International AIDS Society

Frequently Asked Questions

Abstract Submission

Abstract Mentor Programme

Prizes & Awards


Affiliated Independent Events

Volunteering at IAS 2015

Abstract Submission

What is an abstract?
In the context of the 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015), an abstract is a stand-alone statement that briefly explains, in a non-repetitive style, the essential information of a study, research project, policy or programme.
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May I submit an abstract to the conference?
IAS 2015 welcomes the submission of abstracts for original contribution to the field in the following scientific tracks:
  • Track A: Basic Science
  • Track B: Clinical Science
  • Track C: Prevention Science
  • Track D: Implementation Research
Abstract submissions are open from 1 December 2014 to 27 January 2015– 23:59 Central European Time. During this time period, abstracts will be accepted through the online submission form available on the conference profile.
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Where can I read more about the scientific tracks?
Detailed descriptions about the scope and objectives of each scientific track, as defined by the Scientific Programme Committee, can be found here on the IAS 2015 website.
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When is the submission deadline for abstracts?
The final deadline to submit the abstract is 27 January 2015 - 23:59 Central European Time.
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My project is still ongoing and there are no results yet, should I still submit an abstract?
Abstracts are intended to present scientific studies, research, programmes, policies, etc. highlighting both the methods or description and results or recommendations. If you are describing a study that is still in the planning stage, it would not be suitable for an abstract submission, unless the method that you will use is, for instance, of particular scientific interest. However, if your study is currently ongoing and you only have preliminary data, but it seems relevant or significant, please submit the abstract.
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What is a late breaker abstract?
Late breaker submissions must be data of unquestioned significance. Data analyzed after the regular submission (27 January 2015) should not be sent in as late breakers if the data do not meet a high threshold of scientific merit. The percentage of abstracts selected for late breakers will depend on the number of submissions, but selection will certainly be more rigorous than for regular abstracts. A small number of late breaker abstracts will be accepted to be presented orally or as posters at the conference.

During their submission, authors will have to declare why their abstract has been submitted as a late breaker. The same submission rules apply for the late breaker abstracts as for the regular abstracts, but each presenting author may only present one late breaker abstract at the conference. The late breaker abstract submission will be open from 29 April to 20 May 2015.
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What is the required structure for an abstract?
An abstract consists of a title, author list and the abstract text. It can also include tables or graphs/images. Literature references should not be included.
The abstract text should be structured as follows:
  • Background: indicate the purpose and objective of the research, the hypothesis that was tested or a description of the problem being analyzed or evaluated.
  • Methods: describe the study period / setting / location, study design, study population, data collection and methods of analysis used.
  • Results: present as clearly and in as much detail as possible the findings / outcome of the study. Please summarize any specific results.
  • Conclusions: explain the significance of your findings / outcomes of the study for HIV prevention, treatment, care and / or support, and future implications of the results.

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How do I submit an abstract?
Before submitting an abstract, you are asked to create a conference profile, One or several abstracts can be submitted through the conference profile.

To submit abstracts, please login into your conference profile on and click on the "Abstract Submission" field in the Overview-tab. You will then see a link to enter into the abstract submission system.

In the abstract submission system, please follow the steps 1-4 to create and submit your abstract:
  1. Select the track, category and country of research; enter your abstract title and text
  2. Enter the presenting author and co-authors (individually)
  3. Preview your abstract and check format and correctness
  4. Submit your abstract
To navigate the abstract submission system, please use the next step buttons or the upper menu bar. For detailed instructions about the abstract submission system, please click on "HELP" in the upper menu bar in the abstract submission system.

After an abstract has been created, modifications can be made at any time until the submission deadline. After submission, the abstract submitter will receive a confirmation email. This email will contain the abstract reference number. Please refer to this reference number in all communications.

A tutorial on how to submit an abstract is available here.
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Once submitted, can I still modify my abstract?
After an abstract has been created through the online Conference Profile, modifications can be made (even after submission) until the deadline. After making your modifications, you need to submit your abstract. No modifications will be accepted after the submission deadline.
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How should I define the title of my abstract?
A good abstract title is short, specific, representative and informative. It helps the reviewers categorize your abstract, and if accepted, it may help conference delegates find your session. The title should summarize your abstract without going into excessive details. Describe the topic clearly, including, for example, the population, country and issue of the research.
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Can I include a table, graph or image in my abstract?
It is possible, but not mandatory, to include tables or graphs/images in the abstract.

