The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics encourages the presentation of symposia on timely topics at its meetings. Symposia can be valuable for promoting scientific interchange and developing new concepts in a way that crystallizes thinking in particular areas. This particular format also helps investigators keep abreast of developments in fields that may not be intimately related to their own major research interests. The program committee is responsible for selecting symposia to be included in meetings of the Society.
While the preferred procedure is to submit a symposium proposal through an ASPET Division, proposals may also be submitted directly to the program committee. All other things being equal, preference will be given to symposia sponsored by divisions, and symposia planned and sponsored by multiple divisions are preferred. One does not need to be a member of a particular division to submit a symposium through that division. Proposals should be submitted either directly to the division program committee representative (for Division sponsorship) or the ASPET office (non-Division sponsorship) by mid-late February for that year's Annual Meeting (this date changes each year, so refer to the main annual meeting page each year for proposal deadlines).
The program committee endeavors to select a program of symposia that cover the breadth of interests of ASPET members and that coordinate with programming offered by other societies who share ASPET's meetings. Consequently, the program committee initially discusses topics and ideas for symposia at its December meeting and reviews symposium proposals at its March/April meeting for the ASPET meeting to be held the following Spring. Proposals that need extensive revision following program committee review will be deferred for consideration for the following year.
When preparing a symposium proposal, organizers are encouraged to consider the following:
- Inclusion of one to two short talks by junior speakers selected from the contributed papers abstracts or from labs working in the area of the symposium topic.
- Inclusion of qualified women and minority speakers.
- Inclusion of a "translational" presentation bringing the basic science from "bench to bedside."
- Topics applicable to multiple divisions with joint sponsorship are encouraged. Organizers are encouraged to contact multiple divisions early in the planning process.
Deadline for Submission
Symposia proposals should be submitted either to an ASPET Division or to the ASPET office by mid-late February for that year's Annual Meeting (this date changes each year, so refer to the main Annual Meeting page each year for proposal deadlines). Information on how to submit a symposium proposal, including a sample form, may be viewed online.
Content of Proposal for Symposium
Symposia may be initiated by any member of ASPET at any time by communicating with a member of the program committee, by submitting a proposal to an ASPET Division or to the ASPET office. The proposal should present reasons as to why the symposium is desirable and give details on the proposal. The total time assigned for presentations and discussions should not exceed two and one-half hours per symposium. The following points must be addressed in the proposal:
- Proposed Title
- Justification of need for an ASPET symposium in the particular field. The number of symposia approved will be limited and the justification will be important in both the division’s and the committee's evaluation. Thus justification should include the timeliness of the topic and whether a similar symposium has been recently presented at a large scientific meeting at which ASPET members are likely to have been in attendance.
- Format of the symposium. Each symposium is scheduled for 2 & 1/2 hours. The traditional format for a symposium consists of four (4) speakers giving 25–30 minute full-length talks plus one to two junior speaker(s) giving shorter talks, with time for discussion between talks. Organizers may also wish to consider alternate formats, e.g., where the symposium starts with a one-hour keynote speaker on the topic, followed by two (2) full-length speakers and one to two junior speaker(s), while still allowing ample time for discussion. The program committee encourages the inclusion of a component of translational research in each symposium.
- Names of proposed speakers, their professional affiliation, title of their presentations, approximate length of the talk and a one-two sentence synopsis of their topic. A maximum of two speakers from a single institution may be proposed. No more than four (4) speakers should be proposed for a two and one-half-hour symposium. Alternate speakers should be proposed and clearly designated as alternates. Please note: Organizers should NOT contact prospective speakers prior to their symposium proposal being reviewed by the program committee as the committee may suggest changes.
- Preliminary financial requirements, if any. A total of $4800 per symposium is available from ASPET to offset the travel costs of the speakers in the symposium. This figure should be kept in mind when planning on foreign speakers (See Financial Assistance from ASPET, below). Indicate if there are any plans to secure funding from an alternate source. Funds secured from outside sources may be used to supplement travel reimbursements or to provide for additional foreign speakers, according to the speaker reimbursement guidelines. Neither funds from ASPET nor those secured from outside sources should be used for speaker group lunches or dinners.
- Organizer and speaker contact information. Include mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses for the proposed speakers and for the organizer.
Proposals submitted to a Division will be reviewed by the division leadership for division sponsorship. Proposals accepted by the division will be forwarded to the program committee in rank order. Proposals submitted directly to the ASPET office will be forwarded directly to the program committee. The program committee will review all proposals when it meets during the Experimental Biology meeting in March/April. The Division representative will contact each symposium organizer promptly with feedback from the committee. If the symposium is approved, or approved with minor modification, the Division representative will provide further instructions concerning modification of the proposal, follow-up correspondence with speakers, finalization of the program and date of the symposium. Proposals requiring extensive revision will be deferred for consideration the following year.
Financial Assistance from ASPET
No honoraria are provided. Up to $4800 per symposium is available from ASPET to support travel for speakers. A speaker is defined as someone who speaks for at least 20 minutes. Speakers from North America will receive up to a maximum of $1000 and foreign speakers will receive up to a maximum of $1500 reimbursement towards travel with receipts. ASPET provides complimentary registration for speakers and moderators in addition to the $4800 per symposium. Funds are to be used for reimbursing speaker travel and lodging only. They may not be used for speaker group dinners or lunches. Junior speakers giving short (10-15 minute) talks will be given complimentary registration but no travel reimbursement. Symposium organizers and chairs who are not speakers will be given complimentary registration but no travel reimbursement.
Scheduling of the Symposium
Speakers should plan to be available to present their proposed symposium during any of the four days of the meeting. While specific requests for scheduling will be considered, if it is not possible to meet those requests, the session may not be scheduled into the upcoming meeting.