Preparing Proposals



For the best chance of acceptance, proposals should be timely and relevant to toxicology.

Before you begin preparing your proposal using the steps below, it is recommended that you review the video recording of the 2016 Information Session “Why Did the Scientific Program Committee Reject My Proposal? Developing a Good Idea into an Accepted SOT Session” and the 2018 webinar "Empowering the Endorsers: Developing Competitive Scientific Session Proposals."


1. Choose a Session Type and Length

You do not have to be a member of the Society to submit a proposal for consideration. However, an SOT member must be listed to serve as a chair of the session, if accepted. You may serve as a chair for only one accepted session per Annual Meeting and as co-chair for only one (other) accepted session per Annual Meeting.

In 2019, SOT is piloting a program in which one afternoon will be programmed with 90-minute Symposium and Workshop Sessions and encourages those developing and submitting proposals to consider a 90-minute session. For the 2019 session proposals, the OASIS system is programmed to accept this new format as an option.

For more information on this pilot, review our FAQ .

Standard format, 165- and 80-minute sessions, will still be accepted for review by the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) and programmed in the usual manner for the remainder of the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Use the expandable boxes below to view additional information and requirements for proposals of each session type.


CE   Continuing Education (240 minutes, two chairpersons, four presenters)

These sessions emphasize quality presentations of a wide range of courses that cover established knowledge in toxicology, as well as advanced techniques or approaches for those with experience in the field.

Key objectives/considerations for these sessions:

  • Structured approach for gaining an understanding of a developing or established field.
  • Can focus on introducing the essential features of a field of interest.
  • Intended to present techniques, ideas, and concepts that are more established than those suitable for Symposia and Workshops.

The CE courses are taught on the Sunday of the SOT Annual Meeting. Courses are offered in three time slots—Sunrise, Morning, or Afternoon.

  • Sunrise: Consists of 1 or 2 brief presentations followed by an optional question-answer session for a total of 45 minutes of session time.
  • Morning and Afternoon: Run for approximately four hours with one 30-minute break. Generally, a brief overview by the chairperson (10–15 minutes) is followed by four 45-minute presentations. Assignments for Morning and Afternoon slots are made by the CE Committee.

For CE courses, there is a need for a balanced offering of courses, which is an important consideration in the selection process. There is a concerted effort each year to provide courses that update fundamentals, integrate advancing technologies, and provide advanced expertise. The intent of these courses is to meet the diverse needs and evolving careers of the SOT membership. To view a listing of past CE courses, visit the CE Course Archive.

Note: While the submission timeline is the same for CE courses as other Scientific Sessions, the development of the session has a different timeline than other sessions. CE courses are developed months before the Annual Meeting, with presentations finalized in early December, obviating the opportunity for last-minute changes. Due to this accelerated timeline, the SOT CE committee and staff provide significant help in forging and organizing courses, as well as supporting the course presenters in this process.

ECD   Education-Career Development (80 minutes, two chairpersons, three to four presenters)

These sessions provide tools and resources to toxicologists that will enhance their professional and scientific development by identifying training needs and employment trends, among other opportunities.

Key objectives of these sessions include:

  • Facilitate the recruitment and retention within SOT of outstanding students pursuing careers in toxicology.
  • Provide indispensable information for the scientific and professional development of toxicologists.
  • Enhance networking and increase involvement of SOT members at every stage of their careers.
  • Increase the number and scope of diverse scientific disciplines represented within SOT.
  • Increase the recruitment and participation of members from underrepresented groups.
  • Broaden the representation of participation of international members.

HH   Historical Highlights (80 minutes*, two chairpersons, one or more presenters)

These sessions review a historical body of science that has impacted toxicology, including the work of multiple laboratories and the resulting advancement of the science.


* For a traditionally 80-minute session to be considered for a 165-minute session, the proposal submitter will need to provide a letter with clear justification of why the extended time is warranted when the proposal is submitted (see Submitting Proposals).

  Informational (80 minutes*, two chairpersons, three to four presenters)

These sessions are not based on the outcome of specific scientific research, but are sessions that present the latest science in toxicology or other learning opportunities not directly related to career development that address the professional interests and needs of toxicologists. The goal of these sessions is to provide attendees with tools and resources to ensure that the value of toxicology is widely understood, accepted, and utilized in enhancing human, animal, and environmental health.

