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Conference Proposal Selection Process
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  1. Deadline for applications: 25 September, two calendar years prior to the conference in question. (For example: for the 2017 conference in Atlanta, applications will be due on 25 September 2015.) Applications will be submitted to the Vice President for Conferences, Patrick Anderson, who will distribute them to the Committee on Conferences. Download the form here and submit to Patrick at

  2. Application materials: Members will submit a CV for each proposed program chair, along with a form requesting the following:
  3. (A) Biographical information about the proposed program chair(s) – includes Names & Affiliations; Conference Planning (or similar) experience; ASTR experience. (Applicants should list this experience, annotating each item with a one-sentence description of responsibilities.)

    (B) Proposed Conference Theme – limited to 500 words, identifying key questions and potential topics under the theme, relevance to ASTR membership broadly. Applicants should also include rationale for the proposed theme, explaining how it could serve and extend the concerns/needs of the membership.

  4. Selection Procedure: The Committee on Conferences will perform the first round of review immediately after receiving proposals on 25 September. Within two weeks, they will have selected two or three finalist proposals, and will then ask for further information from the applicants: (C) Relationship of live performance events (or similar) to the conference planning and theme; and (D) Specific interest in or ideas for the already-selected location for the conference.
  5. Before the annual conference, the Committee on Conferences will choose one proposal to present to the EC at the fall meeting. The timeline for selection will be:

    25 September: Initial applications accepted by the Vice President for Conferences.

    26 September - 10 October: Applications reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences.

    11 October: If there are multiple proposals, 2-3 applications chosen for final selection process; applicants notified and asked to submit supplementary information. Applicants will be given information (including any concerns/questions raised) from the Committee on Conferences’ initial deliberations.

    21 October: Deadline for finalists to submit supplementary information.

    22-31 October: Applicants reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences. 1 November: Committee on Conferences makes final recommendation to Executive Committee, for final voting at the meeting held the day before the annual conference in November.

  6. The following questions will be used in evaluating proposals, and will be publicized within the calls for program chair applications:
  7. (A) Is the theme broad enough to be relevant to a diverse membership, but specific enough to have centripetal energy? Is the theme relevant and timely to current events and/or discussions and/or trends within our field(s)? Is there a clear sense of the theme’s importance?

    (B) Do the planners have relevant experience in conference planning (even if they have never planned a full conference)? Do they have enough experience with ASTR to understand our conference format and traditions? Do they demonstrate a strong “curatorial eye” in bringing together members from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds?

  8. Selected program chairs will have conference registration fees paid by ASTR in (1) the year prior to their conference (with the expectation that they would hold meetings with their program committee) and (2) the year of their conference. (Currently, ASTR does not pay registration fees for program chairs.)
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