A major aim of IUBMB Conferences is to raise the profile of the Union in the years between the triennial Congresses. A Conference is an international meeting sponsored by IUBMB in conjunction with a national Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and whenever possible a regional organisation for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or national or other organisation for a related discipline. The program for a Conference covers a particular aspect of biochemistry and/or molecular biology, is much less diverse in scope than a Congress but more so than the many Symposia and Interest Group meetings sponsored by the Union.
Special Meetings resemble Conferences but will usually be held in areas of the world where biochemistry and molecular biology are less well developed and will focus on an area of interest relevant to the area in which they are held. In general Special Meetings will be smaller in size than Conferences. Conference rules will in general apply also to Special Meetings but exceptions can be made.
- They present opportunities for review of advances in a limited number of topical major sub areas of biochemistry and for detailed in-depth discussion of a particular segment of biochemistry and/or molecular biology. In this way they complement the broad overall coverage of the subject that characterises the Congresses. They have an expected attendance of 1,000-2,000 persons.
- They enhance the visibility of IUBMB in geographic regions of significant or major biochemical activity by constituting a major meeting in such areas.
- Prospective Conference Organisers should contact the Member for Conferences and Congresses before submitting an application. The Member for Conferences and Congresses will offer assistance and advice to the organizers at all stages.
IUBMB will issue periodic calls for Conferences on its website. Alternatively it may issue a call for a joint Conference together with one of its regional organisations.
Applications will be considered by the IUBMB Executive Committee. The initial selection is based on a written proposal which should contain the following information:
- A written endorsement from the Adhering Body with the name of the person responsible for the proposal and setting out the composition of the Organizing and Scientific Committees.
- A written statement at the time of application giving assurances that the ICSU policy on free circulation of scientists, including a timetable for visa application and issuance, as recommended in the 1989 Resolution on the Free Circulation of Scientists, will apply. This provides for written assurances that:
- no obstacles will be put to the granting of visas to bona fide scientists who wish to participate;
- information will be supplied concerning the mechanism for applications for visas and the time normally required between application for and receipt of a visa.
- A title for the Conference and an outline of proposed scientific themes
- The location and proposed dates. In order to derive travel concessions for staying over a Saturday night, the conference should include a Saturday night.
- The Conference facilities available, indicating the number and size of the lecture halls, space for poster boards and for the commercial exhibition and social facilities such as cafeterias and restaurants.
- The availability of hotels and student accommodation, their locations and distance from the meeting venue along with approximate room rates both current and anticipated.
- An estimate of the number of participants at both regular and reduced registration rates expected from the constituent society, the collaborating societies and from outside the country.
- An outline budget which includes: income from registration fees, IUBMB grants for invited plenary lectures and for the young scientists program, commercial exhibition, other sources and potential opportunities for further fund raising; and expenditure on preliminary announcements, organisers expenses, conference facilities, speakers, abstracts, programme booklet and bags, the social programme, transport provision (if appropriate), security, insurance and any taxation charges which may be payable.
- The Organisers of the Conference will undertake, in writing, to observe the guidelines for IUBMB Conferences.
- The host organization will provide in writing an assurance to undertake to continue to observe the ICSU policy on free circulation of scientists up to and during the Conference.
- Planning of a Conference at all stages shall be made by the Organizing Committee together with representatives of the IUBMB. The Conference organisers will keep the Executive Committee of IUBMB well informed of the status of their planning through the Member for Conferences and Congresses, and consult with that Member on any matter of direct concern to IUBMB. The organizers will supply that Member with copies of all minutes of planning meetings and of all announcements and other publications. The Member for Conferences and Congresses is to be invited in the year that precedes the Conference by two years, to attend a meeting of the Organizing Committee. Cost for this visit will be paid by IUBMB.
- During the same period, a member of the Organizing Committee will be invited to attend an annual meeting of the Executive Committee of IUBMB to present a tentative outline of the programme, including topics for symposia, workshops and possibly for plenary lectures. In addition, plans for the Conference including opportunities for accompanying persons outlining possible excursions and local attractions should be discussed. The costs of this visit should be paid by the Organizing Committee.
