Guidelines for IUVSTA Workshops

Last updated 3 March 2002


The IUVSTA Workshop program was established to provide a forum for intense scientific debate and discussion between a small number of experts in a focused scientific field which falls within the area of activity of the Scientific Divisions of IUVSTA.  The purpose of the Workshop program is scientific rather than educational.  The format is intended to be rather similar to that of the US Gordon Conferences; specifically that they are informal, involve all delegates in residence together, typically in a relatively remote site (i.e. not in a large city), are small enough and long enough to ensure active debate (i.e. less than 100 delegates and typically 5 days duration).  In order to guarantee the financial stability of such a meeting these meetings are supported by a contribution from the IUVSTA STD Discretionary Fund, currently to a maximum of 10,000 Swiss Francs.  They are organized by one or more of the Scientific Divisions.

Size, Duration

Workshops will typically comprise 40-80 delegates.  They will normally last 4-6 days.


High-level discussion can only be achieved if many of the best and most active scientists attend the meeting, so participation in the first instance should be by invitation.  At the same time, it is essential that opportunity is also offered for participation 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 via the electoral college members of the organizing Division(s)), although the organizers will also send specific invitations to the participants whose presence they perceive as most desirable scientifically.


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 time schedule involving recreation during part of the day but lectures into the late evening, as at the US Gordon Conferences, may well be appropriate. Typically this is likely to mean that the venue will be an 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 with sufficient time for discussion. If appropriate, a poster session could also be included to allow even more delegates to present their work, but the emphasis should be on discussion and its generation.

Publication policy

In view of the informal nature of the discussions that the workshop is intended to generate, the STD has agreed that proceedings of the workshops should not be published under any circumstances.

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 cover most of the fixed costs, which are dominated by invited speaker costs, so that delegates will pay little more than marginal costs. In this way the price for participants is 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 (normally 10,000 Swiss Francs). If there is a financial loss, this is the responsibility of the organizers, and for this reason it may well be appropriate to run the meeting with the support of the local Vacuum Society. Prudent budgeting should ensure that there is normally a surplus, however, and it is expected that this would be returned to the STD Discretionary Fund of IUVSTA to support further workshops.


The normal procedure for organizing one of the IUVSTA Workshops will be:

1. The basic topic, venue and draft program for a workshop is first developed by 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.

2. If approved by the STD and ECM, a fixed level of sponsorship funding will be agreed. 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 due to the fact that only limited funds are held in current accounts.

3.The Division responsible for the organization will ensure that the meeting is publicized within the Union via their complete Electoral College. The Division will establish a web site for the workshop and inform the Web page editor of the site so that it can be linked to the IUVSTA web page. The organizers will also bring regular progress reports to the STD and their Divisional Committee.

4. The workshop should be referred to in all publicity as an IUVSTA WORKSHOP, 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 small amounts of additional funding. Major co-sponsorship is not seen as appropriate.

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

Divisional Committees should note that the statutes under which IUVSTA operates precludes formal financial commitments to be made in one triennium for expenditure in the next.  This means that all of that organization process covering the period from approval of the plan to actually extracting the IUVSTA funds for a workshop must occur within a single IUVSTA triennium.

Application Form for Workshop:  rtf format  or  pdf format