2020 Annual Meeting

SBM Annual Meeting Update

We are delighted to extend an invitation for you to attend the 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine to be held in San Francisco, CA, from April 1-4, 2020. The meeting will convene at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, conveniently located in the Theater District in walking distance to cable cars and Moscone Center, providing easy access to premier dining, entertainment, and shopping.

Plenary Keynote Speakers

SBM is excited to announce the 2020 Annual Meeting Keynote Speakers.

View the Keynote Speakers Here

Master Lectures

SBM is excited to announce the 2020 Annual Meeting Master Lectures.

View the Master Lectures Here

Online Planner

View the online planner for SBM's 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions.

2020 Online Planner

41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions Program

View the final program for SBM's 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions.

View Here


Why Attend SBM?

SBM is a vibrant, multidisciplinary society focused on the role of behavior in improving health. Most of our country's most daunting health challenges have behavioral origins, and achieving SBM’s vision of “better health through behavior change” has never been more important. SBM members include the nation’s leading scientists and practitioners, and SBM Annual Meetings are the premier forum for the most influential behavioral medicine research. Learn more about SBM and who we are.

Who will I meet at the SBM Annual Meeting?

  • SBM’s meeting is the only truly multidisciplinary behavioral medicine conference. SBM's membership includes approximately 2,400 behavioral and biomedical researchers and clinicians from more than 20 disciplines and across academic and industry settings.

Will SBM have the continuing education credits I need?

  • The society offers an average of 28 credit hours per meeting to nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, psychologists, public health professionals, health education specialists, and dietitians.

What do other professionals say about SBM’s Annual Meetings?

  • "Such an energizing conference, all of the sessions were wonderful and the focus on translating research into policy was timely."
  • "Overall the conference provided many networking opportunities and allowed me to make some major connections."
  • "As a graduate student, I found the emphasis on mentoring and career development extremely helpful." 

SBM by the Numbers

  • SBM's meeting offers over 250 sessions in more than 30 topic areas, including cancer, digital health, methods and measurement, physical activity, and quality of life.
  • 94% of 2019 meeting evaluation respondents indicating satisfaction with their experience.
  • 82% of 2019 meeting evaluation respondents reported it was somewhat or extremely likely that they would attend the 2020 Annual Meeting.
  • An estimated 2,200 individuals from the United States and abroad will attend the 2020 Annual Meeting.


2020 Annual Meeting Information


Registration for the Annual Meeting is now open. It will be a better deal to register as you renew or add an SBM membership, which you can do via the registration form! Register before March 10, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST to pay a discounted rate.

Pending National Institutes of Health approval, there may be limited funds available to defray meeting registration fees for conference attendee
members of the following racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral science research:
American Indian or Alaska Natives; Blacks or African Americans; Hispanics or Latinos; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders. If any of these categories apply to you, be sure to check the appropriate box on your registration form.

SBM is excited to offer 16 pre-conference courses on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.  View the pre-conference course descriptions here. You can register for pre-conference courses independently or in addition to your Annual Meeting registration.

Student Volunteering offers an opportunity for approximately 30 student members to earn complimentary registration. Applications for SBM Student Member Volunteers are now closed.

Guest Registrations may be purchased in addition to a full registration for $75. Only one guest is allowed per registrant. All guests must check-in at the registration desk onsite and will be identified with an appropriate name badge. A guest is defined as a spouse or significant other, friend, or relative who is not a member of SBM and does not work in a behavioral medicine-related occupation. If you want to bring a guest, please provide their name and pay the registration fee during your online registration process. Guest registrations do not include any ticketed sessions.

Book your hotel here. A room block has been secured at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square at a discounted rate. Click here to learn more about the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

Why stay at the conference hotel?
  • Pay a discounted nightly rate available only to SBM meeting attendees.
  • Help keep meeting costs down for attendees, especially students. Unfilled rooms cost SBM thousands of dollars. Not only do we pay hotel penalties for the current year’s conference, but our negotiating power is damaged for future conferences. Staying at the conference hotel allows us to negotiate lower guest room rates and lower food prices, which helps us offer more to attendees and keep registration rates low, especially for students with limited funds.
  • Easily access conference sessions, networking events, and other special activities, without worrying about transit or weather.
  • Easily return to your room if you forgot something or need a break



  • Par 55 San Francisco – a Hilton Hotel (.2 miles)


  • Courtyard San Francisco Union Square (.3 miles)
  • JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (.2 miles)
  • The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square (.2 miles)


  • Grand Hyatt San Francisco (.4 miles)


  • InterContinental San Francisco (.6 miles)


  • JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (.2 miles)
  • Par 55 San Francisco – a Hilton Hotel (.2 miles)
  • The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square (.2 miles)
  • Courtyard San Francisco Union Square (.3 miles)
  • Grand Hyatt San Francisco (.4 miles)
  • InterContinental San Francisco (.6 miles)

Continuing Education
Credits are available to purchase for an additional cost when registering for the meeting for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, dieticians, and certified health education specialists. Learners must complete an evaluation form following the meeting to receive a certificate of completion. Your chosen sessions must be attended in their entirety.  Partial credit of individual sessions is not available. If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement. The number of credits available will be published prior to the meeting.

Family Policy
SBM's Annual Meeting is family-friendly. Attendees are welcome, at their own discretion, to bring children to all conference sessions, including the poster/exhibit hall. No registration is required for meeting guests age 17 and under. SBM’s Local Arrangements Committee, comprised of members local to the conference site, also identifies unique local family-friendly recreational activities. Nursing mothers are welcome to breastfeed in all conference sessions and in any conference space; private nursing space is also available for those who prefer it. SBM complies with all state and local breastfeeding laws.

View the Local Arrangements Committee suggestions of restaurants and things to do in San Francisco here.


Abstract Submission Process

Abstract Submissions Open: Mid-July, 2019
Abstract Submissions Close: September 12, 2019
Rapid Communication Poster Submissions Open: Mid-October, 2019
Rapid Communication Poster Submissions Close: November 19, 2019

Abstract Submission Notification: Confirmation emails may go to your spam folder.  If you DO NOT receive an email notification regarding your abstract being submitted within 48 hours of submitting it please reach out to SBM.

Abstract Acceptance Notification: Confirmation emails may go to your spam folder.  If you DO NOT receive an email notification regarding your abstract submission by Friday, November 8, 2019, or by Wednesday, January 22, 2020 for rapid abstracts please reach out to SBM.

For any questions regarding your submission or the abstract submission site, please contact the national office at (414) 918-3156 or at info@sbm.org.

Abstracts MUST be submitted according to SBM's specific guidelines listed below, using SBM's official CadmiumCD submission website. Abstracts may be submitted as an oral presentation (papers, symposia, panel discussions, or seminars) or poster presentation.

All abstract submissions will be peer reviewed. All accepted abstracts will be published in the Annual Meeting Supplement issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine, an official journal of SBM. The supplement will serve as the official abstract publication for SBM's 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions.

Upon receipt of your submission, CadmiumCD will issue an email confirmation to the submitting author. Authors can expect to receive the email confirmation of their submission within 48 hours (or two business days) after submission. If you do not receive a confirmation email from the abstract system within 48 hours of submitting your abstract, contact the national office at (414) 918-3156 or at info@sbm.org.

Character Limit: There is a limit of 2,500 characters including spaces. The 2,500 character limit does not include title or author list.

Complete and Original Results: Each abstract should represent complete and original results. If you want to present a “Works in Progress” (e.g., design and methods of a large clinical trial) or a “Lessons Learned” (e.g., tips for other researchers) abstract, then this could be included in a panel discussion,  symposium, or rapid communication poster, but not in a regular paper or poster presentation (until complete data is available). Note that rapid communication poster abstracts have a separate, later deadline than other abstracts. Submitting multiple abstracts in which the same data have been analyzed in different ways, or in which a study is subdivided into small sub-studies, is prohibited and will result in those abstracts being rejected. In addition, this action may result in the individual abstract authors being prohibited from submitting abstracts for future SBM Annual Meetings. Only if abstracts present unique information that could be published in separate journal articles will multiple submissions from a single project be considered (e.g., if they address theoretically unrelated/distinct hypotheses, if they utilize non-overlapping data/variables, etc.). If multiple presenters claim equal contribution to a project, then they can co-present the paper or poster at the Annual Meeting.

Empirical/Non-Empirical Research: Paper abstracts submitted for presentation must be based on empirical research and report actual (not promised) results. Poster submissions, except for Works in Progress and Lessons Learned rapid communication posters, must also be based on empirical research and report actual (not promised) results. Abstracts for courses, panel discussions, and symposia may include empirical and/or non-empirical contributions. 

Empirical work includes primary quantitative research (e.g., observational studies, clinical trials) and primary qualitative research (e.g., interviews, focus groups), with both requiring appropriate methods for gleaning insights (e.g., the use of appropriate statistics for quantitative data and appropriate processing of qualitative data, such as thematic analysis). Empirical research can also be of a secondary nature and involve the use of prior empirical work, such as review articles. Note that for these types of empirical contributions, the work does need to use accepted procedures for organizing and processing that information including both quantitative (e.g., meta-analysis) or qualitative (e.g., meta-synthesis, scoping or narrative reviews) approaches. Literature reviews that do not use an accepted protocol for organizing the literature and gleaning insights will NOT be considered empirical but could be discussed within courses, panels, or symposia. 

Prior Publication Policy: Abstracts that have been published or presented elsewhere prior to the time of presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions may not be submitted for consideration by SBM. Work may be submitted for publication after the abstract submission deadline, prior to the Annual Meeting, and still be presented at the meeting (even if it is published prior to the meeting).

Abstract Presentation Limit: Authors are limited to participation as “presenter” in a maximum of three abstract submissions. Presenters of accepted abstracts should pre-register for the annual meeting by the early-bird deadline.

Presenter Registration: Each presenting author is responsible for his/her registration fee(s) as well as travel and housing costs. Presenters who are unable to attend the annual meeting should arrange for another individual to present the paper/poster in question. If changes to the listing of your presenting author are necessary, please notify the SBM national office (414) 918-3156 or info@sbm.org.

Withdrawn Abstracts: Abstract presenters who withdraw a presentation may be denied the right to submit an abstract for the 2021 SBM Annual Meeting. The only exceptions to this policy are (1) absence due to weather-related issues that hinder a presenter’s travel to the meeting, (2) absence due to a work-related emergency, or (3) absence related to personal injury or family health emergency. Miscalculation of travel costs by the presenter does not qualify as an acceptable reason to withdraw one’s abstract. In the event this occurs, no refunds will be given.

Abstract/Presentation Language: All abstract submissions must be in English. All presentations based on accepted abstract submissions must be made in English.

Thematic Submissions Encouraged: Submissions are especially encouraged that reflect the theme for the 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions: “Accelerating our Science: Finding Innovative Solutions for Tomorrow's Health Challenges”.

Open Science Practices Encouraged: Submitters will have the opportunity to declare their open science practices for the submitted work, including preregistered design, preregistered analyses, shared materials, and posted data. SBM is committed to promoting more open science practices among members and at the Annual Meeting. For more information on these practices and their benefits, see the Center for Open Science (https://cos.io/) or other resources.

When submitting your abstract, you may check boxes to be considered for these special opportunities:

  • Industry-Focused Posters: When submitting your poster abstract, look for the option to flag your submission as an Industry-Focused poster.  Posters that highlight the translational research coming out of industry and industry-academia partnerships will receive an Industry-Focused badge at the annual meeting . Recipients of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are especially encouraged to participate.
  • Poster Mentoring Program: Student SBM members can have their poster presentations evaluated by a senior SBM members. Because of the Poster Mentoring Program’s popularity, interested students are selected via a random drawing. Selected students are matched with senior members based on common behavioral medicine interests when possible. Those senior members then stop by the student’s poster presentation to offer feedback and advice in person.

Q: Can I submit a “meta-synthesis” for the Annual Meeting? (a meta-synthesis is similar to a meta-analysis but provides an evidence-based integration of qualitative studies).
A: Yes, you can submit a meta-synthesis as long as the synthesis includes sufficient published data (in this case qualitative data) to warrant a meta-synthesis and as long as the work utilizes strong methodology (as supported by existing literature).

Q: Can I submit an abstract that presents the aims, design, and methods for an ongoing trial? We are still collecting data, so this would be the equivalent to a design paper in a journal.
A: You may submit methods/design relevant abstracts as part of relevant panels or symposia, and as rapid communication posters—but not as regular paper/poster presentations, which require complete data at the time of submission.

Q: Can I submit an abstract that explains our experiences as researchers and “lessons learned” when conducting large clinical trials (e.g., partnering with clinics and engaging hard-to-reach patients for a community-level intervention)? Although this type of abstract would not involve sharing statistical results, would it still be considered empirical research?
A: This would fit into empirical work if you gathered qualitative data on this topic area and presented the qualitative data. If you do not have qualitative data, then this would fit better into a symposium whereby you could discuss these areas in the context of others who are working in a similar domain. Lessons learned can also be submitted as rapid communication posters—but not as regular paper/poster presentations.

Q: After submission of an abstract for presentation at the Annual Meeting, is the author prohibited from submitting a manuscript for publication (based off the presentation submission) prior to the presentation date?
A: Authors may submit their work for publication in a journal after the SBM Annual Meeting submission deadline has passed but before the Annual Meeting occurs. If you follow these rules and the paper ends up being published prior to the conference, then you do NOT need to withdraw the SBM submission.

Q: Is it allowed for a larger study to be divided into several abstract submissions (e.g., so that several graduate students from the same lab can present)?
A: SBM recognizes the importance of having graduate students present their work at the Annual Meeting, even if their work is part of a team-based project. However, the individual abstracts should be distinct enough to warrant publication as separate papers—that is, address unique theoretical questions (distinct enough for separate publication), use non-overlapping data, etc. If the abstracts would be combined into one manuscript for publication in a journal, then they should not be separated for submissions to the SBM Annual Meeting. Instead, consider having two students present at the same session (paper presentation or poster, for example).

Q: Can I submit a literature review for presentation?
A: A literature review can be submitted for presentation as a poster or paper only if it includes empirical data. However, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-syntheses can be considered empirical if they use literature-supported empirical methods (for determining the included articles, for synthesizing quantitative or qualitative findings in the literature, etc.) and utilize the included literature as data/evidence. Otherwise, literature reviews may fit within a relevant panel discussion or symposium.

SBM's 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions features a variety of presentation formats including poster, paper, panel discussion, course, and symposium.

Posters allow presenters to discuss their research with interested colleagues for 60 minutes in an informal setting. Poster sessions are held on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and on the morning of Saturday. Poster submissions judged by the Program Committee to be especially original and significant will be highlighted as meritorious and/or citation award winners. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed poster presentation.

Rapid Communication Posters offer the opportunity for presentation of late-breaking findings in the field of behavioral medicine. Rapid communication posters are scheduled during the poster sessions on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and on the morning of Saturday. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed poster presentation.

Posters are a very important and essential part of the SBM Annual Meeting. They are a great way for researchers to discuss their work with colleagues. SBM views poster presentations as equally important to paper presentations.

Papers clustered around common themes will be presented for 15 minutes each (10 minutes for presentation, 3 for discussion, and 2 for introduction and speaker turnover) and are scheduled for Thursday or Friday. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed paper presentation.

Authors may submit abstracts as “poster only,” “paper only,” or “paper or poster.” Authors are encouraged to submit using the “paper or poster” option since all papers submitted under this option that are not selected for paper presentations will alternatively be considered for poster presentations.

Panel Discussions are hour-long sessions (e.g., debates, discussions about educational topics, career development, funding opportunities) scheduled for Thursday or Friday, designed to allow for discussion among presenters as well as provide a forum for interaction with session attendees. Panel discussions are expected to have two or more speakers, depending on the structure of the session. Panels do not require empirical data and, also, do not require formal presentations from panelists. Instead, this format is particularly good for active discussions between panelists and between the panelists and the audience. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed panel.

Courses are either half day (2 hour and 30 minute) or full day (5 hour) sessions held on Wednesday. They feature presentations that emphasize the theory and application of practical skills. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed course.

Symposia examine important issues from a variety of perspectives. These sessions are scheduled for Thursday or Friday and last 75 minutes. During these sessions, alternative solutions, interpretations, and points of view on a body of knowledge within the field are presented and debated. Symposia that include presenters from different disciplines and include cross-cutting themes relevant to behavioral medicine as well as the meeting topic areas are strongly encouraged. A symposium typically includes one chair, three presenters, and one discussant. Symposia can include presentations that do not include empirical data. The chair can serve as one of the three presenters and/or discussant.

Several abstracts need to be submitted for a symposium proposal. First, the symposium chair should submit a symposium abstract (a summary of the topics/scheduled presentations). Then, using the "Individual Presentation and Details" step, the chair can either complete the symposium presentation abstracts (the summary of the specific solution, interpretation, point of view, etc.) for each presenter OR they can click the blue dialogue icon to email each presenter a request to complete the task. The discussant is not required to complete an abstract but should be listed in the author/presenter section of the symposium abstract.