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FAQ for Educational Workshop Submissions #SIO2024

 What is the new educational workshop proposal system that SIO will be using for #SIO2024?

For the 21st International SIO conference hosted by City of Hope in Cosa Mesa California on October 25-27th 2024, we will be introducing a new process for our annual conference educational workshops. In the past we would have simultaneous scientific abstract and educational workshop submissions managed by the Scientific Review Committee (SRC). The best educational workshop proposals would be selected by SRC and invited to present at the conference. Usually, we would not prescribe or change the content of the presentation, and the original author of the proposal would the main driver for the final content for the conference.

This year, based on feedback from prior successful workshops in the past, workshop submissions will no longer be judged by the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) who will continue to judge the scientific abstracts. The educational workshop submissions will be judged by SIO 2024 Education Committee, which will be staffed by similarly qualified individuals with a particular passion for integrative oncology training and education.

In a similar model to how educational workshops are developed for the ASCO annual conference, the best educational workshop submissions will be selected in the first phase of the selection process. Phase two of the process will be creative collaboration between the selected workshop authors and the Education Committee. For example, it is possible multiple excellent workshop submissions addressing the same topic will be selected, and the authors asked to merge the best of their proposals together to make the new workshop better than the sum of its parts. It is possible the Education Committee selects a workshop proposal with conditional adjustments, for example, more interactivity or experiential activity for attendees. But at any point in the process if an author does not wish to modify their submission, they may withdraw their application at any time in the selection process. Our goal is the same as the workshop authors – to make the workshop as useful and impactful as possible.

Also given the extra time involved in producing the workshops, we will end the deadline for submissions 2 weeks earlier than scientific abstracts i.e. March 15th 2024 instead of April 1st, 2024. Please respect these deadlines because we do not expect in extending the deadlines this year.

What workshop slots are available for the SIO 2024 21st International conference?

We have five workshop slots for 75min each that will occur as breakout sessions during the core of the conference schedule October 25-27th 2024. We also have two preconference workshop slots of 120 minutes each that will be featured on the morning of October 25th 2024 before the official kick off to the meeting. Attendees will have to pay for the preconference workshops, but will not have to pay extra for the intra-conference workshops. In general, we would advise preparing a proposal geared towards a 75min interactive workshop session.

How do I create a strong proposal?

The strongest proposals will be clearly written and as specific as possible as to what the workshop will be. The content should be current, supported by scientific research, and consistent with best practices in integrative oncology. Competitive edge will be given to workshop topics that fit well with the SIO 2024 conference theme “Full circle translational integrative oncology: from bedside to bench and back” and have a diversity of speakers (for example, speakers not all affiliated with one academic center) and perspectives. Controversial topics are welcome; in fact, they often generate the most engagement. In the description of the program please provide the important details for example, in what way will the workshop be not just didactic but interactive and experiential? Highlight the activities, if any, that participants would be asked to do during the workshop. Specify handouts and other materials that will be provided to attendees. Be clear on who the intended audience is as we will be looking for a diversity of intended audiences as much as possible. Provide details of the facilitators/presenters and their credentials and why they are the best to present this topic. Strong facilitators with a track record of being engaging, and well-reviewed at prior scientific meetings is a big plus.

Proposals will be graded on a 1-5 scale on five criteria. Keep in mind this is not the same scoring system as for scientific abstracts (see separate FAQ for that).

  • Scientific support and content – how much of the workshop content is backed up by scientific research?
  • Impact on Clinical Practice – will attendees potentially benefit in terms of seeing better clinical outcomes?
  • Clarity/Interactivity – proposal provides clear goals, content and level of experiential involvement or interactive discussion with attendees (more the better)
  • Diversity/Inclusion – generally we would like to see a diversity of speakers from different cancer centers, qualifications, and perspectives (gender, race, ethnicity and backgrounds)
  • Relevance to conference theme

Scores will be given for each category on a 1-5 scale but no workshop submission will be excluded entirely just based on a total score. Commercial bias is not a reason for automatic exclusion but must be acknowledged in the proposal and a plan to manage that bias made clear in the proposal if appropriate.

What will be provided if we are selected for a workshop?

As per precedent from our 20 prior annual conferences, reimbursement for travel, registration, and speaker fees is not available for awardees. However, if there are unique needs that might make or break the success of the workshop, please be explicit in the proposal about what those needs may be to make sure we can fulfill them (like certain AV equipment).

What will be required before the workshop presentation October 25-27th 2024?

The conference will supply the usual essentials i.e., LCD projector for PowerPoint presentations, screen and PC laptop. We will request final PowerPoint slides and presentation usually at least a month before the conference date. Conference registration of presenting authors is required for accepted workshops. If you register before the early bird deadline you can receive a significant discount and announcements of decisions will be made well before the deadline for early bird registration.

The conference will be held at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa California. We recommend arriving at least the night before the workshop presentation to avoid minimize impact of travel delays. Cost of hotel accommodations, travel and food not covered with the conference registration is the responsibility of the presenters/authors. Due to the complexity of conference scheduling, we cannot accommodate any request to present on a specific day/time.

We will also request CVs, speaker bios and headshots as we get closer to the conference date in personal e-mails.

What if I have a question not covered by this FAQ?

Feel free to reach out to cme@coh.org for any questions related to SIO 2024 registration or conference details. For questions about your workshop submissions, the Co-Chairs of the 2024 Education Committee are Eugene Ahn MD and Ashwin Mehta MD and they would be the best people to contact if you have questions specifically about the educational workshop submission process and you can be connected to them via the e-mail with info@integrativeonc.org.


Eugene Ahn

Breast medical oncologist and integrative oncologist at City of Hope Chicago SIO VP Communications Associate Professor City of Hope Director of Clinical Research at COH Chicago/Atlanta/Phoenix