Session Proposal form - MCAA Annual Conference 2024

Dear members,

The next MCAA Annual Conference will be held in Milan, Italy, from 14 to 16 March 2024. The core of the conference will be on 15-16 March, and satellite events will be held on 14 March.

The theme of the Conference is "10 Years of MCAA: Past, Present & Future". Hence, we welcome proposals of sessions that will focus on the areas of interest to the MCAA and discuss the work and role that the MCAA has conducted on those areas as well as future paths.

We appreciate your interest in submitting a session proposal. Your valuable contribution and efforts are crucial for the quality and success of our events.

Please follow the steps below to submit your proposal.

Before filling out the form, please read the instructions carefully. Some requirements have been changed compared to previous editions. Then, fill out the form in its entirety and in detail to ensure a proper evaluation of your application. Should you have any questions about the process, please contact the conference organisers.

Best regards,
Fernanda Bajanca (MCAA Chair), on behalf of the MCAA Board


Please carefully note the following indications that are a must for the evaluation of your proposal:

1. The Session Proposal form can be drafted collaboratively using a template in MS Word, which can be downloaded here. The final content can then be copied into the present form.

2. The submission system can only be accessed by the members of the Board, Chairs of Working Groups, and Chairs of Chapters. However, any MCAA member is welcome to propose a session by reaching out to an MCAA Board member or a relevant Working Group/Chapter Chair, who will then be responsible for submitting the application on your behalf. The individual member's name should be mentioned as the organiser and/or moderator/speaker, depending on their contribution.

3. Although the time-schedule may change during the finalisation of the conference programme, tentatively a session should last one hour. Hence, a session should not have more than 3-4 speakers, including the moderator, in order for speakers to have enough time to present their argument and have a debate with the other speakers and the audience. 

4. One of the most important factors for the session to be successful is the quality of speakers. We would like to encourage you to evaluate proposed speakers in terms of their experience and public speaking performance. Please specify the relevance of the speakers' participation for the session by defining what makes them distinctive, e.g., leading expertise on the session’s topic, ability to inspire, clarity (of voice and argument). Speakers are of the utmost importance and they often provide the most memorable element of the whole program for participants. Therefore, we encourage you to suggest speakers who, besides being leading experts on the session’s topic, would be engaging and have experience presenting at similar public forums. Also, we encourage sessions that have a balance between senior speakers and junior speakers.

5. Diversity & Inclusion are key values for the quality and success of a session, including for the success of a session proposal. Please keep that in mind while suggesting your speakers, and try to suggest a pool of speakers that are diverse in terms of social identities (gender etc) and disciplines (STEM and SSH) and seniority.

6. Sessions’ tracks. Session proposals should fit within one of the main conference tracks:

  • - Bridging Science and Business
  • - Career Development
  • - Genders, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • - Policy
  • - Research Funding
  • - Research Management
  • - Science Communication

Please note that while the topic of a session would need to fall within both (a) the general conference theme (hence, during the session the work and role that the MCAA has conducted on those areas should be discussed) and (b) one of the above tracks, the session does not need to focus entirely or exclusively on the MCAA.

7. During the evaluation phase, the session’s overall expected cost will be taken into consideration. Advantage will be given to sessions with all or most speakers (both MCAA members and not) who do not require for the MCAA to cover their costs (travel and accommodation). Intercontinental travelling for non-MCAA members should be avoided. 

8. Please check if speakers need reimbursement:

  • - If a speaker is NOT an MCAA member and needs support for travel and accommodation costs, the reimbursement of speakers' accommodation and travel costs will be charged to the respective Working Group/Chapter/Partner and will follow the Micro General Assembly Travel Grant rules.
  • - If speakers are MCAA members and need support for travel and accommodation costs, they need to apply for a Micro General Assembly Grant before the deadline (to be announced). 

9. Please note that the MCAA cannot provide any reimbursements to both EC officials and National Government officials. 

10. Please note that:

  • (a) in terms of audience's attendance, all sessions will be live streamed via the conference platform. That is, people will attend either in person in Milan or online, depending on what they choose during registration; 
  • (b) in terms of speakers' attendance, there are three types of sessions, so please state your preference:
    • Fully online: all speakers will attend remotely
    • Hybrid: some speakers will attend in person in Milan, while others will attend remotely
    • - Fully presential: all speakers will attend in person in Milan.

11. Please note that if your session proposal is selected, all the speakers and moderators will need to submit a separate form for registration.

12. Depending on the number of submissions, the session time would be either 75 min or 60 min. Approximately 16 sessions (Fully online+Hybrid+Fully presential) are planned. Please note that the number of sessions may vary depending on several factors.

13. If accepted, all speakers must send their presentations (if any) by February 28, 2024. All session organisers must send a session flow (format, speakers sequence etc.) before that date. No documents will be accepted after this date.

14. The MCAA Board will evaluate the proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed below. Partners and Sponsors sessions will be evaluated by the Partnership & Sponsorship Working Group.

Evaluation criteria (total score: 25 points):

  • - Relevance to the conference theme (5)
  • - Benefit to the audience (5)
  • - Speakers + moderators quality (5)
  • - Diversity (different backgrounds and representativeness) (5)
  • - Relevance with MCAA (5)

15. Tentative timeline. 

  • Session proposals: There will be two rounds for submission. However, you are encouraged to submit to the first round, for by the time of the second round there may be less spots available:
    • - 1st Submission Deadline: September 20, 2023
    • - 2nd Submission Deadline: October 20, 2023
  • Speaker registration will open on: November 1, 2023
  • Speaker registration will close on: February 1, 2024

16. After the conference, session organisers must submit a session report (min. 500 words) by March 26, 2024 The format will be provided after the conference. This is compulsory to receive the reimbursements of expenses for all speakers.


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