Special Sessions Instructions

What is a NER Special Session?

A Special Session is a session which is devised to include panel discussions and/or talks or on topics focusing on a specific team of interest to the neural engineering community and can receive a wide interest across different themes of the conference. Organizers of Special Sessions must submit papers related to the special session that is centered around a common theme (e.g. neural decoding).

The organizer of the session and speakers work together to craft a 90-minute session.

What should I submit?

To submit the application for a thematic special session you need to upload

  • An abstract of maximum 2500 characters (including spaces) describing the rationale of the session and why is important for a broad conference audience
  • List of organizers with a brief synopsis of their career/research goals (max 5 lines)
  • Each organizer must submit a 4-page paper that will be linked to the session.
  • Speakers should be the first authors of the submitted paper
  • Organizers can be speakers

Who-is-who in a Session?

  • Session Organizers:
    • The session organizers are the individual who submit the proposal to the conference committee, act as leaders and coordinators for the session development and ensures the successful and timely execution of the session. The organizer’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:
      • Proper Submission of the Proposal from the conference website
      • Open and prompt communication with the organizing committee and/or staff.
      • Ensuring that all deadlines and requirements for the session planning and execution, as defined by the organizing committee, are met.
      • Timely execution of the session.
  • Session Speaker(s): are the first authors of the submitted publication. Special requests can be accommodated if the first author cannot present.

When is the session?

An accepted session proposal will be assigned a date and time at the discretion of the conference organizing committee members.  Each accepted session will be scheduled in the conference program for a maximum of 90 minutes.

Can my session take place on the day of my choosing?

All scheduling of sessions is completed by the conference organizing and programming committees.  Requests may be submitted to the committee for a special accommodation but cannot be guaranteed, as the committee decisions are made with the full scope of the conference in mind.

How long and how many speakers?

Each proposal should include a maximum of 6 speakers for an allotted time of 90 minutes. 

Should I recruit speakers before I propose and organize the session?

Yes. Whereas potential speakers must be included on your proposal submission. It is critical to make sure they are willing, able, and committed to present and are committed to participating in the proposed session.  A strong proposal will include a list of speakers who have committed to attend and will submit a 4-page manuscript.

Are session speakers required to register for the conference?

Session speakers and organizers are required to register and pay their applicable admission fee to attend the conference.  Acceptance of a session Proposal is not indicative of complimentary registration or financial support. The organizer is required to register for a Full Conference rate.

Are Paper part of a proposal automatically accepted?

Papers are not accepted automatically even if a session is approved. In fact the final approval of the session may depend on the acceptance of a sufficient number of submitted manuscripts for that session.

If the session is cancelled but some of the papers were accepted, the authors presentation be included in the general program and not as part of a thematic special session. 

How do I submit my proposal?

All proposals must be submitted on the approved template on the main conference website.

How does review work?

Review and Decision for the Proposal

  • The committee will begin reviewing proposals after the initial submission deadline has passed.
  • Following the review, the committee will advise the corresponding proposer of either the acceptance or rejection of the proposed session.
  • If rejected there is no further action, and the session will not be included in the conference program.
  • If Accepted the proposal will move into scheduling.


  • Shortly after the final submission deadline, the program committee will schedule the sessions which met the required steps and provide a date, time, and room assignment for the session.