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Symposia FAQ’s

Will my registration be covered by PHYS?
Upon request, PHYS will cover 2 full registrations for symposia of 7 half-day sessions or more – but only at the “early-bird” member rate.  Symposia of 6 half-day sessions or less can request the equivalent of one full registration.  Typically, the ACS will provide a code for registering symposium organizers on the “PHYS dime,” so once registration opens, we will be in touch with you about what information we’ll need from you to be able to enter your registration for you.   Alternatively, if you register yourself you can send us the confirmation and we’ll mail you a reimbursement check.  Although the Division will cover up to two registrations per symposium (UPON REQUEST), we cannot enter partial registrations on the ACS registration site; thus, symposia with more than 2 organizers will need to determine how to partition this benefit.  Your registration fees are separate from PHYS symposia support and will not be deducted from your symposium support funding. Also, this perk is not transferrable to others— it is only for organizers.

Will the Division provide financial assistance for symposia?
Yes. Currently, PHYS provides $100 per ½-day session.  Thus, if your symposium runs eight sessions, you will receive $800.  This support level may change and we will, of course, let you know if it does.

How can I use my PHYS/external funding?
You can (1) provide coffee breaks during the meeting, (2) provide honoraria for your speakers, (3) arrange a dinner or reception for your speakers, or (4) cover any portion of the travel/registration costs of your speakers (no receipts needed). You’ll receive an email with additional details about these options well in advance of the meeting.  If you do decide to provide honoraria, those checks can be written in advance of the meeting so you can distribute them to your speakers (and the ACS DOES have a business office for foreign speakers to cash those checks onsite).

What is NOT allowed by the Division in terms of financial support?
You cannot use your symposium funding to support your personal travel costs OR those of your graduate students/postdocs.  The exception to this policy is in cases when you raise external funding.  With grantor approval, you can use external funding for symposium organizer travel expenses.

Should I raise external funding?
With funding-support levels having declined to get the division on firmer financial footing, we encourage you to raise external funds.  Just let us know who has agreed to support your symposium (and at what level) so we can send them an invoice.  The funds will come directly to us and be credited to your account.  The exception to this policy is if you plan to request funds from DOE, ARO and the like.  The complications for PHYS to do this has dissuaded us from working with these government funding agencies!

In the past, organizers have successfully generated funds from companies and suppliers, journals, government agencies, and also your own department/school. If you are organizing a high-visibility national symposium, your dean should be willing to kick in a little to support your efforts to be visible to your community!

How many sessions will I have?
That really depends on your organizing goals and the number of invited and contributed talks you end up with.  A full symposium is 9 sessions (thus, four and a half days).  Since our Awards Symposium has tended to be on Tuesday afternoon, there is no programming at that time. However, that currently means that longer symposia sometimes have to include Thursday afternoon programming.  Once MAPS closes and all abstracts are in, you can start organizing your workbook.  There is online training you can take, and we recommend it!  We will send you a link for that once the ACS makes it available.

What about the new hybrid format that the ACS is instituting?
Right now, we don’t have any specific information on how this will work, but we will get you information as soon as we have it!

Does PHYS still make those wonderful tri-fold paper programs for meetings?
We do!  And they remain beloved by all attendees!  You will have a chance to review them for accuracy until about 10 days prior to the meeting when they must go to the copy center.  In addition to your symposium schedule, the program can include your sponsors’ company logos.

What happens if one of our speakers has to cancel?
As you know, the ACS sets schedules fairly far in advance of the meeting. Moreover, while they post “withdrawals,” the ACS will not allow you to make substitutions or switches that will actually appear in their app or online program after their stated deadline (at least for now).  However, your tri-fold paper program CAN accommodate late changes that will reflect the most up-to-date schedule.  Thus, up to about 10 days prior to the start of the meeting you can make substitutions (e.g., a grad student or postdoc will present a faculty talk), insert an entirely new presentation for a cancellation, switch somebody out of posters to oral, or make other scheduling switches to accommodate last-minute changes.  We ask, however, that you do not move speakers UP to fill holes, since attendees do rely on the online ACS schedule to plan their day.  Again, there are some exceptions to this rule—such as if the cancellation is just prior to the last speaker of the session.  In such cases, it’s likely better to move the final speaker of the morning or afternoon up to that open spot rather than have people wander off and not return for the final talk of a session.

We will provide ongoing information right up to the meeting, but never hesitate to reach out to us at acspchem@vt.edu or laurieg@vt.edu if you have questions.