Long programs at IMSI bring together interdisciplinary groups of researchers to explore questions relevant to the Institute’s themes. They generally last 3 months and take place during the autumn or spring quarter, but alternative timing can be considered if there are compelling reasons. Participants include organizers, long- and short-term research members, graduate students, and workshop attendees. The typical structure of a long program includes:
- an introductory workshop at the beginning of the program which describes the problems to be addressed and opens lines of communication among the various communities represented in the program,
- a series of 3-4 specialized workshops during the course of the program, and
- ongoing seminars and collaboration among participants.
Proposals for long programs will be vetted by the Institute’s Directors and Scientific Advisory Community, and will generally develop into their final form through a collaborative process. The process of developing a full proposal typically begins with a preproposal which addresses, at a minimum the following questions:
- What is the topic of the program, and why is it timely?
- How does the program relate to the Institute’s themes?
- Who are the organizers? The organizing committee does not need to be fully formed at this stage, but the preproposal should identify a core group of organizers which has the potential to grow into a full-fledged organizing committee. The preproposal should identify a primary contact within this group.
- Which research communities would the program draw upon?
Preproposals can be sent to the Director at .
Full proposals are expected to include the following components:
- Title of the program
- Scientific description: A description of the topic for the workshop, in terms accessible to a general audience of mathematicians and statisticians. What are the primary problems to be addressed? What is the history of the subject? Explicitly address what areas of mathematics and statistics will be drawn upon. What other disciplines will be involved? How would the program relate to IMSI themes? What is the significance of the topic to society at large? Are there connections to industry or national labs?
- Brief description: A short description of the program’s topic and goals, suitable for the program web page.
- Related programs: Are there programs or workshops, either recent or planned, on similar topics? Does the program build on previous programs or workshops?
- Organizing committee: Who are the organizers? What commitments can they make about being in residence at IMSI during the program?
- Key participants: Identify researchers who are important to the success of the program who are not members of the organizing committee. How willing are they to participate?
- Workshop plans: Describe plans for an introductory and a small number (typically 3) specialized workshops over the course of the program. Plans should include topics, members of organizing committees, and confirmed or invited speakers. In addition, organizers are encouraged to propose a Research Collaboration Workshop in conjunction with their program, and to identify confirmed or invited team leaders.
- Human resources plan: Describe efforts made to diversify the program organizing committee, the list of key participants, and workshop organizing committees and lists of speakers. Describe plans for recruiting a diverse set of participants. Diversity has many dimensions, including gender, race, ethnicity, career stage, employment sector, and research area. We recognize that organizers are unlikely to achieve complete success in recruiting a meaningfully diverse set of participants across all these dimensions, but we do expect proposers to identify the dimensions in which they can realistically expect to be successful.
- Communication plan: Describe plans for establishing effective communication and collaboration within an intellectually diverse collection of participants. This will likely be intertwined with the human resources plan. How can/will members of the program communicate with broader audiences about program activity? What will the most interesting aspects of the program be for a broader scientific audience? For the public?
- Preferred timing: Propose one or more quarters during which the program could take place. Explain time constraints the organizers and key participants have. Long programs are typically scheduled two years ahead of time.
- Additional funding sources: Are there any other sources of funding that might help support the program?
Proposals can be sent to the Director at .
The Director will typically discuss the overall budget for the program and commitments of support for program organizers and key participants once a proposal has been approved. The remainder of the long and short-term participants will be chosen from a pool of applicants during the academic year before that in which the program will take place. The selection process is managed through the Institute by the Directors in consultation with the program organizers.