A maximum of one table and one graph/image (in JPG, GIF or PNG with ideally 600 dpi) can be included. These will not count toward the word limit.

Please create your table or upload your graph/image following the instructions in the abstract submission system. Place the table or graph/image into your abstract text and save the changes. Review the abstract preview-page to ensure that your table or graph/image displays properly.
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How many co-authors can I include in the list of authors?
There is no limit to the number of co-authors per abstract, although we strongly recommend the use of a Study Group Name for abstracts with a high number of co-authors. A person can be listed as a co-author if he/she meets ALL the following criteria:
  • made substantial contributions to concept and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data,
  • drafted the abstract or revised it for intellectual content,
  • approved the final version to be submitted.
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Do I need to disclose information of any conflict of interest in my abstract?
If the abstract is accepted, the presenting authors are asked to disclose all financial and personal relationships between themselves and others that might be perceived by others as biasing their work. The conference organizer asks that all presenting authors disclose any conflict of interest at the time of presentation for the benefit of conference delegates. The purpose of this is to guarantee that all potential conflicts of interest are recognized and mechanisms to resolve them prior to the conference are implemented.

Material presented in abstracts should not violate any copyright laws. If figures/graphics/images have been taken from sources not copyrighted by the author, it is the author's sole responsibility to secure the rights from the copyright holder in writing to reproduce those figures/graphics/images for both worldwide print and web publication. All reproduction costs charged by the copyright holder must be borne by the author.
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Who selects the abstracts and decides how they will be presented?
All submitted abstracts will go through a blind peer-review process carried out by an international review committee. Each abstract will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The Scientific Programme Committee makes the final selection of abstracts to be included in the conference programme.

The highest-scoring abstracts will be selected for presentation in oral abstract sessions or in a slightly shorter oral poster discussion session. The majority of the posters will be displayed in the Poster Exhibition.
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How can I increase the chances for my abstract to be accepted?
The methodology or study design presented in your abstract should be appropriate to address the purpose and objectives. Results should be clearly presented and support the conclusions. In addition, the findings should contribute to the advancement of knowledge and development in the field.

If English is not your native language we strongly recommend that you have your abstract reviewed by a native English speaker working in your field before submission.

You may check the common reasons for abstract rejection on the abstract submission guidelines. You may also review examples of abstracts from previous conferences.
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When will I be notified if my abstract submission has been successful?
Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to the submitting (corresponding) author by the end of March.
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I need a certificate that my abstract was accepted for the conference. Who do I contact?
To obtain certificates on abstracts accepted to the conference, please contact .
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What is an e-poster?
Authors of abstracts selected for Oral Poster Discussion Sessions and Poster Exhibition are invited to upload an electronic poster (e-poster). The e-posters will be published on the conference website. Instructions for preparing and uploading the e-posters will be sent to selected abstract authors via email.
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Who has the copyright for my abstract after submission?
The submission of the abstract constitutes the authors’ consent to publish. If the abstract is accepted, the authors agree that their abstract can be published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). The license allows third parties to share the published work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for any purposes, under the condition that IAS 2015 and authors are given credit, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear. Authors retain the copyright of their abstracts, with first publication rights granted to the IAS.
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Will there be an Abstract Book for IAS 2015?
An electronic abstract book will be available free of charge on the conference website. The traditional paper abstract book will not be produced for IAS 2015.
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Where will my abstract be published?
If accepted, your abstract may be published on IAS websites, such as the IAS 2015 programme-at-a-glance, and other conference materials, the IAS abstract archive, the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS), etc.
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Abstract Mentor Programme

What is the abstract mentor programme?
The Abstract Mentor Programme was introduced at the 15th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2004), with the objective of helping young or less experienced researchers improve their abstracts before submitting them, thus increasing the chance of their work being represented at conferences. 

