Call for Speakers Resource Page

The 2019 Call for Speakers is now closed.

To help you navigate the 2019 Call for Speakers, we have compiled a series of resources, answers to frequently asked questions, and tutorial videos. 

"What Submitters Need to Know for 2019" webinar 
View a recording of this live webinar to learn more about the 2019 submission process. 

Have additional questions? Contact 2019 Program Committee Chair, Katherine Lafferty or Vice Chair Rachel Mills for content related questions OR speakers@nsgc.org for questions related to the submission process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find the answer to your question?  Check out our list of commonly asked questions below:

Submitting a Proposal

    Speaker Information

      How Proposals are Reviewed


        Submission Guidelines

        All proposals must contain the following items:

        • Title: Title of the session (255 characters or less).
        • Background and Purpose: A brief descriptive paragraph (2,200 characters or less) outlining the nature of your proposed session, as well as its goals and overall structure.
        • Learning Objectives: Submit 2-4 learning objectives for your proposed session (If your submission is 1 hour or less, submit two learning objectives; if your submission is 1.5 hours, submit 3 learning objectives; if your submission is 2 or more hours, submit 4 learning objectives). Begin with a behavioral verb, then describe what a learner should be able to do.  Looking for help writing your learning objectives? Check out this 5-minute tutorial.
        • Proposed Session Length: Indicate the proposed length of your proposal.
        • Session Format:  Identify the format of your session and describe why it is the best format for your submission?
        • Audience Engagement: Include a description of how your proposed session will engage the audience.  We recommend a minimum of 15 minutes of audience discussions/Q&A for every 45 minutes of presented content.
        • Outline of Session Time: Describe how you plan to use the time in your proposed session.  Include a description of time used for audience engagement, lecture and/or activities. 
        • Proposed Speakers: Indicate the names of the proposed speakers for your session and why they are being suggested for this session.
          • Speakers do not need to be confirmed at the time of submission but inclusion in the final Annual Conference program schedule will be contingent on confirmation of appropriate speakers
        • Relevance: Describe why this session/topic is important for NSGC's Annual Conference attendees. If you are submitting your session on behalf of a SIG, Workgroup or Committee, discuss why this group feels that this session will be important. 

        All presentations must be educational in nature and not include any sales, product or marketing information. Speakers are encouraged to prepare and present original material. Members of the 2019 Program Committee will carefully review all submissions.

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        Session Types at the 2019 Annual Conference

        The following sessions types will be available at the 2019 Annual Conference:

        Educational Breakout Sessions

        Educational Breakout Sessions (EBS) are breakout sessions that typically run 1 - 1.5 hours and host 250 - 750 attendees in each session.  These sessions cover a variety of topic areas including, but not limited to, clinical, specialty, professional issues and counseling content.   A minimum of 15 minutes for questions and discussions with the audience is recommended for every 45 minutes of content.

        Pre-conference Symposia

        Pre-conference Symposia are five hours in length, allowing for time to take a deeper dive into a specific topic area.  In 2019, the Program will feature at least 4 Pre-conference Symposia that are focused on a specific specialty area.   Collaboration with SIGs for this specialty content is highly recommended. A minimum of 15 minutes for questions and discussions with the audience is recommended for every 45 minutes of content. Pre-registration is required and session have an additional cost for attendees. 


        Workshops present an opportunity for attendees to explore interesting and emerging topics through a 2-hour, interactive learning experiences. These workshops will employ skill-based, active learning to encourage interaction between session attendees allowing for expanded and enhanced networks in addition to content mastery.  A minimum of 30 minutes of hands-on interactive activities is recommended for every 30 minutes of content. Pre-registration is required. 

        Plenary Sessions

        Plenary sessions are 30 minutes to one hour in length and are held unopposed to any other educational activity, allowing for all attendees to be present.  These sessions, aim to highlight genetic counselor research, best practices and the value our profession brings to a variety of roles.  Sessions considered for a plenary should be applicable to the majority of attendees.   

        New in 2019! Post-conference Sessions

        These new educational sessions will be held at the close of the general NSGC Annual Conference.  Sessions will include 3 hours of content with a 30-minute break.  We encourage session that include interactivity, skill-building or a deeper dive into a topic area.  Pre-registration is required and sessions have an additional cost for attendees.  

