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SfNIRS Newsletter April 2021

Welcome to the April 2021 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter, covering the period from November 2020 through March 2021. This period has seen the board agree on the tough but necessary decision of delaying our biennial meeting one more year. Also, the election of a new president-elect and board members is approaching and we are starting nominations. Other news include the updated schedules of educational tutorials, research webinars, the new calendar feature, etc. Here is a summary of what happened in these last months.

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SfNIRS Newsletter November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter, covering the period from July 2020 through October 2020. The news continues to be dominated by the COVID19 Pandemic, but the fNIRS datablitz demonstrated that activity remains high in labs around the world. Our community is resilient! In addition to lab-specific research, many activities supported by the society have been ongoing: educational tutorials, research webinars, and of course continued planning on the part of the SfNIRS Communications Committee. Here is a summary of events…

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SfNIRS Newsletter July 2020

Welcome to the July 2020 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter, which covers the period from March 2020 through June 2020. This period has been dominated by the COVID19 pandemic, which has been difficult for research and business. We have had to adapt to the circumstances, including scarce access to our laboratories, restricted movement, a switch to virtual meetings and conferences, among other things. Nonetheless, it has been a period full of news. Here, you’ll find what we think is a complete summary.

The communications committee looks forward to hearing from you about future news items you’d like to see posted.

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SfNIRS Newsletter October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter. This newsletter covers the period since our last newsletter, which came out in June 2019. This period has seen activity in both hemispheres of the world, further progress in preparation for fNIRS2020, and the addition of affective computing to the ever-increasing number of applications.

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Launch of the new calendar

By Meryem Yücel.

Dear SfNIRSers,

I hope this post finds everyone on good health! I have a quick announcement from the CommComm. Now the community has its own calendar for all the fNIRS related events (conferences, courses, educational webinars, stand-alone talks, you name it). Judit and Rickson already added the webinars they are running.

Calendar is now at the SfNIRS website:


The nice thing about it is that you can use the following iCal link to have it on your personal calendar and always be up-to-date on the upcoming fNIRS events:


One more thing before I let you go to another post: if you know of an upcoming event which is not yet on the calendar, you can submit the event info yourself either by filling out the online form or sending an email to commcomm, both of which are now possible at https://fnirs.org/calendar/. Everyone is welcome to submit, including the commercial companies running educational webinars!

The CommComm

A compilation of recent videos – Mar 2021

By Felix Scholkmann

Videos of the first NIH BRAIN Initiative meeting:

fNIRS webinars by NIRx Medical Technologies:

Other videos

Nominations requested for the President-elect and Board of Directors of the Society for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (SfNIRS) – Call 2021

By Martin Wolf.

The members of the SfNIRS elect a new President-elect and six new members of the Board of Directors. The Nomination Committee announces an official Call for Nominations for these open positions as described below.

Please be reminded that only SfNIRS members may elect, nominate or be elected or nominated.

President elect

The newly elected President-elect will be President-elect for three years (due to the Corona situation, it is one more year than usual), President for two years and past-President for another two years.

The Nomination Committee solicits suggestions for the President-elect from the Ordinary Membership. Please send nominations for President-elect by filling the nomination form (login required) or e-mailing Prof Alessandro Torricelli of the Nomination Committee by May 15, 2021. The nominee should agree with her/his nomination. Your nomination should include the following information of the nominee:

  • Name, Title, Affiliation
  • Brief bio-sketch (one paragraph*)
  • Research interest (one paragraph*)
  • Motivation (one paragraph*)
  • List of three selected fNIRS publications (in the PubMed format)

*One paragraph is expected to be around 100 words and should not exceed 200 words.

Board of Directors

The members of the Board of Directors are expected to manage the affairs and activities of the SfNIRS in general. Each member of the Board of Directors will normally serve a term of four years for not more than two consecutive terms. Due to the Corona situation, the next term exceptionally is five years. In order to reflect the diversity of the membership worldwide, we will maintain the regional balance among the Board of Directors: for the term of 2021-2026, two members will be allocated for Europe including Africa, another two for America (North, Central and South), and the other two for Asia including Oceania.

