Invited Sessions

Invited sessions are developed and proposed by ASHG members around a particular topic of interest and run in concurrent timeslots.  Submitting an invited proposal offers ASHG members the opportunity to directly participate in the development of the scientific program. Through a rigorous review process, the ASHG Program Committee assembles the best program possible on a diverse set of topics in human genetics.

The submission site is now closed. Thank you for your proposals.

Due Date: January 28, 2021

Decision Date: April 2021

Speakers Required: Four speakers, plus two moderators (see criteria/policies below)

Session Duration: 90 minutes

Format: Didactic sessions with four 15-minute talks followed by discussion. Panel/debate style sessions are encouraged.

ASHG urges proposers to invite presenters and moderators from a broad mix of institutions, locations, and demographic backgrounds who represent a variety of labs and disciplines bringing data and/or perspectives from multiple projects to a shared topic of interest. Panels utilizing creative and engaging formats with voices from various career stages and populations underrepresented in science are encouraged.

Topics Considered:

Invited Sessions are developed and proposed by ASHG members and address the state of the science on a specific topic. The following are some desired topics that would be welcomed by the Program Committee.


  • incorporating all aspects of human genetics research, particularly topics that integrate multiple basic science and clinical aspects of human genetic disease.
  • that integrates multiple new approaches, technologies, model systems, or perspectives to address fundamental questions in genetics and genomics
  • elucidating gene-by-environment interactions, including social determinants of health, in the causation of health disparities, as well as analysis of the social, ethical, and policy implications of this research.
  • examining and seeking to address systemic racism in the genetic and genomic research enterprise including training, study design, recruitment and engagement of participants, analysis of data, and dissemination of research findings.

Social, Ethical, and Policy Issues

  • raised by applications of genomic technologies outside health and healthcare, including, but not limited to, education, forensics, immigration, human behavior, human evolution, human history and migration, and recreational applications.
  • related to research practices in the age of COVID-19, health disparities in outcomes related to COVID-19, as well as clinical and public health applications of human genetics in addressing COVID-19.
  • raised by the application of polygenic risk scores in preventive healthcare and public health, as well as applications outside health and healthcare.


  • proposals that address research and best practices in genetics education at all levels, including training for academics and professionals; and education of research participants, patients, consumers, and the public.
Resources for Crafting Proposals
Proposal Guidelines and Speaker/Moderator Policies
  • Proposals are due January 28, 2021. The deadline will not be extended as review begins immediately.
  • Proposers must be a current ASHG member and must serve as one of the moderators. You can renew your membership here.
  • Moderators must also be ASHG members. You can renew or join here.
  • Speakers and moderators can only be in one accepted proposal. If you are the moderator and/or speaker for two accepted proposal, a replacement must be found for one of the proposals.
  • Before submitting a proposal, contact all speakers to ensure their availability as well as to obtain their agreement with ASHG policies. It is important to check to make sure a speaker is not being asked to serve on another proposal.
  • Review the step-by-step instructions below before entering the submission site.
  • Diversity: ASHG believes in the importance of diverse representation in speakers and moderators, including gender, ethnicity, career stage, and balance of institution representation. Proposers are required to include diverse speakers when crafting a session. Diversity in speakers as well as diversity of genetic data are some of the criteria used by the PC to evaluate proposals.
  • Proposals that are proposed, moderated, and presented by trainees are encouraged. At least one slot will be allocated as a trainee session.
  • There should be no more than four speakers within a given session and there is a limit of two non-member speakers per session and only one non-member from outside of North America.
  • Member speakers are provided complimentary registration to recognize their special contribution to the Annual Meeting. A member speaker is defined as a person who is/was a member of ASHG during any of these three years (2021, 2020, 2019). Non-member speakers are provided complimentary registration and are offered funds to offset travel costs.
  • Program Committee members are not permitted to speak in or moderate Invited Sessions during their tenure.
Step-by-Step Submission Instructions
  • Pre-submission: Update ASHG Membership Information
    Before logging in to submit your proposal, confirm that your name and contact information are correct in your ASHG membership account. The email address on your account will be used for all communications regarding your proposal and cannot be edited once you begin. We recommend you draft your proposal in a separate document first so that you can cut and paste details into the submission form. You may save a partially completed submission and return to it at a future date.  If you cannot remember your ASHG login please do NOT make a new login, contact
  • Step 1: Beginning a New Submission
    Sign into the ASHG website to arrive at the submission portal. Select “Add New” to begin a new submission.
  • Step 2: Basic Session Information
    Enter a title, topic area, and session type for your session. This page MUST be completed first. Saving this page will automatically create a draft to which you can return at any time until the deadline on January 28, 2021.
  • Step 3: Detailed Session Information
    Enter the information described in each step, including:

