Operating Procedures

Current Practices for DBIO

Program Committee:

  1. A “Call for proposals” template file is attached here {link}.
  2. FOCUS Sessions
    1. The deadline to submit FOCUS session proposals is June 15.
    2. The deadline was advanced so that organizers have more time to confirm high-demand speakers who may not normally attend the March Meeting.
    3. We should remind the membership to submit focus session proposals a month before the deadline, two weeks before, and one week before.
    4. Proposers should use the template file attached. The same instructions should go to all DBIO members by e-mail (template e-mail attached), and be posted on the DBIO web site. By posting them online, all users will be able to access the instructions and forms, even if they “lose” the email.
    5. We should actively recruit people to form FOCUS sessions by emailing them directly.
    6. FOCUS session organizers should be encouraged strongly to attend the sorting meeting, so they can sort the contributed abstracts into cohesive, FOCUS session.
    7. Suggest that each focus session should include 2-3 invited speakers. (this also appears in the template proposal file)
    8. Each focus session needs at least 1 invited speaker. If a FOCUS session is very popular and gets split into several sessions, the focus session organizer may determine who to elevate to an invited talk at the sorting meeting, after communication with APS and the ExCom at the sorting meeting.
  3. INVITED Sessions
    1. The deadline to submit INVITED session (colloquially referred to as “symposia”.) proposals is June 15.
    2. The date is greatly increased to facilitate high demand speakers participation at the March Meeting, especially biological scientists.
    3. If an organizer of an INVITED Session has a biologist who is used to being aid to travel, that should be noted on the proposal.
    4. We should remind the membership to submit invited proposals a month before the deadline, two weeks before, and one week before.
    5. Use the template file attached, and post it online as well. All relevant details are in that file.
    6. Note that INVITED sessions are colloquially referred to as “symposia”. Avoid using this word, as it does not appear in any official documents from APS, hence it is to be considered a spoken-word only.
  4. The Vice-Chair (to be Chair-Elect the following year) must attend and participate in the programming meeting in October and the sorting meeting in December to (A) get experience one year before he/she will run the sorting meeting and (B) meet DBIO members and APS staff.
  5. The Program Chair (Chair-Elect of DBIO) must remind invited speakers to submit their abstracts.
  6. DBIO Chair organizes the Tutorial/Workshop.
    1. New idea to invite members to propose tutorials/workshops
    2. “Invite” the ExCom to also propose tutorial/workshop.
    3. If no good tutorial/workshop is proposed, the members of the ExCom will give tutorial talks themselves on their research field.
    4. Dates for organization: The tutorial should be organized in the summer before March Meeting, if expected to occur at the start of the meeting.

Nominating Committee:

  1. The Nominations Committee creates the nomination list for DBIO ExCom elections for open positions.
  2. A nominee must be a member of DBIO for at least 2 years prior to nomination.
  3. Send an email to the general membership asking for ideas for nominees including self-nominations. This email must be sent early (April just after the meeting), so that the suggested nominees can be vetted by the nominating committee.
  4. Collects CVs and statements from candidates Sept 1 – Oct 15. Sends to the Sec/Tres. Sec/Tres who communicates with the APS to post the CVs and statements on APS website prior to the election.
  5. Sec/Tres conducts election online Nov 1 – Dec 1. Election closes Dec 1, and Sec/Tres informs candidates of results of the election.
  6. Sec/Tres informs new ExCom members of the calendar for the ExCom activities to begin orientation, and specifically communicates the dates for their required participation at various events, depending on role.

Fellowship Committee:

  1. The fellowship committee is led by the Vice-Chair.
  2. At least two members of the fellowship committee should be APS Fellows
  3. At least two members of the fellowship committee should be ExCom members.
  4. This means there will be UP TO 5 people on the committee, but since ExCom members can also be fellows, there could be fewer than 5.
  5. The Fellowship Committee members shall solicit nomination of candidates for fellowship via email to the membership by May 1. They shall review and rank the qualifications of all candidates using pre-established criteria, shall themselves not be candidates, and shall report their rankings and recommendations to the Chair and the Sec/Tres who will in turn report to the Executive Committee for the Division’s final recommendations and submission to the Executive Officer of the Society by June 15. If there is a lack of candidates, the date can be extended by 1 month to June 1, but this change needs to be approved by APS.
  6. It was noted that if a division nominates at least two foreign fellows, it gets one extra fellowship slot, and if it nominates at least four, it gets two extra slots. ("Foreign" refers to institution, not nationality.)
  7. Nominations are good for two years.