The Nomination Committee seeks candidates for the Board of Directors from the Ordinary Membership. Once received, the Nomination Committee will provide a full list of candidates with their personal statement. Those who are willing to serve as a member of the Board of Directors are requested to by filling the nomination form (login required) or send the following information to Prof Alessandro Torricelli of the Nomination Committee by May 15, 2021:

  • Name, Title, Affiliation
  • Brief bio-sketch (one paragraph*)
  • Research interest (one paragraph*)
  • Personal statement and Motivation (one paragraph*)
  • List of three selected fNIRS publications (in the PubMed format)

*One paragraph is expected to be around 100 words and should not exceed 200 words.

Election procedure

Election of the President elect and the Board of Directors will be executed electronically during Summer 2021. Upon approval by the current Board of Directors, the result of the election will be reported at the 2021 virtual fNIRS conference (to be held in Oct. 2021). Note that the two top candidates within each region will be appointed to the Board of Directors.


You want to take part in the elections and are not a member yet? Please become a member: https://fnirs.org/membership/

Nomination Committee

Joy Hirsch, Yasuyo Minagawa and Alessandro Torricelli.

Communication strategy: diagnostic and planning

By Sergio Novi, Heather Bortfeld and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

The SfNIRS have now several communications channels through which we aim to keep you updated and received your contributions; our mailing list managed from MailChimp, the bidirectional Facebook group where you can post your more recent fNIRS related news, our periodical newsletter summarizing the latest period, the society website for archiving and providing members only content, and the more recents Twitter account and YouTube channel. In this latter, you can find tutorials and webinars among others. Handling all these required us to sit and think about having a coherent strategy. Here is a summary of our diagnostics and new ideas. Please, give us your feedback!

Current Status:

  • FB Group: The FB is doing very well by itself. There is a heavy involvement of the community with researchers and industry posting their advances, such as papers, and are advertising meetings, etc.
  • Newsletter: We are doing 3-4 letters per year. Our statistics indicate that they are welcome in general, but perhaps we are falling trapped of a repetitive format.
  • Website: The website is functional, the info is being updated and has recently incorporated members only material. It has now integrated the previous function covered by club-express membership.
  • Mail list: Mails seem to be the more effective way of communication and outreach. We think it works well because their frequency is small not to be perceived as a nuisance.
  • Twitter: It has only 6 posts since July, so thus far, we have a content-related problem.
  • Youtube Channel: There are no open videos -all videos are unlisted- and we have only 33 subscribers. Again, this suggests that we have a content-related problem although this may only be the consequence of the channel still being very recent.

New ideas

  • Our mail list can be a means by which we can invite people to create and post content to the YouTube channel.
  • In next edition of the newsletter, we should introduce the society YouTube channel and invite people to create content (ppt slides introducing lab and specific research focus).
  • The “interview” concept that Gemma Bale started with Turgut in the last newsletter is great; we could use those interviews as content in the YouTube channel. We are inviting you to
  • More people are now submitting announcements about open positions more regularly to us, particularly as they see that their position announcements go straight to the website. We should keep encouraging this, yet still reviewing the social media with every newsletter issue.

We are asking you to…

  • Subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t yet done so.
  • Generate new YouTube content that you want us to share openly or unlisted in the society channel. In particular, we are inviting you to send us very short videos (4-5mins) about your work. Do it your own way! Ppt slides made into “videos” about individual labs, “tutorials” about individual approaches/software/analysis, whatever!
  • Share your links with us so that we can post to Twitter (we’ll post to avoid spam/bots)
  • Send us any new ideas and/or that you would like to see both on the website and the newsletter. Also, send us your critics and feedback on how you think we can improve.
  • Get involved in any way you like!

2nd Educational Tutorial

By Judit Gervain.

To encourage diversity and inclusion, the 2nd Educational Tutorial entitled “The basic principles of fNIRS” was held in Spanish on Sept 18th. The lecture was given by Silvia Benavides-Varela. Approximately 20 participants from 5 different countries in North and South America participated. They all expressed great interest and were very excited to get connected to each other and the larger fNIRS community. The Education Committee hopes to follow up with other similar initiatives increasing diversity.

Para fomentar la diversidad y la inclusión, el 18 de septiembre el Comité de Educación organizó el 2º Tutorial (en español) titulado “Los principios básicos de fNIRS”. La conferencia estuvo a cargo de Silvia Benavides-Varela de la Universidad de Padova. Participaron aproximadamente 20 personas de 5 países de América del Norte y del Sur.  Los participantes expresaron un gran interés por la materia, por establecer contactos con otros colegas y con la comunidad fNIRS en general. El Comité de Educación espera dar seguimiento a otras iniciativas similares que aumenten la diversidad.