Session Proposals


Submit a 2025 Session Proposal

This page contains details on how to prepare a Scientific Session or Continuing Education course proposal for consideration for the SOT 64th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. Be sure to start the process early to allow time to secure all your speakers and endorsements.

Session proposals for the SOT 64th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo are due by Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 11:59 pm (US EDT, UTC -4)

For tips and advice on session proposals, attend the “Developing Competitive Scientific Session Proposals for SOT 2025: The Importance of Endorsers” webinar on April 11.

How to Prepare a Session Submission

Successful Scientific Session and Continuing Education course proposals adhere to the requirements and suggestions outlined on this web page. Ensure that you have completed each item on the checklist before you begin to submit a proposal for consideration.

  • Select a session type and length.
  • Create a session title—keep the “2 c’s” in mind: catchy and concise. It is suggested that your title is as short as it can be since shorter titles are easier to read in the Annual Meeting Online Planner and SOT Event App and on on-site signage.
  • Designate a Chair (must be an SOT member) and Co-Chair.
  • Draft the session description (i.e., the abstract for the session) while following the SOT Best Practices for Writing Session Descriptions.
  • Recruit a diverse array of presenters (considering gender, race, ethnicity, employment sector, geographic location, etc.) to bring together a variety of points of view on the topic presented in the session. Consult the SOT presenter availability and funding criteria when contacting potential presenters.
  • Collect the abstracts (limit of 2,400 characters including spaces) for each individual presentation.
  • Secure endorsement from at least one SOT endorsing group to be the “Primary Endorser,” with up to two additional endorsers (strongly encouraged).

Session Types and Lengths

  • CONTINUING EDUCATION (195 minutes, four to six presenters)

    These sessions emphasize quality presentations 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 one or two 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 Chair (10–15 minutes) is followed by four to six presentations for a total of three hours of 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 by the beginning of January, obviating the opportunity for last-minute changes. Owing 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. To offset the costs associated with developing a CE course presentation, each speaker in a CE course is allocated a $500 stipend that may be applied at the speaker’s discretion. Each CE course chair is allocated an additional $100 stipend as well.

  • EDUCATION-CAREER DEVELOPMENT (80 minutes, 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:

    • Facilitating the recruitment and retention within SOT of outstanding students pursuing careers in toxicology
    • Providing indispensable information for the scientific and professional development of toxicologists
    • Enhancing networking and increasing involvement of SOT members at every stage of their careers
    • Increasing the number and scope of diverse scientific disciplines represented within SOT
    • Increasing the recruitment and participation of members from underrepresented groups
    • Broadening the representation of participation of international members
  • HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS (80 minutes, one or more presenters)

    These sessions review a historical body of science that has influenced 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 when the proposal is submitted with clear justification of why the extended time is warranted.

  • INFORMATIONAL (80 minutes, 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 when the proposal is submitted with clear justification of why the extended time is warranted.

  • REGIONAL INTEREST (165 minutes, four to five presenters)

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

  • ROUNDTABLE (80 minutes, two to four presenters, 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.

  • SYMPOSIUM (165 minutes, four to five presenters; 90 minutes, 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.

  • WORKSHOP (165 minutes, four to five presenters; 90 minutes, 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.

    The content of a workshop often meets the requirements of a “Continuing Education” course. To increase the competitiveness of your proposal, consider selecting “Continuing Education” as your “secondary session type” when submitting your proposal.

    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.

Additional Considerations for Your Session

Designation as an Innovations in Toxicological Sciences (ITS) or Innovations in Applied Toxicology (IAT) Session

A limited number of Symposia and/or Workshops are designated as Innovations in Toxicological Sciences (ITS) or Innovations in Applied Toxicology (IAT). SOT may fund more than the standard number of nonmember speakers (up to four) for a Symposium or Workshop Session if it is accepted to be designated as ITS or IAT.

