ACA Session Chair Resources 

Volunteering to be a session chair is an important responsibility and service to our society. The annual meeting would not be possible without the dedication and support of our session chairs and we appreciate all of the time and effort you have devoted to the ACA - thank you!

This page is provided as a general informational page for ACA session chairs.  Each meeting will have a dedicated website with more detailed information.  



Information & Resources 

ACA2022 Session Chair Info

The ACA Meeting Committee hosted an informational on-boarding zoom session for 2022 session chairs. The ACA Meeting Committee has prepared a session chair worksheet to assist session chairs throughout the meeting process.  This form does not need to be formally submitted but is shared to assist session chairs with session organization.  

ACA Session Planning Template

This worksheet is for informational purposes only and only intended to assist session chairs by outlining major deadlines, offering fundraising strategies and sharing session organization tips.  


Meeting Policies

Make sure to review all of ACA's statements and policies, especially as they pertain to the annual meeting:

Conference Policy
Speaker Invitation Policy
Reporting Policy
Meeting Code of Conduct

General Annual Meeting Schedule


    • Annual Meeting Webpage Launch
    • Registration Opens
    • Abstract Portal Opens


    • Travel Grant Applications due @ the end of the month (specific date to be determined)


    • Abstract submission deadline (specific date to be determined)
    • Sessions to be organized @ the end of the month (specific date to be determined)
    • Etter award winners to be selected by SIGs.


    • Schedule of sessions to be confirmed (specific date to be determined)
    • Early Registration Ends May 31st


Examples of Past Session Descriptions

1.1.4 Total Scattering: New Insights in Condensed Matter

While crystallography has traditionally dealt with the average, periodic arrangement of atoms in condensed matter, it has long been acknowledged that deviation from ideality is critically important to understanding macroscopic material phenomena. As atomic structure characterization tools have continued to mature, an increasing body of work has accumulated documenting locally perturbed atomic environments, even in materials of nominally high average symmetry. These studies are often complemented by spectroscopy and microscopy methods to confer a nuanced understanding of materials behavior and inform the materials science paradigm.  Beyond the classical examples of diffuse scattering, total scattering and the pair distribution function have been fruitfully applied to numerous contemporary materials science problems, including: ferroic materials, catalysts, strongly correlated electron systems, energy storage materials, as well as bulk/nanoscale variations on each theme.  New experimental techniques have also advanced local structure methodologies, particularly regarding advancements in grazing incidence X-ray PDF measurements of thin films, and advancements in the quantitative treatment of electron PDF data.  This symposium invites discussion of contemporary scientific developments enabled by local structure investigations of condensed matter.

4.2.3 Sample Prep for Cryo-EM and Crystallography
With the technological advancements in both X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM, structural biology techniques are becoming readily accessible to all labs. Although we are witnessing many significant strides in this field, preparation of high-quality samples still remains as one of the main bottleneck for both methods. In this session we will highlight the latest sample preparation methods, techniques, and best practices for both crystallography and Cryo-EM single particle, tomography, and micro-ED workflows.


2.1.4 Magnetic Structure Determination: Advances and Applications
Magnetic symmetry is key to understanding and designing many quantum and topological properties materials such as superconductors, quantum spin liquids, spin ices, topological insulators, chiral magnets, and skyrmions. The session will focus on various ideas on how to understand and design quantum and topological materials through magnetic and structural symmetries. We also welcome advanced magnetic and quantum characterization methods to enliven our discussions.



The deadline for abstract submission will be announced in January. All abstracts, including those from invited speakers, should be submitted via the meeting web site. Session Chairs should review the on-line abstracts and decide on whether or not to accept an abstract, whether it should be an oral presentation or a poster, and how the poster abstracts will be clustered. A minimum of 40% of the talks must be from contributed abstracts.  The author of a contributed abstract that is selected for an oral presentation must be contacted by the Session Chair to make sure he/she is willing to give a talk.  Authors can only submit one abstract unless submitting a second abstract for an educational session but should seek permission of the Meeting Committee before submitting.  

Session chairs should note that each SIG must also decide to name one Etter Student Lecturer Talk and Award from among the submitted abstracts by students. (Note that these lectures are distinct from the Etter Early Career Award, which is handled by ACA Headquarters.) The SIG Officers should choose an undergraduate student candidate; contact him/her to make sure they are willing to give a talk instead of a poster. The awardees will each receive $250 check and a certificate at the session. Session Chair should present the award when they introduce the speaker at the session. SIG Chair also works with appropriate Session Chair to assure there is a slot for this student to give the oral presentation. Please consider having a sufficient number of young scientists and women speaking at the half-day sessions.


Budget & Fundraising

Limited funds have been budgeted to support individual sessions and Session Chairs are encouraged to seek outside funding/support.   Detailed information on the process will be issued to session chairs at the beginning of the year. 

If you (as session chair) decide to reimburse an invited speaker, those speakers MUST register by the early registration deadline, as they will not be reimbursed at the higher rate. Nonmember invited speakers may register at the ‘regular’ registration rate.

Speakers may receive funding from only one session. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis in consultation with the Meeting Committee. The only form of payment/reimbursement is an ACA check, drawn on a U.S. bank. No cash will be distributed. 

Participants who are eligible to receive a check must produce original receipts totaling (at least) the dollar amount of the check. Recipients, who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and whose funding exceeds $599, must have a U.S. Tax I.D. Number. ACA will supply recipients with the appropriate form to obtain one. Recipients, who are not US citizens or permanent residents traveling from outside the U.S., must produce a copy of their travel VISA. Checks will not be cashed by ACA.