All trainees are required to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA). The RSA membership is impressive and includes nearly 1,900 scientists and students worldwide. The annual meeting provides a forum for clinicians and scientists to interact and for alcohol researchers to present their latest findings in plenary presentations, symposia, roundtables and workshops. Trainees are expected to self-register for RSA (always await RSA meeting award results before registering as awardees often have registration waived and receive special registration instructions), submit an abstract (as a presenting author), apply for meeting awards, present a poster, and are strongly encouraged to attend the opening reception and closing banquet for networking opportunities. Predoctoral trainees can sign up for the Student Luncheon where they have the opportunity to network. Postdoctoral trainees may sign up for the Post-Doc dinner. Mentorship programs and Grantsmanship Workshop opportunities are also available to all trainees. The meeting is held in late June or early July each year and lasts 5 days. Trainees in fetal alcohol research labs attend the FASD Study Group meeting, which is held on Saturday. Other satellite meetings are also options for trainees to attend that Saturday. For more information on RSA, visit http://www.rsoa.org.

Travel support (airfare, ground transportation on travel days, shared room lodging assistance, and a subsistence allowance) is available from the training grant provided the trainee submits an abstract (as presenting author) and applies for the RSA meeting awards (student merit/junior investigator; travel). The abstract and award applications are both due the first part of January each year. Information regarding the next RSA meeting is typically posted on the RSA website in early October. It is also recommended that trainees seek out support opportunities sponsored by SDSU and UCSD for conference/travel.

RSA membership is a requirement for those appointed to this T32. The application deadline is Oct. 1 each year. Trainees are responsible for applying for membership and maintaining active status by paying the annual dues. Student Membership dues are $20. Postdoctoral (no more that 4 years past their degree) Membership dues are $100. Membership benefits include discounted registration for RSA and access to the society’s journal, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Other Trainings/Meetings/Conferences. Though attendance at conferences other than RSA is not required, trainees often have the opportunity to attend other meetings relevant to their interests. Opportunities for attendance at other conferences or trainings may be presented to trainees by their research mentor(s). Some trainees have attended the biennial Congress of the International Society on Biomedical Research on Alcoholism (ISBRA). ISBRA is very similar to RSA but is an international society and meetings are often held in foreign countries. Some mentors provide funding for this conference, while others do not. For more information on ISBRA, visit http://www.isbra.com.

The T32 sometimes has funds to provide partial support for trainee attendance at additional meetings/trainings beyond RSA. All requests for training-related travel monies from the T32 must be approved by Dr. Riley before registering for the meeting. Mentors may also have support funds for trainees to attend additional events.