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Annual Meeting 2022 - Cork, Ireland: Overview

Number: 66th Annual Meeting
Year: 2022
Location: Cork, Ireland
Hosted By: University College Cork
Organised By: Organising committee chaired by Prof. Maria McNamara
General Contact Email: annualmeeting2022@palass.org

Overview

The 66th Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association will be held from 18th to 24th July 2022. The Annual Meeting will be held at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, which was founded in 1845 close to the former site of the school of learning originally established by St Finbarr in 606 AD. The organizing committee is chaired by Prof. Maria McNamara, with help from Dr Chris Mays and other members of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC. In a move away from our usual annual timetable, the meeting is being held in summer in an effort to mitigate against COVID-19.

Programme and venues

The meeting will begin with various events targeted at the general public on Monday 18th July and an early-career researcher event on Tuesday 19th July. Workshops, laboratory tours and the symposium will take place on Wednesday 20th of July, followed by the core scientific sessions on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd July. There will be a two-day post-conference fieldtrip on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July. All scientific sessions, workshops and the Symposium will take place on the university’s main campus on Western Road, Cork. The early-career researcher event will take place on the university’s Distillery Fields campus on North Mall, a 15-minute walk along the River Lee from Main Campus. The public events will be split between Main Campus and Distillery Fields. The scientific sessions will take place in the Boole lecture theatre complex on Main Campus and will include several parallel sessions in adjacent theatres. The Annual Address will be given by Prof. Daniela Schmidt (University of Bristol, UK) and the Annual Dinner will be held at Pairc Uí Chaoimh, a state of the art stadium and the home of Ireland’s national sports in Cork, and will include a live match followed by dinner and a céilí (music and dancing).

Note that the Association AGM will not take place as usual during the Annual Meeting but will be scheduled for a date in December and held as a virtual AGM; details will be made available to members via the Newsletter and posted on the Association website later this year.

Meeting format

The Palaeontological Association and the meeting organizers are committed to hosting a safe in-person meeting. Excepting a limited number of presenters from low- and middle income countries (see below), delegates should plan to attend in-person; virtual attendance is limited to very specific circumstances and is not supported by interactive online platforms for communications and discussion. The current pandemic outlook in Ireland is positive and the Irish government have lifted most restrictions, including those applying to socialization and indoor gatherings. Currently, mask-wearing is required in retail settings and on public transport; it is not required in hospitality settings (e.g. pubs and restaurants). At UCC, facemasks are required in corridors but not in lecture theatres and other venues. It is anticipated that the remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted soon. The level of restrictions and the broader global situation are, however, subject to change; we will update delegates via this website and via direct circulars where necessary. Full details of university and national COVID protocols and restrictions will be provided on the meeting webpages and updated when necessary.

Should developments in the COVID-19 pandemic render an in-person meeting impossible, the in-person meeting will be cancelled by the 4th July 2022 at the latest. In this scenario, the Annual Meeting will be rescheduled for 19th to 21st December 2022 and will be a virtual meeting hosted by the UCC team. All delegates registered for the in-person meeting will be transferred automatically to the December virtual meeting and the major portion of their registration costs refunded. Talks and posters accepted for the in-person meeting in July will automatically transfer across to the virtual fall-back meeting in December (unless a presenter cannot attend). The virtual talks will be pre-recorded and submitted by speakers prior to the end of November; virtual posters will be made available to delegates during the conference. Full details of the virtual meeting will be provided if necessary and in due course. 

At the time of registration, delegates submitting abstracts will be asked to indicate whether they will be available during the December dates. Should a delegate indicate that they are not available in December, this will not preclude registration for the in-person meeting and will not factor into the decision-making process regarding abstract acceptance). 

If a virtual December meeting is required, new registrations will be possible in the autumn for a small registration fee.

