March 2018

Published in ESRS Newsletter March 2018


ESRS Scientific Committee (SC)

Members (2016 – 2018):
Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer (Chair; United Kingdom), Gianluca Ficca (Italy), Ludger Grote (Sweden), Birgit Högl (Austria), Reto Huber (Switzerland), Poul Jennum (Denmark), Christoph Nissen (Germany), Gilles Vandewalle (Belgium), Giovanna Zoccoli (Italy)

The Scientific Committee (SC) of the ESRS is composed of 9 European sleep and chronobiology scientists. Four of them were newly elected in 2016 [Reto Huber, Christoph Nissen, Giovana Zoccoli, Ludger Grote] while the remaining members were already in place since 2014 [they were re-elected in 2016; Gianluca Ficca, Birgit Hogl, Poul Jennum, Gilles Vandewalle]. The committee is chaired by Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer; since November 2017, the acting-chair is Gilles Vandewalle.

ESRS Sleep Science School
The SC is in charge of selecting the PhD students that participated in the 1st ESRS Sleep Science School, held in Frejus on the French Mediterranean coast. As always, the selection was not easy as all candidates deserved to enjoy the remarkable programme proposed by the organizing committee. Fourty students took part in the event and all the echoes we got after were extremely positive. We hope it is the beginning of a long lasting ESRS tradition.

ESRS congress abstract guidelines
The SC also reviewed the abstract submission guidelines of our 2018 Basel congress. Our will is to keep on improving the quality of the first sleep and chronobiology event in Europe. So we emphasize the following:

  • To be considered for oral or poster presentations in Basel, an abstract must include an introduction, method, results and conclusion section. Online abstract submission now includes four separate sections for each of these aspects.
  • Importantly, sample size and statistical results have to be reported. The abstract length has been extended to allow for comprehensive descriptions.
  • Single case reports will only be considered if they are of exceptional importance or originality.

Critically, abstract not fulfilling the guidelines will not be reviewed and will be rejected.

Symposium selection for 2018 congress
In November 2017, the SC had the difficult task to review the symposium proposals for the Basel ESRS congress. We received 60 high quality abstracts which would all have made a successful biannual meeting. We selected 22 of them based on their strength and originality. We were particular attentive at selecting many translational proposals that could attract both clinicians and basic researchers. We also wanted to cover as many topics as possible, and avoided to have too many overlaps between sessions. Young scientist were given many opportunities to be apart of symposia.

Organization of the ESRS 2018 congress
In another attempt to further improve our European bi-annual congress, the SC proposed to the board to modify the organization of the congress. The following proposals were approved by the ESRS board:

  • The poster session will be held around midday. Posters should be the highlight of the congress, where worldwide ongoing research is presented and discussed between young researchers and experts. The board further decided to add guided tours to the poster sessions: abstracts will be organized per topic and members of the SC and of the Board will lead groups of curious researchers through abstracts of the same topic. And watch out! There should be more best poster prizes this year!
  • The round tables will be true discussion sessions and not short symposia. The board further proposed to impose that the speakers’ presentations should not exceed 30 to 35 minutes for round tables, leaving 25 to 30 minutes for discussion. An app should be specifically designed to gather the questions of the audience during speaker presentations. The topics of the round tables were chosen among the symposium proposals selected by the SC.
  • The last day of the congress will be slightly shorter so that the closing ceremony will be held earlier. The board further decided to have a hot-topic session including renowned speakers right before the closing ceremony.

Lastly, the SC proposed the teaching courses and keynote speakers which were set together with ESRS board. Including the sessions organized by the ESRS Board (e.g. joint symposia with EBRS, ERS, EAN, SSSSC), the congress will include 24 symposia, 5 round tables and 5 teaching courses in addition to 5 case discussions which were proposed to be held every day by our president Walter McNicholas.

ESRS grants for young scientists
We are delighted to announce that the SC selected young scientists for three type of ESRS grants proposed by the ESRS Research Networking Network (RNC): a single 3 month fellowship, three two-week trainings and six travel grants for congresses. The winners have already been contacted by the ESRS.

Future: 2018 congress abstract selection – 2nd Sleep Science School
The call for abstract is now open and will close early in April. Following reviews by the SC and other selected reviewers, the SC will meet early in June to select those abstracts that will be presented orally, those students receiving travel grants and the young scientists that will constitute the young scientist symposium during the opening of the congress. Later, the SC will also select the students participating in the second ESRS Sleep Science School.

As always, the SC has been very active. It relies however on your suggestions for symposia and abstracts. We can only make Basel 2018 a great congress because of you. And don’t forget that any ESRS member can suggest another member to be among the candidates for the next SC to be elected during the business meeting in Basel!

See you all in the wonderful city of Basel for the best European gathering for sleep and chronobiology researchers!

Gilles Vandewalle – Acting Chair
On behalf of the ESRS Scientific Committee