Call for Proposals for Hosting ICOM 10

Submission Deadline: February 17, 2017 midnight PST.

EMAIL Proposals to:

The International Mycorrhiza Society (IMS) is requesting proposals from groups actively studying mycorrhizas to host the Tenth International Conference on Mycorrhizas (ICOM 10).

The ICOM is the premier international forum for current research on all aspects of mycorrhizal symbioses. Research results are presented as invited plenary or symposium presentations, as contributed oral presentations, or as posters. The Conference also provides a forum for discussion of topics associated with commercializing mycorrhizal fungi and promotes exchange and research collaborations.  The ICOM is held every two years,. Thus, ICOM10 will take place in 2019.

ICOM is the major international event supported by the IMS. The first ICOM was held in Berkeley USA in 1996.  It was followed by ICOM2 in Uppsala Sweden in 1998, ICOM3 in Adelaide Australia in 2001, ICOM4 in Montreal Canada in 2003, ICOM5 in Granada Spain in 2006, ICOM6 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2009, ICOM7 in New Delhi, India in 2013, ICOM8 in Flagstaff (USA) in 2015; and ICOM9 in Prague (Czech Republic ) in 2017. Attendance has averaged around 600 (range 250 to 800).

While the IMS does not underwrite the conference financially or cover any budgetary shortfalls, the IMS will provide advice to the local organizing committee. The chair of the local organizing committee will serve on the governing council of the IMS and the IMS will provide members to serve on the international scientific committee.

What to include in a proposal

The purpose of the proposal is to provide sufficient information to the IMS membership to decide where to hold the next ICOM. The following list was developed based on the experience of previous ICOM organizers and is provided to help potential organizers think about major aspects of conference organization.  It is understood that the information in the proposal will be based on the best current estimates of the local organizing committee and that firm details cannot be developed until a time closer to the event.

1.    Summary of major aspects of the proposal (approximately ½ page and appropriate for posting on the website)
2.    Proposed year and dates, with rationale
3.    Preliminary budget

  • include possible sources of sponsorships
  • proposed fee and anticipated attendance (with the understanding that both of these are very difficult to predict long in advance of the conference date)
  • which aspects of the conference the fees are expected to cover
4.    Information on the facilities proposed for the meeting
5.    Other events planned (trips, visits, workshops, round table discussions, etc.)
6.    People and groups who will organize the ICOM

  • Will a professional conference organizer be used? (organizers of previous ICOMs recommend this)
  • Who is willing to serve on a local organizing committee?
  • Who would the local committee like to see serve on the international scientific committee? (the IMS can assist you by contacting these people)
7.    Indication of the experience of the people listed in #6 with organizing international scientific meetings
8.    Major transportation routes to the host city and their cost
9.    A general statement on visa requirements (no need to provide details for nationals of all countries)
10.  Availability of a range of types of accommodation including low cost accommodation for students; apartments for groups
11.  Theme and format of the Conference

12.  Plans for inviting keynote speakers, to maintain the tradition of research excellence of the ICOM

13.  Plans to involve inoculum and other companies in the activities of ICOM (some sessions on applied aspects; packages of ‘benefits’ can be offered to companies who sponsor various aspects of the conference)
14. Source of liability and cancellation insurances
15. Other reasons why this location is a good location

Proposals should not exceed 10 pages and should be emailed to
 by February 17, 2017. The Chair of the local organizing committee must be a member in good standing of the IMS.

Procedures for evaluation

The following criteria have been identified by the IMS as being important for evaluating the proposals:

1.    Clear and realistic budget plan (low registration fees are attractive, but fees must be adequate to cover the costs)
2.    Date
3.    Costs to participants (bearing in mind that final fees will be set closer to the date of the conference when costs can be estimated more precisely)
4.    Cost and convenience of travel (individual members may want to check visa costs and procedures for their nationality).
5.    Facility for the meeting itself
6.    Accommodation (range of prices)
7.    Student residence available near the conference location
8.    Proposed location relative to the region in which the previous ICOM was held
9.    Attractiveness of the proposed ICOM to scientists and students conducting high quality research in academia, government and industry, as well as end users of mycorrhiza research
10.  Opportunities for networking and establishing collaborations

Once the proposals have been received by the IMS, the governing council will review them and solicit clarifying information from the submitters by March 2, 2017.

Updated proposals will be posted on the IMS website. This will take place no later than March 20, 2017.

IMS members will evaluate and vote on proposals. Deadline: May 1st, 2017.

The successful proposal will be announced by May 15, 2017.