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SOT Annual Meeting Scientific Session and Continuing Education Planning and Submission Information

Every March, around 6,500 toxicologists and 350 exhibitors attend the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, the largest gathering of industry, governmental, and academic toxicologists in the world. At the event, speakers and presenters share the latest in toxicological science and research. SOT solicits proposals for scientific sessions and Continuing Education courses from early March to May 15 each year.

The period for submission of individual abstracts for poster or platform presentations is from mid-August to early October each year.

Abstracts for the 2018 Annual Meeting may be submitted from August 15 to October 7, 2017. Click here for more information.

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Scientific Session Proposal Submission

If you would like to begin planning your submission for the 2018 Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, please consult the following information:

All proposal submissions are reviewed under the current criteria for their timeliness and relevance to the field of toxicology.

The SOT Scientific Program and Continuing Education (CE) Committees place great value on the contributions of Specialty Sections and Special Interest Groups (SS/SIGs) in the preparation of high quality proposals for sessions at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. For this reason, it should be noted that session organizers can submit their draft proposals directly to the SS/SIG(s) for their review/feedback prior to formal submission to SOT. Click here for a full list of SOT endorsing groups, including SOT Committees, and contact information.

Scientific Poster and Platform Session Submission

SOT solicits abstracts for poster and platform sessions at SOTs Annual Meeting and ToxExpo from mid-August to October 7 (October 9 at 12:00 Noon ET if October 7 falls on a Saturday or Sunday) each year. 

Visit Abstract submission information for complete information.

Late-Breaking Abstract submissions will be accepted December 5, 2016 to January 12, 2017. Late breaking abstracts will be programmed on Thursday during the Annual Meeting.

Scientific Session Types


Proposals for symposia should feature cutting-edge science: new areas, concepts, or data in the forefront of toxicology. A symposia session is 165 minutes, with two chairpersons and four to five speakers.


Proposals for workshops will be informal, interactive presentations that highlight state-of-the-art knowledge in toxicology with an emphasis on discussion. A workshop session is 165 minutes, with two chairpersons and four to five speakers.

Innovations in Applied Toxicology and Toxicological Sciences

A limited number of symposia and/or workshops are designated Innovations in Toxicological Sciences (ITS) or Innovations in Applied Toxicology (IAT). ITS will introduce new technologies or scientific disciplines to the membership, and IAT will introduce innovative approaches in applied research. To apply for the IAT or ITS designation, please submit a letter providing a clear justification to David Rossé at SOT Headquarters. Please include the system generated control ID# assigned to your proposal in your communication.


Controversial topics are the basis of roundtable proposals. Each roundtable lasts 80 minutes. These are moderated discussions, with two–four speakers providing a three to five minute statement and the balance of the time for questions and discussion.

Historical Highlights

Proposals for a historical highlight should be a review of a historical body of science that has impacted the field of toxicology, including the work of multiple laboratories and the resulting advancement of the science. The session should be 80 minutes and can include a single or multiple speakers as appropriate.

Informational Sessions

Sessions are not based on the outcome of scientific research, should present the latest science in toxicology, or other learning opportunities that address the professional interests and needs of toxicologists, and can include the areas of general information or planned scientific activities.

Education-Career Development Sessions

Sessions that provide the tools and resources to toxicologists that will enhance their professional and scientific development.

Informational and Education-Career Development sessions are programmed for 80 minutes. For sessions of these types that wish to compete for 165-minute time slots, the proposal submitter should provide a clear justification explaining why the extended time is warranted. All requests should be sent to David Rossé at SOT Headquarters via email. Please include the system generated control ID# assigned to your proposal in your communication.

Go to: Scientific Program Submission Guidelines for Informational and Education-Career Development Session Proposals

Regional Interest

Sessions on central topics of relevance that describe public health and/or ecological problems of that region. A regional interest session is 165 minutes, with two chairpersons and four–five speakers.

Additional References

FAQs: Session Programming and Scheduling (“Why is that session then?”)

Scientific Session and Poster Session Onsite Logistics FAQ

Why are two sessions endorsed by the same Specialty Section occurring on the same day/time?

The Scientific Program Committee (SPC) spends many hours discussing and planning the layout of the Monday through Thursday scientific program. Several guidelines are considered during the scheduling:

  • Sessions endorsed by the same Specialty Section/Specialty Interest Group or SOT Committee should not be programmed to occur concurrently.
  • Sessions that cover similar topics, regardless of Specialty Section endorsement, are not to be programmed to occur concurrently.
  • No sessions to occur during the Plenary and MRC sessions on Monday through Wednesday (sunrise time block).
  • No sessions to occur during the EUROTOX debate on Monday (sunset time block).
  • No sessions to occur during the SOT Annual Business Meeting (sunset time block).

