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Submit a Symposium Proposal

EB2018 Propose Symposium Banner 

ASPET is seeking proposals for symposia to be presented at the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego, California, April 21-25, 2018.

Symposium proposals for 2018 are now closed. 

What's New

New Online Proposal Form — To be completed by the symposium chair who is an ASPET member.

Two Rounds — The initial proposal will include general information with specific details provided only if your proposal is accepted for further development. See a sample of proposal form.

Online Evaluation — The division leadership will be able to evaluate and score the proposals online. See a sample of evaluation form.

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. They will be able to print and save PDF copies of the draft and final proposal so it can be shared with the other chair.

How to Start

  • In the Member Login Box (on left side of your screen), log in using your member login username and password. For assistance with your login credentials, contact us at or call 301-634-7060.
  • A small pop-up box will appear giving you the option to “Go to Submission Portal” — If necessary, be sure to disable your pop-up blocker first.
  • You are now in our new Portal! Click on “Symposium Proposals” and follow instructions from here to access the Symposium Proposal form.

If you are already logged in as a member (you’ll know because the box on the left of your screen says “Welcome” with your email), you can access the portal by selecting “Submission Portal” in the Welcome box.

Top 5 Tech Tips for a Non-Techie

  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. Disable your pop-up blocker!
  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 3, 2016. The system will save your draft.
  4. Print your draft or save it as a PDF so you can share it with your co-chair or others to get feedback.
  5. Start your online proposal well in advance so you have time to reach out to ASPET if you have any technical issues. By “in advance” we’re talking about weeks or months not days or hours.

View screenshots of the proposal form here. These are intended to give you a preview of the questions to expect in the portal. We cannot accept PDF proposal submissions. 

Symposium Submission Timeline

Symposium Submission Timeline

Below is the timeline for submission of symposium proposals for the 2018 ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology which is scheduled for April 21-25, 2018 in San Diego, California:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Submission Portal opens for collection of symposium proposals for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2018.

January / February / March  

Division officers seek symposia concepts from ASPET members and actively work with submitters to refine symposia topics . ASPET members submit symposia proposals to their Division using the ASPET online submission portal.

Thursday, March 16, 2017  

Deadline to submit a Symposium Proposal for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2018. 

March 17- April 7, 2017 

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

April 23–25, 2017 at ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2017  

Division business meetings taking place during the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2017 will include a discussion of proposed symposia and refinement to final top ideas.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017  

The ASPET Program Committee meets to discuss potential symposia topic ideas. This meeting will include feedback from Divisions via their Program Committee members.

Friday, May 5, 2017 

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 19, 2017.

Friday, May 19, 2017  

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

May 19–26, 2017  

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

June 6, 2017  

The Program Committee meets to discuss final symposium selections for the program at the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2018. June 30, 2017 Submitters will be notified by this date if their proposal has been selected for presentation at the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2018.

Division Representatives

ASPET divisions play a vital role in providing annual meeting content critical not only to their own division members but also providing what non-division members need to know about their scientific area.

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. Our new portal must be used for all final submissions.

Division Representatives

Behavioral Pharmacology: Carol Paronis
Cancer Pharmacology: Susan Cole
Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Fadi Khasawneh
Drug Discovery and Development: Tom Parry
Drug Metabolism: Emily Scott
Molecular Pharmacology: Henrik Dohlman 
Neuropharmacology: Laura Bohn
Pharmacology Education: Shafiqur Rahman
Toxicology: Gary Rankin
Translational and Clinical Pharmacology: Michael Holinstat 

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(s) 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 26, 2017. They is given copies of all proposals; however, typically there is only time to discuss the top proposals from each division.

By May 5, 2017 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 19, 2017.

The Program Committee discusses all second-round proposals on June 6, 2017 where final selection of symposia is made and symposia are scheduled into specific programming slots for Saturday through Wednesday of the annual meeting week. Any timing conflicts must be identified upfront before this scheduling occurs.

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 two speakers from a single institution should be proposed and only if justified. 

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. 

Justification / Objectives  

The number of symposia approved will be limited. The justification of the need for a symposium on this particular topic and the objectives will be important in both the division’s and the committee's evaluation. We discourage proposals on topics too similar to ones presented at other recent scientific meetings. 


Symposia are programmed into 2½ 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. 

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 21-25, 2018. 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 2 weeks to secure this before Round 2 proposals are due May 19, 2017. 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 June 30, 2017.

Financial Assistance from ASPET

No honoraria are provided for speakers or chairs.

The ASPET Council periodically reviews reimbursement policies and designates a modest amount of funds to help defray travel expenses and registration fees for speakers and for any non-standard audio visual equipment needed for the presentations. Support for the ASPET Annual Meeting at EB2018 is currently under review and will be announced at a later date. 

The ASPET Council also periodically 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). Funds may not be used for speaker group dinners or lunches.

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. A speaker is defined as someone who gives 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 (graduate students and postdocs) who participate in symposia by giving oral presentations of less than 20 minutes may also be eligible for limited travel support.

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: September 5, 2017

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