Although speech production is arguably the most complex, yet routine, motor skill that humans perform, there are only two major conferences in the area of speech motor control: the International Conference on Speech Motor Control and the Madonna Conference on Motor Speech. Both occur relatively infrequently. As such, there is a need for more options to share current research in speech motor control. The goal of this R13 application is to support a new, intentionally accessible and inclusive regional conference in speech motor control to augment the current meetings. The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium (BSMCS) draws on the high concentration of individuals in the Boston metropolitan area and areas surrounding Boston that are reachable by car and train. In order to increase the pipeline of promising under-represented minority (URM) researchers in this area, BSMCS is designed to reduce barriers to attendance for these individuals. BSMCS will be low-cost ($40 registration; $10 for students) and short (one full conference day with an optional tutorial the evening prior for trainees). BSMCS will provide travel awards to students and post-doctoral researchers, with preference to URMs. It will incorporate best-practices to allow for inclusion of working parents, such as free on-site childcare and access to lactation rooms . Finally, BSMCS will offer continuing education units (CEUs) to attendees who are speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Attracting SLP attendees will 1) encourage the dissemination of cutting-edge research that can facilitate clinical translation, and 2) further bolster the pipeline of new researchers in this area by attracting SLPs to doctoral study. The primary purpose of this R13 conference grant proposal is to request support from NIDCD for trainee travel awards, travel expenses of invited speakers from outside the Boston area, family care provider expenses, conference supplies, and poster board rentals during BSMCS 2019, 2021, and 2023. Boston University (BU) will provide an equal match to the NIDCD contribution to each of these items. The conference registration fees and additional funds from BU will cover all additional costs for the conference. Each year's meeting will include a one-day program that consists of 5 invited talks (one keynote lecture and four other expert seminars), with the remainder of the program devoted to contributed talks and a contributed poster session. Additionally, each year there will be a trainee tutorial held the evening prior to the full day of the symposium, which will be free of charge for all students and post-doctoral researchers. NIDCD funding will allow BSMCS to meet the goals of accessibility and inclusivity, fostering research and education in speech motor control across diverse groups of students, researchers, and clinicians.
The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium (BSMCS) is a regional conference that aims to provide an accessible and inclusive environment to share research in speech motor control. It will be held in June 2019, 2021, and 2023 at Boston University. BSMCS will be low-cost ($40 registration; $10 for students) and short (one full conference day with an optional tutorial the evening prior for trainees). BSMCS will provide travel awards to students and post-doctoral researchers, with preference to under-represented minorities. It will incorporate best- practices to allow for inclusion of working parents, such as free on-site childcare and access to lactation rooms. Finally, BSMCS will offer continuing education units to attendees who are speech-language pathologists.