Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Whether you are deciding what session or area to submit your abstract to or helping to organize a session where other scientists can present their work to colleagues working on similar things, there are lots of things that go into planning a session at a conference. Being a session leader, often called a convener or chair, is an important responsibility that can introduce you to the latest research happening in your field and help you meet new colleagues and develop partnerships. Here we provide some guidance to those of you interested in taking on this leadership role.

Sample emails for advertising your conference session

If you plan to email list-serves and your colleagues about your session, you'll need some idea of how to write this email and what to include. Its your job to 'rally the troops' and generate some interest and energy in your session - to encourage people to attend the conference and submit abstracts to your session. Here are a few basic examples, as well as 'real life' samples from two popular list-serves: Cryolist and ArcticInfo.

What is a session convener / chair?

Session Conveners, also called Chairs, are the people in charge of reviewing abstracts submitted for presentation in a session. Generally duties of a session chair include advertising the session to encourage abstract submissions, working with co-conveners to determine which abstracts are given oral or poster presentations and if any are not acceptable for the session. They also are in charge of running the session at the conference which includes introducing the speakers, watching so presenters do not go over time, and facilitating question and answer sessions. For young researchers, this is a great chance to learn about the latest results in your research area, as well as meet many of the people working on topics of interest to you. Its also a great leadership training exercise.

Some conferences especially search for ECR participation - keep an eye out for that!

Advertising your session

Advertising your session is an important task for every convener. Where can you reach most of your colleagues and make them aware of your session? Here’s a few polar related listservs that you can send your session announcements to. This list is my no means complete, and if you have an idea of a listserv that is missing please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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