ITS-designated sessions introduce new technologies or scientific disciplines to meeting attendees, while IAT-designated sessions introduce innovative approaches in applied research. To apply for the IAT or ITS designation, you must submit a letter (example of an ITS/IAT justification letter) providing a clear justification of how the session fits the nature of these designations and how the topic may influence the science or practice of toxicology. In addition, each letter should explain how the speakers were selected and indicate what efforts were undertaken to identify potential SOT members as speakers (e.g., literature search). Your letter should be sent to David Rossé at SOT Headquarters by May 15 and should include the system-generated control ID# assigned to your proposal on the Proposal Submission Site.

Requesting a Longer Session Time

This option is available only for Informational Sessions and Historical Highlights Sessions. For an 80-minute Informational Session or Historical Highlights Session to be considered for 165 minutes, the proposal submitter will need to provide a letter when the proposal is submitted with clear justification of why the extended time is warranted. Your letter should be sent to David Rossé at SOT Headquarters by May 15 and should include the system-generated control ID# assigned to your proposal on the Proposal Submission Site.

Best Practices for Writing Session Descriptions

The purpose of your session should be clear and well defined in your session description, which is limited to 5,000 characters including spaces. For Continuing Education courses, the topic should have a broad appeal across employment sectors.

Your session description should follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid listing the individual presenter names and their presentation titles in the session description; this information will be captured in the individual presenter section of the Proposal Site. Listing presenter names and their talk titles limits the characters left for the session description.
  • Describe the subject, highlighting the scientific issues, innovations, and/or research to be addressed.
  • Avoid using report or book references, abbreviations, or technical jargon.
  • Combine the science with promotion! Remember that the session description will ultimately be used in the Annual Meeting materials as the “marketing” abstract.

Presenter Availability and Funding Criteria

Required Availability

Speakers must be available to be in Orlando Florida, on Sunday, March 16, 2025, for Continuing Education courses and from the morning of Monday, March 17, 2025, through the morning of Thursday, March 20, 2025, for Scientific Sessions. The final Scientific Session schedule will be announced by October 2024 so that speakers can make travel arrangements.

Speaker Funding

No funding (full funding or meeting registration) is available for SOT member speakers. For nonmember speakers, the funding policy varies depending on the session type.

Symposium (165 minutes)

Full funding for up to three nonmember speakers

Symposium (90 minutes)

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Workshop (165 minutes)

Full funding for up to three nonmember speakers

Workshop (90 minutes)

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Regional Interest

Full funding for up to three nonmember speakers

Roundtable

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Informational

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Historical Highlights

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Education-Career Development

Full funding for up to two nonmember speakers

Continuing Education Course

Full funding for one nonmember speaker

Secure Endorsement

  • Start Early

    The earlier you start this step/process, the better the chance that your proposal will be approved/accepted by the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) or the Continuing Education (CE) Committee. Over the years, the SPC and CE Committee have found that proposals that have undergone the editing and refinement process with potential endorsers before 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. The SPC highly encourages this pre-review. Please check with each group individually to ensure that your proposal receives the appropriate feedback before submission.

  • Contacting Endorsers

    Many endorsing groups (SOT Special Interest Groups, Specialty Sections, Committees, and other groups) appreciate early review before the proposals are submitted to the Proposal Site. You should reach out to your desired endorsers directly with enough time before the submission deadline to ensure sufficient time for review and revision; contact the endorsing group(s) to determine the timeline for “pre-proposal” review. Each proposal can have up to three endorsing groups (one primary and two secondary). For a list of contact points for endorser early review ("pre-review"), please click here.

  • 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.

    Pre-proposal (informal) review (before May 15): Many endorsing groups appreciate early review before the proposals are submitted to the submission site. Contact the endorsing group directly to determine their timeline for pre-proposal review which most likely will be several weeks before the May 15 proposal deadline.