        Janus Lecture

        The Janus Lecture is a yearly event named after the ancient Roman god, Janus, who was depicted with two faces, one looking to the past and one to the future.  In this spirit, the Janus Lecture features a genetic counselor with expertise in a specific specialty area, sharing his/her expertise in the past, present, and future of their specialty.  One genetic counselor will be selected to give a 30-minute lecture based on nominations from the general membership.   To nominate yourself or a colleague, please complete Janus Lecture Nomination form.   After the close of the nomination process on January 25, 2019, we will reach out to the nominee to request a CV.  A final selection will be made in March and the nominator and nominee will be notified at that time.  If you have any questions, please contact speakers@nsgc.org.

        Download an example submission here

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        Important Dates and Deadlines

        • December 3, 2018: Call for Speakers opens
        • January 25, 2019 (11:59 pm CT): Call for Speakers closes - EXTENDED DEADLINE
        • Early-March 2019: Program Committee Communications with Submitters if Necessary
        • Late-March 2019: Final submissions selected for conference program

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        Suggested Topic Ideas

        To assist session submitters, we've compiled a list of suggested session topics, based on feedback from the 2018 Annual Conference. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list and submitted sessions do not have to fit one of the topics listed below.

        • Access and equity in care
        • Adult (non-cancer) genetics
        • Billing/reimbursement issues
        • Counseling for consumer-facing testing
        • Diversity/inclusivity 
        • Emerging technologies, diagnostic techniques, and innovation
        • Genetic counselor led research
        • Innovative service delivery models (beyond telemedicine)
        • Late-breaking topics in common specialties (prenatal, cancer, peds)
        • Newly discovered genes and impact on care
        • Polygenic risk scores
        • Prenatal topics
        • Somatic testing
        • Supervision and education
        • Variant interpretation, including emerging technologies to assist with classification

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        Writing Learning Objectives

        Learning objectives should:

        • Provide a framework for learning program planning. 
        • Serve as the basis for selection of content and instructional strategies. 
        • Describe to learners exactly what knowledge, skills and/or attitudes they are expected to accomplish/demonstrate as a result of the learning program. 
        • Serve as the basis for providing periodic feedback, measuring progress, and assessing learning. 
        • Be clear, concise, and measurable. 
        • Be written using behavioral verbs (each objective should not contain more than 1 behavioral verb). Note: “understand” is not a recognized continuing education behavioral verb. Visit the NSGC website for a list of behavioral verbs.

        Looking for help writing your learning objectives? Check out this quick, 5-minute tutorial.  

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        What Resources Are Available to Facilitate Sessions?

        A standard session room is set up in theater style with the following items:

        • Podium
        • Head table with 4 chairs on stage
        • Wireless Internet
        • Screen, LCD Projector
        • Laptop (PC) with Microsoft Office Suite
        • Speaker Timer w/ Large Display
        • Wireless Mouse/Laser pointer
        • Podium Microphone
        • Wireless Lavaliere Microphone
        • Audience Response System (Poll Everywhere)

        If you anticipate any additional needs to execute your session, please indicate those for the NSGC Executive Office during the submission period.  

        We ask this question to better understand the format and flow of your session.  Any requests will need to be reviewed and approved by the Program Committee and NSGC Executive Office before they are confirmed. Selecting items in your proposal does not mean that the items have been approved at the time of submission.  Examples of additional items to inform the Program Committee and Executive Office of, include: 

        • Room set up in style other than theater (example: classroom)
        • Additional microphones
        • Additional head table seating
        • Mac or other computer adapters needed
        • Ability to play a video or other multimedia
        • Power outlets for all participants to bring laptops  

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        Speaker Travel Reimbursement Policy

        Non-genetic counselor speakers are eligible for reimbursement/coverage of travel costs. Typically, this is for individuals such as physicians, surgeons, patient advocacy representatives or patient panels. Below you will find the items that are covered for non-genetic counselor speakers. To verify whether or not you or your speaker is eligible for reimbursement/coverage of travel costs, please email speakers@nsgc.org.

        • Flight (up to $500)
        • Per Diem (up to $70 a day)
        • Ground Transportation or transportation to/from the airport (up to $150)
        • Hotel (1 night’s stay)

        Sessions are not scored differently based on the number of individuals that would require travel within a session. Sessions will be evaluated based on the content of their proposal.  

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        Speaker Honoraria Policy

        Honoraria is provided to session speakers. The honorarium per session is listed below (this value is split among all presenters in the session, with the division is at the discretion of the session organizer). Both genetic counselors and non-genetic counselors are eligible for this honorarium.

