Submit your proposal for Symposia / Technical Workshops

Proposal submissions extended deadline is now closed

”The FENS Forum is the perfect platform to both develop and exchange ideas with peers, and the call for symposia is the first step to achieving this. The Programme Committee invites the scientific community to present innovative and dynamic concepts within a particular topic or field that will challenge and push forward the field of brain research.”
Liset Menendez de la Prida, FENS Forum 2024 Programme Committee Chair

The FENS Programme Committee welcomes scientists from around the world to submit proposals highlighting discovery research on every aspect of the brain and central nervous system. Accepted symposia and technical workshops will form one of the core components of the Forum’s scientific programme and help foster exchange, debate and discussion about the most current and cutting edge topics in the field.

The FENS Forum 2024 will provide the perfect environment to showcase the best in neuroscience today!

Guidelines for Submission of Symposia and Technical Workshops

The FENS Forum Guidelines for Submission of Symposia and Technical Workshops have been aligned with the ALBA Network’s guidelines for organising diverse conferences and for using gender-inclusive language.


56 symposia will be selected by the FENS Programme Committee. Each will last 1 hour 30 minutes and must address scientific issues around a coherent theme of interest to a broad audience.

Technical workshops

Up to six technical workshops will be selected by the Programme Committee and will take place in the morning preceding the formal opening of the Forum. These workshops are meant to discuss technical advances in various fields of research, with the emphasis on techniques, not on scientific results. They may last around 3 hours. The number of attendees at a technical workshop is limited from 50 to 100 participants in order to encourage interaction.

The FENS Forum takes place every two years, and the number of symposia is limited to 56. With more than 22,000 FENS members and a growing interest in attending the FENS Forum, the number of submitted proposals largely outnumber the symposia that can be accommodated in the scientific programme. The Programme Committee will therefore give priority to proposals of outstanding interest. The Programme Committee will not consider proposals whose topics (to be explained in the objectives of the symposium) overlap significantly with those included in the programme of the FENS Forum 2022, unless there is evidence of strong scientific advances in a certain topic.

General recommendations

The basic criteria for selection are the scientific interest of the topics, the scientific merit and achievements of the speakers in the field, and their ability to present their work to a broad multidisciplinary audience. Preference will be given to symposia that tackle a topic from a multi-level perspective and aim to present different views and opinions rather than presenting the work of collaborating groups. FENS strongly encourages proposals encompassing diversity at all levels. Proposals should aim for balance and representation of speakers with respect to gender, ethnicity, geographical distribution, institutional affiliation ‘scientific seniority’, scientific approach and field of work.

Number of speakers/chairpersons


A proposal must include 4 speakers. Symposia are chaired by 1 or 2 persons who are responsible for leading the discussion during the session. It is recommended that no more than 1 chairperson also be one of the 4 speakers.

Technical workshops

A proposal must include from 4 (minimum) to 6 speakers (maximum) for a 3-hours workshop. Workshops are chaired by 1 or 2 persons who are responsible for leading the discussion during the session. It is recommended that no more than 1 chairperson also act as one of the speakers.

Career stage

Junior as well as senior scientists are encouraged to be involved in the proposals. However, all speakers should be experienced in presenting their research to a broad multidisciplinary audience.

Country of work

FENS aims to obtain an optimal geographical balance of symposia and workshop speakers. The involvement of scientists from European laboratories is strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to proposals with diverse geographical representation of speakers (e.g., one speaker per country); proposals with speakers from only one country will not be accepted.

Institutional affiliation

The proposed speakers/chairpersons at the symposia or workshop should preferably belong to different institutions from different countries; proposals are not to include more than 2 speakers from the same research group or institute.


FENS aims to obtain an optimal gender balance of symposia and workshop speakers. Proposals that aim for diverse representation with respect to gender identity are strongly encouraged (see below for additional Eligibility criteria).


The following rules should be followed for any symposia or technical workshop proposal:

  • a chairperson at the FENS Forum 2022 cannot act as a chairperson at the FENS Forum 2024,
  • a Plenary lecture speaker, Special lecture speaker, Symposia or Workshop speaker at the FENS Forum 2022 cannot be a speaker at the FENS Forum 2024,
  • no member of the Programme Committee of the FENS Forum 2024 can be proposed as chairperson or speaker at the FENS Forum 2024,
  • no member of the Host Society Committee of the FENS Forum 2024 can be proposed as chairperson or speaker at the FENS Forum 2024,
  • no member of the FENS Executive Committee (2022-2024) can be proposed as chairperson or speaker at the FENS Forum 2024,
  • Individuals can participate only once as speaker at the same FENS Forum,
  • Individuals can participate only once as chairperson at the same FENS Forum,
  • Proposed symposia or workshops should not only include speakers of a single gender.

For a list of chairpersons and speakers at FENS Forum 2022, see useful links section.

A. Choice of themes

Novelty and scientific interest are essential. Looking at the programme of the previous FENS Forum will help you select the theme. The title of your proposal must be brief, meaningful and precise. Avoid terms devoid of real semantic content such as “New insights in…”, “Trends in…”, “Advances in… ”

The Objectives should:

  • state the scientific purpose and content of the proposal
  • explain the choice of speakers/chairpersons
  • present its novelty and scientific interest in the context of international research
  • explain the interaction points across the talks (synergism or discord) that if highlighted and discussed could move the field forward, making the combined symposia greater than the sum of the individual talks

Remember that the Programme Committee will have to examine many proposals. A clear message is the best way to make yourself understood.