The programme is especially targeted at researchers from resource-limited settings who lack access to opportunities for rigorous mentoring in research and writing and for whom online distance education is proven to cost-effectively build research capacity. We have a pool of around 60 - 100 mentors who can provide advice and feedback on how to write successful abstracts for each of the conference tracks.
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When is the programme available?
The Abstract Mentor Programme opens on 17 November 2014 and closes 12 January 2015.
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Why does the International AIDS Society provide this service?
The International AIDS Society offers this programme to support young and less experienced HIV researchers in their abstract writing process. The programme enables these groups to submit higher quality abstracts, which increases the chance of them being accepted into the conference programme. This in turn increases the diversity of speakers and presenters at the conference.
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Who can use the mentoring service?
The Abstract Mentor Programme is open to everyone with a proficient level of English.
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What are the results of the AMP?
Over the years, the Abstract Mentor Programme has proven to increase the motivation of early career researchers as well as the number of abstract submissions received from developing countries. The IAS 2013 Abstract Mentor Programme received 101 draft abstracts from 82 submitters around the world, and 51 active mentors provided feedback. Of the 98 draft abstracts that received online mentoring, 69 were finally submitted for IAS 2013 (71%). Of the 69 abstracts submitted, 21 were accepted into the programme.
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Is the mentoring free?
Absolutely! But to avoid overload, each participant can make no more than 2 submissions to the programme.
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How do I submit a draft abstract for mentoring?
To submit an abstract for mentoring, follow the below steps:
  1. Complete the mandatory IAS / Health[e] Foundation module 1: scientific writing: conference abstracts e-course.
  2. At the end of the mandatory course, you will be asked to participate in a short survey. After the survey is completed, you will be given a code. Please make a note of this code - you will need it to register for the Abstract Mentor Programme.
  3. Prepare a draft abstract for submission in accordance with the IAS 2015 conference abstract submission guidelines.
  4. If possible, ask a supervisor or colleague to review your draft abstract and give you feedback.
  5. If available, use spelling and grammar check (e.g. Office Word Spelling and Grammar function) and make sure your language is clear.
  6. Log in to your conference profile and use the code received at the completion of the IAS / Health[e] Foundation e-course to submit your draft abstract for mentoring.
Note: We do not accept abstracts submitted by e-mail, fax, telephone or regular mail.
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What happens after I have submitted an abstract for review?
We match your abstract with a mentor specialized in your field of research and you will receive feedback within 10 working days.
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What does a mentor do?
Mentors review your abstract based on a set of guidelines and provide you feedback within 10 working days, and at the latest by 23 January 2015 (excluding the holiday period 24 December 2014 to 2 January 2015).
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How do I get feedback from the mentor?
Mentors submit their feedback to the IAS, and we then forward this to the mentee via the Abstract Mentor Programme system. It is therefore essential that you provide a valid e-mail address when you register.
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Is the service available only in English?
The Abstract Mentor Programme is currently only available in English.

Note: all abstracts submitted to the IAS 2015 Conference must be in English.
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Do I have to be registered for IAS 2015 to participate as a mentor or to submit an abstract for mentoring?
It is not mandatory to be registered for IAS 2015 in order to participate in this programme, neither for mentors nor mentees.
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What kind of questions can I ask my mentor?
You can ask questions on the scientific content, as well as the structure of your abstract. Below are some examples of previously asked questions:
  • Is my introduction extensive enough?
  • Are my conclusions clear and well supported by the data?
  • Have I described the method well enough?
  • What part of the abstract could I edit to shorten the text?
  • Would a graph or table be useful?
  • What other conclusions/lessons learned should I include?
You can also ask mentors questions on practical issues, such as clarity of writing and formal requirements of the abstract, as well as any methodological or scientific questions that may arise from the abstract content. The answers will guide you to edit and make improvements to the abstract before you officially submit it to the conference.

Note: Mentors may not write, translate or make changes to the draft abstract on your behalf.
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What kind of questions am I not allowed to ask mentors?
Mentors will not answer questions related to:
  • whether or not s/he thinks your abstract will be accepted to the conference
  • grammar issues
  • other conference programmes such as scholarships
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How long do mentors take to respond?
Mentors will provide feedback within 10 working days and at the latest by 23 January 2015 (excluding the holiday period 24 December 2014 to 2 January 2015).
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Can I be an abstract mentor?
Sure! We welcome HIV/AIDS and public health professionals with experience in HIV research who have had at least 2 abstracts accepted to an international conference and who have co-authored at least one manuscript accepted by a peer-reviewed scientific journal. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please sign up here or if you know someone who might be, send them the link to the signup form here.
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Is abstract mentoring a part of the abstract review and selection process?
No, mentoring is completely independent of the abstract review and selection process. Once you have finalized your abstract you need to submit it to the conference through your conference profile.
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I have a general question about abstracts. Where can I find an answer?
Please visit the conference website and review the information on abstracts and abstract submission as well as the FAQs. If you don't find an answer there, you can e-mail us at .
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I need help to plan and develop my abstract. Can you help?
Please consult the online abstract writing module developed by the IAS in collaboration with Health [e] Foundation. The module will be available once the Abstract Mentor Programme opens 17 November.
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Prizes & Awards

