Guiding Researchers & Advocates to Scientific Partnerships (GRASP)

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The GRASP sessions will occur in the poster session venue in Hall 1 – poster session opens at 7am and GRASP starts at 7:30am

–> About the GRASP Pilot Program
–> Program Requirements
–> Role of Each Participant
–> Frequently Asked Questions

About the GRASP Pilot Program

The scientific community can play a major role in educating, empowering, and collaborating with patients who are now taking a more active role in advocating for themselves.

Guiding Researchers & Advocates to Scientific Partnerships (GRASP) is a patient-led initiative to bring patient advocates and scientists together for a guided walkthrough of scientific posters presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). GRASP seeks to create a private interactive learning environment whereby:

1) patient advocates can ask questions to better understand scientific posters in a more robust and meaningful manner, and

2) members of the science community can engage directly with the people they are trying to serve, while fostering a sense of urgency and purpose to their research.

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Program Requirements

There will be 2 GRASP poster walkthroughs offered at SABCS19 on Thursday and Friday morning (Dec 12th – 13th) from 7:30am – 9am. All individuals must register online.

Patient advocates are expected to:

  • Review any recommended readings and/or webinars assigned prior to the conference
  • Review posters as a group until the poster session ends at 9 am
  • Complete a survey to evaluate all aspects of the pilot program

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Role of Each Participant

Each group will consist of no more than 5 individuals including 3 advocates, one mentor, and one science expert.

Science experts will provide scientific context and clarify any technical terms relevant to each poster. Experts will not pass judgment on the validity of the research.

Mentors will ensure the science is being communicated effectively, and the patient advocates understand all key concepts. Mentors will help guide the group – slowing down the discussion when a concept requires more explanation, and moving the discussion along once all advocates are on the same page.

Patient advocates will ask questions and LEARN! Advocates should be respectful of the different individual learning styles, and should refrain from dominating the discussion.

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • How can I participate in a GRASP poster walkthrough and who is eligible?

For this inaugural pilot program, participation is limited to those attending the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Please review the roles of each participant to learn which role is best suited for your expertise and interest.

  • How do I register for a GRASP poster walkthrough?

Registration is online and simple! You must sign in with either a google, apple, or wordpress account- if you do not have any of these accounts, please contact and we will register for you. Once signed in, choose the day and assignment (i.e. advocate, mentor, or science expert), and provide your contact details. You will receive a confirmation email.

  • Do I have to register or can I just show up the day of the walkthrough?

Yes you must register and if you show up the day of the walkthrough without registering, you will not be able to participate. We may be able to add more flexibility to this schedule as the program continues to grow, but for this pilot program, we would like everyone to register.

  • Will the registration information I provide be made public?

No! Your information will not be made public, and only the GRASP organizers can see contact details.

  • Can I register for more than one day?

Yes! You can register for both poster walkthroughs available, but you can only choose one assignment within each poster session– advocate, mentor, or science expert.

  • What if my availability changes and I need to remove my name from the list?

Return to the registration page, and you will see the list of poster sessions for which you have volunteered with a link to the right to “clear” sessions if your availability changes. You will receive a confirmation email that you are no longer registered for this poster session. Note- If you are using a cell phone and can not see the “clear” link, orient your phone to landscape mode. If this does not resolve the issue, you may need to make changes on a desktop.

  • What should I do if I have not received a confirmation email?

Check your spam or junk folder in your email account and be sure to make the GRASP program a safe contact. You may also email us at to confirm your registration and to receive the confirmation email.

  • What if all the spots are filled?

We will do our best to accommodate all interested participants, but if we can not accommodate your availability, please register for the waitlist and if and when a position opens up, the organizers will contact you.

Program Requirements

  • How much time will be required to complete all the program requirements?

The time commitment for the GRASP program is minimal. Patient advocates should plan to spend no more than 2 hours reviewing recommended readings and/or webinars assigned prior to the conference, 1.5 hours for the poster walkthrough, and 15-30 minutes to complete surveys to asses the program. Mentors and science experts will have similar time commitments, with a focus on tips for effectively communicating complex scientific concepts to a broad audience.

  • How many poster walkthroughs am I required to do?

You are not required to complete any poster walkthroughs, but some organizations are including GRASP as part of the requirements for travel scholarships. Please confirm these requirements with the organization providing the scholarship.

  • Will I have to create a poster?

No! The program does not require participants to create a poster, only to review the posters already being presented at the conference.


  • How can I volunteer as a mentor or science expert?

For this inaugural pilot program, the mentors and science experts have already been pre-identified. If you have not been assigned a role, but will be attending SABCS19 and are interested in participating, please sign up as a “patient advocate.”

  • Can I choose the posters I want to review? How are posters chosen?

The GRASP organizers will identify a short list of posters to review covering a variety of scientific concepts which will be provided to the science expert and mentors ahead of the conference. During the GRASP poster walkthrough, each group will collectively decide which posters to review. Posters not identified on the list may also be reviewed at the discretion of the group’s science expert and mentor.

  • Can I choose my group members, mentor, or science expert?

No! The groups will be determined by each individual’s availability.

  • What should I do if I cannot participate in the SABCS GRASP poster walkthroughs, but I am still interested in the program?

Contact us at and we will keep you posted about future GRASP poster walkthroughs and ways to stay involved!

For all other questions or if you are having technical difficulties
contact us at

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