2021 Secret Sessions

Off-program content. Just for you.

Call for Proposals for the Secret Sessions

Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN


The Secret Sessions are (virtually) happening again at ISMRM 2021, giving the chance to anyone anywhere to bring up relevant topics for the community and organize a session to discuss these topics in a uniquely engaging format.

Organizing a Secret Session is a great opportunity to get involved with your society and to shape the annual meeting. We’re looking for people to plan content, lead a session or work in the background to make them happen. If you have an idea for a session and/or would like to help run a session, now is your chance!

A bit of history…

The Secret Sessions initiative started at ISMRM 2017 in Honolulu (Hawaii). These sessions are run in a dedicated space at the annual meeting: the “Resonarium,” a comfortable and less formal meeting space in the exhibition hall. Building on previous years’ success, the Secret Sessions will be (virtually) back at ISMRM 2021!

The real secret is that… these sessions are not secret at all! They’re separate from the main scientific program, and much more informal, explorative and frequently tailored (but not limited) to early-career researchers.

The Secret Sessions give everyone with an idea for an original session the chance to realize it. For early-career researchers, this is a unique opportunity to not only gain experience in organizing a session, but also to meet new people and increase exposure in the ISMRM community.

You can reach us at secret@ismrm.org for all relevant questions and feedback.

The Secret Sessions often take the form of a panel discussion with 2 – 3 organizers per session (but proposals using other formats are equally valid, highly encouraged and very welcome!). Each session will last approximately one hour. As an example, the programs for the 2020 and 2019 Secret Sessions are available for reference (note that 2020 was “virtual” as well).

We would love to hear your new and original suggestions but if you are struggling for ideas, here are some suggestions for topics, some of which have been at the core of very successful sessions in recent years:

  • Networking and CVs (e.g. BYO CV and get feedback)
  • Mentor speed dating
  • Balancing clinical and academic careers
  • Work / life balance
  • How to get involved with ISMRM (e.g. with ISMRM leadership panel)
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Environmentally sustainable science (e.g. conference organization and travel)
  • Transition to independence in academic careers

Do not worry if you don’t have colleagues to work with on your proposal – we can find people for you or put you in touch with others who submitted a similar proposal. This is also an excellent opportunity for networking!

Given the virtual format, most sessions can be organized as Zoom meetings. However, we would encourage everyone to think out of the box to go beyond the canonical Zoom meeting. Would a webinar format work better? Or using breakout rooms to engage small groups in discussion? We would love to hear new ideas! We can let you know if the facilities allow for it, and provide you with the necessary support.

The call for proposals is NOW OPEN.

Please include the following sections in your proposal (maximum 2 pages, A4 or letter size):

  • Short bio for each organizer
  • Title for the proposed session
  • Type or format of session (e.g. panel discussion, Q&A, talk)
  • Target audience
  • Main objective or goals
  • Proposed schedule and speakers / panel members (note that, generally, the invited speakers or panel members for a session shouldn’t be the same people as the organizers).

Proposals should be sent as a PDF or Word .docx file to secret@ismrm.org.

Please also feel free to contact us if you have any questions – we look forward to hearing from you.

The Secret Sessions Team 2021:
Thijs Dhollander (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia),
Matteo Mancini (University of Sussex, UK)
Naomi Sakai (University College London, UK).

It’s a secret to everybody.