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2021 Conference Proposal Selection Process
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ASTR/TLA 2021 Annual Conference
October 28 - 31, 2021
San Diego, CA

1. Deadline for applications: Applications due on 1 September 2019 are for the 2021 conference. Applications should be submitted to the Vice President for Conferences, Jimmy Noriega, who will distribute them to the Committee on Conferences. The form is available here and proposals should be emailed to You will receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours. If you do not, please contact Jimmy Noriega directly at

2. Program Chair(s): Please note that there can only be up to three program co-chairs for any conference; any proposals with more than three applicants will not be accepted. Preference will be given to applicants who are ASTR members.

3. Application materials: Members will submit a CV for each proposed program chair, along with a form requesting the following:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

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4. Selection Procedure: The Committee on Conferences will perform the first round of review immediately after receiving proposals on 1 September 2019. Within two weeks, they will select two or three finalist proposals, and will ask for further information from those applicants. Such information may include: (C) Relationship of live performance events (or similar) to the conference planning and theme; (D) Specific interest in or ideas for the already-selected location for the conference; (E) Responses to suggestions and/or questions from the Committee on Conferences.

The Committee on Conferences will select one proposal to present to the EC at or before the annual fall meeting. The timeline for selection will be:

1 September Initial applications accepted by the Vice President for Conferences.
1 September - 15 September Applications reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences. If there are multiple proposals, the Committee selects 2-3 applications for final selection process.
15 September Finalist applicants are notified and asked to submit supplementary information. Applicants will be given information (including any concerns/questions raised) from the Committee on Conferences’ initial deliberations to which they may respond.
1 October Deadline for finalists to submit supplementary information.
1-15 October Applicants reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences.
1 November Committee on Conferences makes final recommendation to Executive Committee, for voting at or before the EC meeting held before the annual conference in November.

5. Evaluation: The following questions will be used in evaluating proposals, and will be publicized within the calls for program chair applications:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?

The Committee on Conferences also encourages applicants to consider how their proposed theme and their approach to conference planning will further ASTR’s explicit charge to promote, support, and feature work by, about, and with under-represented groups, including communities of color, LGBTQ communities, disability communities, and communities of scholars without regularized institutional support.

6. 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.

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