Scientific Session Chairs/Presenters
All decisions regarding tentative acceptance are rendered in late July.
All sessions that are accepted are initially granted a tentative acceptance. Tentative acceptance allows session organizers to address any concerns brought to their attention by the Scientific Program Committee (SPC). These issues can include the number of presenters, diversity of presenters (affiliations or geography), and more. The SPC also reserves the right to accept a proposal contingent on the Chair and Co-Chair altering the final presentation to the preferred format of the SPC, although the original proposal format suggestion by the proposer is given due consideration before this kind of change is requested.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Session Chair
- Ensure deadlines are met.
- Provide SOT Headquarters with the complete contact information for all nonmember presenters once tentative acceptance is granted.
- Determine the presentation time for each presenter, including the time allotted for question and answer periods. The duration of each presentation in the session should be in multiples of five. Presentation timings are due to SOT Headquarters in mid-August.
- Notify SOT Headquarters immediately if there are changes to the presenter roster. Note: while recognizing that some changes will occur, the SPC reserves the right to reconsider a session if presenter substitutes cause a shift in the session’s focus that differs substantially from the original proposal.
- Facilitate updates and changes during the Resubmission Phase (see the “Finalizing the Session” section on this web page for more information).
- Communicate the decisions of the SPC to your nonmember presenters who applied for travel assistance.
- Provide important information to your presenters as it becomes available.
- Ensure your session complies with the Society’s criteria for the care and use of animals in research.
Finalizing the Session
After a session has been granted tentative acceptance, the session Chair should work with the Co-Chair and all presenters to finalize presentation titles and abstracts—a process known as the Resubmission Phase, which occurs from late July to late August. Note: for all session types, each session Chair must enter a complete, revised “overall abstract” that fully describes the presentation in detail and incorporates any suggestions from the SPC, as well as entering the individual abstracts for each presenter. Complete instructions will be sent in July to all session Chairs for finalizing the sessions.
Final acceptance is granted after a formal round of review of the final session description and individual abstracts by the SPC in mid-September.
Scheduling the Session
The 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, Special Interest Group, or 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 will occur during the Plenary Session or the Plenary Keynote Medical Research Council (MRC) Lecture.
- No sessions will occur during the SOT/EUROTOX Debate (usually on Monday during the sunset time block).
- No sessions will occur during the SOT Annual Business Meeting (usually on Tuesday during the sunset time block).
The SPC considers all these factors and diligently reviews the proposals before finalizing the Scientific Session schedule in late September. When the schedule is released, it is considered final and will not be altered.
While the SPC makes every effort not to schedule two sessions endorsed by the same group at the same time, there are uncontrollable variables that can interfere with the ability to guarantee that sessions on similar topics or endorsed by the same group are not programmed concurrently. These variables can include:
- Presenters participating in more than one Scientific Session.
- Limited travel 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 on a similar topic are not being held, but that is not always possible.
The 165-minute Scientific Sessions (Symposium, Workshop, Platform, and Regional Interest) are held in the regular morning (8:00 am–10:45 am) and afternoon (2:00 pm–4:45 pm) time frames. This limits the time blocks for 80-minute sessions to lunchtime (12:30 pm–1:50 pm) and sunset (5:00 pm–6:20 pm). With the Annual Business Meeting, SOT/EUROTOX Debate, and many SOT Component Group receptions occurring or starting during the sunset time block, the SPC typically prefers to program 80-minute sessions for the lunchtime block.