The July meeting will include selected virtual elements. 
    • We are investigating options for potential live streaming of elements of the meeting to the PalAss YouTube channel. The live stream will not afford the opportunity to interact directly with the meeting hosts or delegates. 
    • A limited number (circa 10) of oral presentation slots have been ring-fenced for delegates from low-middle income countries (LMIC) who cannot attend in person but who register as virtual attendees and submit an abstract. Any selected LMIC virtual attendees will submit pre-recorded talks by the 4th July and will be expected to be present via Zoom to answer questions from the audience.

Non attendance by presenters

Oral presenters forced to withdraw at the last minute have the option to submit a pre-recorded talk to be played during their scheduled slot. 
Poster presenters forced to withdraw may choose to courier their poster to UCC for display as part of the poster sessions. Alternatively presenters may make arrangements with a local printing company (www.snap.ie) to print and deliver their poster to UCC. 

Getting to Cork

Cork is a relatively small city. The North Mall campus of the university is a 5-minute walk from the city centre, and the main campus is a 15 – 20 minute walk from the city centre. 

Cork has excellent connections with the rest of Europe. Its international airport (ORK) is a hub for Aer Lingus and Ryanair and features daily flights to various destinations in the UK (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, and Manchester) and Europe (including Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Gdansk, Poznan and Munich). For a full list of destinations see https://www.corkairport.com/destinations/destinations. From Cork airport it is a 15 – 20 min taxi journey to the city centre.

Cork is connected to Dublin by train and bus, including various direct bus services to Dublin airport via Aircoach (www.aircoach.ie) and Gobe (https://gobe.ie). Dublin airport is a major transport hub with direct flights to over 190 destinations worldwide. Cork bus station is in the city centre and Kent train station is a 10-minute walk from the city centre.  

Registration

Registration and abstract submission are now open. You can find full details on the Registration and Abstracts page

Accommodation

There are several hotels and guesthouses in the immediate vicinity of the university within a 5 – 10 minute walk of the conference venues. There are many additional hotels, guesthouses and hostels in the city centre, along with plenty of pubs and restaurants. A limited number of rooms will be available at discounted rates in several of these accommodation providers and in the university halls (student accommodation). Alternatively accommodation can be booked using the usual online resources, e.g. www.booking.com. Please click on this link for a list of suggested accommodation options, including details of discounted rates across all price points possible. Be advised that in order to avail of the discounted rates, delegates should contact the hotels through the email address provided above and ask for the booking under the booking code provided above (with the exception of The Clayton Hotel: here delegates should book directly on the hotel website using the link and promotion code provided above). Please note also that discounted rates may not be available if booking late.

Travel grants

The Palaeontological Association runs a programme of travel grants to assist student members (doctoral and earlier) to attend the Annual Meeting in order to present a talk or poster. Grants of up to £100 (or euro equivalent) will be available to student presenters who are travelling from outside Cork. The actual amount available will depend on the number of applicants and the distance travelled. Payment of these awards is given as a disbursement at the Meeting, not as an advance payment. Students interested in applying for a PalAss travel grant should contact the Executive Officer, Dr Jo Hellawell (e-mail executive@palass.org) once the organizers have confirmed that their abstract is accepted, and before 30th June 2022. Please title the e-mail “Travel Grant Request”. No awards can be made to those who have not followed this procedure. 

Carer’s bursary

Bursaries are available to support attendance at the Annual Meeting by researchers with caring responsibilities. The deadline for receipt of applications is 1st June at 23:59 BST. Please see https://www.palass.org/awards-grants/grants/palaeontological-association-carer-s-bursary for further details.

Nursing facilities

There are baby changing facilities and a nursing room on both main campus and the North Mall campus. No childcare will be provided but a list of local childcare options can be provided on request. For further details and to request access to the nursing facilities please contact the conference organisers (e-mail annualmeeting2022@palass.org). 

Accessibility

All buildings in the university are accessible via ramps and/or lifts. A quiet room will be available for individual use if required.

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