How do I apply for the IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award?
You do not need to apply for the award directly. Once you have submitted an abstract for the IAS 2015 conference and if you meet the criteria listed below, you will be automatically considered. Eligible candidates are the presenting authors of IAS conference abstracts who meet the following criteria:
  • The abstract must have been accepted as an oral presentation, poster discussion or poster exhibition by the Scientific Programme Committee;
  • The presenting author must be under 35 years of age;
  • The research demonstrates innovation, originality, rationale and quality.
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How do I apply for the Women, Girls and HIV Investigator Prize?
You do not need to fill-in a specific application. Once you have submitted an abstract for the IAS 2015 conference and if you meet the criteria listed below, you will be automatically considered.
  • The abstract must have been accepted as an oral presentation, poster discussion or poster exhibition by the Scientific Programme Committee;
  • The presenting author is a national from a low- or middle-income country;
  • The investigation has taken place in a low- or middle-income country;
  • The abstract demonstrates excellence in research and/or practice that addresses women, girls and gender issues related to HIV and AIDS.
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How do I apply for the IAS TB/HIV Research Prize? You do not need to apply for the prize directly. Once you have submitted an abstract for the IAS 2015 conference and if you meet the criteria listed below, you will be automatically considered.

To be eligible for the prize, abstracts must meet the following criteria:
  • The abstract must have been accepted as an oral presentation, poster discussion or poster exhibition by the Scientific Programme Committee;
  • Research must be related to HIV and TB.
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What are the criteria for the scholarship programme?
The scholarship programme is open to everyone around the world. Following the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC) scholarship selection criteria, priority will be given to those whose abstract submission has been selected for presentation in the programme. A limited number of scholarships will be also available for individuals whose participation will help enhance their work in their own communities and to those who are able to assist in the transfer of skills and knowledge acquired at the conference.

In addition, a very limited number of scholarships will be available for media representatives from around the world.
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How many scholarships will be offered?
For IAS 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, more than 1,200 applications were received and nearly 120 scholarships were offered. For IAS 2015 the same share of the total conference budget has been allocated scholarships.

Although every attempt is made to assist as many people as possible, we regret that the number of scholarships that will be allocated is limited. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to seek other funding as well.
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How do I apply for a scholarship? What supporting documentation is required?
Scholarship applications for IAS 2015 are now closed.
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What support does the scholarship provide?
Applicants were able to request all or some of the following aspects of the scholarship to attend IAS 2015:
  • Conference registration fee (includes access to all sessions and exhibitions)
  • Travel (pre-paid airfare at the lowest fare available, from the nearest international airport)
  • Accommodation (shared in dormitory rooms for the days of the conference)
  • Modest daily living allowance for the conference duration (19-22 July 2015, the equivalent of USD 37 per day)
Please note that the level of support requested may not be the level of support granted. Full scholarships will only be awarded in a limited number of cases. Partial scholarships will also be awarded.

In all cases individuals will be required to cover the cost of their incidental hotel expenses, meals, visa applications and any optional extra expenses.

Affiliated Independent Events

What is an Affiliated Independent Event?
An Affiliated Independent Event (AIE) is an event that addresses topics or issues related to HIV and AIDS, that adheres to the objectives of the 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015) and that takes place outside of the official conference programme hours and venue.

Events may include a broad range of formats including: social functions, cultural events and meetings/pre-conferences and must respect the IAS Principles and Values for Conference Participation.
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Can my event be affiliated with the conference?
All IAS 2015 Affiliated Independent Events must:
  • Reflect and support the IAS 2015 conference objectives
  • Take place between 1 May – 31 July 2015
  • Be held outside the official conference programme location - the Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Be scheduled outside the official conference programme hours, which are:

    Sunday 19 July 2015: 09:00 – 17:45
    Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 July 2015: 07:00 – 20:30
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I do not meet the criteria in this list, what other options do I have?
If your event does not comply with the criteria, there are other ways of being involved in IAS 2015:
  • Satellite sessions take place in the conference centre and are fully organized and coordinated by the organization hosting the satellite. The IAS makes satellite slots available for a fee, based on the room capacity and the time slot requested, and will allocate slots based on the overall conference programme composition. A programme committee will review the content and speakers of all satellite sessions to ensure that they meet the scientific and ethical principles of the conference. More information about satellites.
  • Commercial and non-commercial organizations can showcase their products and services to the world's leading HIV and AIDS professionals. With over 5,000 square meters of prime exhibition space and more than 6,000 delegates expected, your organization cannot afford to miss the chance to reach so many key players in the scientific response to HIV and AIDS. Read more about exhibition space.

