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Guidelines for Proposals to Organize Annual Meetings

Prospective annual meeting organizers should first inform the President of the Society and the Society’s Secretary of their intentions and then prepare a written proposal. The deadline of submission of the bid material is June 1 four years before the relevant Annual Meeting. The proposal should be submitted to the Society’s Secretary.

Components of the Proposal Application:

The proposal should contain the following information:

  • The location and proposed dates. The conference should commonly take place within a time window between June 15 and August 15. Exceptions are possible but care will be taken that the period between two annual meetings is no shorter than nine and no larger than fifteen months.
  • A written endorsement from the local organizing committee with the name of the person responsible for the proposal and the prospective composition of the Organizing and Scientific Committees (see Annual Meeting Guidelines below). List of Society for Mathematical Biology members serving in the organizing and scientific committee.
  • If the conference will be organized by a university office or professional conference organizers, please provide name and address of the professional conference organizers.
  • Description of conference organizing experience of the local organizers. A copy of local organizers CVs should be included with application.
  • The conference should ideally take place in a city where several members of the organizing committee are working and a local scientific community relevant to the conference should exist.
  • A written statement giving assurance to the Society for Mathematical Biology on free circulation of scientists, freedom of speech, diversity and inclusion.
  • Conference facilities available and pre-booked, indicating the number and size of lecture rooms, space for poster boards, and for the commercial exhibition, and planned social activities. Description of social facilities, such as restaurants, tours, etc, is also essential.
  • The availability of hotels and student accommodation, their locations and distance from the venue along with approximate room rates both current and anticipated; it should also be indicated which type and amount of rooms have been pre-booked for the conference.
  • Travel access to the venue (with examples of current return fares including a Saturday night to some major cities) and transportation facilities (e.g. taxi, shuttle, metro) and their costs to hotels following arrival by air, rail and road.
  • Time table for visa application
  • Typical daily expenses, such as for meals and local transportation.
  • Weather conditions at the time of the Annual Meeting
  • An estimate of the number of participants at both regular and reduced registration rates expected from host country and the host continent.
  • Opportunities for accompanying persons, outlining possible excursions and local attractions.
  • Other points that may make the Congress more attractive.
  • A general conference outline. It should follow the outline of previous annual meetings. Major deviations from this outline should be well justified.
  • Description of current funding available to organize conference, and potential funding agencies supporting the meeting. If financial commitment exists to support the meeting, a written statement from the sponsor should be included.

The Society for Mathematical Biology expects that annual meetings are self-funded. The application should include an outline budget, which includes:

  • Income from registration fees, commercial exhibition, other sources
  • Potential opportunities for further fund raising from sponsors and exhibitors
  • Expenditure on preliminary announcements, organizers expenses, conference facilities, speakers, abstracts, program booklet and bags, the social program, transport provision (if appropriate), security, insurance and any taxation charges which may apply.
  • Registration fees for regular delegates, commercial delegates and PhD students (typically 50% of regular rate).
  • Possible availability and projected number of student grants to support participation of young scientists.
  • The applicants are expected to present the proposed Annual Meeting program to Board of Directors at the Board Meeting discussing the bids.

Obligations of Organizers:

  • Assemble an advisory board composed of the Annual Meeting Chair, Past-Annual Meeting Chair, and three members from Board of Directors.
  • Maintain continuous communication with the Society governance.
  • Present a report to the Board of Directors the incoming year and year of the Annual Meeting.

The current year Annual Meeting Chair’s report should include:

  • Conference venue, hotel and banquet information.
  • Accommodations for people with disabilities
  • Provide travel information (visa requirements, closet airport, ground transportation) to Annual Meeting participants.
  • Summary of submissions, the sort process, minisymposia and any other issues that arose.
  • Leftover topics for new chair to consider.
  • Any feedback he/she has received to date.

The incoming Chair report should include:

    • Planned course of action (see, Program Chair Duties, below)
    • List of one-year appointees for discussion by Board.
    • Summary of the committee’s first conference call (held prior to Board meeting).
    • Include at least one member of Board of Directors in the planning process.
    • Report to Board of Directors (see above).
    • Block Conference venue and Hotel by the time the Annual Meeting is announce to the membership.
    • Guarantee that the hotel and banquet location are within walking distance of hotels and banquet location.
    • Secure that accommodations can be made for people with disabilities.
    • Secure child-care facilities for annual meeting attendees traveling with young children.
    • Seek broad input for topics and speakers from the membership, subgroup chairs, scientific committee.
    • Include a Meet-and-greet/new Members/new Annual Meeting Attendees Event, and coordinate its organization with the Membership Committee.
    • Include Mentorship Program activities and coordinate its organization with the Membership Committee.
    • Include Early Careers Workshop and coordinate the Membership Committee.
    • Include Educational Activities and coordinate with the Education Sub-Group.
    • Include Meeting-the-Editors of the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology Lunch/Event and coordinate with the editors.
    • Include the Society General Assembly Meeting in the planning process.
    • Include the Award Ceremony in the planning process.
    • Include in the program sub-groups meetings (generally the first day of the annual meeting).
    • Video Record Plenary talks for the Society for Mathematical Biology YouTube Channel.
    • Review abstract topics for any necessary changes.
    • Assign topics to sorters and provide instructions.
    • Guarantee a gender-balanced conference.
    • Seek to improve the participation of underrepresented minorities in the Annual Meeting.
    • Circulate to Board of Directors the list of proposed topics, chairs, and speakers at least two weeks prior to the meeting of the Board of Directors. This will allow members of Board to provide feedback that can be incorporated into the proposed program.
      Seek input during Annual Meeting and report back to Board of Directors.
  • Provide support and serve on planning of the next Annual Meeting.

General Guidelines for Annual Meeting:

Plenary Speakers: Cover timely topics of impact presented by widely recognized leaders in the field who are polished speakers. Speakers may be non-Society members. The organizers should avoid inviting speakers, who were already serves as plenary speakers at the Annual Meetings of the Society for Mathematical Biology, or received major society awards (list available upon request).

Mini-Symposia: Cover timely topics of impact presented by widely recognized leaders in the field who are polished speakers. Speakers may be non-Society members. They can also provide a mechanism for members working on the same topic/area.

  • 70-80% of the symposia should appeal to the major constituencies that represent the membership. Those can be determined from abstract submissions and session attendances in past few years.
  • Remaining 20-30% should rotate between new/emerging topics and smaller constituencies
  • Topics must be different from those of last year.
  • Speakers cannot have spoken in prior two years.
  • Speakers cannot be from same institution, lab, or research group.
  • Mini-Symposia should consist of comprehensive talks that present something new in the field.
  • Where appropriate, both sides of controversial topics should be presented.
  • Platform Sessions/Contributed Talks: Provide a mechanism for members, particularly more junior scientists, to present their work before an audience.
  • All presentations must be selected from submitted abstracts.
  • Selections based on scientific merit and distribution of submissions.
  • Some categories may be combined to ensure that categories with few submission are not always precluded from platform presentations.
  • Efforts should be made to ensure that same topics/same speakers are not selected in consecutive years.

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