Submission Instructions

The symposium proposal submission site and instructions, including further description of the theme, can now be accessed at .  Please read the online information completely as the information below is only the highlights.

Conference Theme: Advancing Science: Discovery to Application

In extraordinary times, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) must come together to advance science with particular force. This conviction is in the organization’s DNA. In 1851, AAAS’ third president Alexander Dallas Bache said, “While science is without organization, it is without power.” Now, as then, we must work together with renewed energy across the full spectrum of the scientific enterprise—and across the sectors that advance it.

The scientific enterprise embraces a broad spectrum of activities, from fundamental research to advanced applications. Academia, government, and industry all perform critical roles in moving ideas into innovations. The demands of the twenty-first century, including improved access to sufficient food, clean water, sustainable energy, and health care, can only be met by accelerating discovery and the translation of discovery into applications. Robust, sustained investments across the full spectrum of the scientific enterprise are essential for developing products that improve the human condition and drive economic growth. We can speed progress by amplifying collaboration across sectors and disciplines. What new avenues for interaction between basic and applied research might be explored? How can we encourage broader participation from every sector and demographic to meet today’s needs and to help invent the future?

Conference Dates and Location: February 16-19, 2018 in Austin, TX.

Deadline: The submissions process opened on January 31, 2017 and will close on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PACIFIC time.  All submissions must be submitted online through the link above.

Submissions are requested for both career development workshops and scientific sessions.

Career Development Workshops, with a submission deadline of April 27, 2017, are aimed at both individuals seeking careers in science and engineering, and professionals looking to sharpen or supplement their skills.  There workshops are instructional or informational in nature and are markedly different from a scientific session.  All workshops are 60 minutes in length.

Types of Scientific Sessions

  1. 90-Minute Symposium Format: This is the standard symposium format. Symposium should be focused on topics and projects with broad appeal and relevancy.
  2. 90-Minute Discussion-Focused Format: This is slight variation on the standard symposium format, intended to emphasize discussion and interaction with the audience.
  3. 15-Minute Flash Talk Format: Flash talks are intended to give individuals the opportunity to provide an introduction to a particular topic or areas of research (one speaker per submission).

Note that there is no longer the 180 minute symposium format.

Assistance: Section U leadership is available to provide comments on your draft proposal. Please send materials to our Secretary Alyson Wilson ( ) or to incoming Section Chair (2017-18) Kathryn Roeder (  Questions can also be directed to Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS Director of Meetings (

Travel Support for Symposia Speakers: Speakers can apply to AAAS for travel support. Applications will open in September 2017. Since there are over 1000 speakers, travel support is not guaranteed. There is no separate process to apply to Section U for travel support.