HOSTING AN INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF PHYSIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS
This document outlines and summarizes guidelines and minimum requirements established by the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) for member groups interested in organizing and hosting the quadrennial International Congress of Physiological Sciences (ICPS). These policies and procedures have evolved over the course of multiple Congresses. Questions arising during the development of a proposal for hosting a Congress should be addressed to the Executive Committee of IUPS (ExCo) by way of the IUPS Manager (contact information given at the end of the document).
Organizational bases and locations for Congresses are determined by the IUPS General Assembly (GA). Beginning about nine (9) years before a Congress the IUPS solicits bids for hosting the Congress from interested societies or groups in member countries or consortia of countries. ExCo reviews the bids received and recommends up to three to IUPS Council. Council then selects up to three bids for formal presentations to the IUPS Council and GA, which will meet just before the next Congress (i.e., eight years before the subject Congress). The GA then determines, by majority vote and secret ballot, the preferred host society or group and the location. An important consideration in this process is the rotation of the Congress to different geographical regions around the world. Four years later, Council reports to the next following GA confirming both the location and the adequacy of planning for the subject Congress. That GA then votes on reconfirming acceptance of the proposal.
The Congress will adhere strictly to the principle of free exchange of scientific information without commercial or political influences. The IUPS will ensure access to all bona fide scientists will be granted in accordance with the policy statement by the International Council of Science (ICSU) on free circulation of scientists. Similar free access to any official satellite symposia will be available. Further clarification of this can be found in the ICSU booklet, "Freedom, Responsibility & Universality of Science (booklet, 2014): (http://www.icsu.org/publications/cfrs/freedom-responsibility-and-universality-of-science-booklet-2014)
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
National organizations or regional groups wishing to submit bids must submit the following items to the Executive Committee (by way of the Manager, Steven Webster [email@example.com]) by the indicated dates:
1) A letter of intent to submit a proposal, no later than February 15, 2017.
The Letter of Intent should address four general infrastructure requirements:
a) Significant research and educational activities are ongoing in the physiological sciences in the host country or region.
b) The host group has a vision for a Congress that is capable of attracting scientists from around the world.
c) The host group is able to assemble an academic, professional, logistical and financial infrastructure capable of supporting an ICPS involving 3000 to 5000 active participants.
d) The host group has identified a suitable meeting date and venue.
Please send the Letter of Intent to: Steven.Webster@case.edu, who is available to answer any questions that you might have.
2) A complete proposal, no later than April 15, 2017. This timeline allows the IUPS to consider the application in time for feedback to/revision by the proposers, and to allow vote by the General Assembly during the upcoming August, 2017 IUPS Congress.
DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE COMPLETE PROPOSAL
1. An official letter of assurance to the IUPS from an appropriate person who represents the national organization or regional group that proposes to sponsor the Congress. This letter should indicate the willingness of the host organization to assume scientific and full financial responsibility for the Congress, as indicated below.
2. An agreement to abide by the timeline provided by IUPS (see below), and to work in good faith to develop and sign the formal contract within the time specified in the timeline.
3. The proposed dates, city, and venue for the Congress.
4. Identification of the organizational structure of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), with the names of key people. In particular, the Chair and makeup of the LOC should be named with appropriate contact information and their agreement to serve.
5. A vision statement, possibly including a theme, for the scientific program and satellites. The organizers should (a) include a provisional, day-by-day block schedule that indicates time windows for plenary and keynote talks, symposia, poster presentations, and any other events and (b) indicate the number of parallel sessions that they envisage (which will impact the budget).
6. Statistics for the host organization, including (a) the number of members of the host organization, and (b) the average number of attendees at a typical annual meeting of the host organization. If the host organization will organize the Congress in conjunction with regional partners, provide statistics ‘a’ and ‘b’ for each regional partner. Also include (c) a brief summary of the scientific activities and strengths of the proposing society or regional organization and why this group should be chosen to host the Congress.
7. A description of proposed congress facilities, including a map that indicates the location of the Congress, suitable hotels with their capacities and approximate current room rates, and transportation options between the congress site and hotels. An indication of current availability for the proposed dates should be included for the venue itself.
8. A budget proposal for estimated income and expenses for the 4-year period leading up to and including the Congress. IUPS recognizes that such estimates can only be approximate, especially this far in advance. The main objective of this early budget estimate is to determine, ahead of time, the probability that expenses will be able to be met with reasonable projections of revenues. This analysis is critical, inasmuch as the total costs for the IUPS Congress are currently (2017) in the neighborhood of US$1 million. The budget should include revenue from such sources as registration fees (the budget ought to contain several scenarios for numbers of paid registrants), sponsorships, and support from various governmental and philanthropic agencies. We encourage the host organization to broaden its financial position by arranging partnerships with other Physiology entities in the region or around the globe. The budget should specify the names of those entities, the estimated amount of financial support expected from each, and should include a brief acknowledgement by each of the named Physiology entities.
