Call for symposia proposals

Submissions are now closed for proposals for symposia to be presented at the ASCEPT, APFP & APSA Joint Congress to be held from 1 – 4 December 2024. The Joint Congress brings together the leading clinical and experimental pharmacologists, pharmacists and toxicologists from the Asia-Pacific region and we therefore encourage topics that align with the shared interests of ASCEPT, APFP and APSA where possible.

ASCEPT, APFP and APSA recognise the diversity of their membership and are committed to the values, attitudes and conduct of equity, diversity and inclusion to create a collegial, collaborative and successful professional community. The Joint Congress is committed to achieving equity and inclusion through balancing representation across symposia proposals in alignment with the diverse membership composition. Your application should describe aspects of equity, diversity and inclusivity with the selection of chairs and speakers, including the proportion of male and female contributors, the career level (early, mid, senior), diversity of geographical locations, minority group representation etc.. Download the ASCEPT policy here.

Symposium format and evaluation process

Each symposium will run for two hours and is to incorporate four speakers, or three speakers and a panel discussion, each with an allotted presentation time of 30 minutes: 20 minutes plus 5-10 minutes to allow audience members to ask questions of presenters and for an exchange of views.

To strengthen our networks across the Asia-Pacific region, the Joint Congress Organising Committee (OC) has decided that one of the four 30 minutes slots per symposia should be reserved for speakers who are from regional APFP member societies (i.e. not ASCEPT or APSA). Symposia applications will therefore be evaluated in two stages:

Stage 1: all applicants

  1. Symposia applicants prepare their proposals to include at least one regional speaker as part of the symposia. If a suitable regional speaker isn’t identified, the final speaker section should be left blank and the OC will assist you in identifying an appropriate speaker (Stage 2). Please upload your application by Monday 5 February 2024.
  2. Symposia will be ranked by the OC of the Joint Congress and relevant delegates (e.g. ASCEPT Special Interest Group chairs, APFP and APSA executive).
  3. Applicants will be advised via email whether their symposium proposal has been accepted by Friday 23 February 2024.
  4. Successful applicants will be required to submit their final speaker and chairperson names to the meeting secretariat via email to by Friday 8 March 2024.

Stage 2: symposia requiring a regional speaker

  1. Accepted symposia requiring a regional speaker will be forwarded to APFP member societies, who will be asked to nominate appropriate speakers from their membership. The deadline for nomination of regional symposia speakers is 2nd April 2024.
  2. Joint Congress OC members and symposia applicants/chairs will work together to determine the most appropriate regional speaker for their symposia. In the case where two quality nominees have been provided, symposia applicants/chairs may wish to accept two shorter talks. Where no suitable speakers have been identified, the symposia applicants/chairs will be asked to propose a final speaker of their choosing.

Please seek participation agreement from nominated speakers before including them in the application.

Meeting registration and travel expenses

If your proposal is successful, the symposium applicant, chairperson and speakers will be requested to register for the meeting. ASCEPT, APFP and APSA members, including the symposium applicant, chairperson and speakers, are required to fund their own registration and travel expenses.

Individual symposium presenters will be required to submit their abstract (i.e. for their 20 minute talk as part of the symposium) via an online portal from March 2024. The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 21 June 2024.

Non-member speakers may be offered either a single day or full complimentary registration, at the discretion of the OC.

For each symposium, applications for a budget of up to AUD1,000 to assist with the travel expenses of non-member speakers will be considered if a compelling case is made. Sponsorship should be sought by applicants for additional speaker costs.

How will my symposia application be judged?

Proposals must include sufficient supporting material to permit the Joint Congress Organising Committee to evaluate the quality of and potential interest in the symposium. Reviewers will rank the applications in order from most to least appropriate for the meeting according to the criteria below. Any conflicts of interest must be declared and the conflicted reviewer will abstain from ranking the symposia for which they have a conflict.

CONTENT. Highly ranked proposals should:

  • Demonstrate sound scientific merit across the symposium talks;
  • Include content that makes a contribution to knowledge;
  • Demonstrate novelty or innovation; or,
  • Provide new insights into old topics.

SPEAKERS. Highly ranked proposals should:

  • Include a balance of early- and mid-career speakers, as well as established and senior scientists/researchers;
  • Ensure that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are demonstrated by the applicant in the selection of chairs and speakers, including the proportion of male and female contributors, diversity of geographical locations, and under-represented groups in scientific societies; and,
  • Indicate that the proposed speakers have agreed in principle to participate in the symposia should it be selected for the Joint Congress.

PRESENTATION. Highly ranked proposals will be:

  • Well organised and clearly written; and
  • Include a series of well-considered and coherent talks that contribute to the overall symposia theme.

AUDIENCE. Highly ranked proposals should address a topic that is of interest to more than one conference partner or more than one special interest group.