Proposing a Summer Workshop

Proposal Instructions

The primary goal of the Aspen Center for Physics is to nurture cutting-edge research in physics and related disciplines by providing a unique physical and scientific environment ideally suited for stimulating interactions, collaborations and innovation. The summer workshops are designed to maximize informal interactions within areas of physics as well as cross-fertilization between areas. They span a wide range of physics topics, with two or three workshops running concurrently.

The Center invites proposals from the physics community and from researchers in closely related disciplines. Typically, more proposals for ACP summer workshops are submitted than can be accommodated in a given year (typically, about 12 workshops are held each summer). The ACP Summer Program Committee evaluates workshop Letters of Intent and Proposals and recommends a program of workshops to the ACP Members. The aim is to have an exciting, balanced, cross-cutting program that will attract a diverse group of outstanding researchers to come together for free and respectful discussion of the most important unsolved problems, to explore creative ideas, and to continue or forge new collaborations.

Letter of Intent

If you are interested in submitting a summer workshop proposal, we request that you send a brief Letter of Intent by May 15 using the online link below. The designated contact person should be the organizer who submits the Letter of Intent. The LOI should contain the title of the workshop, the name of at least one organizer, their affiliations and email addresses. In addition it should contain a brief description of the workshop, together with an indication of the current interest and importance of field. If there have been previous ACP workshops on this or related topics in the recent past, it would be helpful to note those. Also please explain why your proposed workshop would be timely, given developments in your field and the past history of workshops in the center.

The purpose of the Letter of Intent is several-fold: First, to enable the Summer Program Committee to have an early overview of the subjects of interest, to help in planning a balanced summer program; second, to enable the Summer Program Committee to provide early feedback to the workshop organizers—this feedback may include encouraging submission of a full proposal (potentially with suggestions to improve the workshop) or, particularly in cases where proposal pressure is very high, discouraging submission where approval of the full proposal would be unlikely; and third, to identify, early on, workshop proposals on similar topics that may be suitable to combine into a single proposal and to give the organizers of those workshops a chance to coordinate their efforts before submitting full proposals. The Committee will provide feedback to LOI proposers by May 30.

Submitting a Proposal

For full consideration, proposals must be submitted by June 10. Only one organizer, the designated contact person, should submit the proposal. You will be notified of your status by the second week of August. More than 3-4 organizers is strongly discouraged. Flexibility in dates will significantly enhance the likelihood of proposal success; note that the middle of the season is typically more oversubscribed than the earliest or latest weeks in the summer. Your proposal should include:

  1. Workshop title. The topic should be related to physics.
  2. A three-page-or-less description/abstract and justification that presents a compelling case aimed at all members of the selection committee, not only specialists in the topic of the proposal. This should include a discussion of the timeliness of the proposed topic and potential impact for the field.
  3. A list of preferred, acceptable, and impossible weeks for the workshop, ranked by how many of the organizers, and the fraction of likely participants, are available for each week. As noted above, flexibility on dates may determine whether a proposal can be scheduled (and thus approved); on the other hand, indicating weeks that are impossible for the organizers as acceptable or preferred in order to gain approval is not a winning strategy. In addition, the proposal should indicate the preferred length of the workshop; most workshops are 3 weeks long, but 4- and occasionally 2-week workshops are possible Other scheduling notes you could add are:
    • potential timing conflicts with national or international meetings or other workshops
    • a preference for a time adjacent to another meeting to increase international participation
    • other serious constraints
  4. A list of organizers, with email addresses and institutions.
    • Please Note: all workshop organizers should commit to a stay of at least two-weeks during their workshop
  5. All proposals must include a diversity plan. The ACP is strongly committed to including under-represented groups in the summer program, and the proposal must include a description of the steps that will be proactively taken by the organizers to achieve a diverse group of applicants. Also, please indicate which workshop organizer will be responsible for working to ensure diversity in the group of people who will apply to participate in the workshop.
  6. A list of about 40 possible participants, with attention to item #5.

Note: The link below is only active when we are accepting propsals.

A confirmation email will be sent to the organizer who submits the proposal. That organizer can then share it with the other organizers.

“There is no other venue in the world which can substitute for the scientific exchange of ideas at Aspen.”

– Assa Auerbach