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CEDAR Workshop Guidelines for Conveners

On-line proposals for CEDAR Workshops are due Friday March 27, 2015 (

Main Points

1. CEDAR Science Challenge: Conveners should identify and address the particular science challenge that their workshop will address and outline an approach to meet it. Please describe:
i. the associated questions that will be addressed,
ii. what resources exist, are planned, and/or are needed,
iii. how progress should be measured.
2. Workshop Justification: Conveners should address the science priorities in the field of aeronomy and space physics that their workshop will address by describing its relevance to one or more of the following:
i. the 2012 Decadal Survey Report for Solar and Space Physics ( and (2012, 454 pages)) ,
ii. the 2011 CEDAR Strategic Plan with the November 2013 addendum ( ,
iii. the 2013 NSF Geospace Science Plan ( .


In order to propose a workshop, potential conveners should submit the following information to the Workshop Planning Committee via the web form (see above link):

  • Title of the workshop
  • Potential conveners
  • Description of the proposed workshop geared to the broad CEDAR audience
  • Justification for the proposed workshop
    • Identify the relevant CEDAR Science Challenge that the workshop addresses and describe:
      • how the associated questions will be addressed,
      • what resources exist, are planned and/or are needed,
      • how progress should be measured.
    • Describe the relevance to the CEDAR Strategic Plan, the 2012 Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics, or the 2013 NSF Geospace Sciences Plan. (See links to reference materials above.)
  • Format of the workshop (see options below)
  • Duration (2 hours by default)
  • Estimated attendance
  • Request for specific days (if conveners are not present the entire week, but these requests could be ignored depending on the circumstances)
  • Special technology requests (as described below)

Workshop proposals may be declined if they do not meet the above requirements. Redundant workshop proposals will be combined. Conveners of approved workshops can update their wiki workshop pages at any time.

Session Format

Convening a workshop at the yearly CEDAR meeting is an excellent way to bring together experts on a particular science topic, review recent results from an ongoing experimental campaign, plan a new project, or increase visibility and awareness of a given area of research. Conveners should adopt a workshop format that allows plenty of time for discussion. Depending on the goals for the workshop, session conveners should consider a number of formats including:

  1. Short presentations and discussion. These workshops may include a mixture of planned and impromptu presentations, moderated in such a way as to promote discussion and raise as well as answer questions. A format composed of short presentations could be an effective tool for planning experiments and modeling exercises. Having a productive session requires having a proactive moderator.
  2. Short 5-slide presentations and discussion. These workshops are similar to 'Short presentations and discussion', but specifically limit the number of slides for each presenter to 5 where a proactive moderator is critical.
  3. Panel discussion. These workshops consist of a "panel of experts" discussing their views on a topic and answering questions from the audience. A panel discussion could be a means of establishing the current state of knowledge within a discipline. A discussion could also assume the form of a debate, with speakers representing opposing points of view. Panel discussions can invigorate a research sub-community and have proven to be very popular in past workshops.
  4. Tutorials. This format could be appropriate if the goal of the session is to expand the size of the community conversant on a given research topic. The depth of the presentation(s) would likely be greater than in the other formats. As the material is likely to be highly specialized, audience participation might be limited. Allowing sufficient time for questions from the audience is critical with this format.
  5. Round-table discussion. This small-group/working-group format is appropriate when the proposed topic is quite specialized and perhaps controversial. This format is also useful for planning projects. The point is to allow for face-to-face discussion with immediate feedback. Participants in the round-table format are encouraged to bring material to present, but the focus is on discussion. It is expected that the attendance for these workshops would be limited. The possibility exists to hold these smaller discussions outside of the typical meeting schedule (during lunch or in the evening).
  6. Other - to be described briefly in the 'Other' box.

Conducting a Session

When running a CEDAR workshop session, consider that:

  • Many of the attendees to the CEDAR meeting are students. It is important to introduce the topic of the workshop in general terms and to provide context for the non-specialists attending the workshop. One of the goals of CEDAR is to encourage the next generation of scientists. Student participation should be encouraged.
  • CEDAR is a broad community. When planning a workshop, give consideration to all potentially interested scientists, not just those you may have initially thought of when developing the workshop.
  • Discussion is a vital aspect of any successful CEDAR workshop. Reserve sufficient time in the workshop schedule to allow for robust discussion.

There are several additional points to keep in mind when executing your workshop:

  • The week before the workshop, conveners should upload an agenda with sufficient detail to the wiki workshop page so that prospective attendees know what to expect.
  • All workshops must be documented. Conveners are required to submit workshop summaries, including outcomes and next steps, along with a record of attendance. Presentation slides are archived on the CEDAR website. Participants should provide digital copies of their slides (pdf preferred) for this purpose.
  • The success of a workshop should not be judged solely on the number of people who are sitting in the audience. The quality of the material presented and the discussions fostered are more important than the headcount.
  • A wide range of technology is available for integration into a workshop. When proposing a workshop, please request any support you will need (e.g., LCD projector, access to the internet, a database where presentations/data/models can be accessed in real time, etc).
  • Be creative in organizing your workshop. If you have an idea for a type of workshop not suggested above, go for it!