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Information for IOS PIs when preparing Proposals for Conferences, Symposia and Workshops (Meetings)

January 18, 2011

We strongly encourage a conversation with the cognizant Program Director before submitting a meetings proposal. Meeting proposals are submitted through the Fastlane page on the NSF website ( ), click on “Proposals, Awards, and Status”, login, click on “Proposal Functions", and then click on “Proposal Preparation."

The information required is detailed in Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), Chapter II, Section D.8. ( Please read this section of the GPG carefully and include all the required information in your proposal. In addition to the guidelines in the GPG the list below details specific concerns for IOS-funded proposals. For optimal consideration for funding in the current fiscal year, your request should reach us by March 1 of each year.

IOS-Specific Considerations for Proposals Supporting Conferences, Symposia and Workshops (Meetings):

  • To make the meeting more readily searchable, the title of the meeting must include the location and dates of the meeting. In addition, the title should include the prefix “Meeting:”
  • The meeting proposal should make a clear case that equivalent results cannot be obtained at regular meetings of professional societies. It should address the questions, Why here? Why now? Furthermore, the meeting should be novel, something beyond the next gathering of an ongoing series.
  • The start date for the project should be no less than six months from the request date.
  • NSF support should be dedicated to enabling the participation of scientists from US institutions, with the major part of the support allowing for students, postdoctoral fellows and new investigators to attend. Specific plans should be presented to insure robust participation from groups underrepresented in science (e.g., underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities).
  • Novel and experimental approaches to meeting organization with the goal of stimulating useful interactions among participants are encouraged.
  • If the meeting has international reach, NSF funding is not permitted to support attendance of investigators from developed countries, but some funds may be directed to scientists from developing countries. NSF's Office of International and Integrative Activities / International Science and Engineering (OD/IIA/ISE) provides guidance in this regard.
  • Thoughtful and explicit plans for the effective dissemination of the results of the meeting must be included.
  • An assessment plan that will adequately measure whether the meeting realizes its stated goals (so that outcomes can be compellingly addressed in the final report) must be included.
  • Support for most meetings is typically limited to $15,000 or less (contact program director if funding request is anticipated to exceed this amount).
  • The most compelling proposals typically have support from other sources inaddition to the NSF request.
  • Proposers should include results from previous meeting support (if applicable).
  • Include a statement that NSF support will be acknowledged during the meeting and conveyed to NSF-supported participants.