UWO/Fields Proposal Submission

The process

The University of Western Ontario is a principal sponsoring university for The Fields Institute.

The money paid by the six principal sponsoring universities to maintain their level of membership at Fields is awarded on a competitive basis for conferences and programs which can be held either at the Institute or at a participating university campus.

UWO researchers in the computational sciences have a long history of effective participation in Fields-supported projects. This document is designed to show how this process works, and how to use it to full advantage.

The first thing to know is that there is a local committee. Proposals, or concepts for proposals, should be submitted by e-mail to the UWO/Fields Committee. This committee provides advice, approves proposals locally and oversees their submission to the Fields Institute for final approval. The key to positive decisions at all levels is excellence.

Conference proposals

Conference proposals can be for 1-2 day meetings, up to events lasting two weeks.

The basics:

You could be asked to supply other information later: see www.fields.toronto.edu/proposals.

Fields has deadlines of February 15 and September 15 for conference proposals. They are willing to entertain proposals at other times, but decisions may be deferred to one of these two dates in some cases. As a general rule, conference proposals should be submitted at least eight months in advance of the meeting.

Beyond the basics:

Try to get NSF (or other) support. American colleagues could submit an NSF proposal for 10-15K US to support the expenses of junior American researchers, with some expectation of success. If such a proposal is either in submission or planned, then the Fields proposal will be much more likely to succeed.

Fields writes letters of support for NSF proposals, in collaboration with conference or program organizers.

Programs

Program proposals are for one month of activity, or longer.

We've had one of these at UWO: a one-month program on Applied Homotopy Theory was held in September, 2003. We need more.

Many of the same guidelines for conferences apply to programs.

These programs can be large undertakings, and are appropriately supported. Recently observed funding levels range from 40K for a one-month "mini-program" to 600K for a full year program.

Programs of 1-3 months in length are quite appropriate for the UWO campus.

How to start:

The proposal process for a longer Fields program begins with a 1-2 page Letter of Intent, submitted 2-3 years in advance. A more detailed proposal would follow, if the Letter of Intent attracts the interest of the Scientific Advisory Panel at Fields. The Institute has two deadlines (March 15 and Aug. 31) for these letters.

Here is what should be in the Letter of Intent:

One-month programs do not require so much lead time, but it is still best to submit a Letter of Intent for such a program well in advance.