The SPC considers all of these factors and diligently reviews the proposals before finalizing the scientific session schedule in late September. However, there are uncontrollables/variables, as well as the Poster and Platform session planning that occurs after late September, which can interfere with the ability to guarantee sessions on similar topics, or endorsed by the same Specialty Section, are not programmed concurrently:

  • One particular presenter is participating in more than one scientific session.
  • Limited traveling schedules of some presenters.
  • Room size limitations: Room sizes vary from year to year based on the Convention Center, and not all rooms have the same maximum capacity. The larger rooms are typically reserved for “hot topic” sessions.
  • Poster and Platform Sessions: As these are programmed in November, after the other scientific sessions have been programmed, the SPC makes every effort to program Poster and Platform Sessions during times when scientific sessions are held on a similar topic, although that is not always possible.

Why are there lunchtime sessions? (80-minute sessions: Roundtables, Informational, or Education-Career Development sessions).

165-minute scientific sessions (Symposium, Workshop, Platform, and Regional Interest) are held in the regular morning (9:30 am to 12:15 pm) and afternoon (2:00 pm to 4:45 pm) timeframes. This limits the time blocks for 80-minute sessions to the lunchtime time block (12:30 pm to 1:50 pm), and sunset time block (5:00 pm to 6:20 pm). With the Annual Business Meeting, EUROTOX debate, and the beginning of many SOT component group receptions occurring or starting during the sunset time block, SPC typically prefers to program 80-minute sessions for the lunchtime block.

Poster Sessions

What rationale goes into programming poster sessions in a particular order?

The SPC traditionally groups poster sessions into day and time (morning or afternoon) slots based on topic, for example, “Arsenic Toxicity,” “Toxicity of Metal Mixtures,” and “Metal Toxicity” would occur in the same poster session timeframe. One possible drawback of this method is that an author could be presenting two posters at the same time; however SOT policy states that an author can be Presenting Author on only one poster.

Why do poster sessions begin in one cluster of poster boards on the ToxExpo floor and then continue in another cluster several feet away?

Not all poster board clusters on the ToxExpo floor contain the same number of boards, and not all poster sessions contain the same number of posters, therefore ensuring that all poster sessions begin and end in the same poster board cluster is extremely difficult. SPC could set a minimum and maximum number of poster abstracts accepted per poster board session, so the sessions would contain an equal number of boards all within the same cluster, but that would put limits on the number of poster abstracts accepted. Current policy is to assign no more than 40 posters to a poster session. There is no minimum. Additional street signs are used in the event a poster session begins in one poster board cluster, and continues in another.

Why are the poster board clusters scattered throughout the ToxExpo, instead of all together?

This is to maximize traffic flow on the ToxExpo floor for the exhibitors who support the SOT Annual Meeting every year. ToxExpo exhibitors are more likely to receive visitors to the booths if the science is clustered in various sections of the expo floor, versus being confined to one area.

Why do some Symposium and Workshop sessions occur at the same time as a Poster or Platform session for the same topic?

As the dates and times for Symposium, Workshop, Roundtable and other scientific sessions are finalized in late September, before the Poster and Platform abstract deadlines, efforts are made by the SPC to ensure Poster and Platform sessions are not programmed to conflict with scientific sessions on the same topics. However because of other uncontrollable variables, such as limited speaker travel schedules (in cases of Platform sessions), and the number of poster sessions created for certain topics, there is a chance these sessions could be programmed to occur concurrently with regular scientific sessions.

Why are regular (non late breaking) posters occurring on Thursday?

The decision could be made by SPC to program non late breaking poster sessions on Thursday, for a variety of reasons: SOT Satellite meetings held on Thursday, resulting in a longer-than-usual SOT Annual Meeting; space inside the ToxExpo Hall, which may not allow for as many poster board clusters as the previous year; or new topics, such as “Emerging Technologies,” that have not been developed into poster sessions in the past.

Why are author attended times not listed in the mobile app?

This issue, which occurred in past meetings, will be resolved for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Continuing Education (CE) Course Submission and Organization Guidelines

These proposals should emphasize quality presentations of generally accepted, state-of-the-art knowledge in toxicology. Courses are scheduled into a one-hour sunrise slot or a four-hour slot, either morning or afternoon. The four-hour courses have a chairperson and 3–4 speakers. Course levels are either basic, for a broad overview, or advanced, for individuals with previous knowledge of the subject. Proposals for Continuing Education courses are due May 15.

Go to: Continuing Education (CE) Course Submission and Organization Guidelines