Call for Symposia

The deadline for symposia proposals has now passed. The LOC are reviewing submissions.

Thank you to all symposia organisers. The committee have now notified all organisers with the outcome of the symposia review. If you are an organiser and haven’t had a response please contact the team on

Key Dates

W/C 18 November 2019

Call for Abstracts

20 January 2020

Deadline for Abstracts

1 April 2020

Early Bird Deadline

28 June - 2 July 2020

SMBE 2020

We're delighted to announce that the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution will be accepting proposals for symposium topics for the 2020 Annual Meeting from 9 September 2019. SMBE 2020 is taking place in Québec City, Canada, from 28th June to 2nd July 2020.

Proposals will be reviewed by the committee with around 20-30 topics selected for inclusion within the scientific programme.

Proposals should span the range of interests of SMBE members, including exciting new scientific developments, and should represent the geographic and gender diversity of our membership. To ensure the meeting is fully accessible to international participants, the conference organisers will provide supporting documentation and advice for visa applications to Canada. For each accepted symposium, SMBE will provide partial financial support to help attract outstanding invited speakers.   

Symposium Proposal Guidelines

Please review the following guidelines before submitting a Symposium Proposal

  • Individuals can only be listed as an organiser for one symposium proposal, although organisers can be listed as an invited speaker on another proposal
  • Each symposium will include one invited speaker plus a number of contributed speakers
  • All invited speakers included within a symposium should have verbally agreed to be involved before the proposal is submitted
  • The Society provides financial support to facilitate symposium organisers in attracting outstanding invited speakers
  • Symposium organisers should provide a description of the symposium (250 words max) that will be made public if selected. The symposium organisers will also provide a description of how their proposal brings forward the SMBE’s objective of equity and diversity, as well as any additional information for the committee to make an informed review (250 words max).
  • The symposia proposals selected for inclusion within the SMBE 2020 scientific programme will then be listed on the abstract submission portal, which will open in November 2019, for members to indicate that they would want their contributed talk to be featured in a specific symposia.

Funding of Symposia

If a symposium is selected, the society will provide a maximum of $2000 USD per invited speaker to cover registration fee, accommodation, and travel (against receipts). This financial support for invited speakers will be co-ordinated by the conference organisers post event. All invited speaker expense claims will be transmitted to the symposia organizers and approved by the local organising committee before reimbursement.

The symposium organisers will select the contributed speakers from the abstracts submitted under that topic by registered delegates. The local organising committee may suggest one additional invited speaker per symposium (based on symposium title), at no cost to the symposium.

The final decision on the selection of symposia, invited and contributed talks will be made by the scientific organizing committee (SOC). Criteria will include quality of the proposals, breadth of interest to SMBE membership, and representation of the diversity of SMBE membership among speakers.

Note that no one will be allowed to give more than one scientific research presentation (talk or poster) at SMBE 2020, a rule that will be enforced by the Local Organising Committee. Communications about outreach, equity and diversity, career advice, teaching molecular biology and evolution, etc are excluded from that rule and can be presented in addition to a research communication.

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