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Canadian Geriatrics Society: Call for Session Proposals

On behalf of the Scientific Planning Committee (SPC) for the CGS Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), we are pleased to invite you to submit a session proposal for a symposium, workshop or debate to present at the CGS ASM next year in Montreal, from April 19 to 21, 2018.

Session proposals should address the theme of the meeting, “Advances in Care: From the Individual to the Technology”. The deadline for submission is October 20, 2017.

 The learning objectives of the 2018 CGS ASM are:

1)      To describe the role of new technology in optimizing the care of elderly patients and in supporting caregivers

2)      To appraise recent developments in clinical practice, education and research relevant to scholarship in aging

3)      To integrate new evidence into the care of elderly patients

Session Information

All sessions are 90 minutes in length and must allow for at least 25% interactivity (22 minutes). These sessions will take place concurrently throughout the two-day program. They can address any CanMEDS role relevant to geriatric practice. Sessions do not have to be solely clinical/medical in nature and can focus on education, research, communication skills, collaboration, advocacy, professionalism, etc.

Workshop: A workshop is highly interactive (> 50% of the session time), making for a lively and informative session.

Symposium: A symposium is a presentation that consists of three to five separate talks around a similar theme with a question period or other form of interactivity.

Debate: A debate is a discussion about a specific topic among a select group of panelists who share differing perspectives. It should be facilitated by the Chair of the session. A question period or other form of interactivity with the audience needs to be included.

 We highly recommend that sessions be held in English as no translation from French to English will be available.

Proposal Format

All proposals must include:

  •   Overall session title
  • Chair (name, institution, email)
  • This person is the point of contact for the session and is responsible for communicating with speakers.
  •   List of speakers (names, affiliations, email)
  • Only speakers who have been contacted and have committed to the session should be listed. If you are submitting a proposal for a symposium or debate, please list the title of each speaker’s talk.
  • Session description (< 400 words)
  • The description should focus on the theme of the session. This may include background information, goals, objectives, importance, etc. The background rationale/importance should describe how the proposed session meets the learning needs for one or more CanMEDS roles. The description should avoid overly specialized language and be easily understood by all attendees.
  • Session justification (< 250 words)
  • The justification should focus on how the review criteria specified below are met by the proposal. It should not simply repeat the description.
  •  Session summary (< 50 words): This is a very short version of the session description. Please limit to one sentence in length.
  • Learning objectives: All submissions require three learning objectives in the format “After this session, participants will be able to…” Key information about Royal College expectations for learning objectives can be found here. Please avoid verbs that are often used but are open to many interpretations (e.g., appreciate, have faith in, know, learn, understand, believe). Click here for a link to suggested verbs. Ideally, the learning objectives should relate back to the learning needs.
  • Session topic
  • Session topics are used to assign reviewers. Please provide a minimum of one topic.
  • Session field: The program is organized around these different fields: Behavioural and Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Health Sciences/Geriatric Medicine, Social Research and Interdisciplinary Policy and Practice. When you submit a session proposal, it must be applicable to one of these five fields.
Review Criteria

All proposals will be peer reviewed and scored by reviewers selected by the SPC. The SPC may accept or decline proposals, or suggest an opportunity to present the proposed work in a more appropriate format.

The deadline for submitting a proposal for the 2018 CGS ASM is October 20, 2017.

Session organizers will be notified of decisions no later than December 15, 2017.

Proposals will be assessed using the following criteria. The weighting of criteria may vary depending on the nature of proposals.

A strong proposal will have the following characteristics:

Scientific Merit

  • Offer significant contributions to the learning objectives of the 2018 CGS ASM.
  •  Present innovative or interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Have broad enough appeal to generate large audiences at the meeting.
  • Meet previously described perceived needs (identified by similar learners through surveys, needs assessments, etc.) or unperceived learning needs of the participants (identified indirectly as areas new to practice, controversial areas, or where practice/care patterns are suboptimal). (See a previous summary of learning needs compiled by the CGS; additional learning needs data are available from the CGS.)

Structure and Organization


  •  provide strong overall synthesis or overview and are not simply a set of related case studies;
  •  provide differing perspectives on the session topic (organizers should carefully avoid the appearance of biases toward their own perspectives and allow participants to evaluate differing views);
  • build a well-integrated whole (each talk should have clear relevance to the overall synthesis provided by the symposium); and
  •  include a specific title for every speaker’s talk.


  • are highly interactive with ASM participants and contain minimal didactic content;
  • may involve role play, discussions among subgroups of participants who then share their views with the whole group, audience response systems/voting, pre-tests/post-tests, etc.; and
  • use novel teaching techniques, such as the flipped classroom technique.


  • are preferentially centered around novel and/or controversial/contentious topics or a unique perspective on existing practice;
  •  involve a panel of two or more highly dynamic and engaging speakers to lead the debate and engage the audience;
  •  incorporate interactivity via audience voting, question periods, etc.; and
  • involve the Chair of the session, who should join one or more sides of the debate by making supportive statements.


  •  List the CONFIRMED speakers/facilitators who have been contacted and have committed to the session.
If Your Proposal Is Accepted

After acceptance decisions have been made and the scheduling for the meeting is underway, any cancellations and schedule changes are very disruptive. Therefore, it is very important that session organizers obtain firm commitments from their invited speakers before submitting their proposal. We are unable to guarantee that scheduling requests will be granted. When asking speakers to commit to the session, organizers should inform them that the session could be scheduled either on Friday or on Saturday. We cannot schedule or move a session to accommodate the availability of speakers.


All speakers are required to register for the conference. Registration will not be waived or reduced for speakers. The CGS is not able to provide any financial assistance, stipends, waived or reduced registration, travel assistance, or paid lodging to speakers. Organizers are responsible for making this clear to their speakers before submitting a proposal.


For Session Organizers

Once a symposium has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session.

Important Dates
 October 20, 2017Deadline for submitting a proposal for the 2018 CGS ASM
December 15, 2017Notification of acceptance sent to organizer

To Submit

You must submit your proposal in Microsoft Word format. Please email your submission to Dr. Olivier Beauchet c/o events@secretariatcentral.com.

If you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your proposal within 24 hours, please contact Andrea Smith at 1 (905) 415-3917.

Questions about the proposal format or process can be directed to Secretariat Central (events@secretariatcentral.com), and will then be forwarded to the appropriate resources.

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