Requests for Proposals

Submission Milestones

oSTEM 2023 programming proposal submissions are now closed. We received a record number of submissions this year, and our programming team is excited to review your program proposals. Communication on the next steps in the process will be emailed by Friday, July 14th.

  • Monday, April 3: Request for Programming Released
  • Friday, June 30: Deadline for Submissions - CLOSED
  • Friday, July 14: RFP Decision Notifications

Benefits for Presenters

  • 50% registration discount for selected presenters. Each selected panel is limited to 4 presenter discount codes.
  • Add "Selected Talk for National Conference" to resume or CV
  • Gain additional public speaking experience
  • Increase visibility and networking opportunities with LGBTQ+ professionals and recruiters in STEM
  • Present on lived experiences and identities in addition to academic and professional development topics
  • Receive presenter acknowledgment in conference program book and on badge

Program Topics

Presentations will be required to select from the following categories: (1) Technical Expertise, (2) Student Leadership Development, (3) Intersectionality and Identity, (4) Career and Professional Development, (5) DEI in the Workplace, and (6) Other Relevant Topics. Example session topics that would fit in each category are provided in the bullets below each category.

Technical Expertise

  • Presenting case studies on common pitfalls or errors and solutions
  • Address upcoming challenges or novel applications
  • Offering in-depth research presentation

Student Leadership Development

  • Sharing tools and resources for developing successful programs
  • Identifying leadership strengths and weaknesses
  • Exploring team building activities and applications

Intersectionality and Identity

  • Examining how our intersecting identities shape our interactions and/or worldview
  • Navigating identity-based microaggressions related to race, ethnicity, gender, etc.

Career and Professional Development

  • Finding and connecting with queer mentors and/or mentees
  • Enhancing queer experiences in the workplace
  • Creating cover letters and/or resumes
  • Entering the workforce and navigating career pivots

DEI in the Workplace

  • Impact of intersectional identities on career decisions and trajectory
  • Best practices and policies in Talent Acquisition, Employee Research Groups, etc. for your industry

Other Relevant Topics

  • Exploring queer wellness topics
  • Understanding transitioning in the workplace
  • Leveraging your volunteer experience in professional settings

Program Format

There are three options for Program Submissions:

  • Workshop: Workshops are defined as 1-2 speakers presenting on a program topic. All workshops are expected to be 50 minutes.

  • Panel: Panels are defined as 3-4 speakers that each contribute a unique perspective on a similar topic. Panels can be collaborative across different universities, companies, and industries depending on the topic. In addition, panels should include historically marginalized voices. All panelists are expected to contribute and participate in the discussion. (Panels are limited to 4 presenter discount codes.)

  • Lightning Talk: We define a lighting talk as an individual giving a quick introduction to pique interest in a specific STEM or LGBTQ+ related topic. This may be a resource you have found interesting or an issue that future STEM professionals could investigate. These talks will be 12 minutes long with 3 minutes for questions. This is an excellent opportunity to give an oral presentation if a 50-minute presentation is beyond the scope of your topic!

Proposal Components

Program selection for our conference is highly competitive. Please follow the guidelines that have been outlined in this document to improve your chances of being selected.

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following:

  • An engaging title and abstract
  • Value to the LGBTQIA+ STEM community
  • Attendee engagement
  • A breakdown of your program that outlines the questions / topics you will be addressing
  • Having experience and/or identity(ies) that support your program proposal

Please provide the following information (will not be used for evaluation):

  • Is this session closed to members of a specific community only? If so, please specify.
  • Please describe any additional technical services you may need.
  • The standard room set-up includes a projector, HDMI cord, screen, microphones, and a table.
  • For each presenter, please provide a name, contact information, demographic information, a headshot, and a short biography.
  • Content warnings as applicable. (For more information, check outthis resourcefrom the University of Michigan.)

Your proposal must include the following components:

  • Session Title:
    • Identifies program topic and how this relates to the oSTEM mission
  • Abstract for Program Book:
    • Provides a succinct description of the goals of the workshop and what participants will learn
  • What is the value of this workshop to the LGBTQIA+ STEM Community?
    • Describes and justifies the workshop’s value
    • Establishes relevance to LGBTQIA+ and STEM communities
    • States: what makes this program unique to this conference?
  • How will the proposed program engage the audience?
    • Explains the program’s activities/strategies for engagement
    • Demonstrates how engagement with the audience will supplement the presentation/panel
  • Session Outline
    • (Workshop): Submits an outline of the presentation, approximating the amount of time spent on each question/topic. i.e. (20 minute talk on Topic X, 10 minutes of discussion, 10 minutes of questions, etc.)
    • (Panel): Outlines specific questions that the panel will be discussing and how these questions support the proposed topic.
    • (Lightning Talks): Explain why you are qualified to speak on your proposed topic (i.e. expertise, personal or professional experience, exposure, publications, etc.)
  • Presenter identity & experience match the proposed topic
    • Demonstrates a basis of knowledge and relevant personal experience for this proposed program

NOTE: If you are unable to access the submission form due to technical issues please contact prior to sending a document or email submission.

For more information about oSTEM visit

Please email our Conference Programming Committee at with any questions.

For inquiries regarding available conference accommodations or to request this document in an accessible format, please contact the accessibility team at