- The Adhering Body for the Conference selects the Organizing Committee and forms an International Advisory Committee. This is composed of internationally distinguished biochemists and molecular biologists from outside the host country and should include representatives of the Executive Committee of IUBMB. The International Advisory Committee serve as advisors who will help identify topics for each symposium and possible speakers.
- The Organizing Committee canvasses the Interest Groups and the Committee on Symposia of IUBMB on the nature and scope of topics for symposia and colloquia, as well as making an open invitation for suggestions from the Adhering Bodies.
- The Organizing Committee ensures that the scheduling of the Conference does not conflict with other major scientific meetings.
- Whenever possible a Conference should be held in conjunction with national or regional meetings of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and /or related disciplines. The Adhering Body organising the conference should obtain the support of the appropriate regional organisation.
- First announcement including URL of the Conference web site should be available at least two years before the Conference.
- Constantly updated versions should be made available on the Web. The website represents the major source of information for the conference and every attempt should be made to provide the complete scientific program at least nine months prior to the conference.
- The organizers will supply the Member for Conferences and Congresses with a full report of the conference within three months of the end of the conference. This report should include financial matters and recommendations for the benefit of future Conference organisers.
Conference organisers should ensure that:
- The President or General Secretary of IUBMB is given an opportunity at the opening session to present a brief report on IUBMB activities.
- Space is provided in the printed conference program for IUBMB to present information about its structure and activities.
- The IUBMB official logo will be displayed prominently on all announcements and publications. The official IUBMB logo must be reproduced in its exact form and colours and cannot be "re-created" or "reinterpreted".
- Younger biochemists and molecular biologists are to be given opportunities to present their work in poster sessions and, as much as possible, to meet prominent scientists.
- Registration fees are to be reduced for scientists younger than 35 years at the time of the Conference.
- Registration fees are to be reduced for older bona fide students who present satisfactory documentation of this status.
- Conference organizers should ensure availability of cheap accommodation (for example in students dormitories).
- It may be possible to provide some travel fellowships for young scientists to attend IUBMB conferences but this has to be negotiated on a conference by conference base.
- The IUBMB treasurer is responsible for discussion and negotiation on all financial matters.
- IUBMB may offer a loan, within reasonable limits, at no interest to the Conference organizers as seed money that would be repaid in full.
- IUBMB does not in general provide financial support for plenary lectures at conferences but support of an IUBMB lecture can be considered. Conference organisers can also apply directly to the committee for symposia for support of 1-2 symposia at the conference and to the education committee for support of an educational symposium.
- A free booth should be provided for IUBMB in the exhibition area.
- Registration fees are to be waived for invited speakers where possible.
- Free registration shall be provided to members of the IUBMB Executive Committee (10 persons). Holders of the IUBMB Distinguished Service Award (6 persons) and of the Lifetime Special Award (2 persons) should also be provided with free registration should they attend the Conference.
- Any financial profit realised by a conference, after repayment of any loan made as in 2 above, shall be shared to an extent agreed by discussion before the conference between the organizers and the IUBMB treasurer.
Applications from Adhering Bodies to host an IUBMB Conference will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of IUBMB according to the following criteria (not necessarily in this order):
- time since the last Conference was held in that country;
- contributions of that country to international biochemistry and molecular biology;
- evidence of availability of appropriate infrastructure and facilities including the safety of participants;
- estimated attendance;
- least cost and greatest ease of travel for the majority of participants;
- recent Conferences in that same geographical area;
- probability of political stability in the country;
- probability of financial success;
- attractiveness of the venue;
- the existence of a suitably experienced local team.
The Executive Committee of IUBMB will usually consider all applications at one of its meetings 3 - 4 years before the Conference year and select a host organisation directly or may make a short list. Adhering Bodies on the short list will then be invited to present their application in detail at the meeting of the Executive Meeting held in the next year. Final selection of the host Adhering Body and site takes place at that meeting. In conferences held together with a regional organisation IUBMB will involve the regional organisation in making the final choice of venue.
EC Meeting Bangkok
27-28 November 2004