    Formal Proposal Peview (after May 15): Endorsing groups are asked to review finalized session and CE proposals and provide scores, ranks, and comments to proposals where they are tapped as endorsers. 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: Each year, selected Specialty Sections will be granted with “guaranteed acceptance” on one session type of their choice (Symposium, Workshop, Roundtable, Informational, Regional Interest, etc.). Specialty Section officers will be notified well in advance of their group being tapped for one session proposal for guaranteed acceptance.

    Guaranteed Acceptance by Specialty Section Schedule

Instructions for Using the Proposal Submission Site

Log In to the Submission Site

You do not need to be an SOT member to create a Proposal Submission Site account. For SOT members, your Proposal Submission Site information is separate from your ToXchange and SOT website credentials.

Create a Session

Indicate your preferred session type by selecting the “Add new” button next to that session type. Remember to note the session lengths for sessions that have two length options.

Complete the Session Information Section

Session Title and Session Description Entry

Please review the SOT Best Practices for Writing Session Descriptions before completing this section of the proposal submission process. Remember that your title cannot exceed 1,000 characters with spaces, and your description cannot exceed 5,000 characters with spaces.

Providing Endorser Information

Select one Primary Endorser for which the specialty area closely matches the proposal subject area and up to two additional proposal endorsers from the pre-populated list of SOT Review Groups. Remember that there must be a Primary Endorser for any proposal. Proposal endorsers bear no financial responsibility for an accepted session or course.

Choose a Secondary Presentation Type

After selecting your desired presentation type (Symposium, Workshop, etc.), choose a second presentation type as well. The Scientific Program and Continuing Education Committees consider both session types before determining the most appropriate type for each tentatively accepted session.

You also will be requested to declare any perceived or real conflicts of interest during this step.

Designate a Chair and Co-Chair

These restrictions apply to individuals serving as Chairs or Co-Chairs:

  • The Chair must be an SOT member, but the Co-Chair is not required to be an SOT member.
  • An individual cannot be a Chair for more than one proposal, but they may serve as a Co-Chair for a second proposal.
  • Individuals may not serve as a Co-Chair in more than one session.
  • Chairs and Co-Chairs may serve as presenters in their own session(s) and as presenters in one additional session.
  • An individual may serve as a Chair in one Continuing Education course and one Scientific Session (Symposium, Workshop, etc.).

Enter the Speaker Information

All speakers should be confirmed before submitting your proposal. Session proposals where presenters are listed as TBD have a higher probability of being rejected by the Scientific Program Committee (SPC). Remember that an individual cannot be designated as a presenter in more than two proposals.

Please complete all fields for each presenter and designate each presenter’s SOT membership status. It is very important that the member status be properly selected, as the SPC relies on this information to determine funding. If you are not sure whether a presenter is a member, you can check the online SOT Membership Directory (individuals who are not listed in the directory are not SOT members).

Individual Presentation Descriptions

The description for each talk should provide enough detail that the Scientific Program or Continuing Education Committee members can fully gauge the contribution and role of each presenter.

Funding Request

You have three options: no SOT funding required, SOT full funding requested, and registration only.

  • No SOT Funding Required
    Select this option for all SOT members. This also applies to nonmember presenters who cannot or will not apply for full funding or registration-only support. This generally applies to federal/local jurisdiction employees who cannot accept any level of funding from the Society. It also may be applicable for presenters whose employer will cover their registration fees.
  • SOT Full Funding Requested
    Reserved for up to three nonmembers in a proposed Symposium Session, Workshop Session, Regional Interest Session, or any 165-minute session. You may apply for full funding support for two nonmembers for Roundtable, Historical Highlights, Informational, or Education-Career Development Sessions (80-minute sessions). Full funding for nonmember Continuing Education course presenters is limited to one per course.
  • Registration Only
    Select this option for nonmember presenters who will apply for registration-only support. Nonmembers who elect this option will not be eligible to submit reimbursement claims at the end of the meeting.