Guidelines for Proposals

Please read the descriptions of our various programs before preparing your proposal. Proposals should be submitted using the online form.

Please indicate the subject area of your proposal. If the codes are not adequate (particularly for emerging fields), use “Other” and specify in the “Additional Comments” field.

1. Organizing committee

For a 5-day workshop, we require a minimum of two and a maximum of four organizers per proposal, and allow only one organizer per institution. One of the organizing committee members should be designated as the main Contact Organizer. All organizers are expected to be on-site during the delivery of their program and participate actively in the execution of the event.

In accordance with BIRS’s mandate to promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), the organizing committee must contain

(A) at least one early-career researcher within ten years of their doctoral degree at the time of submission of the proposal, and

(B) at least one self-identified member(organizing committee of 2) or at least two self-identified members(organizing committee of 3 and more) from communities under-represented in STEM disciplines. This includes, but need not be limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

Note: An organizer can be counted towards both (A) and (B) if they satisfy both descriptions. If the organizing committee chooses not to disclose information specific to individual members, we request that aggregate details be reported instead.

We follow the Tri-Agency’s Action Plan on EDI, available here:

2. Dates

With regard to your proposed dates, please give us options – particularly “low-season” alternatives! You may use the link for a list of holidays to make sure that the dates you indicate as being acceptable really are acceptable to you.

3. Proposal content

1. The workshop should be sufficiently innovative and timely that holding it has the potential to make a difference to the subject. Of special interest are proposals that take advantage of newly emerging links between areas, explore synergies between evolving fields or offer meeting opportunities for groups of participants who do not normally meet together.

2. Proposals must include contingency planning for situations similar to the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate adaptability to virtual or online models under such circumstances.

3. At least some of the organizers should have recognized international stature as leaders in their fields.

4. The proposed participant list should be realistic and coherent with the goals of the event. It is more convincing to the selection panel if you can indicate that a number of your participants have confirmed their interest in the workshop.

5. The proposed and the final list of participants must ensure adequate representation of scientists from all career stages, and meet BIRS’s commitment to ensuring diversity in the broadest sense, across race, gender, ethnicity, visible and invisible disabilities, institution and geographic location. Please refer to the Canadian Tri-Agency statement and related links on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI):

and outline an action plan how the proposed program will fulfill this mandate.

6. The proposal should avoid being too diffuse and should not attempt to cover too many areas at once. If applicable, indicate why it is distinct from other events in related areas being held elsewhere.

7. The proposal should indicate detailed planning for program delivery, and embed a variety of events in addition to the traditional meeting format. For example, events that facilitate new collaborations, train young talent and have a mentorship component with the capability of long-range impact tracking are strongly encouraged.

4. Proposal format

The sections “A Short Overview” and “A Statement of Objectives” of the online form should total between 2 to 4 pages for workshops and FRGs. For other smaller or shorter programs we require less, preferably between 1 and 2 pages.

The text that you submit should be plain text, with UTF-8 encoding (for the Unicode character set). Proposals will be compiled into a book using LaTeX2e, for the proposal review process.

You may use LaTeX2e syntax for mathematical expressions or formatting. Formatting may include itemized lists, sections (\section*{section name}), subsections (\subsection*{subsection name}), citations, and bibliographies (add “\begin {thebibliography}{99} ...” to the end of the “Objectives” field). If you use custom macros, please send them to us, so that we can add them to our document’s preamble.

5. Confirmation

After you submit your proposal, you will receive an automatically-generated message containing the text of your proposal. The BIRS Program Coordinator will send you an e-mail message within one week to confirm that the proposal has been received and is complete. Please contact us if you do not receive confirmation or if the copy you receive back from us seems to be corrupted. If you have other questions about submissions of proposals, please feel free to contact us through the BIRS Program Coordinator