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Policy and Procedures of the Committees on Symposia and Interest Groups



The major activity of the IUBMB is the organization of meetings for the presentation of original research.  Congresses with sponsorship from the IUBMB are held at intervals of three years and conferences in the years in between. In addition the IUBMB has for many years sponsored and supported symposia and interest group workshops on more focussed subjects. This program of support involves a considerable proportion of the funds at the disposal of the Union.

The General Assembly of the Union entrusts the Committees on Symposia and Interest Groups to carry out its policy with respect to the sponsorship of symposia and workshops. The Committee perform their functions almost entirely by correspondence. Requests for sponsorship should be made to the responsible Executive Committee Member, the Portfolio Chairman, who will send an application form to the convener of the meeting.

The Portfolio Chairman corresponds with all members of the Committees regularly and seeks their views on each proposal. Thus a delay of a few months will occur from the deadline for application until a decision is made. It is essential that the plans of the Committees are fixed at least a year ahead of the activity. Late or last-minute requests stand very little chance of success.

Deadline for Applications

In order to compare applications fairly, application deadlines for Symposia or Interest Group Workshops for the following calendar year are April 1st and September 1st. Decisions will be made by June 30 and November 30, respectively.

Applications should be sent to the Portfolio Chairman:

Dr. Vito Turk
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Phone: +386 1 4257 080 or 4773 212
Fax: +386 1 2573 594 or 4252 017
E-mail: [email protected]

 The application form can be downloaded here in .pdf - format (you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and print the form)


  1. Type of meeting

    1. Symposium
      The subject matter should cover a specific research area and should be planned so that expert opinion is present to promote useful discussion. It is expected that most symposia will last from three to five days, and have 50 to 200 participants.

    2. Workshops
      This is an interest group sponsored activity more focused and intensely discussive than a symposium. The workshop covers cutting edge science and may be stimulated by the interest group committees who are used as referees. Numbers of participants should be under 200 and preferably under 100 in order to generate full participation.

  2. Sponsorship will usually be associated with a financial commitment and financial support is provided on the understanding that the IUBMB becomes a co-sponsor of the symposium or workshop and that the sponsorship is advertised.

  3. While the Committees will encourage symposia on a worldwide basis, it gives special attention to those geographical areas where the biochemists and molecular biologists are in need of support. The Committees have a special interest in supporting the activities of the four Associated Regional Organizations and work closely with them.

  4. From the limited funds at the disposal of the Committees it is virtually never possible for the IUBMB to finance fully any particular symposium or workshop. Rather it is hoped that co-sponsorship by the IUBMB and the provision of "seed" money will provide recognition which will enable funds from various sources to be provided.

  5. Accepting funds from the IUBMB Committees on Symposium and Interest Group Workshops precludes obtaining any additional funds from other IUBMB sources.

  6. Attendance at the symposium must be available to scientists of all nationalities, although the total number may of course be limited by the organizing committee. A further essential condition on IUBMB sponsorship is that the organizers of a symposium or interest group activity observe the appropriate ICSU resolutions, in particular those in Appendix V and VI of the ICSU leaflet on "The Free Circulation of Scientists". A copy of this document may be obtained either from the ICSU Secretariat (51 Bd. de Montmorency, 75016 Paris, France) or from the Portfolio Chairman of the IUBMB Committees on Symposium and Interest Groups.

  7. Wherever possible the subject matter of a symposium should reflect the interest of the host laboratory and should be co-sponsored by the national biochemical society. Every opportunity should be taken to ensure that visiting speakers meet with students of biochemistry and molecular biology, and if possible seminars outside the symposium should be arranged with this purpose in mind.

  8. Since a portion of the income of the IUBMB is derived from the many national adhering bodies or from ICSU or UNESCO, care must be taken that travel support should not be confined to the nationals of one or a narrow group of countries. This is not to suggest, however, that there should be any compromise with respect to the scientific excellence of the recipients, bearing in mind the subject of the grant.

