Proposals for 2018 SfN-Sponsored Socials

The proposal submission site is now closed. Decisions regarding submitted proposals will be sent via email in late-February.  Thank you for your interest in presenting at Neuroscience 2018.

Kang Shen, PhD - Chair, 2018 Program Committee

SfN-Sponsored Socials are designed by the Program Committee to provide an opportunity for all annual meeting attendees to meet informally with others who share common scientific interests. They are intended as social and networking occasions around neuroscience topics or issues. The Social Proposal Site has been created to invite active SfN members to submit proposals for SfN-Sponsored Socials to be held at Neuroscience 2018. 

The following guidelines have been established to clarify the procedures for SfN-Sponsored Socials proposals.

Areas addressed include:

What to Expect

  • Socials will be held from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of the annual meeting.
  • SfN takes full logistical and financial responsibility for making standard arrangements at a predetermined venue, selecting food and beverage service (dry snacks and cash bar only), and paying the bill (organizers are NOT to make additional catering or equipment arrangements. Outside sponsorship in any form is strictly prohibited).
  • Responsibility for the program and special guests, if any, rests with the Chairperson. SfN reserves the right to copyedit social descriptions and ask the Chairperson to alter content where necessary.
  • The Chairperson will be given 10 complimentary drink tickets to distribute amongst the guests.
  • The Chairperson is encouraged to take the initiative in introducing people to one another and ensuring contact between younger and established scientists. This hosting role is critical to the success of the event. 

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Proposal Requirements

Your proposal should be firm before submitting, meaning that the agreement of the chair and co-chair has already been obtained. The site will direct you to provide the following (all character limits include spaces):

  • Contact information (institutions, emails, addresses) for the chair and co-chair
  • Title of the social
  • Type of social (social w/brief presentation or purely social)
  • Expected attendance
  • Preferred time slot
  • Brief description of the social for use in the annual meeting Program and Neuroscience Meeting Planner (500 characters)
  • Target audience
  • How your social will impact or engage the neuroscience community (500 characters)
  • Potential panelists/special guests

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Selection Process

The final selection is made in February by the Program Committee, whose primary consideration is to determine what will best serve the interests of the Society for Neuroscience and the success of the annual meeting. The committee may suggest substitutions of chairs or co-chairs. The committee may decide to combine two proposals into one and suggest which chairs should be retained in that event. Suggestions arising from discussions of the Program Committee are passed on directly to the proposed chair. Social proposal submitters will be notified in March whether their proposal was accepted by the committee.

Proposals that are not accommodated one year will not be held over for consideration the next. However, a proposal may be re-submitted the following year and will receive the same consideration as all other proposals.

For more information, contact SfN staff at (202) 962-4000 or email

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Accommodations and Set-Up

The Chairperson will be contacted in March by SfN staff and asked to submit online the following information by Friday, April 27, 2018. Some information will be published in the Final Program, Neuroscience Meeting Planner, and the Neuroscience 2018 website: 

  • Names of special guests (limit of 20 guests, must have consulted proposed guests as their name will appear in electronic planning resources for the annual meeting)     
  • Room set-up and audio/visual requirements

 Set-up needs are based on the Chairperson communication(s) made by Friday, April 27, 2018. Any logistical changes and room switches may not be accommodated beyond that date.

 Because socials are SfN-sponsored events, each is accommodated equally with access to standard arrangements. Non-standard or extraordinary requests for setup or equipment require approval of the Program Committee by Friday, April 27, 2018, before logistical arrangements are finalized. The Program Committee reserves the right to decline requests that are out of the scope of an SfN-Sponsored Social. Events that may be disruptive to other socials due to excessive noise cannot be accommodated.

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Considerations for SfN-Sponsored Socials

A successful social can include:

  • Focus on networking 
  • Short slide or awards presented
  • Thematically appropriate games or debates, especially ones that lead to discussions
  • Background music provided by playlists created prior to the event (wifi will not be available)
  • Presence of luminaries to draw attendees 

Prohibited actions include:

  • Demonstrations, displays, or distribution of commerical products or promotional literature 
  • On-site setup changes
  • Commercial support of any kind whether monetary, gift, or service-related
  • Valuable giveaways (e.g. money or electronics)
  • Unauthorized amplified sound due to noise concerns for other simultaneous socials
  • Promotion of another organization or group during the social

Special Requests: Program Committee

  • Before any changes or special requests can be made, the Chairperson must receive approval from his/her Program Committee liaison.
  • Program Committee liaisons may play an active role in inviting luminaries and shaping the tone of the event.

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A Note about Satellite Events

In cases where the Program Committee considers the request out of the scope of an SfN-Sponsored Social, it will be recommended that the Chairperson arrange a Satellite event instead. If, for example, a social chair decides to accept outside sponsorship, a satellite conversion will be explored or the SfN social may be cancelled. For Satellites, the Chairperson is not subject to SfN Social restrictions and would have full liberty to make special arrangements for equipment, catering, AV, setup, etc. However, the Chairperson is financially responsible for all costs of a Satellite event, or he/she may find an outside sponsor to co-organize the Satellite event. Find more information about Satellites here.

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Chairperson Invitations

Chairpersons may not chair an SfN-Sponsored Social in consecutive years. Past Chairpersons that run successful events within the SfN-Sponsored Social guidelines will be considered to chair more socials in the future. 

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