Call for Member-Initiated Symposia

Members Only

Deadline has passed
(Application deadline was 01 December 2020 at 23:59 EST)

In order to provide more opportunity for the ISMRM membership to help shape the Annual Meeting, the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) invites proposals for up to 24 Member-Initiated Symposia (MIS) for presentation at the ISMRM & SMRT Annual Meeting & Exhibition, 15-20 May 2021, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Submissions must contain new, previously unpublished material. All proposals must be submitted electronically via the form at the end of this page.

All proposals will be thoroughly reviewed by the AMPC. Selection will be competitive, based on the criteria listed below. In general, MIS will address focused research topics, but the AMPC will also consider non-research topics of particular interest to the ISMRM membership. ISMRM Study Groups are strongly encouraged to submit a Symposium proposal, which are the primary mechanism by which Study Groups can contribute scientific content at the Annual Meeting. Note that the Annual Meeting this year will have a hybrid format, with some sessions on-site in Vancouver and others on-line; you will have the opportunity to select the format that you prefer during the submission process.

Selection Criteria

The AMPC will score and rank submitted proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific quality, timeliness and level of interest from the ISMRM membership.
  2. “Goodness of Fit” within the overall annual meeting program. The most competitive proposals will complement the plenary, scientific and educational content, as well as the final portfolio of Symposia. You can view 2021 plenaries, named lectures, and educational sessions in the preliminary Program-at-a-Glance.
  3. Diversity, including engagement of under-represented groups. This criterion is defined broadly: gender, ethnicity and region, as well as other dimensions (career stage, M.D. vs Ph.D., alternate career pathways, etc). Diversity encompasses both speakers and target audience, and is considered from the perspective of the broader annual meeting program.
  4. Special consideration to online sessions with formats that take advantage of the online nature of the hybrid meeting

Final selection of Symposia will be made when the AMPC convenes in February.

Continue to the Submission Form link following the FAQ section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a particular format for Member-Initiated Symposia?

There will be two formats for the symposia this year, on-site in Vancouver, and on-line. On-site symposia will be held in a standard lecture hall, and on-line symposia will consist of a two hour time-slot with pre-recorded videos and an optional live session during the week of the Annual Meeting. Symposia often consist of 3-5 invited talks, followed by questions/discussion, but the actual session format is at the discretion of the organizers. Given our new hybrid format for 2021, we will be giving special consideration to on-line sessions with formats that take advantage of the on-line nature of the hybrid meeting. Note that for on-site symposia there will be no support in the meeting rooms for additional requests (i.e. microphones, special AV setups, etc.). We strongly recommend including sufficient time for discussion in the program.

Now that we are going to a hybrid meeting, can I propose an on-line session with a format that is very different from those done in the past?

Absolutely! We are eager to include sessions that use our new on-line format in a creative way! There are many new and different ways to present information with pre-recorded lectures, and we want to see what you can do. On-line sessions with an experimental format will be given special consideration for the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Can Symposia have an educational component?

The focus of Symposia should be on cutting edge research rather than having a strong educational aim. However, didactic or review talks can help to set the stage for subsequent presentations. Note that Symposia will not provide CME credit.

My Symposium idea isn’t strictly scientific. Is that allowed?

While we are mostly envisioning Symposia focusing on novel research, our primary aim is to better serve the membership. Provided your session contributes content that will be useful to ISMRM members and otherwise fits with our Selection Criteria, we would be delighted to consider it.

Can I speak in a session that I organize?

Organizers/moderators MAY NOT present in a Symposium that they organize/moderate, although other individuals from an organizer/moderator’s institution may present. In general, there should not be multiple speakers from the same institution. Typically organizers will moderate their own sessions.

Should I ask speakers if they are willing to participate before my Symposium is submitted?

Yes, all speakers and moderators are required to confirm participation before submission of the proposed Symposium. Note that this year it is imperative that the speakers also explicitly agree to participate in the format (on-site or on-line) selected by the organizers.

Are speakers required to submit a syllabus or disclosure?

A syllabus and disclosure are not required for these sessions. We do ask that the presenters include a disclosure slide at the beginning of their presentation, only to inform the attendees of any potential conflicts.

When during the meeting will the Symposia occur?

On-site symposia will occur during weekday parallel sessions at the annual meeting. Specific session dates/times cannot be guaranteed, meaning that organizers/moderators and presenters must commit to availability for Monday through Thursday of the Annual Meeting. On-line symposia will be opened for viewing approximately two weeks before the start of the Annual Meeting. Talks for on-line symposia must be submitted by the on-line presentation submission deadline (expected to be approximately 1 April 2021), and also agree to present in any live portions of the symposia during the week of the Annual Meeting.

Is there any reimbursement for speakers and organizers for programs?

Symposia program organizers, moderators and speakers will not receive any reimbursement. When inviting speakers and moderators, organizers should clarify that they must pay for their own meeting registration, travel and lodging.

Can I submit or participate in more than one proposal for a Symposium?

Any individual can only be involved in organizing one symposium. If speakers are giving other invited presentations (named lectures, plenary talks, educational courses), they should be presenting on unique topics for their Symposium presentation, and should not overlap with their other content. In general, including the same speaker on multiple proposals will reduce the likelihood of both being selected.

Can a Study Group submit more than one Symposium proposal?

A Study Group can only submit one proposal. If members of a Study Group are interested in submitting a Symposium proposal on a different topic from that chosen by the Study Group leadership, they are encourage to submit their proposals as separate Symposia (which will not be associated with their Study Group).

Who will review proposals, and when will this take place?

Members of the AMPC will review proposals, and final selection will occur during the program construction in February 2021. Decisions on acceptance will be sent at approximately the same time as acceptances for proffered abstracts at the annual meeting.

Can student members be involved in Symposia?

We strongly encourage students and early-career researchers to participate as organizers or speakers. In the interest of helping junior members to submit competitive proposals, we recommend that less experienced organizers either include a more experienced co-organizer, or seek mentorship (for example, from members of the AMPC).

Can AMPC members participate?

The goal of Member-Initiated Symposia is to provide a mechanism for the broader membership to contribute content at the annual meeting. AMPC members are not disallowed from Symposia, but their participation would make the proposal less competitive, and they would not then be allowed to contribute to the selection process. Due to their experience, we do encourage organizers to consult informally with AMPC members for feedback on their proposals.

Further questions?

Please contact Nicole Seiberlich, Program Chair for the 2021 ISMRM Annual Meeting, at

To continue to the submission form,
log in to the Member Announcements page and click the
Call for Member-Initiated Symposia Submission Form link.