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Workshop Proposal Guidelines

Workshop Information

Anybody can propose a workshop to be included in the CEDAR annual meeting. These workshops are similar to sessions at other meetings but typically are more interactive with more discussions of work in progress. Anybody can contact workshop conveners as soon as the workshop titles are announced to present in a workshop if the work fits the workshop topic.

The final workshop agenda will be decided by the CEDAR science steering committee (CSSC). Based on the range of the topics proposed and the availability of time slots for individual workshops, some proposed workshops may be consolidated at the discretion of the CSSC.

Below is some information for workshop conveners

Workshop Types

Individual Workshops

Individual Workshops are 1 year efforts focused on a specific topic and the associated science questions. Most workshops are 1 year efforts.

Grand Challenge (GC) Workshops

Grand Challenge (GC) workshop addresses urgent, overarching questions which require a multiyear effort and are of high importance to the CEDAR community. GC workshops are 3 year efforts and should be organized by a diverse team of conveners with a clear schedule and specific goals and topics for the 3 years. Each GC workshop will introduce the topic to the CEDAR community in the plenary session in the first year and provide updates in the 2nd & 3rd, and a summary after year 3. 

Each year one new grand challenge workshop is selected by the CEDAR Science Steering Committee. List of Grand challenge workshops.


The following information is asked in the form:

  • Title of the workshop (both a short title and a longer, more detailed title are required)
  • Potential conveners  (please try to include different career levels, in particular graduate students and early career scientists. Each workshop typically incudes a student co-convener)
  • Description of the proposed workshop geared to the broad CEDAR audience (~1 paragraph)
  • Justification for the proposed workshop (~1-2 paragraphs, GC workshop can be longer)
    • Introduction (only GC workshops)
    • Justification for GC workshop (~1 paragraph only GC workshops)
    • Proposed science question(s) to be addressed
    • How the associated questions will be addressed, 
    • What resources exist, are planned and/or are needed,
    • How progress should be measured.
    • Proposed timeline of yearly focus topics (only GC workshop)
    • Suggested tutorial speakers (only GC workshop)
    • Indicate the relevance of the proposed workshop to up to two CEDAR science thrust (check boxes)
  • Format of the workshop (see options below)
  • Duration (2 hours by default, except GC workshop are 2x 2 hours)
  • Request for specific days
  • Special technology requests 
  • Will you include a virtual component?

Workshop proposals may be declined if they do not meet the above requirements. Redundant workshop proposals will be combined. 

Session Format

Convening a workshop at the yearly CEDAR meeting is an excellent way to bring together experts on a particular science topic, review recent results from an ongoing experimental campaign, plan a new project, or increase visibility and awareness of a given area of research. Conveners should adopt a workshop format that allows plenty of time for discussion. Depending on the goals for the workshop, session conveners should consider a number of formats including:

  1. Short presentations with a limited number of slides and discussion. These workshops may include a mixture of planned and impromptu presentations, moderated in such a way as to promote discussion and raise as well as answer questions. A format composed of short presentations could be an effective tool for planning experiments and modeling exercises. Having a productive session requires having a proactive moderator.
  2. Panel discussion. These workshops consist of a "panel of experts" discussing their views on a topic and answering questions from the audience. A panel discussion could be a means of establishing the current state of knowledge within a discipline. A discussion could also assume the form of a debate, with speakers representing opposing points of view. Panel discussions can invigorate a research sub-community and have proven to be very popular in past workshops.
  3. Tutorials. This format could be appropriate if the goal of the session is to expand the size of the community conversant on a given research topic. The depth of the presentation(s) would likely be greater than in the other formats. As the material is likely to be highly specialized, audience participation might be limited. Allowing sufficient time for questions from the audience is critical with this format.
  4. Round-table discussion. This small-group/working-group format is appropriate when the proposed topic is quite specialized and perhaps controversial. This format is also useful for planning projects. The point is to allow for face-to-face discussion with immediate feedback. Participants in the round-table format are encouraged to bring material to present, but the focus is on discussion. It is expected that the attendance for these workshops would be limited. The possibility exists to hold these smaller discussions outside of the typical meeting schedule (during lunch or in the evening).
  5. Hands-on training This format is appropriate to introduce the community to a new tool or software package. 
  6. Other - to be described briefly in the 'Other' box.

Conducting a Session

When running a CEDAR workshop session, consider that:

  • Many of the attendees to the CEDAR meeting are students. It is important to introduce the topic of the workshop in general terms and to provide context for the non-specialists attending the workshop. One of the goals of CEDAR is to train and include the next generation of scientists. Student participation should be encouraged.
  • CEDAR is a broad community. When planning a workshop, give consideration to all potentially interested scientists, not just those you may have initially thought of when developing the workshop.
  • Discussion is a vital aspect of any successful CEDAR workshop. Reserve sufficient time in the workshop schedule to allow for robust discussion.
  • Make an effort to encourage presentations from early career scientists and graduate students
  • Solicit questions from everybody and share the airwaves. Asking questions can be intimidating especially for non-specialists and early career scientists. One option is to use an electronic tool as simple as a google doc or give the first question to an early career scientist.
  • Discussion is a vital aspect of any successful CEDAR workshop. Reserve sufficient time in the workshop schedule to allow for robust discussion.
  • Be creative in organizing your workshop. If you have an idea for a type of workshop not suggested above, go for it!

Before and after the workshop:

  • The week before the workshop, conveners should upload an agenda with sufficient detail to their workshop page so that prospective attendees know what to expect. Note that some speakers may need clearance before presenting their work and need up to 4 weeks in advance to confirm their participation.  
  • All workshops must provide a brief workshop summaries including outcome and next steps, along with a record of attendance. The conveners will be contacted after the workshop with the request and details.
  • Presentation slides can be added on the workshop web page in PDF format.