2021 Call for Proposals - Symposia, Workshops and Training Courses

Given the spread of COVID-19, we are postponing the RE3 event by a full year to 19-24 June 2021.
If you previously registered and/or had an accepted abstract, symposium, workshop or training course proposal, click here

CLRA Québec RE3 Conference

Call for Proposals
Symposia, Workshops and Training Courses

August 3 – October 15, 2020

The Scientific Program Committee, on behalf of the Society for Restoration Ecology (SER) and Canadian Land Reclamation Association (CLRA) is now inviting new proposals for symposia, workshops, and training courses to be held at SER2021 CLRA Québec RE3 Conference: Reclaim, Restore, Rewild, from 19-24 June, 2021. All proposals must be submitted through the online form provided below and must be received no later than 15 October, 2020. Early submissions are highly encouraged, and reviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Those who had a symposium, workshop or training course proposal approved for the 2020 dates do not need to submit a new proposal. You will be contacted by the scientific committee by 31 August, 2020 to confirm your proposal and provide updates as needed (e.g., updated speakers, request for virtual format, etc.). All updates will be due by the 15 October, 2020 deadline).

Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, travel, and in-person events, we are planning for two potential options for SER2021 CLRA Québec RE3: (1) a hybrid in-person and virtual event (with the virtual component being participatory and engaging!), and (2) a completely virtual conference (in the event that an in-person conference is deemed unsafe). Our goal is to have a hybrid event with in-person conference participation in Québec City; the final decision on the conference structure won’t be made until 2021. We encourage everyone to submit proposals for symposia, workshops and training courses at this time regardless of your ability to travel to the conference.

Submissions on any topic applicable to land reclamation, ecological and ecosystem restoration, or rewilding and linked to the SER2021 CLRA Québec RE3 conference theme of Reclaim, Restore, Rewild are acceptable. We also highly encourage submissions related to the sub-theme of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, with particular emphasis on managing ecosystems to meet Sustainable Development Goals including tackling climate change, food security, water resource management, soil carbon sequestration, and biodiversity protection. The UN decade aims to massively scale up restoration efforts for degraded ecosystems, so themes around the challenges of scaling up are encouraged.

Proposals focusing on peatlands, even not focused on restoration, are also welcome as the SER2021 CLRA Québec RE3 will also be hosting a Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) workshop sponsored by UNEP. As Canada has a large landscape area composed of peatlands, reports of research that identify the main threats and pressures on peatlands globally to help identify knowledge gaps and research priorities including sustainable management, restoration and conservation efforts for global peatlands are welcome. In that regards, in addition to the GPI workshop, we have invited two international specialists, Dianna Kopansky (UNEP) and Jane Madgwick (Wetlands International) to discuss the current state of peatlands/wetlands in the world during the conference.

Please carefully review the information below to aid your planning. You can direct any questions to re3quebec2021@conferium.com.

Symposia:  A typical symposium gathers 4-6 speakers and provides a well-integrated synthesis of a given topic or theme with broad applicability and appeal for the field of ecological restoration, land reclamation and/or wetland science. It can be structured as a series of formal talks or a moderated panel discussion allowing for greater audience participation. Symposia will be held concurrently with regular conference sessions and will each be allocated a total of 1.5 hours (90 minutes). Longer symposia made up of multiple 90 minute sessions are also possible.

Workshops:  Workshops are small, focused sessions emphasizing audience participation and group discussion. They are often led by a single organizer/facilitator, or a small group of facilitators, and aim to generate analysis and knowledge exchange around specific goals, challenges, problems, research gaps, etc. Workshops will be held concurrently with regular conference sessions and will be allocated either 90 minutes. Organizers will have considerable flexibility to structure this time as they see most productive given their goals and objectives. 

Training Courses:  Training courses focus on practical applications and professional development, and are intended to impart specific knowledge, skills or methodologies. Courses will be held on Saturday 19 June, 2021, prior to the opening of the conference on the evening of 20 June, 2021, and will generally run for one full day (e.g. from 09:00-17:00). We will also consider longer courses spanning multiple days (running either 18-19 June or 19-20 June). The programming and structure of each course is determined by the instructor(s); however, the Conference Organizing Committee will determine minimum/maximum attendance and other details that may have financial or logistical implications for the conference. Participants will pay a separate fee over and above the cost of conference registration, and courses will be open to all attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.


