“Finally, I want to thank the organizers for a stimulating and productive workshop. The casual discussions at lunchtime, in the hallways, at dinners, at the barbeque, and over lemonade and cookies were by far more lively than one typically finds at conferences.”

Organizing a Summer Workshop

About Aspen's Summer Workshops

Workshops play an essential role at the Aspen Center for Physics with unique characteristics that are central to their success. First, they include participants with a broad spectrum of experience and expertise bringing together the leaders in a given field with outstanding younger scientists and members of underrepresented groups. This mix provides an exciting and fruitful atmosphere of collaboration and creativity, and we ask that you keep this goal in mind when organizing your workshop.

A second and very special character of the Aspen workshops is their informality. There are no proceedings, and participants come to talk with one another about exciting ideas and problems rather than to talk at one another about work already completed. New research is often initiated and even completed in Aspen, and there are numerous examples of influential papers and areas of research than can trace their origins to an Aspen workshop. Thus the Aspen workshops bear little resemblance to the workshop/conferences that are held elsewhere. To preserve this essential element, we ask that you limit your weekly schedule to no more than three sessions, preferably chalk talks, and each lasting no more than three hours. The most successful workshops often hold the fewest formal sessions. Before scheduling your meetings, please see the Participants Comments on the left.

Submitting a Proposal

Click on the “Proposals” link to the left to read submission guidelines and to submit your proposal.

Keep in Mind

The limited office space at the Physics Center, together with the need to run more than one workshop at a time and to accommodate individual researchers, means that each workshop must be limited in size to 25 or 30 participants. Aspen is not a summer school, and graduate students are not normally admitted.

The average stay at Aspen is three weeks, and we strongly encourage all workshop participants to spend at least that much time here. The continuity of thought essential for the success of your workshop depends critically on almost all participants staying for the entire length of the workshop. Short stays are detrimental to the effectiveness of the workshops and are strongly discouraged. In exceptional cases, shorter stays may be arranged for experimentalists whose participation is crucial to the workshop. All theorists must commit to a minimum stay of two weeks.

All individuals, including you as organizers, who wish to participate in your workshop must apply before January 31. The Admissions Committee will meet in early March to determine the participant list. You will also receive emails advising you of your duties in helping the committee complete a well rounded roster. Organizers do not choose the full makeup of their workshops because there are many factors that the Admissions Committee must consider: simultaneous workshops, the number of available desks, diversity and other issues. Notices will be emailed to all applicants in mid-March regarding their admission status.