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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions
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Arrival and Check-In
Accommodations and Food


Is there a registration fee to attend Janelia conferences and workshops?

There is no registration fee for our meetings, and we cover the cost of food and housing.

Do I have to submit an abstract?

Abstracts help the organizers select participants and plan the agenda. They serve as a scientific introduction for those who may not know your work, and allow you to state your future research goals, which may elicit useful assistance or suggestions. We ask that all participants submit an abstract, even if it is short.

Is my application complete?

When your application is complete, you will receive an email confirmation with a summary of the information you entered. If you do not receive this notice, it is likely that there was a problem with your submission. Note that the online system will time out after a period of time, so please save often - or, even better - compose your abstract outside of the system and paste it into the appropriate field.

Be sure to save all abstract information before the submission deadline for the conference. Once the submission deadline has passed, you will not be able to edit your abstract information. If you have technical problems, please email

When will I find out if my application has been accepted?

We will inform you of your status as soon as possible - there is no need to email us for an update.  Many of our meetings are highly oversubscribed and it takes time to carefully evaluate all of the abstracts. We aim to get back to you within 6-8 weeks after the application deadline.

Can I make changes to my abstract or personal information after the registration website has closed?

Please try to complete all registration information in advance of the deadline; however, if you do need to make modifications, send them in an email to


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How do I get to Janelia and back to the Airport?

We recommend using Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and taking a cab to campus (a 15-minute $25 ride). Janelia does not offer shuttle service from the airport to campus. Our address is 19700 Helix Drive Ashburn, Virginia 20147. 

Getting here from Washington DC is best done by cab and will take ~50 mins ($85).  Alternatively, you can take the metro to Ashburn, and from there we are a 15-minute cab ride. Unfortunately, public transportation does not come directly to Janelia. Visit the WMATA Metro Trip Planner for more details.

We provide courtesy shuttles back to Dulles after most meetings (see agenda to confirm). The trip takes 15-20 minutes.

If you need additional assistance getting to campus, please call our main line at 571-209-4000 to reach the reception desk.

Does Janelia pay for my travel expenses?

We do not cover travel, but do offer a limited number of travel scholarships to participants who are in need and apply in advance (via the online registration system). Scholarship recipients must attend the entire conference in order to receive reimbursement. View our detailed travel policy.

Can I drive and park on campus?

Yes. You do not need to notify us in advance if you plan to drive, but please get a parking pass from Security (or Reception) and park in the garage (turn left onto Demeter, just after the security gate). The guest entrance into the building is in the Center East area of the Garage.

How far in advance do I need to arrive at the airport for my return flight?

It is recommended that you arrive at the airport three hours in advance for international flights and two hours in advance for domestic flights. However, this time frame is largely dependent on the day/time of your travel and whether you are checking baggage. We offer a kiosk at the reception desk for printing your boarding pass before leaving Janelia.

Can I arrive early or extend my stay on campus?

We expect conference attendees to arrive on the first day of the meeting and depart on the last. Those traveling from far away may arrive one day early, and should indicate this in their online reservation request.

We cannot extend your stay at Janelia unless you have confirmed scheduled meetings with Janelia researchers or other  Janelia-related business. Email if you meet these requirements and we will help to extend your reservation.

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Arrival and Check-In

When and where do I check in?

Please check in at the reception desk just inside the main entrance to the building (at the traffic circle). We typically expect check-ins to occur after 3:00 p.m. on the first day of the conference; however, if your travel plans call for you to arrive earlier, we can likely accommodate you. Our reception desk is not staffed 24/7, but Security is always on hand to offer assistance. At check-in you will receive a name tag, meeting agenda, campus information, building maps and your room key.

Do I need to wear my name tag?

Yes - please wear your badge at all times during the meeting. This is how we identify you as a visitor, and it allows you to have lunch in the Servery at no charge.

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Accommodations and Food

Where will I stay and what are the rooms like?

External participants will stay onsite, in the Janelia guest house. Each guest room has a queen bed, private bath, desk and chair, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, and alarm clock. Upon request we can provide bed rails or a mini refrigerator for medications or dietary needs.

Is there a fitness center on campus?

We have a 24/7 fitness center in the guest house with locker rooms, free weights, and aerobic exercise equipment. We also have a Recreation Center with sports courts and other fitness equipment. You may access them with your room key. The front desk can direct you to either one.

Are meals included?

We provide you with breakfast, lunch, dinner and break refreshments during the conference. For snacks and other options, you can use the credit applied to your room key at Bob's Pub.

Can I bring a friend, spouse or my child with me?

Because Janelia is an active research facility, we are generally unable to host guests of conference attendees, with the exception of young children and their caregivers.  If someone other than your child and/or a caregiver must travel with you, please contact for approval and to make arrangements. If you need to travel with a young child, please see below.

Is childcare available during the conference?

We strive to enable parents of infants and young children to attend our conferences. Janelia offers childcare for children under 6 years of age within our Children's Learning Laboratory, run by Bright Horizons - utilized and trusted by many of our employees. The center accommodates children 6 months to 6 years old and is located within the Landscape Building, just a 5-minute walk down the hall from our conference rooms. Support for the daily cost of drop-in childcare is available. Please note that availability of space in our childcare center varies by room, and the hours may not match those of the conference schedule. We are unfortunately unable to accommodate children of any ages in the formal conference sessions.

Our guest-house offers portable cribs and we may be able to accommodate a caregiver should you decide to bring one with you. Private lactation rooms are available and refrigerators or freezers are available upon request.

Janelia is unable to cover travel costs for children or caregivers, though we do offer travel support for conference participants as well as financial support to cover the cost of drop-in daycare at Bright Horizons. Inquire at for more information.

Can I invite a guest to visit me on campus?

We are a secure campus, so we ask that conference attendees refrain from inviting guests. If someone must join you for a period of time, please notify the front desk and/or Conference Program Management.

What if I have allergies or other special needs regarding meals or accommodations?

Please notify us of any special needs you may have in the "Special Needs" section of the online registration. You may also email with special requests (dietary concerns, allergies, physical restrictions, etc) and we will do our best to accommodate. Handicap-accessible rooms are available.

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When will I receive the meeting agenda?

A detailed agenda will be disseminated roughly 2-3 weeks before the start of the meeting, and will also be posted on the meeting web page.

How big should my poster be?

Posters should be no larger than 45 inches tall by 45 inches wide (1.14 meters x 1.14 meters).

Do I need to bring my own laptop?

No. We have PCs and MACs available, but you may bring your own if you wish. You may also bring your presentation on a USB drive.

Do I have to attend the whole meeting?

Janelia conferences are small. In agreeing to participate, you agree to stay for the duration; however, in extenuating circumstances we of course permit attendees to arrive late or leave early. Please let us know in advance.

What if I can no longer attend the conference?

Please login to our registration system and click "withdraw your application". Once you have withdrawn your application, we will cancel your participation and you will no longer receive meeting notifications. You may also email us directly at

Do I have to present my work at the conference?

Janelia conferences are small and selective.  We expect everyone to be an active participant by presenting either a talk or a poster.

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