All proposals must be submitted through the online submission form below no later than 15 October, 2020. Early submissions are highly encouraged, and reviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Proposals must be submitted in English.

Individuals may only submit one proposal for a symposium or workshop, in the interest of opening the conference to wider participation. However, there is no limit to the number of symposia in which a delegate may participate as a speaker. Organizers of a symposium or workshop are also free to organize a training course.

Each symposium will have an allotted time of 90 minutes. In some cases, multiple time slots may be granted for a longer symposium at the discretion of the Program Committee. Symposia should include a minimum of four speakers and a maximum of six. Generally, speakers will each have 15 minutes for their presentations (12 minutes for their talk and 3 minutes for questions), unless short flash presentations are integrated. For sessions with fewer than six speakers, we will ask organizers to keep presentations on schedule and reserve extra time at the end for synthesis and discussion. 

Workshops will have an allotted time of 90 minutes. Organizers of these sessions will have a great deal of flexibility to use this time however they see best to deliver their program and accomplish their goals—contingent upon review of their agenda by the Program Committee when prompted for this.

Training courses will be scheduled on the Saturday prior to the conference (19 June) and will generally run for one full day. Exceptions may be possible for shorter or longer courses. The Program Committee will work with instructors on a case-by-case basis to determine the best structure and duration for their course.

Please note: Symposia and workshops may be scheduled at any time during the conference. Except under compelling circumstances, the Program Committee will not be able to accommodate special scheduling requests.


All of the following information must be provided on the submission form.

  • Title of the symposium, workshop or training course (25 words max.)
  • Abstract – a brief overview of the objectives for your activity, topics to be covered, and relevance to restoration science, practice or policy (250 words max.)
  • One-sentence summary of the event (50 words max.)
  • Lead organizer (name, institutional affiliation, email address)
  • Two alternate contacts (name, institutional affiliation, email address)
  • Draft program for the event
    • Symposium: a list of invited speakers including their affiliation and location, the title of their presentation, and an indication of whether their participation is confirmed
    • Workshop: a brief overview of the structure and expected outcomes as well as speakers/presenters with their affiliation and location
    • Training Course: a draft syllabus detailing the topics to be covered, teaching methods to be used, expected learning outcomes, and course duration
  • Virtual participation: Please indicate if you or your invited speakers would only be able to participate virtually (if you know this already at this time). This will not impact the review of your proposal.

Additionally, following proposal submission, training course instructors will be asked to complete an estimate of course registration fees to cover expenditures they may require to successfully deliver their course, as well as any materials or logistical arrangements they will need.


All submitted proposals will be peer-reviewed by members of the Program Committee. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis (i.e. reviews will be ongoing throughout the submission period), and acceptance notices will be sent as early as possible to allow sufficient time for organizers to finalize programming, coordinate with speakers, and seek institutional support as necessary. For this reason, we encourage you to submit your proposal at the earliest date possible.

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit, with emphasis on new research results, cutting-edge developments, novel perspectives, and innovative or interdisciplinary approaches
  • Clear relevance to the conference theme (Reclaim, Restore, Rewild) and its ecological, social or cultural dimensions
  • Broad applicability for restoration professionals working in a variety of contexts, ecosystems, or geographical locations
  • Submission of a complete and compelling proposal

Some additional criteria will be applied to symposium proposals:

  • Integrated treatment of the topic, such that presentations go beyond individual case studies and contribute to a cohesive, overarching synthesis
  • Likelihood of a successful session, as indicated by a large proportion of confirmed speakers

For training courses, budgetary and financial considerations will also factor into the review. We will look at the estimated cost of offering each course, including any financial support requested by the instructor(s), and will determine the viability of these proposals based on the minimum number of participants needed to cover expenses.