Areas of focus for these sessions may include:

  • Outreach and communication to increase public awareness and understanding of toxicology in alignment with SOT objectives.
  • Practical information that provides educational opportunities in toxicology and facilitates an exchange of ideas.
  • The need to promote the development and utilization of appropriate and relevant science in risk assessment and regulatory decision making.

* For a traditionally 80-minute session to be considered for a 165-minute session, the proposal submitter will need to provide a letter with clear justification of why the extended time is warranted when the proposal is submitted (see Submitting Proposals).

RI   Regional Interest (165 minutes, two chairpersons, four to five presenters)

These sessions focus on topics of relevance that describe public health and/or ecological problems of the region in question.

  Roundtables (80 minutes, two chairpersons, two to four presenters and a moderator)

These sessions are moderated discussions on controversial topics, where the presenters provide three to five minute statements followed by balanced time for discussions and questions.

  Symposia* (165 minutes, two chairpersons, four to five presenters; 90 minutes, two chairpersons, two to three presenters)

These sessions feature cutting-edge science that is exploring new areas, concepts, or data at the forefront of toxicology.

Sample Symposium Proposal for 165-Minute Session

For 90-minute sessions, two or three speakers are expected, with three being the preferred format; no more than three speakers will be allowed. For topics that are more controversial or mature, the SPC is requesting the session organizers propose a balanced speaker roster to ensure input from all sides of the issue or all sectors of the SOT membership (in the case of matured topics). However, for less controversial topics or depending on the state of the science, the SPC recognizes that it may be appropriate to have only one or perhaps two membership sectors represented in the speaker roster.

* A limited number of symposia and/or workshops are designated Innovations in Toxicological Sciences (ITS) or Innovations in Applied Toxicology (IAT). ITS-designated sessions introduce new technologies or scientific disciplines to the membership, while IAT-designated sessions introduce innovative approaches in applied research. To apply for the IAT or ITS designation, you must submit a letter providing a clear justification for these designations when you submit your session proposal (see Submitting Proposals).

  Workshop* (165 minutes, two chairpersons, four to five presenters; 90 minutes, two chairpersons, two to three presenters)

These sessions are informal, interactive presentations that highlight state-of-the-art knowledge in toxicology. These sessions should emphasize a discussion component.

Sample Workshop Proposal for 165-Minute Session

For 90-minute sessions, two or three speakers are expected, with three being the preferred format; no more than three speakers will be allowed. For topics that are more controversial or mature, the SPC is requesting the session organizers propose a balanced speaker roster to ensure input from all sides of the issue or all sectors of the SOT membership (in the case of matured topics). However, for less controversial topics or depending on the state of the science, the SPC recognizes that it may be appropriate to have only one or perhaps two membership sectors represented in the speaker roster.

* A limited number of symposia and/or workshops are designated Innovations in Toxicological Sciences (ITS) or Innovations in Applied Toxicology (IAT). ITS-designated sessions introduce new technologies or scientific disciplines to the membership, while IAT-designated sessions introduce innovative approaches in applied research. To apply for the IAT or ITS designation, you must submit a letter providing a clear justification for these designations when you submit your session proposal (see Submitting Proposals).



2. Write Abstracts and Confirm Presenters

 


Keep in mind that while evaluating your session proposal, including your abstract and presenter choice, the Scientific Program and Continuing Education (CE) Committees consider the following:

  • Preparedness of the proposal and clarity of purpose
  • Strength of endorsements (scores, rankings, and comments)
  • Relevance to toxicology
  • Timeliness of the topic and how recently it has been presented
  • Balance in the perspective and representation of presenters
  • Application to scientific themes or target areas (if applicable)


Sample Proposals:  Continuing Education Course   |   Symposium Session   |   Workshop Session


Tips for Abstract Writing

Shared characteristics of successful abstracts

  • The purpose of the session should be clear and well-defined.
  • Having complete individual presenter draft abstracts is strongly encouraged. While not required, having this information improves your proposals chances. Final abstracts will be requested after acceptance.
  • The Scientific Program Committee must be able to tell the difference in the roles of your presenters from the proposal. The lengths of each individual presentation are not necessary for the proposal submission and should not be included.
  • Session chairpersons and co-chairs must ensure that their session complies with the Society’s criteria for the care and use of animals in research .
  • Avoid the use of report or book references, abbreviations, or technical jargon.
  • Describe the subject, highlighting the scientific issues, innovations, or research to be addressed. Do not name or reference presenters or the titles of their presentations in the synopsis.
  • There is a limit of 5,000 characters for the description of your proposal submission (including spaces).
  • Please remember that the session overview abstract will be used in the Annual Meeting materials as the “marketing” abstract.
  • For CE courses, the topic should have a broad appeal across employment sectors.

