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The Allied Genetics Conference 2016
GSA Trainee-Organized Symposia
C. elegans
Model Organisms to Human Biology
Population, Evolutionary and Quantitative Genetics
Other Meetings of Interest









GSA Trainee-Organized Symposia

Serving the leaders of tomorrow, today

The next round of proposals is due July 10, 2017!


In recognition of the vital role students and postdocs play in the future of genetics research and education, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) will provide funding for our student and postdoctoral members to organize local and regional symposia in subject areas relevant to the GSA mission. The goal of the GSA Trainee-Organized Symposia program is to advance knowledge, encourage exchange, foster new connections and collaborations, and further the mission of the Society by facilitating the efforts of our early career members to convene a group of people who share a common interest in a branch of genetics.


Requests can include—but are not limited to—symposia that center on a scientific topic or model organism, focus on teaching or outreach, discuss a topic of policy or broader interest, or advance attendee career development. We trust the creativity and dedication of our members to propose ideas that will contribute positively to our community. The GSA Trainee-Organized Symposia program is meant to empower our trainees to start something; preference will be given to new, grassroots events as opposed to existing meetings, though all proposals will be considered.



Guidelines for funding

  • We will accept applications from the organizing committee for the proposed symposium, ideally composed of 2–4 key organizers. All individuals on the organizing committee must be current student or postdoctoral members of GSA.
  • GSA will provide up to $2,000 in funding for each symposium it supports. Funds can be used only to cover direct meeting costs such as facility rental, audiovisual, printing, speaker travel, promotion, supplies, and refreshments integral to the meeting. GSA funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs, salaries, speaker honoraria, or alcoholic beverages.
  • The program for the proposed symposium is expected to include speakers and session chairs that represent the breadth and diversity of our discipline as well as the attendees, both scientifically and demographically. As such, organizers should consider gender, racial/ethnic background, nationality, institution, etc. when developing the program.
  • To ensure the robust participation of student and postdoctoral scientists, the symposium program is expected to provide numerous opportunities for student and postdoc presentations.
  • Events supported by GSA under this program must be identified as a “GSA Trainee-Organized Symposium” in all materials including, but not limited to the meeting website, printed materials, signage, promotional e-mails, flyers, etc. GSA will provide organizers with an electronic version of the appropriate logo(s).
  • Organizers will make GSA materials available at the symposium to highlight Society membership, publications, conferences, and other activities. This may include printed materials, slides, signage, introductory comments, or other resources.
  • If requested by the Society, the organizers will provide an opportunity for a GSA representative to offer welcoming remarks during the symposium and/or have access to a table to share materials and converse with attendees during program breaks.
  • Organizers will solicit feedback on the symposium from participants via an online survey provided by GSA. Results of all such surveys shall be provided to GSA and will be shared with the organizers.
  • Within one month after the symposium, organizers must provide the following to GSA:
    • A final program for the symposium, including the roster of speakers and presenters
    • A complete list of attendees, including name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, career stage, and field(s) of interest
    • A written summary of the symposium appropriate for publication on the GSA blog, website, or newsletter
    • An itemized financial accounting of how funds provided by GSA were spent, including documentation and receipts
  • Multi-institutional proposals are welcome but not required.


Review criteria


In choosing symposia to receive support, the GSA Mentoring & Professional Development (MaPD) Committee will consider the following criteria related to the meeting:

  • The benefit to early career geneticists.
  • The need for and uniqueness of the event (including whether it's a new or existing event).
  • The relevance to the GSA mission.
  • The attention of the organizers to diversity, reach, and inclusivity in both the program and advertisement to potential attendees.
  • Other relevant support available, including institutional support.




The application should include the following elements incorporated as one PDF document sent to

  • Description of the proposed symposium (two-page maximum), including the following elements:
    • Brief summary of the topic(s) and goal(s) for the symposium. For example, what are the scientific areas and issues that will be addressed?
    • Proposed date(s) and location for the symposium.
    • Description of the expected audience for the symposium, including anticipated number and demographic distribution of attendees. For example, describe the geographic reach and the career stage of participants.
    • Description of planned efforts to promote the symposium to reach the intended audience.
    • Brief description of the proposed format for the symposium, including the number of plenary and platform talks, posters, workshops, etc. Please discuss how speakers will be selected (e.g., from abstracts, invited). You may include a proposed agenda or speaker list as an appendix.
    • How you plan to recognize GSA support and share information about GSA activities.
  • Proposed budget for the symposium, including any other confirmed or potential sources of support. If the meeting will charge a registration fee, please include the expected cost to participants.
  • Description of the available facilities to host the symposium. Please include a letter of support from the department and/or institution confirming that such facilities will be made available for the meeting.

  • While a letter of support from a faculty mentor is not required, including such a letter will undoubtedly strengthen the proposal.
  • CV or resume for all members of the organizing committee.  NIH- or NSF-style formatting is preferred (2-page maximum for each committee member).




Upcoming application deadlines:

  • January 10, 2017
  • July 10, 2017

Funding decisions will be announced within six weeks. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Sponsored symposia should be within one year of application.




Please direct any questions about the program to



To assist in planning, GSA recommends this article from the organizers of a recent Future of Research Symposium and the Symposium Toolkit prepared by the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA membership required).