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Workshops, Symposia, Focus Groups


The 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress, Making Marine Science Matter, will be held from 14-18 August 2014 at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. The Call for Proposals is closed. The information below is to be used as guidelines in organizing workshops, symposia and focus groups for proposals that were accepted.

The Call for Abstracts for oral (spoken), speed (short spoken), and poster presentations is closed.


Congress Theme

The overall theme of the congress is Making Marine Science Matter. For marine conservation to be effective, marine conservation science must matter to stakeholders, policy makers, and practitioners. To accomplish this, the congress will be organized around specific topics of interest for marine conservation in general, as well as the local area. This list is not meant to be exhaustive but merely a guide for proposers.  Others topics of interest are welcomed.

• Food security and the oceans (sustainable fisheries and aquaculture)
• Marine renewable and non-renewable energy
• Climate, ocean acidification, and the changing oceans
• Advancing marine conservation through international treaties
• Effective conservation planning (including EBM and MPAs, cumulative impacts)
• Communicating marine conservation (marine conservation awareness and outreach, social media)
• Participation in marine conservation science (e.g. citizen and indigenous science)
• Marine tourism
• Estuary restoration

In addition, the SCB Marine Section developed a list of 71 research questions critical to the advancement of marine conservation. We encourage proposals that address one or more of these questions.


Criteria for Selection

We strongly encourage proposals from individuals and groups involved in cutting edge marine conservation science or practice that can demonstrate how their proposed symposium, workshop, or focus group “makes marine science matter.” We also encourage proposals that align with a specific topic(s) of interest and/or addresses one or more of the 71 research questions. We will review, however, all marine science and marine conservation proposals. Our key criteria for prioritizing submissions are proposals that “make marine science matter.”

All symposia and focus groups are expected to produce tangible and actionable outputs that could advance marine conservation (e.g., white paper, policy statement, peer-reviewed presentation, website, etc.).

Limits on number of presentations per presenter: No individual may give more than one presentation in the following categories: symposium, contributed paper, contributed poster.

Reviewers have access to all information contained in the proposal. Proposals are blind reviewed by at least three individuals. To increase the probability that your proposal will be selected for presentation, please consider the following criteria carefully:
• Relevance to the overall theme of the congress (Making Marine Science Matter) and the specific topics of interest and/or 71 research questions
• Application to marine conservation / Clear connection to conservation science, policy, management, practice
• Financial support for speaker attendance at the meeting (external support or self-funded participants)
• Novelty of the topic

MOST IMPORTANTLY – proposals should clearly denote the proposed output for the focus group or symposium (e.g., whether it is a published action plan, workshop report, white paper, proposal, journal article/ special collection of articles). Focus groups and symposium organizers will be requested to commit to producing a tangible output and will not be approved without such commitment. Moreover, focus group/symposium organizers will likewise commit to keeping the IMCC3 program committee informed of publications or actions arising from their focus group or symposium.

Author registration rule: All organizers of accepted proposals and their invited speakers and attendees must register and be paid in full by the early deadline of 15 April 2014. Authors failing to comply with this rule will not be included in the Congress.

Financial support: It is the responsibility of organizers of symposia, workshops, and discussion groups to obtain funding for their own expenses and those of their invited speakers or invited participants. SCB and the Local Organizing Committee are not responsible for obtaining funds to support speaker travel to the meeting and cannot guarantee that any support will be available. Preference may be given to proposals for which organizers can demonstrate that funds are likely to be available.

Choosing the Category of Your Proposal

Please think carefully about the category that best meets your goals. Your proposal will only be considered for the category you choose. If your proposal is accepted, all symposium speakers will be required to submit an abstract during the call for abstracts; please coordinate with your presenters so that all abstracts are submitted by the abstract deadline of 8 March 2014 at 5p.m. Symposia that do not have all abstracts submitted may be dropped from the program. Instructions on how to submit will be provided in the notice of acceptance of your symposium proposal. It is also the responsibility of the symposium organizer to make sure that all speakers register according to the author registration rule.

Symposia present information to an audience with opportunity for interaction. Symposia will be scheduled during the primary days of the meeting (main scientific program). Symposia are two hours in length with, at a minimum, the last 15 minutes left open for discussion.

Workshops, whether geared toward students or professionals, are more interactive than symposia and often have an educational/technical component. There will be two types of workshops – short workshops during lunch on days of the main scientific program and workshops held before the Congress at the University of Glasgow. Workshops held during lunch will be approximately 1.5 hours in length, and workshops held before the scientific program can be on any length, up to eight hours. Workshops can be held for up to two days. Pre-meeting workshops will require a separate fee for participants in addition to the congress registration fee to offset the additional costs of running the workshop offsite. Any special needs or equipment might incur additional costs. These will be communicated at the time of acceptance of the proposal. Please contact the IMCC Program Committee with any questions.

Focus Groups bring together people with diverse expertise to develop tangible and actionable outputs—such as a list of recommendations, publication, policy briefing or white paper—on a specific marine conservation issue. Focus groups can be held for up to two days, for two hours or longer in duration. To minimize conflict with symposia and contributed paper sessions, focus groups of greater than two hours (max. eight hours) will be scheduled before the main scientific program begins. Focus groups of two hours in duration will be scheduled during the main scientific program. Focus groups typically have a smaller number of participants (10-30 maximum) than workshops. Pre-meeting focus groups will require a separate fee for participants in addition to the congress registration fee to offset the additional costs of running the focus group offsite. Any special needs or equipment might incur additional costs. These will be communicated at the time of acceptance of the proposal. Please contact the IMCC Program Committee with any questions.

Symposium + Focus Group: To increase the opportunity for continued discussion, a Focus Group may be combined with a Symposium. If accepted, the Focus Group will be scheduled to follow the Symposium and we will do our best to schedule it for the same or next day. Combined Symposium-Focus Groups will run during the main congress. Please note that proposers are required to submit separate proposals for the Symposium and Focus Group, but must indicate that the proposals are linked. Proposers must justify the joint session. Also note that it is possible that the Symposium can be accepted without the Focus Group, depending on the strength of the proposal.