Thematic symposia at the SSAR Annual Meeting allow researchers to come together to present the latest research in an important or emerging line of research. Often, symposia result in proceedings and books. Symposia benefit SSAR by fostering interactions with the symposium participants, highlighting areas for further study, and informing us of the history and current state of the field.
With the special upcoming SSAR Annual Meeting in 2024 held at the University of Michigan with the participation of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), we invite the submission of symposium proposals for this landmark meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. SSAR will be monetarily sponsoring up to two symposia with funding of $2000 per symposium. PARC will be soliciting for symposia separately through their organization and will coordinate with SSAR to ensure that symposium topics are complementary. There is already an additional planned symposium on the functional morphology of reptiles and amphibians, so other focal topics will receive priority. We encourage organizers to consider publication of their symposium as an edited volume. Proposers who anticipate publication of their symposium proceedings should highlight this in the proposal and encourage presenters to prepare draft manuscripts prior to the meetings. The following guidelines are to be followed for a full or half-day symposium proposal.
- Three page limit.
- Symposium Title (or Topic).
- Names and affiliations of the symposium organizers (phone number and e-mail address).
- Description of the symposium, emphasizing scientific merit and novelty.
- List of identified and potential speakers and titles.
- Proposals with documented commitments from named speakers are likely to be more favorably reviewed.
- Organizers are encouraged by the SSAR Board and will preferentially support proposals that include students, post-docs, and international presenters as speakers.
- Description of how the symposium will broaden participation of underrepresented groups at SSAR. This goal can be achieved in one or more of a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:
- Highlighting topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
- Striving to include speakers who represent various axes of diversity (including, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, gender, citizenship, disability, LGBTQ+, veteran status, career stage, career types).*
- Offering supplemental activities related to DEI and/or local outreach events (must be coordinated with the local committee).
- How will hosting this symposium benefit SSAR and its members?
- Type and Length of symposium: SSAR (full day or half-day mini-symposium).
- Anticipated outcomes: For example, news releases, outreach products, NSF proposals, publication in edited volumes. What arrangements have been made to realize these outcomes?
- Budget: SSAR funding requested (max. $2,000); a detailed budget description with justification (preferentially to support students, post-docs, international researchers)**; other funding sources and in-kind support if available – organizers are encouraged to apply for additional external funding (e.g., NSF) to support DEI activities and travel support for students from underrepresented groups. Inclusive, work-related, social events that support the symposium can be proposed.
Proposals are due to the SSAR Coordinator AND the local committee representative by August 31, 2023. (PDF, Word, or RTF format)
Dr. Richard D. Durtsche (SSAR, email@example.com )
Dr. Daniel L. Rabosky (Local Committee Rep, firstname.lastname@example.org)
SSAR Symposium Proposal Review Process:
- Proposals received will be sent for external review, and comments forwarded to the Local Committee and SSAR Board. Reviewers are asked to address the following criteria:
- Relevance of the symposium to SSAR.
- The breadth of the topics covered and potential speakers.
- Should a topic or someone be included that is not already listed?
- Have the organizers provided evidence of an effort to recruit a diverse set of speakers?
- Do the topics represent active science of good quality?
- Would this symposium be of general interest with the ability to attract a broad audience?
- Proposals will be discussed by the SSAR Board and the Local Committee.
- Decisions on SSAR symposium proposals will be made by vote of the SSAR Board, Symposium Coordinator, and the local committee based on all reviews received and comments made.
*Symposium organizers should not make assumptions about how speakers identify, and the proposal does not need to include numbers based on assumptions about speaker identities. However, organizers should have concrete evidence to reflect their effort recruiting a diverse set of speakers. It is not uncommon for individuals to make clear some of the ways they identify in their online presence, and it is usually not very difficult to determine someone’s career stage and type of institution. Input from colleagues, and lists such as the ones on https://diversifyeeb.com/, https://500queerscientists.com/, and https://www.womeninherpetology.com/directory can also be helpful in identifying a diverse set of people with expertise on a particular topic.
**Symposium organizers and participants for the SSAR monetarily sponsored symposia will be reimbursed for allowable expenses based on receipts submitted to the SSAR Treasurer that match the budget in the proposal. Requests for changes to the budget must be submitted 10 business days before the date of the symposium.