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We hope this is helpful.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions about it.

About a month before

To help maintain large and cross-department audiences, it will help if you can convince your seminar speaker to choose a title that is suitable for a broad audience and also remind them that the audience will be diverse, including undergrad researchers, grad students, postdocs and faculty from across Biology.

Cottie Pasternak should have sent your guest a reminder to book travel at least 5 weeks in advance of the seminar. Speakers will then book their own travel and send Cottie receipts for reimbursement. Cottie will also book accommodation for your guest. She also books the seminar room and Coker 215 for pre-seminar refreshments, and she brings the refreshments.

Susan Whitfield will make seminar flyers and post them in a few key locations in the department a few days before the talk. If you want to proofread this flyer in advance, you can find it linked from your speaker’s title on the seminars web page.



About a week or two before


You can ask the office staff to make a schedule, forward it to the speaker a few days in advance, and to send the schedule to people who are meeting the speaker as a reminder. If you choose to do this yourself instead, you might want to use to make scheduling easy for you.


Either you, or office staff at your request, can book a dinner with the speaker. Most hosts will invite grad students and postdocs from their lab and other labs to have lunch with the speaker. You might want to make this an open invitation (,, although it can be helpful to ask a grad student or postdoc from your lab to beat the bushes. The limit on reimbursement for meals this year is $200 for one dinner, and $80 for one lunch with grad students. You will need to cover any costs in excess of this yourself. Beyond these two meals, hosts can be reimbursed only for covering the expenses of the speaker.  (Note: If you’re considering having a dinner for loads of people in your home and you want to give your guest a North Carolina experience, you can pick up a complete meal of BBQ, hush puppies, slaw, potato salad, beans and tea from Allen & Son for about $10/person).


If your guest is driving, ask office staff to make parking arrangements. If you choose to do this yourself, you can make a Pay Lot Reservation Request on-line (at least 72 hours in advance), and ask Paula Lloyd for an account number to have the seminar budget cover the cost.


If you don’t see flyers a few days before the talk, please do alert Susan Whitfield. She has never missed doing this yet. If you’d like to have some more flyers yourself, each title on the seminars web page links to a printable flyer.
Morning of the talk


Be sure to send out a reminder conveying your enthusiasm for the talk, to help ensure that it will be well-attended.  You may wish to include a note about why the talk is of general interest and briefly frame the importance of the work for non-specialists.  Based on numbers we’ve collected from attendance at past seminars, an encouraging reminder sent quite early on the morning of the talk is likely to be the single best way to ensure good attendance at seminars.  Send the reminder to everyone who might be interested:


Faculty, Grad students, Postdocs email:,,

Junior and Senior undergrads: if you expect the lecture to be accessible to undergrads, send an email to Summer Montgomery at and ask her to disseminate it to them by listserve.

Ecology Curriculum:

Genetics Curriculum faculty:,

BBSP faculty:,


Hosts may also want to email specific people in other departments who may be interested.
Someone from Biology IT Support comes to talks to make sure audiovisual equipment works as expected. If you have any questions in advance about the audiovisual equipment in the room, ITS Classroom Hotline can help at 962-6702, or just pick up the red phone in the lecture room.  The hotline folks are incredibly responsive.  Faculty who teach courses in that room will also be able to help you.  If you want more info, you can find a Classroom Manual and a Control Panel Demo for Coker 201 available by selecting the room here.

Cottie Pasternak will give you a reimbursement form for the speaker to fill out and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the speaker to use to send her receipts.
After the talk


Please give any meal receipts to Cottie Pasternak promptly for reimbursement.


It’s good etiquette, of course, to write to your speaker to thank her/him.


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