Symposium Proposal Instructions

The deadline for the submission of invited poster and podium symposium proposals has now passed. 

Symposia are intended to provide the opportunity to bring together experts–biological anthropologists and others—to address an important topic or theme in a coherent fashion and to highlight new advances, topics and areas of emerging interest. 

Excellent symposia provide a diversity of speakers representing different institutions and perspectives, ranks and demographics.  When constructing speaker lists, we encourage symposium organizers to include speakers who can effectively present the science and who serve to meet this ideal.

Poster and Podium Symposia: Either podium or poster symposia may be proposed. Tribute and memorial symposia should be submitted as poster symposia. Regardless of the format of a symposium, each symposium must include dedicated time for discussion and each is limited to no more than one half-day in length. 

Financial Support for Symposia

A small amount of competitively awarded funding is available to help defray special symposium costs.  Costs may include speaker travel and honoraria costs.  Requests may also include costs to extend the reach of scientific sessions through electronic/virtual technologies or other means.  Catering and reception costs will not be considered. 

Priority will be given to requests associated with speakers/discussants who would not normally attend AAPA meetings and will significantly enhance scientific symposia and to requests that increase diversity and outreach including to scientists from developing countries. Requests should detail the value-added to the symposium. Typical awards are anticipated to be in the range of $1500-$2000. You will be able to apply for this funding when you submit your symposium proposal.

Online Proposal Submission (Proposals must be submitted ONLINE by midnight (11:59 PDT), August 15, 2018):  

  1. To submit your proposal, go to the ONLINE registration system at 
  2. You will need the following information: 
  3. Title of the symposium
  4. Submitter’s e-mail address and affiliation and the names and affiliations of co-organizers.
  5. Indication of preference for poster or podium presentations. Please note that it may be impossible to honor your preference since we do not run concurrent podium symposia (thus six spots). Feedback from poster symposium participants has been very favorable.
  6. A short abstract (300 word maximum) describing the content and purpose of the symposium. If your symposium is accepted, this paragraph will appear in the program issue at the top of the session.
  7. Full names (spell out first names) and affiliations of the symposium participants, and the titles of their papers/posters in their order of presentation. Please indicate whether your participants have confirmed their participation. List all titles and authors in the order of appearance. Number each presentation. Start the next presentation on a new line.
  8. A statement of 300 words or less, briefly describing the diversity of session presenters, such as how they offer a balanced representation of the topic, institutional affiliation, career stage, ethnicity, and gender.
  9. If you are applying for funding to support your symposium, you will need to provide a detailed budget and budget justification along with a statement of the value-added to the symposium 

Use the Following Format for the names and affiliations of the symposium participants:

Presentation 1:              Title. Author1 last name, first name spelled out, (Affiliation); Author2 as for Author1;  etc.
Presentations 2 – n:      as for Presentation 1
Discussant:                     last name, first name spelled out (Affiliation)

Do not submit abstracts, registration materials, or fees at the time the symposium proposal is submitted.  Note that symposium participants who are not AAPA members pay the same pre-registration fee as members.

Please note: The online system will send you a link via e-mail to authenticate your registration–in some cases, especially gmail addresses and university e-mail run by Google—this e-mail may be filtered as spam. If you do not receive your link within 15 minutes of registering, try a different e-mail account. If the problem persists please e-mail Steve Leigh at:

The Review Process: 

The entire AAPA Executive Committee and the Program Committee review and rank symposium proposals. The symposium organizer will be notified as to our decision to accept or reject the proposal, and the format (Poster or Podium) of accepted symposia no later than September 15, 2018.

Poorly focused proposals lacking sufficient planning and organization will be rejected. Symposia that provide a diversity of speakers representing different institutions and perspectives, ranks and demographics will be given priority consideration in symposium selection.  Symposium proposals that seriously fail to meet this goal will be ranked lower and may be rejected.

Proposals for podium symposia that do not follow the usual AAPA format of 15 minutes per presentation may also be rejected; any proposed deviations should be discussed in advance with the Program Chair (Steve Leigh; or Half-day symposia proposals for podium presentation that contain fewer than 11 presentations and one discussant will generally be ranked as less desirable than full symposia.

The number of sessions available for symposia is limited. Although every attempt will be made to accommodate the organizer’s preferred mode of presentation, this may not be possible owing to the limited number of oral sessions available during the three days of meetings. Tribute and memorial symposia should be submitted as poster symposia.

Acceptance of the symposium proposal does not guarantee acceptance of the individual abstracts; individual abstracts are subject to the same review and submission deadlines as are all other abstracts.

Once the symposium is accepted: 

If the proposal is accepted, the symposium abstracts and other materials are due at the same time as all other abstracts (October 15, 2018). Abstracts are submitted when registering for the meeting. The meeting registration website will be announced after the symposium proposal deadline. For symposium participants only: the submitting author should choose the appropriate named symposium from the drop-down menu.  Please let your participants know about this as we receive over 1000 abstracts.

Acceptance of a symposium proposal does not ensure acceptance of individual abstracts.  

We encourage symposia organizers to stay in close contact with their contributors and to review the abstracts prior to submission to ensure they comply with the requirements of regular abstracts. Poor abstracts will be rejected, even if they are part of a symposium that has been accepted. It is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that all authors submit abstracts by the deadline. It is also the organizer’s responsibility to insist that abstracts follow AAPA specifications.  All registration fees are due at the time of abstract submission. Abstracts for which payment is not completed by November 15, 2018 will be rejected. The date for abstract submissions is a hard deadline.

QUESTIONS? e-mail Steve Leigh at: