To stimulate interest and activity in mathematical research, the National
Science Foundation intends to support up to seven NSF-CBMS Regional Research
Conferences in 2010. A panel chosen by the Conference Board of the Mathematical
Sciences will make the selections from among the submitted proposals. In the
41 year history of this NSF-CBMS Regional Research Conference Series, a
total of 320 such conferences have been held.
Each five day conference features a distinguished lecturer who delivers ten lectures on a topic of important current research in one sharply focused area of the mathematical sciences. The lecturer subsequently prepares an expository monograph based upon these lectures, which is normally published as a part of a regional conference series. Depending upon the conference topic, the monograph is published by the American Mathematical Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, or jointly by the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
Support is provided for about 30 participants at each conference and the conference organizer invites both established researchers and interested newcomers, including postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, to attend.
The continuing success and strength of this conference series over the past
40 years is due to certain distinguishing
features which differentiate these conferences from typical research conferences. These are
As with all proposals submitted to NSF, proposals must be prepared in strict
adherence to the current NSF Grant Proposal Guide. The NSF Fastlane website,
www.fastlane.nsf.gov, contains the
current version of the Grant Proposal Guide and all the necessary electronic
forms and instructions.
Proposals must be submitted electronically via Fastlane. The target date for
submission of proposals is April 23, 2010. Principal investigators will be
notified as soon as possible (usually late summer) as to the status of their
proposals. Formal announcement of awards will be made in October, 2010.
Proposals should be submitted for consideration by the NSF unit "Division of Mathematical Sciences - Infrastructure Program." On the cover page, the title should be: NSF/CBMS Regional Conference in the Mathematical Sciences - ``Your Conference Title'' - ``Your Conference Dates.'' Note that the Project Summary must explicitly address both the intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed conference.
The project description portion of the proposal presents
most of the information that determines whether a grant will be awarded. The
case for the importance of the subject of the conference and for the choice of
lecturer must be made in the project description and should be written to be intelligible
and convincing to a mathematician who may not be a specialist in the field of
the conference. Proposals should be written to respond to the review criteria
listed above. The project description must cover the following points:
1. Subject. The subject of the conference should be a topic of current research interest and activity in one or more of the mathematical sciences. Here the mathematical sciences are understood to include pure and applied mathematics, mathematical logic, statistics, and operations research. The proposal must contain a sufficiently detailed description of the subject area, including a bibliography of important recent work in the field, to allow the review panel to make an assessment of the significance and timeliness of the proposed conference topic.
2. Principal Lecturer. Each conference is to have a principal lecturer from outside the host institution. He or she should be both a leader in research in the proposed subject area and a good lecturer and expositor. The proposal should include a brief description of the lecturer's qualifications.
3. Description of Lectures. The proposal must include a description of the topics to be covered in the ten lectures with sufficient detail to give the reader a clear idea of what will be covered.
4. Participants. The proposal should describe the efforts the conference organizer will make to attract and include beginning researchers and underrepresented groups. Participants other than the principal lecturer are not normally named in advance in the proposal. Rather it is expected that after a conference is funded, the host institution will publicize the coming conference and invite applications from qualified participants. It is the host institution's responsibility to select the participants. These would normally be persons already working or beginning to work at the research level in some area of the mathematical sciences whose research activities would profit from the lectures and the other stimuli and interactions that the conference would provide.
5. Local Arrangements. The conference organizer at the host
institution is responsible for carrying out all local planning, arrangements,
advertising, and management of the conference. In addition to the items already
discussed this includes: arranging for appropriate lecture halls and informal
meeting places, accommodations and meals for the participants, headquarters for
email and information, secretarial services and duplicating facilities for
schedules and announcements, reproduction of interim lecture notes, and any
special equipment that may be needed.
6. Conference Dates. Conferences proposed for 2010 should normally be scheduled to occur sometime after the end of classes in May, 2010, and before the beginning of classes in September, 2010, but may also be scheduled during December, 2010, or January, 2011, when most colleges and universities are in recess.
7. Additional Speakers. It is important that the conference provide ample free time for informal discussions among the participants about the principal lectures. Hence, contributed papers by participants are emphatically discouraged. Additional lectures by other leading researchers in the field may enhance the conference's value, but they should be kept to a very few and should be complementary to the main lectures.
The proposal must include biographical sketches of the principal lecturer and the conference organizer(s). Note that the publication list in the biographical sketches is limited to the five publications most relevant to the proposal and up to five additional publications. In addition to the items requested in the Grant Proposal Guide, please include the social security number, telephone number, and email address of the principal lecturer.
A conference proposal should include funds to provide support for about 25 to 30 participants. Participants are provided with lodging, meals, and some travel support by the host institution's grant, but do not receive stipends. A reasonable allowance for participants' travel and subsistence should thus be the major budget item in the host institution's proposal. Other typical budget items that may be suitable are the following: travel and lodging for the principal lecturer, the conference organizer's salary (about one half month), a secretary's salary, printing of advertising materials, telephone, postage, and duplicating. As in the case of all NSF award decisions, the total cost of the proposal is a consideration in the evaluation and selection process. Budgetary items and their costs will vary considerably, depending on the location and character of the host institution, the estimated average distance participants will travel, the availability of low cost lodging in dormitories, and similar factors. Typical awards for these conferences vary between $33,000 and $35,000.
CBMS pays the lecturer a stipend of $2,000 for the delivery of the lectures and an additional stipend of $5,000 when the lecturer delivers to CBMS a manuscript for publication satisfactory to NSF. The lecturer's stipends are paid directly by CBMS and are not to be part of the budget of the host institution's proposal.
Letter of Commitment. The proposal must contain a letter of
commitment from the principal lecturer stating that, if the conference is
funded, the lecturer will deliver ten lectures during the five days of the
conference and will submit to CBMS, within one year following the conference, an
expository monograph based on the lectures. This may be included in the project
description portion of the proposal.
Special Note on the Principal Lecturer. Although the biographical sketch of the principal lecturer is limited in length and number of publications in the proposal to NSF, the proposer may, via regular mail or email, send a complete vita and list of publications of the principal lecturer to the CBMS office.
Inquiries concerning this conference series or the preparation of proposals
for conferences should be directed to
1529 Eighteenth Street NW
Washington DC 20036
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org