refine them and avoid potentially duplicative proposals. The full Program Committee meets on April 10, 2019. They are given copies of all proposals; however, typically there is only time to discuss the top proposals from each division.

By April 22, 2019 notifications are sent to inform all submitters about the status of their proposals. Those selected for further development are asked to update their proposals for a final round of review. For those accepted to this second round, a preliminary commitment of speakers and additional proposal information needs to be submitted through the online Submission Portal by May 16, 2019.

The Program Committee discusses all second-round proposals at their June committee meeting where final selection of symposia is made and symposia are scheduled into specific programming slots for Saturday through Tuesday of the annual meeting week. Any timing conflicts must be identified upfront before this scheduling occurs.

Financial Assistance from ASPET

No honoraria are provided for speakers or chairs. Limited funds may be available to supplement a portion of registration and speaker travel expenses.  For accepted symposia, chairs will be given a fixed budget for their session that can be used to cover speaker travel expenses, non-standard audio visual, and non-standard session room set-ups.

Our travel reimbursement policies reflect ASPET’s not-for-profit tax status and mission. We are aware that it does not fully cover all speaker travel expenses. Our intention is to defray the costs to assist the speaker with obtaining approval to participate from their employers.

Financial support and reimbursement policies for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB 2020 are under review by the ASPET Council and will be announced at a later date. 

The ASPET Council also reviews and sets maximum per person allotments for travel reimbursement based on location (e.g. local to the meeting city vs traveling within North America or internationally).

For the purposes of ASPET travel reimbursement, a speaker must give at least a 20 minute talk. If the speaker is also moderating a panel or serving as a discussion group facilitator, the time for that activity may be included. Question and answer time does not count in the 20 minutes. Starting with the 2017 meeting, young scientists (students and postdocs) who participate in symposia by giving oral presentations of less than 20 minutes may also be eligible for limited travel support. Funds may not be used for speaker group dinners or lunches.

Past ASPET Annual Meeting Symposia
Conflict of Interest Policy for Proposal Reviewers

The following Conflict of Interest policy is in effect for the review of symposium proposals.

1. Relationships to Applicants

The following relationships of a reviewer to an applicant constitute a conflict of interest of potentially sufficient magnitude to alter the fairness or perceived fairness of the selection process and to require them to declare a conflict of interest:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • An individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee).
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years.
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.
  • Current or previous undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow within the last five years.

2. Elective Circumstances

Potential reviewers may for other reasons determine that they have conflicts or potential conflicts that could affect the fairness or perceived fairness of the selection process. Reviewers with such circumstances may choose to recuse themselves from service.

3. Disclosure and Management

  • Potential reviewers should be informed of these conflict of interest policies when proposals are being considered.
  • Reviewers with a conflict of interest should make ASPET’s Meetings Director (Melissa Huston) aware of any potential conflicts.
  • If the conflict of interest is of sufficient magnitude to affect the fairness or perceived fairness of the selection process, the reviewer should recuse themselves.
  • Any potential reviewer with questions or ambiguous circumstances should seek the advice of the Meetings Director, who will, where necessary, consult with the Executive Officer.

4. Disclosure Failure

If a potential reviewer knowingly or unintentionally fails to disclose a conflict of interest and participates in the selection process, he or she will not be permitted to participate in the symposium proposal review process for a period of three years.

Last Updated: February 28, 2019

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