Session Proposals

SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

At the 2023 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM (NDiSTEM) Conference, our community can learn and grow together through two types of sessions: STEM Symposia and Professional Development. The submission period has ended for 2023, but if you are interested in sponsoring a session, please click here for partnership opportunities.



Submissions Closed for 2023

Submission Platform

More details below!
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Session Proposal Steps

2023 Deadlines

Call for submissions opens (passed) February 27 at 9am PT  (passed)
Call for submissions closes (passed)
April 3 at 5 pm PT  (passed)
APRIL 20th at 11:59pm PT (passed)
Review Period April - May
Selection Process May
Notification of acceptance or declination
(don't forget to check your spam folder)
June 16
Deadline to accept participation June 26
Deadline for speaker registration September 1
Session Logistics Communications September
NDiSTEM Conference in Portland, Oregon October 26 - 28


Additional Details

We’re excited to share your experience and knowledge with the SACNAS Community. Some key facts you should know before submitting are:

  • Point of Contact: the person submitting the proposal can designate another person as the main contact for that session. The point of contact will be responsible for liaison with SACNAS regarding the logistics of their session.
  • Registration: Discounted registration will be provided to Session Speakers who also serve as Mentor Judges.
    • SACNAS does not issue refunds. If you pay for registration fees without applying a discount you are eligible for SACNAS will not issue a refund in-full or in-part. 
    • Session selection notices will go out in early June. 
    • Speakers are responsible for their registration fees, travel and hotel expenses.
  • Diversity: the best proposals include as much diversity as possible. While diversity in presenter identity is important, we also look for diversity in disciplines and institutions.
  • Detailed Descriptions: when filling out the submission form, make sure to include as many relevant details as possible, the most common scorecard critique is a lack of detail or description in a given section.
  • Solo-presenters are strongly discouraged. We would only allow sessions that have one presenter if they are the only viable subject matter expert for the session topic.
  • Student Research: If you’re looking to present student research, please visit the Student Research Presentation page for more information.

Why Present at NDiSTEM?

Benefits of presenting a session include:

  1. Contributing to advances in your field
  2. Reaching the SACNAS Community
  3. Networking within your field and beyond
  4. Serving as a role model
  5. Discounted registration for Speakers who serve as Mentor Judges

Session Topics and Featured Tracks

SACNAS hosts two different kinds of sessions throughout the annual NDiSTEM Conference:

  • STEM Symposia: discipline specific sessions
  • Professional Development: trainings and informational workshops

Certain topics from these two types of sessions will be highlighted throughout the 2023 Conference. Here are the 2023 Featured Tracks: 

Featured Track Detail Session Type S Seven Generations Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, protecting Mother Earth (climate change, environmental science), and health & wellness in STEM STEM Sympos (2)

STEM Symposia Session Type

STEM symposia sessions share cutting-edge research, ideas, and industry knowledge from community members who are experts in their STEM disciplines. This includes original research, advancements, and multidisciplinary approaches to the STEM fields.

Format and Requirements:

  • Style: A moderated series of presentations discussing papers or technical talks followed by a Q&A.
  • Speakers: A maximum of four speakers and one chair are required. 
  • Format: the 2023 NDiSTEM conference is 100% in-person, and session speakers will be required to attend on-site in Portland, Oregon.
  • Talks: A minimum of three individual talks are required.
  • Time: Total 75 minutes – approximately 10-15 minutes per talk, including a session introduction and a closing question and answer period managed by the chair.
  • Audience: STEM students, postdocs, and professionals.
  • Featured Tracks: 
    • Seven Generations - Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, protecting Mother Earth (climate change, environmental science), and health & wellness in STEM
    • Advancing interdisciplinary STEM - Coming together across disciplines to tackle diverse and unusual sets of work-related challenges
    • SACNAS History - Contributions in STEM by Sacnistas

Professional Development Session Type

Professional development sessions provide our attendees with guidance and training in beyond-the-bench skills. Support your intended audience with developing professional skills to help them refine their career choices and/or make successful transitions.

Format and Requirements:

  • Style: The goal is to have active audience engagement; propose a format that suits your submission best (e.g. interactive panels, hands-on demonstration, skills practice, small group discussion, Q&A, etc).
  • Speakers: A minimum of two speakers are required, a chair is optional.
  • Format: the 2023 NDiSTEM conference is 100% in-person, and session speakers will be required to attend on-site in Portland, Oregon.
  • Time: Total 75 minutes.
  • Audiences: Undergraduates, grad students, postdocs, and professionals – you may tailor your session for one or more of these audiences.
  • Topic Areas: We are interested in sessions relevant to STEM students and professionals at all levels. We are seeking proposals on:
    • Academic, Industry, Government, Non-Profit, or Policy Career (i.e. Graduate School Application: Developing a Personal Statement)
    • Mentorship (i.e. Choosing the Right Advisor)
    • Networking (i.e. Using Social Networks Professionally, How to Build/Expand your Network of Support)
    • STEM Policy/Ethics (i.e. Ethical Issues, Career Opportunities in STEM and Policy)
    • Skills for Success (i.e. CV/Resume 101, Management Skills for Scientists)
  • Featured Tracks
    • Ciencia for All - Diversity, inclusion and equity in STEM; Women in STEM
    • Navigating STEM Spaces - Research opportunities, internships, how to market yourself
    • Advocacy: Postdocs Under the Microscope - Advocacy and the holistic post doc experience

How to Submit a Proposal

The deadline to submit a proposal has passed for the 2023 Portland, OR NDiSTEM Conference.

You may access the portal here

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the 2024 Phoenix, AZ conference, please complete this interest form to stay up to date.

Criteria and Review /Process

Scoring Rubrics are available to help you fill out the submission form:

Proposal Selection takes place in three phases:

  1. Volunteer Review*: completed submissions are reviewed by independent STEM volunteers using the rubrics above
  2. Committee Review: submissions are then reviewed by a working group from the SACNAS Conference Subcommittee
  3. SACNAS Staff selection: finally, all scores are aggregated to help SACNAS select the best sessions for the conference

All submitters will be notified of the status of their proposal at the beginning of June.

*Volunteer reviewers cannot be affiliated with a proposal, for more information on volunteer requirements visit HERE.

Speaker Requirements

Session speakers, which include chairs, panelists, presenters, moderators, and any other role that requires participation in a session, are expected to meet the following requirements: 

  • Attend the NDiSTEM Conference in person. The 2023 NDiSTEM Conference will take place October 26-28, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. In the event a speaker can no longer attend in person, it is recommended that their talk is pre-recorded and the video file downloaded to a USB key to play onsite by another speaker present. 
  • Registration for session speakers is required by September 1. Discounted registration will be provided to Session Speakers who serve as Mentor Judges. Registration fees are dependent on the speaker's career level, membership status, and how early they register. SACNAS does not issue refunds - any registration fees paid in full cannot be refunded - in full or in part.
  • Sign the SACNAS Code of Conduct at the time of registration. 
  • Keep the session to the 75 minutes provided.
  • NDiSTEM is a noncommercial forum and under no circumstances may a breakout session be used as a place for direct promotion of a presenter's product, service or monetary self-interest. Sales pitches disguised as presentations will not be considered.
  • Session speakers will be disqualified from reviewing session proposals but are welcome to review student applications

Additional Questions or Need Help?

If you need further assistance, please email the SACNAS Conference & Events Team at

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