Is there a fee to attend the Symposium?

There is no cost to attend the Symposium.

How do I register to attend the Symposium?

Register now! A link is available on the homepage. Registration will close on October 4, 2023.

Can I register to attend onsite?

Onsite registration is strongly discouraged due to space limitations.  However, it may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

Am I able to register a group?

Group registrations are not permitted.  We hope that many from your institution or organization attend; however, each participant must register individually to allow for the most efficient and accurate processing of registration records.

Can my spouse, partner, or guest who is interested in the thematic areas attend Symposium events?

Spouses, partner, and guests are welcome to attend.  Separate registration is required.  During the online registration process, you will be prompted to register your guest if they will attend any Symposium sessions or events. Space is limited – guest registrations are subject to approval.

How do I modify or cancel my registration?

This is easy! Your confirmation contains links to modify or cancel your registration. To re-enter your registration record, you will need your confirmation number. Making changes is straightforward, and a modified confirmation or cancellation email is sent after you make changes.

I am unable to locate my registration confirmation and do not have my confirmation number. How do I get another email with this information?

No problem. On the registration initiation page, click on “Already Registered?”. Enter your first and last name and email address. Then click on the “confirmation number” link. Your confirmation information will be sent to you via email.

On-Site Guest Services and Internet Access

How do I obtain assistance during the Symposium?

The McDonnell Academy team is excited about hosting the Global Research Symposium, our first gathering of this kind since 2018! The team will be available at the check-in (October 5th) and the registration/guest services desk at Clark-Fox Forum (October 6th), and the EPNEC (October 7th) to assist with inquiries. Very limited staff will be available at social event venues. Specific times, locations and other helpful contact details will be posted here at a later date.

McDonnell Academy team members will be available to assist with:

  • Symposium check-in and distribution of materials
  • Schedule and agenda inquiries
  • Directions, transportation and parking inquiries
  • Name badges
  • Special needs, dietary concerns
  • Other general inquiries

Is there Internet access at the Symposium venues?

There is complimentary Wi-Fi access in all Washington University campus facilities and the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.  Other venues may or may not provide Wi-Fi to visitors.

Travel Info – Hotels, Visas, Transportation

Who should I contact if I have any questions about accommodations?

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is happy to address any questions or concerns visiting guests may have about the Chase Park Plaza, but the hotel may need to be contacted directly.

I do not plan to stay at the designated Symposium hotel. What services are available to me?

If you do not plan to stay at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, local ground transportation between your hotel and Symposium sites will not be available; however, you are welcome to utilize shuttles that drop-off or pick-up at designated locations.

Where can I find shuttle schedules when they become available?

Shuttle schedules will be posted on the Transportation & Parking page.

I need a letter of invitation to apply for a visa. Where can I make a request?

The McDonnell Academy is no longer accepting letter of invitation requests for visas.


There are a number of different types of events.  What attire is appropriate?

Business casual attire can be worn at all sessions and events.

Special Events – Welcome Reception (Chase Park Plaza) & Farewell Gala Reception (Gateway Arch)

Are there any special details I need to be aware of for these special events?

The McDonnell Academy has been looking forward to hosting another Symposium since the global pandemic postponed our plans for 2020, so we’re excited to welcome everyone and show our appreciation for making this such a great event!

If you are driving to the Chase Park Plaza for the Welcome Reception and the Gateway Arch, or would like to take the shuttles, please take a look at the Transportation & Parking page to find parking instructions and shuttle departure times and locations.

A special note about Farewell Gala Reception at the Arch: Guests should plan to arrive as close to 7:00pm as possible. For security reasons, entrance to the Arch facility is not permitted until 7:00pm and guests must wait outside the entry doors until this time. Everyone must go through security after entering the facility. The security screening process is much like an airport security screening – xray and magnometer equipment is used. Please refrain from bringing any personal belongings that are unnecessary, bulky (such as backpacks), or could otherwise delay the screening process.

Visiting St. Louis – Weather & Tourism

What kind of weather should I plan for?

October in St. Louis is generally mild and pleasant with an average high temperature of 75 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sunshine is typical, with cool mornings and evenings, and warm days.  For more information go to

I’d love to see more of St. Louis! How can I learn more about sightseeing and exploring the city?

Explore St. Louis is your gateway to the “Gateway City”! Get to know St. Louis through this comprehensive and interactive site that shows you all the best the city has to offer. We recommend exploring world-class attractions like the Missouri Botanical Garden or St. Louis Zoo, and trying some of our famous “home grown” goodies – toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake!


Is there disabled access at all Symposium venues?

All Symposium venues and the Royal Sonesta Chase Park Plaza are easily accessible by everyone.

How do I notify staff about my particular needs?

During the registration process, there is a section provided in which you may give information about the assistance you will require.  If need be, the McDonnell Academy team will reach out and further discuss your situation to ensure we are doing all we can to provide the services you require.

Is the transportation provided equipped to handle a wheelchair or similar equipment?

If need be, transportation equipped to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility assistance equipment may be provided.  If this is a requirement, be sure to include this information in your registration record.

Health & Safety

I am concerned about the transmission of COVID-19 in large gatherings? What should I do? What if I test positive for COVID-19 during the Symposium or am symptomatic?

COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency, and there are no masking or proof of vaccination requirements enforced. If you would like to take precautions, masks will be available at check-in/registration.

If you test positive for COVID-19 during the event or become symptomatic, please be respectful of other participants and refrain from further attendance.

What should I do if I require medical assistance during the Symposium?

Depending upon what is needed, Symposium staff may contact campus or venue emergency medical personnel, or may be able to provide first aid supplies such as band-aids.

If you have any specific concerns, please reach out to the McDonnell Academy.

Contact the McDonnell Academy

I have questions/concerns that are not addressed in this FAQ section or elsewhere on the website.  Who should I contact?

If at any time general questions arise that require attention, please contact the McDonnell International Scholars Academy via email or phone at 1-314-935-6779.