Presenter Scheduling and Funding

Details on presenter availability and funding support

When selecting presenters, they must be available to be in Baltimore and to participate on Sunday, March 10, 2019, for CE Courses and from the morning of Monday, March 11, 2018, through the morning of Thursday, March 14, 2019, for Scientific Sessions. The final schedule will be announced in fall 2018.

Funding for non-member presenters is available. The non-member funding policy varies depending on the session type.

  • Symposium (165 minutes)
    • Full funding for up to 3 Non Member Speakers
  • Symposium (90 minutes)
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers
  • Workshop (165 minutes)
    • Full funding for up to 3 Non Member Speakers
  • Workshop (90 minutes)
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers
  • Regional Interest Session
    • Full funding for up to 3 Non Member Speakers
  • Roundtable
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers
  • Informational Session
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers
  • Historical Highlights
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers
  • Education-Career Development
    • Full funding for up to 2 Non Member Speakers

Note: No funding (full funding or meeting registration) available for SOT Members


3. Secure Endorsements

Start Early

The earlier you start this step/process, the better the chance your proposal will be approved/accepted by the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) or the Continuing Education Committee. Over the years, the SPC and CE Committee have found that proposals which have undergone the editing and refinement process with potential endorsers prior to submission receive higher scores and ranks during the review.

Each endorsing group has unique, internal deadlines that are separate from the established SOT session proposal deadline. Please check with each group individually in advance of the deadline to ensure that your proposal receives the appropriate feedback before submission.



Contacting Endorsers

SOT Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, Committees, and other groups can serve as endorsers. You should reach out to your desired endorsers directly with enough time before the submission deadline to ensure sufficient time for review and revision. Each proposal can have up to three endorsing groups (one primary and two secondary).

Endorsing Groups and Contact Information

Information for Endorsers

Financial Obligation: Endorsement of a Scientific Session or CE course does not imply a financial obligation by your group to fund nonmember speakers or provide any type of stipend or honorarium. SOT provides funding for a limited number of nonmember speakers per accepted session type: full funding (meeting registration, round trip airfare, housing for two nights, meals for two days, and ground transportation) or meeting registration-only support. Per SOT policy, no funding (travel or registration) is available for SOT members.

Timetable: Endorsing groups are asked to review session and CE proposals and provide scores, ranks, and comments to proposals where they are tapped as endorsers from mid to late May each year. SOT headquarters will provide complete directions on using the form to score and provide comments on proposals. Directions will be emailed to the endorsing group officers.

Specialty Section Guaranteed Acceptance Program: Beginning with the 2018 Annual Meeting, each year, nine Specialty Sections will be granted with “guaranteed acceptance” on one session type of their choice (Symposium, Workshop, Roundtable, Informational Session, Regional Interest, etc.). Specialty Section officers will be notified well in advance of their group being tapped for one session proposal for guaranteed acceptance. The session the group selects for guaranteed acceptance must be submitted using the SOT session proposal site, just as all other session proposals are submitted.

Guaranteed Acceptance by Specialty Section schedule


4. Submitting Proposals

The session chairperson serves as the primary contact for all communications with SOT regarding an Annual Meeting session. It is the responsibility of the chairperson to submit the proposal using the online proposal submission system (see Submitting Proposals). It also is the chairperson’s responsibility to ensure that the co-chair and presenters receive all the information relevant to the session if the proposal is granted tentative acceptance.

Preparation Checklist

  • Session Title and Draft Session Abstract
  • Designated chair and co-chair (chair must be an SOT member)
  • Confirmed presenters and individual draft presenter abstracts
  • Secured endorsements