        • Pre-conference: $1,500
        • General Plenary Session: $500 per hour of presentation 
          • 30 minute plenary = $250
          • 60 minute plenary = $500
        • Educational Breakout Session: $300 per hour of presentation
          • 60-minute breakout: $300
          • 90-minute breakout: $450
        • Workshop: $600
        • Post-conference: $900

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        Speaker Registration Policy

        All speakers receive complimentary, full-conference registration. The CEU fee for full members and non-members is included in this complimentary registration, however, it does not include add-ons such as a Pre-Conference Symposia or the conference recordings. Add-ons will be an additional fee for all attendees and speakers. The speaker complimentary full-conference registration is non-transferable if a speaker is unable to attend the full conference. 

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        Review of Presentation Materials

        If your session and speakers are confirmed, the NSGC Executive Office will request that each speaker complete confirmation paperwork.  Included in this confirmation paperwork is a clause, which speakers are required to sign, indicating that they own the copyright for the content that they are presenting, or that they have permission from the copyright owner to present the information. Additionally, speakers will be asked to confirm that they will cite all sources and disclose any conflicts of interest in their presentation.

        Speakers are asked to submit their slides in advance of the meeting for the purpose of posting handouts for attendees. Slides will not be reviewed by NSGC for accuracy/appropriateness.    

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        Speaker Conflict of Interest

        All presentations must be educational in nature and not include any sales, product or marketing information.

        If selected for presentation, all speakers are asked to submit their conflict of interest disclosures (seen below) upon confirming their participation at the NSGC Annual Conference.  Presenters are asked to share this disclosure prior to speaking at the Annual Conference.  NSGC will post submitted conflicts of interest online prior to the 2019 Annual Conference as well. 

        Conflict of Interest Statement

        I understand that I must indicate below that either (a) I have NO financial interest in any commercial entity whose products or services are described, reviewed, evaluated or compared in the Presentation; or (b) I have a financial interest in a commercial entity whose products or services are described, reviewed, evaluated or compared in the Presentation. I must disclose any financial interest I may have in any commercial entity whose products or services are described, reviewed, evaluated or compared in the Presentation. For example, I must disclose if I (i) have an ownership interest in such a commercial entity; (ii) have a financial interest in any product or service discussed in the Presentation; (iii) am employed (whether full or part-time) by such a commercial entity; (iv) own all or part of any patent licensed to such a commercial entity; (v) have an ongoing relationship (e.g., as a consultant, agent, representative, speaker, etc.) with such a commercial entity; or (vi) have received financial compensation for my Presentation.

         For additional questions, please contact speakers@nsgc.org

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        What Should I Expect Afer Submitting?

        In early March, Program Committee members may reach out to session submitters with the following: 

        • Questions about the proposals
        • Suggested edits or tweaks to the proposal
        • Requests to consider combining a presentation with another group or for considering a speaker
        • Likely date of presentation, if confirmed

        In mid-March, the conference schedule will be finalized and speaker confirmation form will be sent.

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        What is the Program Committe Looking for in Submissions?

        The Program Committee has identified several key criteria that they are looking for in 2019 submissions.  Please see those listed below.  

        • Clear description of purpose and relevance to the profession
        • Minimum of three clearly defined, measurable learning objectives
        • Rationale for preferred session format: lecture, panel, debate, small group breakouts etc.
        • Clear, descriptive outline of how time will be utilized and why
        • Proposed speakers and rationale for their inclusion
        • Plan for audience engagement, including – but not limited to – discussion and Q&A
        • Submissions that highlight research and genetic counselor achievement

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        Program Committee Members

        Members of the 2019 Annual Conference Program Committee are listed below.

        • Katherine Lafferty, Chair
        • Rachel Mills, Vice Chair
        • Carrie Blout
        • Colleen Caleshu
        • Melanie Hardy
        • Katie Krepkovich
        • Lauren Lichten
        • Margaret Sheehan
        • Barry Tong

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        How are Proposals Reviewed?

        During the review process, the following steps are taken:

        • Committee members are assigned proposals to review and score electronically.  Committee members with expertise in topic areas are selected in the assignment process.  
        • Committee meet in-person in Chicago to discuss how the proposals scored and re-review all proposals with a goal of developing a tentative list of accepted sessions.
        • Following this meeting, Program Committee members reach out to session submitters for the following:
          • Questions about the original proposal
          • Edits or alterations to the original proposal
          • Requests that proposals be combined or revisions considered
          • Likely date of presentation, if confirmed, for assistance in confirming speakers
        • In mid-March, the conference schedule will be finalized and speaker confirmation form will be sent

        For questions about the review process, please email speakers@nsgc.org or 2019 Program Committee Chair, Katherine Lafferty or Vice Chair Rachel Mills


        Contact speakers@nsgc.org.

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