Call for ISMB/ECCB 2009 Special Sessions Proposals

Special Session Chair: Michal Linial, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

ISMB/ECCB 2009 will feature a track of Special Sessions that will run throughout the conference in parallel to other tracks (except the keynote presentations). In this setting, each Special Session resembles a mini-conference within the main ISMB meeting.

These Special Sessions have the purpose of introducing the ISMB/ECCB community to relevant 'hot' topics that were not covered in previous meetings. A wide range of topics are possible, as long as they importantly influence computational biology and bioinformatics. They might, for example, cover emerging themes that ISMB and ECCB are not currently approaching with the desired proficiency. We encourage you to submit a proposal on an area that in your eyes is important to the computational biology community and may impact the future of the field.

Special Sessions were introduced at ISMB/ECCB 2007 in Vienna, repeated at ISMB 2008 in Toronto, and have become one of the most successful components of this meeting.
This call is an invitation for scientists and professionals to submit proposals for special sessions for ISMB/ECCB 2009, to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, between the dates of June 29-July 2.

August 22, 2008 Call for Special Sessions Opens
October 8, 2008
Special Session Proposal Submission Deadline
October 29, 2008 Special Session Acceptance Notification
January 9, 2009 Special Session Program Submission Deadline
January 23, 2009 Final Acceptance of Proposal
May 7, 2009 Special Session Final Program to ISCB web

Technical instructions:
Special sessions run the same schedule as all other parallel tracks. They must be designed as half-day sessions (2 hours). Sessions may include any form of presentation such as talks or panel discussions. It is recommended that all timelines be synchronized with other tracks. The regular presentation unit is 30 minutes. The framework typical of all parallel sessions is 20 minute talks + 5 minute discussion + 5 minutes for movement between parallel talks.

Preference will be given to emerging fields and to related fields in which the ISMB/ECCB community needs to acquire higher proficiency. Special sessions are expected to provide a broad perspective on an emerging research field. Three topics have been pre-solicited including "Proteomics" (in collaboration with HUPO), "Membrane proteins" and "Neurobiology". All additional sessions will be selected from the submissions to this open call. Potential fields of interest include metabolomics, epigenetics and imaging. Additional topics of particular interest to the ISMB/ECCB community are welcome.

Proposals for special sessions should be submitted via the online submission system at prior to October 8, 2008.

How to submit: Submissions must include a one-page description of the field, its relevance to the ISMB community, and the reasons for planning a session on this topic at ISMB/ECCB 2009. Submitters may want to briefly describe their qualification to organize the Special Session. These explanations could be followed by a list of topics for possible presentations with one-paragraph descriptions. Finally, a draft of the time schedule for the session should be presented. A finalized list of speaker names is not necessary but may add weight to the proposal. If you list invited speakers as "accepted", please make sure that they agree to speak given to the financial constraints describe below.

Financial constraints: Special Sessions are an integral part of the ISMB/ECCB meeting. Special Sessions chairs and speakers will have to pay their expenses including registration to the meeting. Therefore, we highly encourage session organizers to seek independent funding, and to include any commitment that they may have secured in the proposal. ISMB/ECCB will help in the administrative aspects of assigning the rooms, announcements and adding the detailed schedule to the conference program. Note that the ISMB/ECCB cannot financially support the speakers or the Special Session organizers.

Submission evaluation: All submissions will be evaluated by a committee, which will consider the following criteria:

  • Relevance, interest, and value of the topic to ISMB attendees.
  • Complementarity to the ISMB program provided by the other tracks.
  • Completeness, clarity, and quality of the session proposal.
  • Qualification of the submitter(s) to organize the workshop.
  • Likely success of the proposed session.
  • Overlap with other proposal or pre-selected activity.

Submitters of successful session proposals will be notified of their provisional acceptance by October 29, 2008. A maximum of seven sessions will most likely be presented at ISMB/ECCB 2009. Titles of presentation in each Special Session will be posted in the Conference program. Organizers of special sessions are encouraged to prepare abstracts or additional written material that will be presented online at the beginning of the meeting (not a demand).
A complete version of the session schedule must be received by January 9, 2009, and the final acceptance decisions will be made by January 23, 2009. A final program with all times and speakers must be sent to the organizers for publication on the web by May 7, 2009.

For more information please contact