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Guidelines for Annual Program Proposals

Annual Thematic Programs involve on the order of 1,000 participants, including around 10 key senior visitors of three to 10 months, six to eight postdocs, and around 40 other visitors of a month or more. They are typically divided into a small number of periods of concentration on specific areas under the general theme and include between five and nine workshops and regular seminar series when workshops are not in progress. Tutorial lectures are an important part of most Annual Thematic Programs. Panel discussions and other activities may play a significant role as well.

The IMA invites submissions for proposals for its Annual Thematic Programs. The submission consists of several stages, with increasing levels of work and commitment.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

An LOI should contain:

  • Title of the annual program
  • Organizers of the annual program (each will have agreed to participate as an organizer of the annual program; one person should be designated as lead organizer)
  • One to two paragraphs describing the rationale for the program; the organizer's vision
  • A list of six to eight topics that will be covered during the year-long program; names of potential organizers for each topic should be included

Inquiries are accepted at any time and will be given full consideration at IMA Board of Governors meetings and IMA Advisory Board meetings. Feedback will be provided, and organizers submitting promising topics will be encouraged to develop the inquiry into a preproposal.


Preproposals should be submitted at least four years in advance of the program’s starting date, September 1.

The preproposal should contain:

  1. Title of program
  2. Names and affiliation of organizers
  3. Program vision and structure (roughly two pages)
  4. Tentative list of workshops and tutorials (with corresponding potential organizers)
  5. List of potential key long-term visitors with affiliations (10-50 people)
  6. References or links to relevant supporting material
  7. Discussion of related programs at the IMA and elsewhere

The organizers will be heavily involved in the organization of the Annual Thematic Program. Scientific leadership and level of commitment are two important factors in the evaluation of a proposal. The team of organizers may consist of four or more leaders in the field. Please do mark one of the organizers as a primary contact person for questions concerning the preproposal.

The program vision should provide a compelling argument illustrating the impact that such a program will have on mathematical sciences and the application areas the program seeks to address. The organizers should also lay out how the year is subdivided into scientific activities during quarters or semesters, including tutorials and workshops during the academic year. Please also consult the list of past, current, and future programs and relate your proposal to and differentiate it from other IMA activities. You may also provide references to other non-IMA activities in the field.

The IMA is committed to actively seeking diversity among its participants in both gender and ethnicity. The list of participants should reflect these priorities. Members of underrepresented groups should be flagged in the participant list. Preproposals should be submitted (electronic only, PDF preferred) to the director of the IMA:

Fadil Santosa, Director
Institute for Mathematics and its Applications
University of Minnesota

Submissions will be evaluated by the IMA Board of Governors. Those submitting a successful preproposal will be asked to develop a full proposal to be submitted to the IMA within a year. The determination of a successful proposal involves the IMA Advisory Board and outside experts. Final consideration of the proposal will take place at the IMA Board of Governors meeting. Recommendations and suggestions will be communicated to the proposers shortly after that.

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