Annual Meeting Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities

The BMES Annual Meeting relies heavily on volunteers to bring the best in biomedical scientific presentations to its attendees. A lot of hard work happens behind the scenes to bring you the best BMES Meetings each year, so if it weren’t for our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a meeting with almost 20 tracks, more than 750 scientific sessions, and 2,800 posters for our attendees to consume knowledge about the latest in BME.

As a current BMES member, there are many ways to volunteer for the BMES annual meeting. Below you will find a complete guide of positions needed, the time commitment for each, and any requirements needed to apply. 

Click to learn more about each Annual Meeting volunteer role:

We want to thank you in advance for considering a volunteer role for the BMES Annual Meeting, and we appreciate your taking the time to help make this program the most successful yet!

Annual Meeting Co-Chairs

The BMES Annual Meeting Co-Chair role, in partnership with the BMES Staff, is the most critical volunteer position in ensuring that that year’s program is as successful as possible!

The BMES Staff is responsible for the meeting’s overall management and logistical implementation, including contracted facilities and vendors. All financial and legal matters pertaining to the Annual Meeting are the fiduciary responsibility of the BMES Executive Director, who reports to the BMES Board of Directors.


As Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, the overarching responsibility is to assist in program development within the parameters of the Board-approved budget and conference space available.

The responsibilities and expectations of those in a Meeting Chair role include, but are not limited to:


  • Review the post-meeting survey from the previous year with BMES program staff to identify areas for improvement and innovative ways to enhance the meeting.
  • Design and develop the overarching theme of the meeting.
  • Participate in regular planning calls with BMES program staff.

Program Structure

  • Select appropriate education tracks for abstract submissions and platform sessions.
  • Provide consultation on the agenda, sessions, and descriptions and approve the outlined sessions and overall program.
  • Rank nominations to select Coulter Healthcare Innovation Plenary Award Lecturer and NIBIB Plenary Lecturer and assist in identifying other speakers for the meeting as needed.

Program Development

  • Identify and invite Track Chairs (more info on this role above).
  • Once a Track Chair is selected, Co-Chairs will assist by:
    • Determining program tracks and sub-tracks.
    • Reassessing abstract scoring rubric prior to the abstract review window opening.
    • Overseeing track chair progress on selection and assignment of reviewers, session chairs, and session assignments.
    • Participate in abstract system training and review abstracts as needed.
  • Track Chairs will assist Co-Chairs by taking the lead on:
    • Entering abstract reviewers into the system.
    • Assigning 3 submissions to each abstract reviewer.
    • Reviewing and approving submissions to be accepted/oral, accepted/poster, or rejected in the abstract system.
    • Reviewing special session submissions that do not fall under an existing track.
    • Selecting abstract reviewers.
    • Determining (based on submission counts) how many orals to accept and the number of sessions to be approved for the program.
    • Appoint session chairs and streamlining the session tracking process for each track.

Proxy Parameters 

  • Present progress updates to the Board.
  • Promote the annual meeting to help reach the meeting’s fiduciary and attendance goals.
  • Be a liaison between members and staff/Board (social media, member questions about the meeting)

To serve, you must be a current BMES member and either hold a faculty position or have obtained postdoc status. Student and non-BMES members are not eligible to act as co-chairs.

The application process includes a nomination process. Nominations are encouraged from individuals representing different sub-fields of BME.

Track Chairs

As a Track Chair, you play an important role in the overall success of the BMES Annual Meeting. In this position, you will be asked to place abstracts that have been reviewed into an oral, poster, or rejected status based on the reviewers' scores. From there, track chairs will construct platform sessions from the selected and accepted oral presenters. 

Track chairs are also responsible for identifying and inviting keynote speakers to sessions. They are also responsible for communication with session chairs, who will be their on-site support for their sessions. 

Track chairs are provided with training sessions, materials, and a staff liaison to ensure project timelines and milestones are being met. 

This role requires flexibility as changes in presenters' schedules and communications are needed.


To serve, you must have successfully participated as a reviewer for a past Annual Meeting and be a current BMES member. Preference is given to prior session chairs.

Students, postdoctoral associates, and non-BMES members are not eligible to act as track chairs. 

Abstract Reviewers

Knowledgeable reviewers are essential to ensure that the highest quality abstracts are accepted for presentation at the meeting. Reviews will be conducted online through an abstract submission system. 

Reviewers will receive no more than twelve abstracts to grade. All reviewers will use a scoring rubric to score abstracts. System training sessions and materials will be provided. 

Reviews are typically completed within two weeks, in the months of April and May. 

Reviewers who complete assignments will also be asked to score late-breaking and undergraduate abstracts. Judging of these abstracts typically completed over two weeks in the month of July.


To serve, you must be a current BMES member and either hold a faculty position, work in industry, or have obtained postdoc status. Student and non-BMES members are not eligible to act as abstract reviewers.

Certification of participation is available upon successful completion of both general and late-breaking reviews and is provided upon request.

Session Chairs

Session chairs are essential for ensuring sessions run smoothly and facilitating questions and insightful discussions. Session chairs must be at the meeting to introduce sessions, introduce speakers, help guide discussions, and keep the session on time.

Session chairs are provided with the speaker lineup and copies of abstracts in advance of sessions to ensure they are knowledgeable about the topics and discussions. 


To serve, you must be a current BMES member and either hold a faculty position or have obtained postdoc status. Applicants must have served as an abstract reviewer during the year they are submitting an application for. Student and non-BMES members are not eligible to act as session chairs.

Session Chairs must be present at the meeting and available until the conference ends.

Student Volunteers

Our volunteers play an extremely important role in the overall success of the event, and we appreciate the time commitment. As a thank you for your service, we agree to provide our volunteers with a discounted rate to attend the Annual Meeting of $100.00. 


It is the expectation of the BMES that you adhere to your appointed schedule and perform all tasks with a friendly disposition and can-do attitude.  

To be considered, you must be available during the event time frames. You can expect to work between 8 to 10 hours.  (accommodations will be made for any volunteer presenting research at the meeting)

Applicants must agree to a business casual dress code.


 Items to consider before applying. 

  1. You must be a student to volunteer.
  2. You must be willing to aid and assist conference organizers by being on time for appointed shifts and possessing a friendly attitude.
  3. It is the expectation of the BMES that you adhere to your appointed schedule and perform all tasks with a friendly disposition and can-do attitude. 

Fore more details and the application form, visit the Student Volunteer Program page.