Special Meetings in the Mathematical Sciences

June 10, 2005

The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) of the National Science Foundation has long supported conferences, workshops, and similar activities that aim to widely disseminate scholarly work, reveal and plan new directions and opportunities for research, and engage and encourage students and junior scientists early in their careers. To emphasize such opportunities for mathematical scientists, especially opportunities that go beyond what ordinary conferences might provide, DMS has revised its conference solicitation. The new announcement, NSF 05-540, is called Conferences, Workshops, and Special Meetings in the Mathematical Sciences. In this solicitation DMS invites proposals of two types: (1) regular conference, symposia, and workshop proposals, and (2) proposals for special meetings, which comprise longer-term or larger-scale activities that more widely engage and connect the mathematical sciences community, such as special research years or semesters, multi-institutional regional meetings, and "summer schools."

As in the past, regular conference proposals are submitted to the cognizant DMS programs according to those programs' usual deadlines or target dates. These proposals normally request funding in the range of $5,000 to $25,000, although awards of up to $50,000 have occasionally been made. Their duration is normally for one year.

What we wish to emphasize here is the opportunity for special meetings. Proposals for special meetings are submitted to the cognizant DMS programs but at a distinct, common deadline. Special meetings proposals may request funding of any amount and for durations of up to three years, but most awards are expected to be in the range of $50,000 to $150,000 per year. This is not a change in the sort of proposals that DMS is willing to accept or to fund. But it is an invitation to the mathematical sciences research community to pursue more ambitious ideas than the usual conference mechanism might accommodate.

The deadline for the next Special Meetings competition is October 18, 2005. Later competitions will have deadlines of the fourth Thursday in August each year. For more information about this opportunity, see the website http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11701&org=DMS.

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