All symposia, workshops and training courses must have a lead organizer who serves as the primary point of contact for the Program Committee. We will also ask you to name two alternate contacts.

We will provide meeting space and on-site/virtual logistical support for all symposia and workshops. However, the conference is not able to provide any travel or accommodation assistance, registration subsidies or waivers, or any other forms of support for the organizers or individual speakers named in any of the proposals. All participants will be required to register and pay for the conference and to cover their own travel expenses. SER2021 CLRA Québec RE3 is happy to discuss sponsored workshops or symposia with organizers who are able to bring such a sponsorship to the event.

The conference will also provide meeting space and onsite/virtual logistical support for training courses. Assuming minimum registration rates are reached, course instructors can incorporate registration fees for the conference in their course budget and will be asked on the proposal submission form to indicate any other financial support they may require to successfully organize and deliver their course. The Organizing Committee will take these needs into consideration as part of the proposal review process.  Any additional financial support will be reflected either in the training course registration rate and/or the minimum of participants required.

Coordinating with invited speakers:  Symposium organizers are responsible for serving as the primary point of contact with their invited speakers throughout the planning process. Organizers will need to help ensure that all of their speakers submit abstracts through the online submission form before the specified deadline of 29 January 2021, and that all of their speakers register for the conference before the deadline for presenter registration on 15 March, 2021. Speakers who fail to register by this date may be excluded from the conference program. We encourage symposium organizers to proactively communicate with their speakers about any updates or changes affecting their session, such as scheduling details, cancellations, and other circumstances as they arise.

Scheduling:  Symposia and workshops may be scheduled at any time during the conference. Due to the large number of presenters and sessions we expect to receive, the Program Committee will be unable to honor special scheduling requests. Please make sure your invited speakers are aware of this when they agree to participate. Most training courses will either be scheduled on Saturday, 19 June (Friday, 18 June or Sunday, 20 June if two days are needed). We may have some ability to work with you on scheduling needs but need to maintain flexibility to accommodate all courses.

Addressing cancellations and filling gaps:  If an individual presenter from your symposium cancels or withdraws, or fails to register for the conference before the deadline, we ask that you find another speaker to replace them. If you are unable to secure enough speakers to complete your symposium or to fill any such gaps, the Scientific Program Committee may assign an appropriate speaker to your session from the general pool of contributed abstracts. The Committee will make every effort to coordinate with you and obtain your approval in the event that this occurs.

Registering for education credits:  Organizers are encouraged to register their symposium, workshop or training course as a pre-approved source of continuing education credits (CECs) under SER’s practitioner certification program (CERP). Accreditation under other organizations may also be possible (e.g., Professional Wetland Scientist through Society of Wetland Scientist, Professional Biologist, Chemist, Geologist). This can help increase participation and encourage attendance by a particular target audience. We will provide more details about pre-approval under SER’s program and potential for certification under other programs at the time we notify you of acceptance.   


03 August 2020             Symposia, workshop, short course proposal submission period opens

15 October 2020          Deadline for proposal submissions

13 November 2020       Abstract submission period opens

13 November 2020       Early registration opens

15 January 2021           Final batch of proposal acceptance notices sent

29 January 2021           Deadline for abstract submissions

1 March 2021               Final batch of abstract acceptance notices sent

15 March 2021             Deadline for Early Bird registration

15 March 2021             Deadline for presenter registration


Please do not submit a proposal unless you are confident that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and deliver the activity proposed (we recognize that uncertainty due to COVID19 still exists, but we are planning to be able to accommodate whatever situation we are in at that point in time). Once a symposium, workshop or training course has been accepted, scheduled and announced, cancellations are disruptive and potentially preclude other delegates from participating in the conference program.

If you are a symposium/session/workshop organizer and extenuating circumstances force you to withdraw your event, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible at re3quebec2021@conferium.com.




Fill Submission Form, save and submit before October 15th at re3quebec2021@conferium.com

Important Preliminary Dates

Conference Postponed
June 19-24, 2021

New Call for Symposia and Workshops
August 3 to October 15, 2020 Now open

Deadline to Update 2020 existing abstract
November 13, 2020


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