    • Your session description, written for meeting participants, maximum 2500 characters
    • Whether you propose to include a panel discussion and, if yes, what you hope to accomplish during that time and some example of questions you might discuss
    • Your rationale in proposing the session, including the target audience
    • How your session attends to diversity
    • Four learning objectives for your session, focusing on the broad outcomes intended for the audience
  • Step 4: Proposer/Moderator
    Use the people lookup function to search for yourself in the ASHG community database and add yourself as the proposer/moderator. Then fill out the financial disclosure information required for accreditation purposes. If you do not intend to moderate the session, cancel the submission and have one of the moderators submit the proposal instead.
  • Step 5: Co-moderator
    Please add a co-moderator to your session, use the people lookup function to search for them in the ASHG community database. Reminder: Your co-moderator must also be an ASHG member. If your co-moderator is also a speaker, they need to be added as both a speaker and as a co-moderator.
  • Step 6:  Speaker
    Use the people lookup function to search for each of your four speakers in the ASHG community database and add them to your proposal. If you cannot find a speaker in the database, you will be given an option to add them after searching. If a speaker is also a moderator, they need to be added as both a speaker and as a moderator. After adding each speaker, enter their talk title and description and save the entry. The description is for Program Committee review only, but should include specific results that the speaker will discuss, not a general overview of their qualifications. Your speakers should conform to the speaker selection policies above. Proposals that do not follow these policies will not be accepted. After adding your speakers, you will have the option to reorder them using “Sort Order” or further edit their information.
  • Step 7: Review Summary and Complete Submission
    Review the full session information under the “Summary” tab. If you have missed any required information, there will be a notice at the top. You can also create a printer-friendly version of the submission on this page. Once you have filled in all required information, your session is submitted. There is no separate “submit” button. A successful submission will prompt a confirmation email. You will not receive additional confirmations if you edit your proposal.
  • Post-submission: Revise by January 28, 2021
    Log in to the submission site to revise your proposal by the deadline. Review the submission summary each time you make an edit to ensure that the submission is still complete.
  • To withdraw a completed proposal, contact
Review Process
  • After the deadline, proposals go under immediate review. The first step of this review is blinded.
  • All proposals are reviewed by the Program Committee, who are not permitted to speak in or moderate sessions during their tenure.
  • Final decisions will be sent to all proposers in April 2021.
  • During the review period, proposers may be contacted by a member of the Program Committee and may be asked to provide additional details, as explained below.
    • The review of proposals is a multi-stage process. The following steps are taken in a genuine effort to ensure the best possible scientific program containing high-quality sessions.
    • The PC first shortlists proposals and determines which of the shortlisted proposals need to be revised.
    • PC representatives reach out to a subset of proposers with recommendations for revisions, which may include speaker substitutions or merging two or more similar proposals. Proposers contacted by the PC are given a short window to address request and submit revisions. The PC reevaluates the revised proposals and selects the final list of accepted proposals.
    • Although every effort may be taken by a proposer to make the requested alterations, the PC will invariably need to reduce shortlisted proposals further to achieve a final collection of sessions with sufficient breadth for the meeting. This may mean that, even with suggested changes, a proposal may not be accepted.
  • Proposers should share a copy of these instructions with every potential speaker to make them aware of ASHG policies and how the proposals are evaluated and selected.



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