B. Choice of speakers/chairpersons

Do not propose someone as speaker or chairperson without their consent, or someone who is not eligible (see Eligibility). Individuals may be included in several proposals, but if accepted, they can participate in only one symposium or workshop. You must make sure that you have been informed about the other proposals in which your partners participate. The Programme Committee will assume that all partners of a given proposal are fully informed about each other’s projects.
Each proposed person is committed to participate in the Forum in case of acceptance of the proposal. By submitting a proposal, each speaker and chairperson agrees to follow the rules described in the section Agreement and Disclaimer.
Information on each proposed participant (chairpersons and speakers) will have to be included in the submission form. The easiest way is to send your partners an e-mail with the list of items to complete that they will return to you (see model in the Necessary items for proposal submission section).​​

C. Proposal submission

During the submission period (see dates and deadlines), all proposals must be submitted via online proposal submission available from 22 February till 10 May 2023 on the FENS Forum 2024 website.

For administrative purposes, all correspondence with FENS will be done exclusively by the person who submitted the proposal.

Prepare your proposal carefully before submitting it online. It is essential that you fill out each field in the submission form. Once all fields are completed, your proposal will then be effectively submitted. Incomplete proposals (i.e., no chairperson and/or less than 4 speakers, and/or missing communication titles) will NOT be considered by the Programme Committee.

Symposium proposal

For a symposium proposal, you will have to submit information on:

  • The proposal itself
  • 1 or 2 chairpersons
  • 4 speakers
Technical workshop proposal

For a technical workshop proposal, you will have to submit information on:

  • The proposal itself
  • 1 or 2 chairpersons
  • 4 to 6 speakers

No modification will be accepted after the deadline.

The Programme Committee will examine all proposals, which are complete and follow FENS rules. Proposals may be accepted as they stand. In some cases, the Programme Committee may accept a proposal provided that the organisers include modifications necessary to improve the proposal and/or to make it coherent with other selected symposia.

Decisions will be sent by email to the submitters of the selected proposals shortly after the Programme Committee meeting (see Dates and Deadlines). The proposals will be definitely accepted once the organisers have replied, accepted the FENS Forum conditions and confirmed their participation.

22 February 2023 Online ​submission for symposium & technical workshop proposals open
22 May 2023 Extended Deadline for symposium & technical workshop proposals​
July 2023 Outcome notifications sent to all proposal submissions
October 2023 Scientific programme published on the Forum website

If the proposal is accepted, FENS will waive the registration fee for each speaker and chairperson, but will NOT cover travel and accommodation expenses. It is up to the proposal organisers or/and proposed speakers to find funding for travel, accommodation and other expenses.

By submitting a proposal, all proposed speakers/chairs agree that:

  1. The proposal must comply with ethical guidelines for scientific research in general, and in particular for human and animal research (for details, see the European Journal of Neuroscience author guidelines),​
  2. FENS Programme Committee will not consider any incomplete proposal or any proposal including persons who are not eligible (see Choice of chairpersons and speakers),
  3. Each one of the proposed participants has given their consent for the proposal and is committed to participate in the Forum in case of acceptance,
  4. In case the proposal is accepted, each speaker/chair accepts the conditions of participation in the Forum as defined by FENS, including the FENS Code of Conduct,
  5. The Programme Committee may require changes in speakers or in topics for the proposal before final acceptance,
  6. FENS may refuse any change after a proposal has been accepted by the Programme Committee, and therefore may cancel a session, which would no longer correspond to the approved proposal. Any change must have the prior approval of the Programme Committee,
  7. In no event will FENS be liable for the content of a proposal with respect to its participants or any other person or institution.

List of items necessary to include in the forms during the submission period:

Proposal page

  • Type of proposal: symposium or technical workshop
  • Title: < 100 characters. Please do not use abbreviations or Greek characters
  • Brief description (for the public): 500 characters maximum, spaces included
  • Objectives (for the Programme Committee): 1500 characters maximum, spaces included
  • Theme

Use the pull-down menus of the proposal form to select the main topic and theme for your proposal.

The main topics are:

  • Development and Stem Cells
  • Neurons and Glia: Intrinsic Properties, Cell Biology and Cell Types
  • Cell-Cell communication and Plasticity
  • Sensory and Motor Systems
  • Cognition and Behaviour
  • Internal States and Homeostasis
  • Disorders of the Nervous System
  • Circuit Dynamics and Oscillations
  • Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Novel Methods and Technology Development
  • General Neuroscience Topics

For a detailed list of themes and topics, please click here.

Chairperson & speaker pages

  • Title of presentation (for speakers only): < 150 characters. Please do not use abbreviations or Greek characters​
  • Last name
  • First name and initials of other names
  • Gender (Woman, Man, Non-Binary, Prefer to self-describe, Prefer not to disclose)
  • Title
  • Career status (e.g. PhD, postdoc, PI, senior scientist, etc)
  • FENS Membership status
  • Neuroscience society membership
  • Affiliation 1 (University, company, etc.)
  • Affiliation 2 (laboratory, etc.)
  • Affiliation 3 (group, etc)
  • Institutional information:
    • Street
    •  City
    •  Zip / Postal code
    •  Country
    • Office telephone number
  • Mobile number (optional)
  • E-mail address (mandatory)
  • Publications (for speakers): Three publications relevant to the proposal and/or communication​


Please use correct PubMed formatting when listing speakers and chairs publications. For procedures on PubMed formatting click ​​here.

How to Submit Your Proposal for Symposia and Technical Workshop