We invite the submission of proposals for full- or half-year programs to be held at MSRI. Planning of such programs is generally done about three years ahead. Except in extraordinary cases, a subject is the focus of a program not more than once in ten years. MSRI maintains a list of past and currently scheduled programs.
A scientific program at MSRI generally consists of up to 9 months of concentrated activity in a specific area of current research interest in the mathematical sciences. MSRI usually runs two programs simultaneously, each with about forty mathematicians in residence at any given time. The most common program length is four months (typically in the form of a Fall or Spring semester program). Each program begins with Connections for Women and Introductory workshops, the purpose of which is to introduce the subject to the broader mathematical community. The programs receive administrative and financial support from the Institute, allowing organizers to focus on the scientific aspects of the activities.
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Institute meets in January, May and November each year to consider proposals for programs. The deadlines to submit proposals of any kind for review by the SAC are March 1st, October 1st and December 1st.
How to submit a Letter of Intent
The initial step is often to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). An LOI should state the areas that would be studied, the names of at least an important subset of the organizers, and the timeliness of the program. The LOI should indicate the preferred semester, as well as several alternative semesters. Note that for a program to be successful three of the organizers will have to be in residence for the entire program. Inclusivity is an important part of MSRI’s mission, and a diverse set of organizers is a good indication that the program would be able to reap the benefits of being inclusive. An LOI need not be more than 2-3 pages and will be reviewed at the SAC meetings in January, May or November.
From Letter of Intent to Preproposal
Click HERE to download a sample preproposal.
If an LOI is
reviewed favorably by the SAC, the organizers will be asked to submit a
pre-proposal. Preproposals and proposals are developed in a collaborative
process between the proposers, the Directorate and the SAC, and may be
considered at more than one meeting of the SAC before selection.
The scientific planning and organization of each program are the responsibility of a committee of organizers (aided by a liaison of the Directorate and the SAC). Each program is allocated a budget for subsistence and travel expenses.
Preproposals, generally under 10 pages, are expected to include the following information:
Title and scientific description
The description should include a background of the topic, relationships with other parts of mathematics or other disciplines, goals and areas of potential progress, an outline of the proposed program's structure, proposed involvement of postdocs and interactions with other scientists, and why the proposal is particularly suited to MSRI. It is highly desirable that the program show the breadth of the mathematical field being treated, and take into special account its relation to other fields of mathematics and (in appropriate cases) other sciences and engineering.
The proposer should include primary and secondary Mathematics Subject Classification Codes as well as several keywords.
From Preproposal to Proposal
Click HERE to download a sample proposal.
In developing a proposal from a preproposal, the following should be considered:
Organizers and Key Participants
Members of the organizing committee are expected to be in attendance for a significant portion of the program, and a commitment of this kind is required for a successful proposal. At least three organizers must commit to be in attendance the duration of the program. The organizers should indicate their commitments of time. The organizers should also contact some of the key participants, to ascertain whether they are available.
The organizing committees for each of the three workshops should have been selected. The workshop organizers can be selected from the mathematical community and need not be restricted to the organizers of the program. Again, it is an advantage to have a diverse organizing committee for each workshop.
- Connections for Women workshop: Each program should plan for a 2-day workshop, preferably the first Thursday and Friday of the program. Connections for Women workshops are designed to attract women participants in particular. There are several successful models for this workshop; the format is best determined by the number of women active in the featured field. If the area of mathematics is one which traditionally has a large number of women, then the workshop can be used to highlight and showcase their individual work. However if the number of women in the field is low, then the workshop should attempt to attract a wider audience in efforts to stimulate interest in the area, as well as to encourage new connections among the women early in the program as a catalyst for eventual collaborations. Women attending the Connections for Women workshop are particularly encouraged to attend the introductory workshop.
Introductory Workshop: The Connections for Women
is immediately followed by the Introductory Workshop. These 5-day workshops are
directed toward the mathematical community at large, designed to interest and
attract young researchers and other mathematicians not necessarily active in
proposal must address how the organizers will ensure that the introductory
workshop will be truly introductory
- Topical workshop: Lastly, sometime during the program a Topical workshop is held. This workshop is for a specialized audience of researchers.
The proposal must include a section describing in detail a plan to ensure the participation of women and underrepresented groups at the organizer and participant level, in both programs and workshops. This plan should include a list of potential participants among women and other underrepresented groups. A member of the organizing committee must be identified as the overseer of the plan. A member of the Human Resources Advisory Committee will be assigned to the program to work with the Human Resources designated organizer. The MSRI Human Resources Advisory Committee chairperson will receive a copy of approved proposals and may be invited to assist the organizing committee with this task. The list of anticipated participants should have at least 60% U.S. based researchers. It should also be noted that for the last 15 years, 30% of Ph.D. recipients in mathematics have been women, with around 24% from Group I Institutions. Moreover, female faculty hires at Research I Universities have been on the rise. The latest statistics from AMS show that the percentage of female Ph.Ds. being hired by the Mathematics Departments at Research I Universities is at 24% (28% in public Research I Universities and 22% at Private Research I Universities). MSRI will provide a participant list spreadsheet to be completed by the organizers.