Shirley Chan Travel Awards Committee:

  1. Qualifications:
    1. Student must be the first author of contributed papers (talks or posters) in sessions sponsored by DBIO at the March Meeting. Applicants will be chosen on the basis of the quality of their work as evidenced by the abstract of the paper, a letter of support from their thesis advisor and the travel distances. The committee should take into account the minority status of the applicant.
    2. Both student and advisor, domestic or foreign, must be members of DBIO, not just of the APS. New members can sign up and are encouraged to do so before Dec. 31 for verification purposes (it is only $8 for APS members to become also DBIO members!).
    3. Use an application (linked online as pdf or MS Word). No more than 2 students from one advisor may apply.
  2. Committee Should:
    1. The deadline for the travel award should coincide with the abstract submission deadline for the annual APS March Meeting. Solicitations will be made by the Sec/Tres with reminders about submitting abstracts.
    2. Applications will be sent to Sec/Tres who will check DBIO status of student and advisor.
    3. Eligible applications will be sent to committee Dec 1.
    4. Travel Award committee will determine the winners by January 1.

Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics Committee:

The Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics will be decided by the thesis award committee. Nominations will be collected by APS

Updated March 2014
By JLR, Sec/Tres DBIO

Timeline of Important DBP Yearly Events

Chair of Each Committee:

  • Program Chair » Chair-Elect of the Division
  • Tutorial Chair » Vice-Chair of the Division
  • Fellowship Chair » Vice-Chair of the Division
  • Election Chair » Past Chair of the Division


  • ~3/15 March Meeting
  • Membership Drive (Application forms from chairs, whatever it takes!)
  • Executive Committee Meeting: DBP Chair
  • Business Meeting: DBP Chair
  • Chair & ExCom select Fellowship Committee Members. S-T notifies APS by 3/31.
  • Decide recipients & amount of student travel grant.
  • 3/25 S-T announces recipients of student travel grant & notify APS.


  • 4/1 Fellowship nomination deadline.
  • 4/16 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist (Meeting highlights, New ExCom Members, new Fellows, Fellowship Committee)
  • 4/20 Web site updated (new ExCom members, Fellowship Committee, Recipients of student travel grant)
  • 4/22 Requests for symposium / focus session proposals go out to membership.
  • 4/25 S-T submits ExCom Meeting Minutes.


  • 5/1 Tutorial selection process is started by Tutorial Chair.
  • 5/15 DBP Prize Committee selected
  • (at APS level, odd years only)
  • 5/31 Tutorial topics and descriptions due to APS


  • 6/1 Fellowship Committee reports to ExCom for approval of list
  • 6/1 Election Nominating Committee formed:
  • Chair appoints 4, APS appoints 1. APS notified.
  • 6/10 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist (Business Meeting Minutes, Election Committee)
  • 6/14 Web site updated (Election Committee)
  • 6/15 Fellowship nominations to APS
  • 6/16 Election Committee: Identify 2 candidates for Councillor (heap years only)
  • 6/25 Final sorting categories from units due to, including focus session topics.
  • 6/30 DBP Prize Submission deadline (odd years only).


  • 7/1 Symposium submissions to Program Chair for consideration.
  • Program committee ranks symposia and swapping with other divisions begins.
  • 7/7 S-T to receive Councillor candidates’ CV & statements
  • 7/15 Ballots for Councillor election sent
  • 7/23 Focus session descriptions + contact information of session organizer due
  • ~7/31 Ballots for Councillor tallied


  • 8/10 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist (result of Councillor election)
  • ~8/15 S-T notifies APS elected Councillor
  • 8/20 Website updated


  • 9/15 Candidates solicited for new ExCom members election. Obtain candidates’ CVs & statements.
  • October
  • 10/4 Deadline for submission of invited sessions from unit program chairs via the web-site form
  • 10/5 Registration fee waivers and honoraria to APS
  • 10/12 S-T to receive candidates & statements from election committee
  • ~10/16 DCMP and March Program Committee Meets/invited sessions placed
  • 10/20 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist (election slate with CVs & statements)
  • 10/28 March invited letters sent (not our duty, ask for copy)
  • ~10/30 Election ballots sent


  • ~11/30 Election ballots tallied. Committee Chair notifies Winners. S-T notifies APS.


  • 12/1 Fellowship solicitation begins
  • 12/1 Abstract submission deadline
  • 12/10 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist (Aug & Nov election results)
  • 12/10-11 Sorters’ Meeting (Friday and Saturday), for Program Committee
  • Sort March Meeting abstracts
  • Set date and time of Executive Committee Meeting
  • Set date and time of Business Meeting
  • 12/17 Web site updated with March Program Posted for Committee Review


  • 1/3 Final edits of March program due to APS
  • 1/7 Students Lunch with the Experts at March Meeting – experts and topics are due
  • 1/7 March program goes public, session assignments notices sent to all authors
  • 1/14 First proof of Bulletin
  • ~1/10 APS Unit Convocation (Chair, Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair, Sec.-Treasurer)


  • 2/1 Chair announces student travel grant application
  • 2/7 Second proof of bulletin (no changes after this date)
  • 2/10 Submit materials to be published to editor of The Biophysicist
  • (student travel grant application announcement)
  • 2/20 Chair & S-T set agenda for Executive Committee Meeting & Business Meeting
Last Modified on July 2, 2004 by Dr. Shirley Chan, Secretary-Treasurer, DBP