Sir Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Submission of Proposals

The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences invites proposals for research programmes in any branch of mathematics or the mathematical sciences. The choice of programmes is governed by the Institute's Policy Statement.

The Scientific Steering Committee usually meets twice each year to consider proposals for programmes (of 4-week, 4-month or 6-month duration) to run two or three years later. Proposals to be considered at these meetings should be submitted by 31 January or 31 July respectively. Successful proposals are usually developed in a process of discussion between the proposers and the SSC conducted through the Director, and may well be considered at more than one meeting of the SSC before selection is recommended. For this reason proposals may be submitted either as 'preliminary proposals' (short) or 'full proposals' (long); a preliminary proposal allows the SSC to give feedback and an indication of the likelihood of success before a full proposal is developed.  The Director is always happy to discuss either approach at any stage.

The scientific planning and organisation of each programme are the responsibility of a team of three Organisers (aided in some cases by an Advisory Committee). The Organisers recommend participants in the programme, of whom up to thirty can be accommodated at any one time; they also plan short-duration workshops and conferences within the programme, to which many more participants may be invited. Each programme is allocated a budget for salary support, subsistence allowances and travel expenses.

Proposals should be formulated under the following headings. A preliminary proposal should contain up to 1,500 words, in which case sections 4, 5 and 6 may be considerably shortened or omitted altogether.

 1. Title of proposal, together with name(s) and affiliation(s) of author(s), and preference for a 4- or 6-month programme, or a 4-week short summer programme.

 2. Scientific case for the proposal (preferably on not more than four sides of A4):

  1. A clear outline of the mathematical/scientific background;
  2. A statement of possible future directions and developments;
  3. The main aims of the proposal, with a clear description of the mathematical content;
  4. A description of the role of workshops within the programme;
  5. Why, in relation to the policy attached, the proposal is particularly suited to the Newton Institute;
  6. Why, in relation to the policy attached, the proposal is of particular benefit to the UK.

 3. Possible Organisers and potential members of any Scientific Advisory Committee (and their affiliations): The Organisers are appointed by the Management Committee of the Institute, and frequently, though not invariably, include the Proposers; they are expected to be present for a major part of the programme. Any previous experience in organising events of this nature should be indicated.

 4. Potential Participants (and their affiliations): A total of 30 to 60 (or 30 in the case of a 4-week programme) should be listed, divided into categories 'highly desirable', 'desirable' and 'reserve' identifying the proportion of female participants both overall and for each category. Participants should be selected on the basis of their active involvement in current research with a minimum of 20% based in the UK.

 5. Outline of Programme Structure: The relative emphasis and ordering of the various themes of the programme, and the topics and timing of workshops that you would wish to hold, should be indicated. The Institute may fund up to 4 workshops (3 at the Institute itself and 1 elsewhere in the UK) for a 6-month programme (or up to 3 workshops for a 4 month programme and just 1 for a 4-week programme). It may be possible to hold additional workshops if external funding is obtained for them.

 6. Indicate any recent or forthcoming meetings of which you are aware of within the field of your proposal.

To assist in your preparation, here is an example of the questions asked of proposal referees.

Proposals should be sent to:

The Director, Professor John Toland, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences,
20 Clarkson Road, Cambridge, CB3 0EH, UK
Tel: 01223 335980 Fax: 01223 330508 Email:

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