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Are there any fees related to the application for Affiliated Independent Event status?
There are no processing or sponsorship fees associated with Affiliated Independent Events. The conference organizers reserve the right reject any event they do not feel adhere to the conference objectives or values.
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How can I apply for Affiliated Independent Event status?
Event organizers can apply for Affiliated Independent Event status by creating a conference profile and filling in the online application form. The application will be reviewed by the IAS, who reserves the right to reject any application judged unsuitable or not in line with the objectives of IAS 2015.
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When is the submission deadline for Affiliated Independent Events?
Affiliated Independent Event applications open 16 February 2015 and close 30 June 2015.
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Why should I affiliate my event to the conference?
The 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015) is the largest open scientific conference on HIV and AIDS related issues and is expected to gather some 7,000 delegates from across the globe.

All approved Affiliated Independent Events will be published on the IAS 2015 website, in social media and also appear in the Programme-at-a-Glance. Moreover, approved event organizers will receive the IAS 2015 Conference logo for use in printed and promotional materials.

If your event has been approved for IAS 2015 co-submission, we strongly encourage you to apply for Affiliated Independent Event status.
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Where can I see all the approved IAS 2015 Affiliated Independent Events?
All approved Affiliated Independent Events are displayed on the IAS 2015 conference website.
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Volunteering at IAS 2015

Who can volunteer for the IAS 2015 Conference?
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old (as of 15 July 2015), fluent in English and be able to commit to a minimum of three half-day shifts from 15 July to 22 July 2015.

Events may include a broad range of formats including: social functions, cultural events and meetings/pre-conferences and must respect the IAS Principles and Values for Conference Participation.
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How do I apply to volunteer?
An online volunteer application form will be available on the volunteer page of the conference website from 1 April 2015. Applications will only be accepted through this online form. Applications by e-mail, fax, or letter will be refused.
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When will volunteers know if they have been accepted?
The IAS 2015 Volunteer Department will start reviewing applications in May and will then notify successful applicants. Volunteers who apply after 28 April will be notified of their acceptance 20 days after successfully submitting the volunteer application form.
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What are the criteria to be accepted as a volunteer?
Volunteers who have a maximum availability to volunteer from 15 to 22 July 2015 will be prioritized.
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When will volunteers receive their final schedule?
After confirming the suggested timetable through the online volunteer portal, volunteers will receive their final schedule within 10 days. Please note that the scheduling process will start end of May 2015.
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Can volunteers outside of Canada apply?
Yes. However, persons seeking to volunteer at IAS 2015 will be required to meet Canadian customs and immigration requirements for visitors. Unfortunately, the conference secretariat is unable to offer any financial assistance and volunteers are responsible for their own accommodation and travel costs. It is the sole responsibility of the volunteer to take care of his/her visa requirements.
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What are the benefits for volunteers?
Volunteers will have access to the daily conference sessions when not on duty (usually volunteers get a morning or an afternoon shift). They will receive a volunteer T-shirt and will get a free lunch. Furthermore, volunteers will have the possibility to gain international experience at the world's largest scientific conference on HIV/AIDS.
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Do volunteers receive a Certificate for their participation at the IAS 2015 Conference?
A certificate of appreciation will be downloadable after the conference through the online volunteer portal.
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Is there a volunteer application closing date?
Applications close once the number of volunteers needed is reached. We therefore encourage you to apply as soon as the volunteer application form is online (1 April 2015). Once the number is reached, it will be announced on our website.
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If a person is selected to volunteer, but has already paid the registration fee, will the secretariat refund the volunteer?
If you have registered as a regular IAS 2015 Delegate before 1 April 2015 and your application as a volunteer has been accepted, we kindly ask you to contact us at [email protected]
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How many hours per day is a volunteer expected to work?
It depends on the activity for which the volunteer is selected. Activities can vary between 6 to 8 hours a day. In order to allow the volunteer to attend sessions during the day, we try to schedule volunteer shifts either in the morning (06:30-14:00) or in the afternoon (13:00-20:30).
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Where can I find updates on the volunteer programme?
You can join us on Facebook here or look for "IAS 2015 Volunteers".