The budget also should include such expenses as rental and other costs associated with the Congress venue; support for the two International Scientific Programming Committee (ISPC) meetings; support for IUPS ExCo and Council travel to the Congress; support for plenary, keynote, and symposium speakers; and contractual obligations to the IUPS (10% of the net registration fees, 25% of net profits). The budget should indicate the number of Plenary and Keynote speakers, the number and types of symposia and related events (e.g., workshops), and the support for each type of speaker/participant. These details are listed within the contract template (see following paragraph).
Please send the Complete Proposal to: Steven.Webster@case.edu, who is available to provide the template contract, and to answer any questions that you might have.
Additional information for Hosting a Congress
The IUPS Congress is a medium to large size professional scientific gathering with a varied and complex structure and content. It is especially important to be inclusive of physiologists from as many countries as possible.
A successful Congress requires substantial human, intellectual, logistical and financial resources. The business model followed for more than 100 years so far assumes that each successive host organization develops its own staff, structure, procedures and finances. IUPS is however committed to being an active full partner in the process at all stages. The enterprise is governed by a written contract, signed by both the organizers and IUPS, normally shortly after formal reconfirmation of acceptance of the proposal by the GA at the Congress 4 years prior to the subject Congress. A template for the contract, as well as a general timeline for preparing for the Congress, are available upon request from the IUPS Manager.
ORGANIZATION OF HOST GROUP
The host group should be organized into at least two committees. Sizes, compositions, detailed charges and terms of office of the committees and of their members are at the discretion of the group:
1) Local Organizing Committee (LOC) divided into an executive committee and general membership.
2) Local Scientific Program Committee (LSPC). The LSPC is appointed by the host group, which defines its mandate. The LSPC works out the general concept for the scientific program, which is communicated to IUPS Council as part of the bid for the Congress. Ultimate responsibility for the structure and schedule of the scientific program lies with the host organization. The content of the scientific program is the responsibility of the International Scientific Programming Committee (see next section).
INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM COMMITTEE (ISPC)
The mandate of the ISPC is defined by IUPS. Its charge is to develop the scientific program of the Congress and ensure that it serves as a platform for scientific discourse of the highest standard, covering all fields of physiology, is international in scope and is reasonably balanced in terms of participants from different regions, nations, and genders. The ISPC has 32 members, with 16 provided by IUPS, and 16 chosen by the host. The chair of the LSPC co-chairs the ISPC with the Secretary-General of IUPS. The remaining 15 IUPS-designated members of the ISPC will be the 8 Commission and 3 Committee Chairs, as well as four officers (other than the Secretary-General).
The ISPC selects the topics, chairpersons, speakers, discussion leaders, etc. required to fill the program structure of the Congress—as defined by the Contract—with scientific content. On behalf of the ISPC, the LSPC seeks proposals for lecturers, symposia, workshops, featured topics, etc. from the international physiological community and from the IUPS Commissions. The mandate of the ISPC includes providing advice on collateral scientific activities, such as possible satellite symposia and meetings. The organization and financing of such collateral activities are the sole responsibilities of the groups organizing them, not the Congress host organization or the IUPS.
CONGRESS ORGANIZATION AND FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
The details of the Congress organization are provided in the Template Contract (available upon request). The host organization will have total financial responsibility for the Congress.
GENERAL TIMELINE for planning the 2025 Congress
- Year 1 (e.g., year of the 2017 Congress in Rio)
- Candidate hosts make presentations first to Council and then to the General Assembly
- The General Assembly chooses the host for the Congress 8 years hence
- Year 2: Consultation with Executive Committee and Council of IUPS
- Year 3: Consultation with Executive Committee and Council of IUPS
- Year 4: Consultation with Executive Committee and Council of IUPS
- Year 5 (e.g., year of the 2021 Congress in Beijing)
- 48 months ahead—GA confirms the bid
- 48 months ahead—IUPS and Host sign Congress contract
- Year 6
- 32 months ahead—Launch of Congress website
- 30 months ahead—Distribute and post the “Call for plenary and keynote speakers”
- 20-24 months ahead—ISPC Meeting #1
Outline the overall Congress program schedule
Selection of plenary and keynote speakers
- Year 7
- 20 months ahead—Distribute and post the “Call for symposia”
- 12-18 months ahead—ISPC Meeting #2
Confirm overall Congress program schedule
Initiate selection of symposia
- 11 months ahead—Early Bird registration opens
- 8 months ahead—Distribute and post the “Call for Abstracts”
- Year 8
- 6 months—Distribute and post the “Call for Travel Grant applications
- Your Congress begins!
Updated January 2017