Running the Annual Symposium

How to run the annual NSF Fellows' Symposium

A work in progress - more information to come soon

Running the symposium takes a bit of work, but not
too much, and at this point there's nearly a decade's worth of
experience to draw upon. Rachel and I learned from the expert
guidance of Kurtis and Peter, who in turn were guided by Nate and
Erik, and so on into the far reaches of AAPF prehistory. All this
knowledge will be presented to whoever next year's organizers are, in
the form of a handy packet of documents and a couple of phone calls.

This is definitely a job for two people.


Basically the work is very much clustered in time: a brief flurry of
activity in each of June, October, and January. So it's a commitment,
but a pretty straightforward one to do.

  1. Sometime around May, submit some easy paperwork to the AAS to
    request the room and catering etc.
  2. In early summer, submit a grant request to the NSF for some money.
    Mostly this involves updating the previous year's submission and
    resubmitting it. The most complicated part (and it's not that
    complicated) is probably dealing with the host university's grants
    office bureaucracy.
  3. In the fall, pick out topics for the discussion panels (with help
    from the AAPF mailing list) and solicit ideas for panelists and
    keynote speakers.
  4. Around October or so, contact panelists and keynote speakers. And
    contact the AAPFs to see who wants to give a talk. Pick out a banquet
    location and reserve it.
  5. in January, run the actual meeting. This is the fun part!
  6. Coordinate with your university administration to process the
    travel reimbursements.