Botany 2021 - Symposia and Colloquia

Call for Proposals
Deadline is October 15, 2020

It’s time to start thinking about symposia and colloquia for Botany 2021, July 17-21 in Boise, Idaho. We are currently planning for an in-person conference but will be prepared to pivot to virtual if the need arises. The participating societies will be the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, American Fern Society, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, International Association for Plant Taxonomy, Mycological Society of America, and Society for Herbarium Curators. 

Symposia vs. Colloquia: What’s the Difference?

  • Symposia are of broad, interdisciplinary, cross-society interest. They are limited to six speakers, and talks are 30 minutes each. The number of symposia is limited to six.  Funding for approved symposia is generally $2000-$4000.
  • Colloquia are on more narrow topics, perhaps of interest to a particular section or society. Colloquia can include no more than two 30-minute talks. All other talks are 15 minutes. The total number of talks can vary from 8 (with 2 30-minute talks) to 12 (all 15-minute talks). In the past, there has been no limit on the number of colloquia; however, unlimited proliferation of colloquia ultimately is not sustainable (space and audience constraints). If the trend continues, we may need to implement a mechanism to limit the number of colloquia. Colloquia scheduled for Botany 2020 that were deferred should be updated, revised (if needed), and resubmitted for Botany 2021. Please note that colloquia are intended to draw participants from conference attendees and not to rely on external invited speakers. Consistent with this, funding for colloquia is generally limited, not exceeding more than $200-$300 total.

Proposals for these sessions should include: 

  1. The name, institution, and email addresses of organizers.
  2. The title of the symposium/colloquium.
  3. An abstract/synopsis (400 words). This should describe the topic/content only. Please note that this will be used as the abstract in the program.
  4. A brief explanation (150 words) of why this topic is appropriate for a Botany conference symposium/colloquium.
  5. For symposia, a tentative list of six speakers with up to two alternates, including institutional affiliations, topics, and an indication of which have committed to participate.  
    • Please note that when preparing proposals, organizers are expected to take into account gender, seniority, nationality, and all other axes of diversity traditionally underrepresented in conference symposia and to describe their efforts in the proposal. We seriously consider the diversity of participants as a criterion for symposium funding. We encourage proposals whose topics concern newly emerging fields, are synthetic, or that differ from those that have been included in recent Botany meetings.
  6. A budget estimate with justification. Symposium funds are intended to be used to defray costs for participants who otherwise would not be able to attend the conference. See note above about colloquium funding.
  7. Click here to submit a Symposia proposal and click here to submit a Colloquia proposal. If you experience any issues with submission, please contact

Symposium approval process within BSA:

  1. Proposals are due October 15, 2020. Please note this is a HARD deadline. There will be no extensions!
  2. Proposals will be sent to the program directors of all the BSA sections. (Proposals will also be sent to all other participating societies.)
  3. Each section will endorse a maximum of six symposia. There is one vote per section. Note that endorsement does not include a commitment of funds.
  4. Within two weeks of receiving proposals, sections will inform the BSA program director of which six proposals they endorse.
  5. The program director will add up votes and send the tallies to all BSA section program directors and all participating societies.
  6. A committee consisting of the program directors of all BSA sections and participating societies will make final decisions regarding which symposia will be included in the Botany 2021 program.
  7. The program director will inform the BSA Board of the six proposals that will be on the program. The BSA Board will allocate funds to the symposia. Sections can also contribute funds in addition to the allocation from the BSA Board.

Colloquia do not require endorsement; however, sections can endorse as many colloquia as they choose and can contribute funds to colloquia at their discretion. The BSA Board does not fund colloquia.  

We look forward to reviewing your submission.