FAQs

Please see below for frequently asked questions about the International Symposium on ALS/MND. If you can't find an answer to your question below, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General

As a result of the continuing global uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the MND Association has taken the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s International Symposium on ALS/MND that was due to take place in Montreal, Canada. This follows detailed consultation with the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations and our 2020 hosts ALS Canada and ALS Quebec.

We have considered many factors, including the potential for global travel, rules around gatherings and social distancing, and the financial implications of the various scenarios open to us. Of course, none of us can be sure what restrictions will be in place in December, when the Symposium was due to take place. It was that lack of certainty which became the overriding factor in our decision-making. By cancelling now, we have limited the financial risk to the MND Association at a time when, like many charities, we are facing a considerable fall in income.

Our teams are working hard to create alternative opportunities to exchange the latest exciting advances in research and clinical management and to ensure global collaboration continues. Our current focus is the creation of a Virtual Symposium, taking place on 9 - 11 December 2020.

Recordings of the platform presentations and ePoster hall content will be available for registered delegates to view until 31st January 2021.

Sponsors

We would be so grateful for your support. You can find the various sponsorship opportunities available for this year's virtual event on the Sponsorship page of the website.

Please contact Pauline Frear on +44 (0) 1604 611695 or pauline.frear@mndassociation.org, to discuss your requirements and find out if there is a bespoke package we can put together for you.

Registration

We do not offer a day rate, as delegates are expected to attend all three days of the conference. This year, fees will be substantially reduced to £45 for attendees to help contribute to the costs of running the online event.

There are no reduced rates for students. Fees will be substantially reduced to £45 for attendees to help contribute to the costs of running the event.

Usually, people with MND will be charged the early bird (discounted) rate, and one accompanying carer will be able to attend for free. There is no early bird registration fee this year as the event will be held online. Fees have been substantially reduced to £45 for attendees to help contribute to the costs of organising and running the virtual event.

Whilst the event is aimed primarily at scientists and healthcare professionals, there is an opportunity for people with MND to attend, via the Patient Fellows Programme managed by the ALS Therapeutic Development Institute (ALSTDI). This allows some people with MND to be funded to attend the Symposium and then share their experiences via an article or social media.

Please email your request to our conference team at symposium@mndassociation.org.

Important dates

The virtual event will feature ‘platform’ presentations from invited plenary speakers only. These talks will focus on basic science, clinical research and disease management, as well as updates on clinical trials.

Throughout the event, there will be an exhibition of ePosters with author(s) presenting their research with a three minute ‘lightning explainer’ video and displaying pdfs of their posters. Live discussions will take place during the designated poster sessions. The abstract submission system for ePosters will close on 28 September 2020 (23:59 UK time). For more information, please visit the abstract submission page, or email abstracts@mndassociation.org.

 

After the abstract submission system for ePosters has closed and the abstracts have been reviewed, corresponding authors will be notified about their abstract decision in early October 2020. If you have been accepted, further instructions on how to submit your poster PDF and lightning explainer video (up to 3 minutes long) will be provided to you.

For the ePoster Hall, accepted poster authors are required to submit their poster PDF and video URL (max 3 minutes) to their submission portal by 13 November 2020 (23:59 UK time).

The link to your unique submission portal will be in your confirmation email. If your poster PDF and video is not received by this deadline, your poster will be considered as no-shows and the abstract will be removed from the ePoster Hall.

For more information, please visit the For ePoster Presenters page.

Platform presentation abstracts will be published and available to view on this website on w/c 9 November 2020.

The Poster abstract book will be available to view on the website soon after.

At the virtual event, there will be an ePoster hall with author(s) presenting their research through a three minute ‘lightning explainer’ video and poster PDF. These will be available to access on-demand during the Symposium (9 - 11 December 2020) so attendees can choose when to view content throughout the event. Live discussions of posters will take place during the designated poster sessions. Content will be available for registered delegates to view up to 30 days after the event.

Posters

This year at the Virtual Symposium, there will be an ePoster Hall full of posters with author(s) presenting their research through three minute ‘lightning explainer’ videos and displaying PDFs of their posters as handouts. These will be available to access on-demand so attendees can choose when to view content throughout the event. Live Poster Sessions will take place on each day of the event to give presenting authors the opportunity to discuss their work live with small groups of delegates.

Researchers who would like to present an ePoster at the Virtual Symposium must submit an abstract – an overview of their research and findings. These will be reviewed, we will let you know if you’ve been accepted and provide further instructions on how to submit your poster and additional material.

The abstract submission system for posters will open on 28 August 2020 and close on 28 September 2020 (23:59 UK time). Please visit the abstract submission page for more information.

The poster submission deadline for PDF and video is 13 November 2020. For more information, please go to the For ePoster presenters page of the website. Note that if there is a change in presenting author you must let us know as soon as possible by emailing abstracts@mndassociation.org. This includes instances when someone is presenting on your behalf or you are no longer able to attend.

Last year we had over 420 posters, you can read all the abstracts online.

The Poster Prize is usually awarded to presenting authors of the best biomedical and clinical posters. Find out more about last year's winners on the Poster Prize 2019 page.

For the Virtual Symposium this year, posters will not have to be printed but accepted author(s) will have to submit a PDF of the poster along with a three minute ‘lightning explainer’ video (URL) to present their research in the ePoster Hall (available to view throughout the meeting). Live poster sessions will take place on each day of the event for authors to discuss their work live with small groups of delegates.

Authors can be as creative as they want with the video to explain their poster, using any style and format they wish. Please read our Poster PDF guidelines and Poster video guidelines for instructions on how to submit these documents, with some hints and tips to help create them. We have used Microsoft PowerPoint as an example to create the video presentation in this guideline but if this option is not available, you can include an audio voice over your work, or use other platforms.

For more information, please go to the For ePoster presenters page of the website.

Programme

The programme of platform presentations at the Virtual Symposium is now available on our website: Programme.

Each year, we hold a vacant ‘late breaking news’ slot for consideration of news on results. For example, from a Phase 3 clinical trial, new gene discovery or similar; these are highly competitive, and there is therefore no guarantee of securing a slot. The decision on the late breaking news item(s) is taken by the Programme Committee in the weeks leading up to the event.

A short abstract must be submitted to abstracts@mndassociation.org.

Abstracts from previous years can be found online on the Past Symposia page or on the Taylor & Francis website.