Guidelines for the INNNI annual meeting

    This meeting is the flagship of the INNNI. We have a very favourable arrangement by which the workshop counts towards our annual INCF dues, but in turn we are obligated to hold a workshop that advances the goals of the INCF. The money for this has been pre-allocated by the NBRC at USD 20,000 per annum. This preassigned fund is an extraordinary benefit for organizing a meeting, and  it is expected that the organizers and host institution will find ways to  boost the amount to make the meeting better still. The meeting organizers  must prepare a report on the workshop outcomes which will go to the INCF.

Based on the outcomes of the past 3 meetings, here are some guidelines:

1. Scheduling.

  • The meeting is typically held in early November. Organizers must be sure to avoid a clash with the Society for Neuroscience meeting, and coordinate with the Indian Academy of Neurosciences meeting.
  • Plan for a 3 day meeting: 2 + 1/2 + 1/2 as follows:
  • There should be a 2 day main scientific session with talks from Indian and international speakers. The talks should be open, to encourage local students to attend.
    - See if you can avoid talks right after lunch. This is when things like poster sessions, interactive discussions, and so on could occur.
    - Ensure there is a break for coffee/tea/snacks at least every 2 hours.
  • 1/2 day panel discussion/workshop for INCF and national outcomes of meeting.
    This is especially important to develop technical and scientific recommendations for the INCF to incorporate into future programmes.
    - What recommendations can you give to the INCF?
    - What collaborations can be initiated?
    - Are there ongoing INCF and node programmes that participants should tie into?
    - Are there followup meetings upcoming, or that should be planned?
    - Are there any technical outcomes for any of the INCF programmes?
    - Is there promising grant funding for these topics?
  • 1/2 day INNNI meeting. Include INCF updates, INNNI updates, INCNE reports, workshop/school reports, node member reports, and node project reports.
    - This could start with one or two featured talks by Indian scientists in neuroinformatics. The idea is that here we can highlight Indian activities in neuroinformatics to all workshop attendees.
    - Plan upcoming INNNI/INCF workshop and summer school.
  • If there is to be a poster session, that is excellent, but will need planning of time, space, publicity to students, and selection and support for the students. I would recommend that the posters come up on Day 1, and that there be poster sessions every day through the workshop. This might fold into every evening and lead into the INNNI workshop.
  • Possibly have one or two plenary (public) lectures that are at a more popular audience level, and have publicity for this for all nearby institutions.

2. Topics and speakers

  • The main workshop should have one or at most two key themes, should be related. MUST have some bearing on neuroinformatics. Could be any general neuro topic where neuroinfo is applied.
  • Invitees should include field specialists and if possible ones who have a neuroinfo angle. Try to invite some people who participate in other contry node neuroinfo efforts. Be open to people expressing such an interest even if they are not INNNI members.
  • Meeting theme must be discussed with INCF rep (Mathew Abrams), and INNNI chair (Upi).
  • Better to have a tight theme, fewer talks, and more posters and students, than to have off-topic talks.
  • Indian speakers should be carefully selected to be on-topic and good.
  • The organizer(s) should plan to speak. They are the ones who are interested in the topic, and this is their opportunity to publicise their own work and forge links with the visitors.
  • The speakers should be given some brief guidelines on how to organize their talks, in view of the diversity of the audience.

3. Publicity

  • Poster should be planned many months ahead. INNNI would like to send out a joint poster for the summer school and for the Workshop, somewhere around April-May. Thus the planning for these events has to be well in time.
  • Details of meeting must go to INCF so all nodes can participate.
  • Details must go to INNNI to help coordinate announcements.
  • The INNNI has an outreach committee. They will involve all univs that have a MSc programme

4. Organization

  • Plan meeting and invites about year to 9 months ahead. So dates should be fixed long ahead.
  • Coordinate with INNNI to have schedule and other publicity up on the web page soonest.
    - Put in meeting title, venue, dates, and invitees list up at least 9 months ahead of meeting, that is, by early Feb.
    - As each invitee confirms, put the info on the list.
    - Obtain talk titles and abstracts at least 6 months ahead. Do explain to the speakers that they can update as the date approaches.
  • Keep INNNI chair updated with latest schedule so that all these updates are put on the web page.
  • Must plan to write up a meeting report in attached format, to show how meeting advances the goals/ongoing projects of INCF.
  • Visa issues: Ensure that speakers start 3 months ahead, you will need to do lots of follow up. Sometimes you have to override the instructions given by visa agents, who may not know what works.
    - INNNI will assemble a set of visa guidelines.
    This includes a memo from the Foreign ministry explaining the  relativlely streamlined process for scientific delegates.
  • Plan for some other things for the visitors:
    - Cultural evening
    - Tour(s)
    - Visits of outside speakers to other institutions and other cities.

    INCNE has a fund specifically for this kind of activity.