Each year at the General Assembly, the EGU organizes a limited number of Union Symposia (US) and Great Debates (GDB). These union-wide events are intended to be cutting-edge, current, and of interest to a broad range of the Earth, Environmental, Planetary and Space sciences. USs and GDBs are live-streamed, available for viewing on-demand by registered conference attendants during the conference period and archived online after the General Assembly for general viewing (subject to speaker and convener agreement).

Submission of proposals for a US or GDB session is possible during the call-for-sessions, but please note the earlier deadline. The proposals are evaluated for acceptance by the EGU Programme Committee before the deadline of the general call-for-sessions. Declined proposals can then be considered for resubmission as a regular session.

When submitting a proposal for a US or GDB session, please consider these guidelines.

  • Please check the general convener guidelines and rules.
  • A US consists of two oral time blocks separated by a break. Each time block has 3 presentations of 30 minutes each (so the US has a total of 6 presentations). In addition, each time block can have 15 minutes for introduction or discussion.
  • GDBs are panel discussions with a moderator. Typically, the panel has 3 to 5 members in addition to the moderator. A GDB lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • The EGU strongly encourages diversity in career stage, gender, geographical origin, and scientific approaches for US and GDB speakers and conveners.
  • The EGU recommends a maximum of three (co-)convenerships at its General Assembly. Please note that you can submit a maximum of 1 US and 1 GDB as lead convener.
  • Proposals of US and GBD need to include the following additional information in the proposal form (this information is confidential to the Programme Committee):
    • A justification of the union-wide character of the proposed session;
    • a preliminary list of speakers;
    • an indication of whether the proposal should be included in another programme group as a regular session if the proposal is declined for US or GDB;
    • whether the proposers have a contact person in the Programme Committee.
  • Speakers in Union Symposia (US) are solicited. They need to submit an abstract, using a password provided by the US convener, by the abstract deadline of the General Assembly. GDB panellists do not submit abstracts.
  • As a guideline, US and GDB speakers, conveners, and moderators do not receive discounted abstract processing charges, registration fees, or travel reimbursement.
  • Limited financial support is, however, available in specific cases. The EGU will consider support requests for speakers (up to 2) who bring something extra to our participants, who are not space scientists or geoscientists, who would otherwise not attend the EGU's General Assembly, and who do not have funds to cover their expenses.
  • Financial support requests are subject to approval by the treasurer, executive secretary and Programme-Committee Chair, and form part of the evaluation of US and GDB proposals. We consider support requests for registration, accommodation, and/or travel. As a guideline, travel support should not exceed €350 for travel; accommodation should not exceed €120 per night, and up to two nights can be granted if justifiable.