Unique to the Biochemical Society, Harden Conferences are residential research conferences covering a specialist topic. The conferences bring together scientists from various backgrounds with a common interest in - but varying approaches to- the topic of the conference. Young Researchers/Students are entitled to apply for bursaries towards the registration fee.
To maintain a suitably high level of discussion and presentation at the conference, it is desirable that participants be experienced in the field covered; most of the participants will be expected to have postdoctoral or equivalent experience, although PhD students will also be welcome. Each conference lasts 4 to 5 days, with planned scientific sessions morning and evening, and the afternoon left clear for informal scientific interchange and recreation.
The planned scientific sessions feature speakers invited by the Conference Organizers. Additionally time is left for extensive discussion and for short contributions (including posters and oral communications) by other conference participants.
In order to encourage free discussion, abstracts and proceedings of Harden Conferences are not published.
This paper lists the information that should be contained within your Harden Conference Proposal. Additional information and questions frequently asked by Harden Conference Organizers are included.
Agreement by the Meetings Board to accept a proposal as a Harden Conference means that the organizer retains responsibility for the scientific content of the conference. Organizers are expected to liaise very closely with the Conference Office staff to ensure the meeting runs to schedule, and is within budget.
Please use the following online form to submit your proposal. All proposals will be considered at the February Meetings Board Meeting at least 18 months before the proposed Conference date.
If you would like to discuss submitting a proposal, please telephone Frances van Klaveren on
+44 (0)207 685 2450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the proposal form, please complete each heading and fulfil the specified criteria. Please note the proposal form is generic to all Biochemical Society conference formats, so please specify information relevant to the Harden Conference format.
1. What type of meeting are you planning? i.e. a Harden Conference
2. Full meeting title
Provide the working title for the Harden Conference.
3. Suggested date
Organizers are asked to suggest a date for the meeting which should not clash with other Life Science events on a similar topic. Please contact the Conference Office for more information. See the Conference Office home page to view agreed future Biochemical Society conferences.
4. Theme Panel
Please indicate which Theme Panel your proposal is relevant to. Please note that before formal online submission, proposers are encouraged to discuss their proposal with the relevant Theme Panel(s). Proposals that have not been discussed with the relevant Theme Panel(s) are more likely to be returned to applicants for revision. Theme Panels can be contacted directly to request feedback via email. Alternatively, proposers may contact individual member(s) of the relevant Panel(s).
If you have a suggestion for a venue, please ensure that it is spacious enough to accommodate a poster session. If you do not have a venue in mind, the Conference Office will help to find possible sites.
6. Length/duration of meeting
State the proposed length of programme. Harden Conferences are usually between 4–5 days in duration.
7. Commitment to publish manuscripts
This section is not relevant to Harden Conferences, and can be ignored.
8. Is full/partial secretariat support requested?
Conferences receive full secretariat services if requested. To discuss the services available in full, please contact Frances van Klaveren on tel no. +44 (0)20 7685 2450 or email email@example.com.
9. Anticipated audience description and numbers
Include an approximate number of delegates and also if they are likely to include Full/Student or non-members of the Society. Note: Harden Conferences usually attract an audience of up to a maximum of 150 attendees.
10. Case for the scientific programme
State the case for the science programme (half page A4) in terms of:
11. Include details of the additional programme, such as networking slots, oral presentations selected from abstracts and poster sessions.
Conference Organizers are asked to include time for networking opportunities and poster sessions at Harden Conferences. Networking opportunities can include structured events such as the scheduling of meetings between delegates. The Conference Office can assist with organizing these events. Harden Conferences usually include free time in the afternoon for social activities. Poster sessions should be attended by speakers, who should be asked to judge poster prizes where applicable. In addition to the invited speakers detailed below, slots should be included for oral presentations selected from abstracts.
12. Please list any additional suggestions for the programme that will allow for increased engagements with the audience.
These can include discussion sessions, 'Meet the expert/speaker' sessions, breakout groups, mini workshops, flash poster presentations, networking sessions incorporated with the poster sessions etc.
13. Competing/recent meetings
Give information, if known, about any competing meetings and the last known meeting on the topic in UK/rest of the world.
14. Speaker details
There is no prescribed invited speaker format, but a maximum of five invited speakers per full day of science is advised. Organizers are encouraged to invite as many talks from submitted abstracts as the programme allows - these 'elevated' speakers are not offered financial assistance.
Please see the list of Speaker allowances for Harden Conferences.
Note the total speaker travel allowances should not exceed £1,800 per day of science.
Appropriate representation of women as invited Speakers is required, and will be monitored by the Society. The Society aspires to 40% but recognizes that this target may be difficult to achieve in specific fields. At least 25% of the invited speakers should always be women.
15. Organizer details
Please give full contact details for all organizers.
16. Sponsorship and support
Harden Conferences receive up to £15,000 financial sponsorship from the Biochemical Society. To cover costs and keep delegate fees down, organizers are asked to seek additional financial support for the conference. Please include in the proposal a realistic level of predicted sponsorship – with details of the sources of sponsorship already confirmed.
Extra notes for Harden Conference Organizers
The Society provides full secretariat support for Harden Conferences
Registration fees are a combination of:
venue and accommodation costs;
a contribution towards the science programme costs;
charges for any social programme.
The Biochemical Society advises organizers to consider educational venues rather than dedicated conference venues, which can be expensive.