Session Proposal Guidelines

AbSciCon session proposal submission deadline has passed.

AbSciCon2019 will be held at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington from 24-28 June 2019.

The Scientific Organizing Committee seeks input from members of the astrobiology community in designing the scientific program. Proposals are invited for topical sessions that span a broad array of topics.  We encourage ideas with strong interdisciplinary themes that address new and emerging areas of research.  Session proposals are due on Tuesday, 6 November 2018 and must be submitted through the official conference web site.

Abstract submissions will open 28 November 2018 and close 6 March 2019. Abstract notifications and session’s official scheduled day and time will be sent out in late April 2019

Topical Sessions

  •  Session proposals must include an informative title (20-180 characters) and brief description of the session topic (limit 250 words). The proposal must identify a primary convener, to serve as the point of contact and at least one additional co-convener. There is a limit of five conveners for each session. All Session Conveners listed on session proposals must consent to being named as part of the proposal at the time of submission. Session Conveners will receive their session acceptance or rejection notification in late November.
  • Session Conveners should understand that the Scientific Organizing Committee may reject their session proposal, merge it with one or more similar ones, request modification in the title or description, or move it to a more appropriate thematic area than the one to which it was submitted. The Scientific Organizing Committee will work with Session Conveners if this becomes necessary. The Scientific Organizing Committee reserves the right to reject multiple proposals submitted by the same Session Convener(s) on related topics or across topic areas.
  • At least one of the Session Conveners will need to be available between 2 November 2018 and 16 November 2018 for the session proposal evaluation period to approve merges and/or changes in description. In addition, one of the Session Conveners of accepted sessions will also need to be available between 7 February 2019 and 19 February 2019 to finalize scheduling of the abstracts within their sessions.
  • Session proposals must include a concise definition of the scientific topic and must include a description of why the topic is relevant and timely. The final version of the session proposal will be available to those submitting abstracts.
  • Session proposals must be based on scientific value and not have a focus other than scientific results and/or their applications; thus, sessions that are celebratory or in honor will not be considered. Sessions cannot be in tribute of specific person or contain the name of scientist in the session title or description.
  • Session proposals that are deemed to be primarily advertisements of commercial products and services will not be considered.
  • Sessions should be designed to have a broad appeal, encourage interdisciplinary interaction, and to engage international participation. The Scientific Organizing Committee will not approve sessions that are too narrowly focused and such sessions will be merged or declined.
  • Session Conveners should not promise oral presentations to potential authors. Once sessions are finalized by the Scientific Organizing Committee and allotted presentation slots, session co-conveners will then determine poster and oral presentation assignments from the pool of abstracts assigned to their session.
  • Session Conveners will select a session theme that best represents their Session topic (see listing below). Session themes are simply ways of organizing session proposal submissions for the Scientific Organizing Committee and help meeting attendees efficiently plan their time. Session topics that do not specifically address a Session Theme can still be proposed. 
  • Session Conveners will be asked to select descriptive keywords from a pre-defined list of Index Terms that best describes the session. These keywords are used as a tool for authors to facilitate searches during abstract submission and in the final online program.

 Session Themes

  • Star-planet-planetary system interactions and habitability
  • Alternative and agnostic biosignatures
  • Understanding the environments of early Earth
  • Evidence for early life on Earth
  • Subsurface habitability and life
  • Ocean worlds near and far
  • Characterizing habitable zone exoplanets
  • Transition of prebiotic chemistry to biology
  • Energy sources and metabolic pathways in the environment
  • Other

 After Submission

 Submission Review Process
The Scientific Organizing Committee will review all session proposals in October-November 2018. The evaluation process may include decisions to merge proposals and to avoid duplicate sessions on similar topics. The Scientific Organizing Committee will notify Session Conveners if sessions need to be merged or descriptions revised. Session Conveners will receive an email regarding the status of their proposal in late November.

Abstract Submissions
During the abstract submission period, 28 November 2018 – 6 March 2019, Session Conveners should promote their session to potential authors and monitor the abstracts being submitted to their session. An online ‘Abstract Viewer’ will be available during this time. After the scheduling phase in late January (see scheduling information below), abstracts will no longer be available for viewing until the program is finalized by the Scientific Organizing Committee in late April.

Monitoring Abstract Submissions to Sessions
If your session has been accepted, please make sure that during and immediately after the abstract submission deadline you are monitoring the abstracts that have been submitted to your session. Specifically look for abstracts that are not topically relevant to your session or if you think an abstract was submitted to your session by mistake. Please alert AGU staff if you think there is such an abstract in your session.

Presentation Types
There are two types of presentations held during the Astrobiology Conference – oral and poster. After sessions are accepted and after the abstract submission deadline, the Scientific Organizing Committee is responsible for the allocation of oral and poster presentation slots across the program. A session can consist of one or more sub-sessions, some oral, some poster, all scheduled at different times.

  • Poster Sessions/Sub-sessions: Posters will be scheduled for one 1-hour time slot on one day of the meeting. Posters presenters are also encouraged to submit an online ePoster (electronic version) in addition to presenting at the meeting.
  • Oral Presentations: Oral sub-sessions will receive 1-hour time slots.

Session Allocation and Scheduling

Session Conveners will receive communications regarding whether a session is poster, oral or both by the Scientific Organizing Committee in late March. Sessions may be merged after the abstract submission deadline at the discretion of the Scientific Organizing Committee. Session Conveners will have just over one week, 20 March 2019 to 3 April 2019, to review and schedule the abstracts within the oral and/or poster sessions they have been allocated. Detailed scheduling instructions will be provided. 

Final Program
In late April 2019, abstract acceptance notices will be distributed electronically, and the final scientific program will be available online.