Event Details


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2021 Virtual VKC Science Day


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Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day - Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

2021 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day will take place Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, beginning at 11:30 a.m. This year's event will take place online, with hopes that next year's event will return to in-person. 2021 Science Day festivities will include a guest speaker keynote, a Data Blitz, and adapted research presentation opportunities for researchers. More information will be posted on this page as details are solidified.

The Call for Abstracts and attendee registration for 2021 Virtual VKC Science Day are now open!

Click here to submit an abstract.

Please make a note of the submission deadlines below when preparing your abstract and registering to participate in Science Day.

Register to attend 2021 Virtual VKC Science Day,

Registration is required to receive the Zoom connection link. ***NOTE: Those who submit an abstract will be forwarded to the registration page after they submit their work.***

A Tradition With Innovation:

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center supports basic/molecular, applied, and clinical research and training. The VKC has over 300 faculty researchers, staff, and affiliate members working together across disciplines to create basic and clinical scientific discoveries, to translate research into best practices, and to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners. The ultimate goal is to make positive differences in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Keynote Speaker: Brian Boyd, Ph.D.

The VKC is happy to welcome Brian Boyd, Ph.D., director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project and associate professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, as our 2021 Science Day keynote speaker. Details on Dr. Boyd's talk are forthcoming.

Poster Sessions:

Abstract proposals for presentation will be accepted fromundergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research faculty, and research staff conducting research in labs or research programs of VKC members and investigators. Prizes will be awarded to an undergraduate student, graduate student, and postdoctoral fellow* for best research poster in each of the following research themes:

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Clinical, Behavioral, and Intervention Research
  • Systems Neuroscience

In addition, all poster presenters (first authors) become VKC Affiliates and are eligible to compete for VKC awards to present at a scientific or professional conference in the next two years (extended a year due to COVID-19). Research presented at other scientific or professional meetings within the last year are eligible for submission.

2021 Presentation Competition and Data Blitz Participation

In an effort to make the presentation submission process more like what a researcher would encounter for a professional conference, 2021 Science Day Data Blitz winners will be chosen BEFORE SCIENCE DAY based on the quality of the ABSTRACTS submitted by the presenters.

The Call for Abstracts will open on MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2021. There are two deadlines to consider, depending on whether or not a presenter wants to be eligible for cash prize/Data Blitz consideration.

  • The submission deadline for presenters wishing to compete for an award is 11:59 p.m. FRIDAY, JULY 30. Submissions received after that deadline may still be eligible to present during Science Day but will not be considered for competition. NOTE: All presenters have the option to opt out of competition from June 28 to July 31. You do not have to wait to submit if you do not want to participate in the competition.
  • The submission deadline for ALL Science Day presentation abstracts is 11:59 p.m. WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31. The submission portal will close after that time, and no additional posters will be accepted.

Out of those who choose to compete, up to seven winners will be chosen: one graduate and postdoctoral presenter from each of the three themes (Systems Neuroscience; Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience; and Clinical, Behavioral, Intervention Research), as well as one overall undergraduate presenter. The winners can claim their $250 Warren Lambert Award either as a cash prize or as supplemental travel funds (on top of their VKC Affiliate travel funds) to present their research at a scientific meeting during the year.

In addition, prizes will be awarded to three presenters in the following categories:

  • Best Interdisciplinary/Cross-Lab Research
  • Best Plain Language Presentation
  • Best Research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Register to attend

Registration will open on MONDAY, JUNE 28 Please register by clicking the button at the top left of this page. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link for Science Day. The deadline to register to attend is WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3. Thank you.

2021 VKC Science Day Agenda:

NOTE: Plans are underway, and details are tentative. Check back often for updates.

11:30 a.m.: Log into Zoom link, check connections.

11:45 a.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Tiffany Woynaroski, Ph.D., Science Day Chair
  • Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Director

12:00 p.m.: Keynote Address: Title TBD

  • Brian Boyd, Ph.D., Director, Juniper Gardens Children’s Project; Associate Professor of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas

Break until top of hour

1:00 p.m.: Data Blitz presentations with Q/A

Break until top of hour

2:00 p.m.: Presentation Breakout Rooms: Presenters will be assigned a 30-minute session time to discuss their research round-robin style with fellow presenters with similar research interests as well as with other guests who join the rooms. Presenters are asked to familiarize themselves with their fellow presenter's work ahead of Science Day:

  • Session 1: 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Session 2: 2:30-3:00 p.m.
  • Session 3: 3:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Session 4: 3:30-4:00 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m.: Notification of Award Winners and Closing Remarks


    For accessibility information or to request an accommodation

    Contact kc@vumc.org or 615-322-8240 for disability access information; 2 weeks advance notice is recommended for some accommodations (e.g., Braille, signing).