Guidelines for IUVSTA Workshops

Purpose and Format

IUVSTA Workshops are intended to provide a forum for intense debate and discussion between a small number of experts in a focused scientific or technical field which falls within the area of activity of the Scientific Divisions of IUVSTA. The purpose of the Workshop program is to advance the field rather than being educational.

The format is intended to be rather similar to that of the US Gordon Conferences. Specifically, that they are informal; that they involve all delegates in residence together, typically in a relatively remote site (i.e. not in a large city); and are small enough and long enough to ensure active debate.

Workshops are organized by one or more of the Scientific Divisions of IUVSTA. Workshops which bring together experts from one or more fields for cross fertilisation of ideas are particularly encouraged.

Workshops forming part of a series will be approved only in exceptional circumstances.

Size, Duration

Workshops will typically comprise 40-50 delegates. They will normally last 4-6 days.


High-level discussion can only be achieved if many of the best and most active scientists in the field attend the meeting, so participation should be by invitation.

The organizers of a workshop should invite 10-20 participants whose presence they perceive as best able to achieve the purposes of the workshop. The attendance of these invited participants should largely be funded by the workshop.

It is also essential that the opportunity to participate is offered to others active in the field from all the member countries of IUVSTA, including those in which science is less well developed than in the scientifically most active countries. For this reason, it is envisaged that the workshop will be advertised through the member societies (possibly through the divisional Representatives of the organizing Division(s)) and on the IUVSTA website. Interested persons may then apply to receive an invitation which does not include financial support. The organisers should ensure that such applicants have sufficient experience relevant to the topic of the workshop to enable them to make significant contributions to the discussion. Therefore participation by graduate students much below their final year of a postgraduate research degree will be unlikely.

Venue and Program

It is implicit in the workshop/discussion format that all delegates should be together throughout the meeting and should have limited external distractions, although communal recreation during part of the day (e.g. hiking, sailing) can be an effective means of creating extended scientific interactions through social contact.

For this reason, a schedule involving recreation during part of the day with scientific or technical sessions morning and evening may well be appropriate. Typically this is likely to mean that the venue will be a hotel, hostel, or possibly a University campus, situated in a small town or a rural area. Access (transport) for international visitors must, of course, also be considered.

The dominant part of the program will be single session oral presentations by the invited speakers and other selected participants, allowing sufficient time for open discussion. Care should be taken to ensure that sessions are not a conference style succession of papers with time only for a few questions. The emphasis should be on engendering discussion. If appropriate, a poster session could be included to allow other delegates to present relevant work.

Note that a general Call for Papers is not appropriate for a IUVSTA Workshop.


In view of the international nature of IUVSTA Workshops, they will normally use English as the primary language.

Publication policy

In view of the informal nature of the discussions which the workshop is intended to generate, the STD has agreed that proceedings of the workshops should not be published under any circumstances, although a summary report may be prepared for publication if this is felt to be appropriate.

Financial arrangements

Clearly in running a 5-day meeting with 10-20 invited speakers and a total delegate population of only 50, the potentially substantial fixed costs, shared between the small number of participants, can make the delegate cost high, or the financial arrangements potentially unstable, or both. For this reason the IUVSTA funding is intended to be used for the fixed costs, which are dominated by invited speaker costs, so that delegates will pay little more than their marginal costs. In this way the price for participants should be relatively low, and there are unlikely to be serious financial consequences if the total attendance is slightly lower than anticipated. This is the basic philosophy of the IUVSTA financial sponsorship.

Organizers should also recognize that the IUVSTA financial commitment is limited to the pre-agreed sponsorship level. If there is a surplus, it is expected that this would be returned to the STD Discretionary Fund of IUVSTA to support further workshops.

If there is a financial loss, this is the responsibility of the organizers, and for this reason, it will normally be appropriate to run the event with the support of a local Vacuum Society or University, etc., who will have agreed to underwrite the workshop.

Normally, the organisers of the workshop will establish a bank account specifically for the purpose or establish a designated account within those of the underwriting body. Details of this account should be supplied to the Treasurer of IUVSTA who will transfer the agreed funds by electronic bank transfer.

After the workshop a summary financial account of the workshop should be sent to the Scientific Secretary.

Approval and Organization

The normal procedure for organizing a IUVSTA Workshop will be: The basic topic, venue, draft program and provisional budget for a workshop is developed by the potential organiser(s) in collaboration with one of the Scientific Divisional Committees of IUVSTA (or a collaboration of two or more of them) and presented to the STD for approval at one of the Executive Council Meetings.

Any proposal must be submitted to the Scientific Secretary no later than one calendar month before the date of a meeting of the STD if it is to be considered at that meeting.

The Scientific Secretary will circulate details of the proposal to the Chairs of all Divisions for comment and possible offers of collaboration.

If the proposal is accepted by the STD, it will be presented to the Executive Council with a request for a maximum level of sponsorship funding. This money will be available to the organizers when needed, although some period of notice (e.g. 4-8 weeks) may be needed by the Treasurer of IUVSTA.

On approval, the STD will allocate a number in the IUVSTA Workshop series to the event.

The Division(s) responsible for the organization will ensure that the meeting is publicized within the Union via their Divisional Representatives.

The organisers will establish a web site for the workshop and inform the IUVSTA Web editor of the site so that it can be linked from the IUVSTA web page.

The organizers will provide regular progress reports to the STD and the Divisional Committee(s).

The workshop should be referred to in all publicity as IUVSTA WORKSHOP number NN, the specific topic title following as appropriate. This requirement for IUVSTA to be seen as the primary sponsor should be recognized in any possible attempts to obtain additional funding. Major co-sponsorship is discouraged unless absolutely financially necessary.

After the workshop, a brief scientific report and a financial statement will be presented to the STD, and appropriate balances will be returned to IUVSTA. The scientific report will be sent in electronic form to the IUVSTA Web editor for inclusion in the web page.

Non-compliance or Cancellation

Should the workshop be cancelled for any reason, any unexpended part of the IUVSTA financial contribution should be returned to IUVSTA.

Should the Executive Council determine that any cancellation was not for good reason, it may require the return of the entire financial contribution, whether or not it had already been spent.

Should the Executive Council determine that the guidelines for IUVSTA Workshops had been deviated from in a significant way, then it may demand the return of its entire financial contribution.