May 26, 2016

One to two months in length

The Fields Institute solicits proposals for a variety of programs in areas of current research interest in the mathematical sciences. We are interested, in particular, in two-month summer programs of an interdisciplinary nature.

The following elements are important to the success of Thematic and Focus Programs:
Short- and long-term visitors, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, lecture series, seminars, workshops and conferences. Programs should include a significant training component, including graduate courses in the case of longer programs.



Deadlines for submission of proposals are March 15 and September 15 of each year, to allow for external reviews before consideration by our Scientific Advisory Panel which meets in May and November. Please send an electronic copy of your proposal to proposals(PUT_AT_SIGN_HERE) .


Program organizing committees should include Canadian and international members. (A US based organizer is needed to apply for additional National Science Foundation funding.) We encourage the inclusion of members of our partner universities. If a program is accepted, the program committee (with the assistance of the Institute's Directorate) will carry primary responsibility of the operation of the program.

Organizers of Thematic and Focus Programs are advised that a lead time of two or more years may be required.


Proposals for Thematic or Focus Programs should include the following items:

  • Names and affiliations of the organizing committee members, with full contact information
  • Preferred dates
  • Executive summary or description of the topic, presented in lay terms, including scientific background/history, recent important developments and possible future directions
  • Outline of the proposed program, including related scientific activity. (See #2 in guidelines at right)
  • Names and affiliations of proposed short- and long-term participants (including tentative agreement to participate, if available)
  • Workshops
  • Longer programs may include Coxeter or Distinguished Lecture Series (See below)
  • Role of students and postdoctoral fellows in the program
  • Proposed budget and its use. (See #3 in guidelines at right)
  • Curriculum vitae for each organizing committee member
  • Part of the mandate of the Institute is to broaden and enlarge the community. We encourage the participation of women and members of visible minorities. Proposals should include details of their involvement as participants and organizers.
  • Names, affiliation and contact information of five or more suggested reviewers


One Coxeter or Distinguished Lecture Series for a two-month program can be considered by our Scientific Advisory Panel if the proposed lecturers are of a very high scientific level, excellent speakers, and contribute to the Institute's goal of diversity (for example, gender, ethnic, geographic, or the crossing of discipline boundaries). The budget for any CLS/DLS is in addition to the program budget.


See also the Guidelines for Thematic and Focus Programs at right. Sample budgets and consultations are available to assist in preparing proposals. Please contact the Institute's Directorate Office for assistance.


Organizers are encouraged to seek additonal sources of funding for their Program. Please contact the Institute's Directorate Office for assistance with funding applications. Suggested sources include:

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Guidelines for Thematic and Focus Programs

1) Duration
2) Program Structure
3) Budget
4) Fields Facilities

Note that these guidelines allow for some flexibility; major deviations should be detailed in the program proposal.

1. Duration
Thematic or focus programs run at any time for one to two months, concurrently with our Major Thematic Programs.

2. Program Structure
A typical program includes workshops, conferences, lecture series and seminars, but variations are common.

Organizers should ensure a healthy level of activity during the program through a balance between long- and short-term, as well as junior and senior participants, students and postdoctoral fellows.. We encourage weekly seminars, mini-courses, and mini-symposia.

3. Budget
The base budget is a maximum of $75,000/month depending on the amount of scientific activity, with the expectation that the organizers will secure additional funding
from other sources. In particular, we expect organizers to apply for NSF support, which is generally targeted for junior US based participants.

Typical participant costs are a maximum of $55 per diem, plus a maximum of $170/day up to $2400/mth for accommodation. Estimates of travel costs should be based on economy travel.

4. Fields Facilities
Fields has a videoconferencing room with a Smart Board for off-site participation in a Fields event and for individual collaboration.
Organizers should learn about the capabilities of this equipment from the Computing Support Staff and consider using it to enhance their program. For details see Fields Facilities.

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