  9. A decision concerning the publication of the proceedings of any particular symposium remains with the organizing committee. The IUBMB does not lay down any conditions concerning its sponsorship in this respect. If, however, a publication results, the IUBMB insists that due acknowledgement to its sponsorship should be made and that the appropriate assigned number of the sponsorship should be included. This information should appear on the first page of each volume published.

  10. The organizers shall use the IUBMB logo (which can be downloaded from the IUBMB web-site) and acknowledge the IUBMB sponsorship on any publication related to a symposium or interest group activity.

Procedures for Making Payments

 Financial support usually takes two forms:

  1. A contribution to travel or accommodation costs may be paid in order to enable leading biochemists and molecular biologists in the field to participate in the symposium or interest group activity. The IUBMB contribution will not exceed the listed economy class return fare. If an Apex fare can be obtained this will be the maximum payment.

  2. Contributions may also be made to help young biochemists and molecular biologists from countries where biochemistry and molecular biology is less well developed to attend a symposium. This contribution will normally not exceed 50% of the listed economy class air fare, or 70% of the Apex fare, whichever is the lower.

  3. Financial support from the IUBMB is not intended to support the participation of nationals attending a local IUBMB activity.

Payments are made by the Treasurer of the IUBMB to the organizers of the symposium or workshop or directly to the recipient. In either case the organizers should inform the Treasurer of the amounts to be paid at least two months before the date of the symposium. Early notification of grants will permit the use of "Apex"-type fares in many cases and thus allow the IUBMB contribution to be distributed amongst more biochemists and molecular biologists. Payment is normally made about three months prior to the date of the symposium.

Reports After the Conclusion of a Sponsored Activity

Since the IUBMB has to account for all money expended it is essential that a report be prepared and sent to the Portfolio Chairman of the Committee on Symposium and Interest Group Workshops no later than three months after the conclusion of a symposium or workshop. The report should include a brief account of the scientific proceedings, a list of the speakers and the number and nationality of those who attend. A summary of the financial arrangements and details of the expenditure of the IUBMB money should also be provided. The Portfolio Chairman should also be kept informed of any publication that results from the symposium or workshop and a copy of the publication should be mailed to him or her.


  1. IUBMB-sponsored meetings are intended to be international events, both in terms of speakers and preferably the audience. The applicant's plans to fulfill this requirement will be an important part of the application.

  2. Sponsorship will only be provided where there is an Adhering Body or an Associate Adhering Body.

  3. If the plans for the Symposium or Workshop should change after an award has been made by a significant extent such as dates or duration of the meeting or its scope, these changes must be referred to the EC member who awarded the grant so that the amount of money awarded can be reassessed in light of the changed circumstances. Failure to provide such notification may result in the IUBMB withdrawing its sponsorship and its funds.

  4. No travel costs may be paid from the IUBMB funds awarded for domestic travel by speakers and other participants who are resident in the country where the symposium or workshop is held.

  5. The IUBMB should not be the sole supporter of an event, and the organizer must provide evidence for significant other support to match the IUBMB contribution. The recipient of IUBMB funds should be informed that they come from the IUBMB.

  6. No part of the grant may be used for administration purposes.

  7. When making the application, the applicant must describe the plans and schedule for advertising the meeting as widely as possible. Announcements of the meeting must be sent for inclusion in the calendars of all IUBMB journals and the IUBMB home page.
    It is recommended that a dedicated home page will be established for the meeting, the address of which will be advertised on the IUBMB home page.

  8. Applications for support should be made in the year prior to the event.

  9. For a period of three months around the dates of an IUBMB Congress or Conference, no event should be sponsored in the region covered by the Associated Regional Organization other than events associated with the Congress or Conference.

  10. The organizer will be provided with information about the IUBMB that should be made available to the participants.

  11. Within three months after the end of the meeting, a scientific and financial report should be sent to the responsible EC member and to the Treasurer. This report should include the names of the recipients of the IUBMB funds and the amount of each grant.

  12. No unspent funds in any year can be carried over to the following year without the permission of the Treasurer.