Request for Applications to host GROW in 2022 and/or 2023
The GROW (Graduate Opportunities for Women) conference aims to increase the representation of women in U.S. math graduate programs and to encourage undergraduate women to pursue careers in mathematics. It has been held annually since 2015, and has been hosted at Northwestern University (2015-17), at the University of Michigan (2018), at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019), and (virtually) at the University of Chicago (2020). The 2021 edition of GROW will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. . GROW has recently been recognized by the AMS with its “Programs that Make a Difference” award; see https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/202005/rnoti-p722.pdf for the citation.
Beginning in 2020, administration of the GROW conference series is being conducted through a partnership of the GROW Steering Committee (consisting of Kevin Corlette, Bryna Kra, Julius Ross, Brooke Shipley, and Jeremy Tyson) with the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI), a joint venture of the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IMSI provides advice on organizing the conference, along with institutional memory and administrative continuity for the series through the Steering Committee.
We invite applications to host the GROW conference in 2022 and/or 2023. Applications that commit to hosting GROW for two consecutive years are welcome. Organizing committees based in U.S. mathematics departments with doctoral degree-granting programs are eligible to apply. The host institution is expected to organize a GROW conference similar to previous in-person versions of GROW. The conference typically runs from Friday evening through Sunday noon during a weekend in October, and consists of plenary research talks, 3-4 panel discussions on topics such as graduate school admissions, mathematics research, and careers in the mathematical sciences, a conference banquet with a talk by a well-known speaker, and and numerous activities intended to facilitate informal interactions among participants, graduates students, and faculty. Activities should cover a broad swath of research in the mathematical sciences, including math, applied math, and statistics, and to give students the tools to understand what is meant by research mathematics, the various forms careers in mathematics can take, and practical advice for applying to graduate school. All activities should be geared toward the main goal of the conference: increasing the number of woman applying to graduate studies in the mathematical sciences.
Organizers are expected to apply for outside funding, which typically includes a grant from the NSF, resources within the department from individual grants or discretionary funds, and grants from the university to cover other costs. This funding should cover expenses for approximately 80 student participants for the weekend, expenses for the speakers and panelists, and the conference banquet. In the event of a shortfall or unusual circumstances, IMSI may be able to provide some support. The Steering Committee can offer advice during the preparation of applications; please email with any questions.
Applications may be submitted via email to and should contain the following information:
- Name of host institution and members of proposed local organizing committee
- 3-6 potential speakers. Applicants should provide names for about twice as many people as they plan to have speak, and should not contact people before submitting the application.
- List of proposed panels (three is typical) and potential panelists. The same guidelines as above apply.
- Discuss relevant organizing experience within the proposed local organizing committee.
- Describe the aims for your proposed GROW conference. IMSI is dedicated to intradisciplinary work involving the mathematical sciences, specifically including applied math and statistics. For this reason we invite, but do not require, applicants to consider a broad definition of the mathematical sciences.
- Evidence of a local funding commitment. This funding should cover local expenses (room and building reservations, daily refreshments, banquet). Based on past experience, this may be expected to be around $10K. In addition, local organizers of the GROW conference will usually be expected to apply to the NSF or other sources for participant funding.
The deadline for applications is July 1, 2021. A decision will be made by early August. The successful group or groups will be asked to identify one member of their organizing committee to serve a two-year term on the GROW Steering Committee, and also to identify at least one member to attend the 2021 GROW conference (hosted by University of Illinois at Chicago) on October 15-17 to announce the next year’s location.