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NeurIPS 2022 Call for Affinity Workshops and Socials

Deadline to submit proposal: May 27, 2022 AOE

Notification of acceptance: May 30, 2022 AOE

We are calling for affinity groups to host workshops and/or socials at NeurIPS 2022. NeurIPS 2022 will take place Monday November 28, 2022 through Friday December 9, 2022 and will be a hybrid conference with a physical component in New Orleans during the first week and a virtual component the second week.

You can send the proposal to the Affinity Workshops team (affinity-workshop-chairs@neurips.cc) in the form of a PDF file. If in case you are unable to submit by the deadline, please inform us and express your interest, and we will try to make room and arrangements for your workshop and/or socials. For full consideration, we highly recommend submitting by the deadline. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at: affinity-workshop-chairs@neurips.cc.

Some of the text below is adapted from NAACL 2022's Call for Affinity Group Workshops, to which an author of this document contributed.

Introduction

At NeurIPS, affinity groups promote and support the ideas and voices of marginalized communities and raise awareness of issues that affect their members. Previously, affinity groups like Women in Machine Learning, Queer in AI, Black in AI, LatinX in AI, {Dis}Ability in AI, Indigenous Protocols in AI, Muslims in ML, and Jews in ML have organized workshops and socials at NeurIPS. In this call, we welcome applications from all kinds of affinity groups.

There is a need for members of affinity groups to have more opportunities to showcase their work and participate and network at NeurIPS. The main aim of workshops is to encourage people to showcase their work and step into the NeurIPS community. Unlike other workshops, affinity group workshops are more loosely defined and meant to promote diversity and inclusion. The idea of having affinity group workshops is to establish research communities out of affinity groups and raise awareness of the challenges faced by their members. Furthermore, affinity group socials provide safe, inclusive spaces for members of affinity groups to socialize and network.

Affinity Group Workshops

All affinity workshops should have some virtual component. Proposals for in-person only affinity group workshops will be rejected.

Tentative Schedule: Affinity workshops will have physical components (if applicable) take place November 28-29, 2022, which will overlap with expos. Please note that November 29 is a half day, as the main conference starts on the evening of November 29. Virtual components will take place on December 5, 2022 and overlap with virtual tutorials. However, we recognize that there are issues with this plan: 1) hosting affinity group workshops on the first day of NeurIPS is difficult for affinity group members who travel to the conference the day before it starts; 2) there will be large overlaps between affinity group events, which will prevent members of different groups from attending each others' workshops and socials. Thus, we will work with all the affinity groups so that they have flexibility in deciding the date and times of their workshops. We strongly encourage affinity groups to host half-day workshops, to avoid overlapping across groups.

Recommended Structure: Workshops may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • Keynote talks
  • Lightning talks
  • Panels
  • Poster presentations
  • Discussions
  • Art exhibit

For examples of past workshops, you may consult:

Affinity groups may consider breaking up their virtual component(s) into two parts that are scheduled at opposite times of the day to increase virtual access from around the world. For example, an affinity group may host half of their virtual component at 9 AM Central Daylight Time and the other half at 9 PM Central Daylight Time (perhaps even on a different day).

NeurIPS does not provide travel funding for workshop speakers. The organizers of each accepted workshop can name up to fifteen individuals per day of the workshop to receive complimentary workshop registration.

Affinity Group Socials

All affinity socials should have some virtual component; proposals for in-person only affinity socials will be rejected.

We will work all the affinity groups so that they have flexibility in deciding the date, times, and length of their social(s). Affinity groups will decide the structure of their socials. In the past, affinity socials have included: talks, socializing and networking, discussions, sponsor booths, etc. Groups may consider hosting two socials that are scheduled at opposite times of the day to increase virtual access from around the world.

Joint Poster Session

Tentative Schedule: All the affinity posters will be placed alongside the main conference posters, in both the virtual and in-person poster halls. However, this does not preclude groups from holding their own mini poster sessions during their workshop or socials. Authors from all affinity groups that issue a call for papers/contributions/media are required to participate in the main conference poster sessions.

Guidelines for Call for Contributions: The following guidelines are only recommended and workshop organizers do not necessarily need to enforce them:

  • Each affinity group should release a call for contributions to be presented in the joint poster session.
  • Affinity groups can invite submissions that are proposals, work-in-progress or fully fleshed out research papers.
  • Affinity groups can feature contributions in English or in any language that workshop authors prefer.
  • Affinity groups can also invite authors to submit in any media: papers, poems, songs, Jupyter notebooks, Github repos, videos, art, comics, books, etc.
  • We suggest the following timeline:
    • First call for papers: Early June (or earlier)
    • Visa-friendly submission deadline: Early July (or earlier, permitting authors have enough time to prepare submissions). Note: NeurIPS 2022 registration opens August 4, 2022, but registration allocations for authors with accepted works can be decided earlier.
    • Final submission deadline: Mid October (or later)
    • Notification date: 2-3 weeks after the submission (at set dates or rolling). Please make notification dates explicit and transparent so authors can accordingly plan to attend NeurIPS.

Organizing Support

We will actively host meetups and organizing sessions to provide affinity groups with the support they need to host their workshop and socials. We will also create a Slack channel with all the affinity group organizers to facilitate asynchronous organizing support and inter-group collaboration. Finally, we will actively update all the affinity groups on D&I travel and conference grants.

Format for Proposal

There is no length requirement for the proposal. Please CAREFULLY read all of the previous sections before writing your proposal.
Suggested Components
  • Abstract and motivation: A summary about your affinity group and general motivation for the workshop and/or socials (e.g. any themes you want to focus on).
  • Tentative plan of workshop: Schedule, length, format of the sessions, arrangements between virtual / in-person modes. For examples, consult the past affinity group workshops listed in the Affinity Group Workshops section. Keep in mind that proposals that do not include a virtual component will be rejected.
  • Tentative plan of social(s): Schedule, length, format of the sessions, arrangements between virtual / in-person modes. Keep in mind that proposals that do not include a virtual component will be rejected.
  • Call for contributions: Timeline to release call for contributions, tentative review committee, and submission infrastructure. How many contributions do you expect to receive?
  • Outreach plans: Plans for advertising the call for contributions on social media and other networks. Plans for advertising the workshop and/or socials. A URL for the workshop website (this can be changed later).
  • D&I plans: Plans that you want to implement to increase diversity in participation and representation, e.g. visa support, live captioning, etc.
  • Organization budget: An estimated budget for organizing (excluding registration waivers and travel grants), e.g. purchasing live captioning. This information will help us look into obtaining more funds to support affinity groups, but we cannot guarantee any financial support.
  • List of organizers: Names, brief bio and emails of the organizers. Aggregate demographics of organizers along multiple axes, e.g. gender, race, sexuality, disability, geography, seniority.We request affinity groups to carefully consider the diversity of organizers.
  • Expected attendance: How many people do you expect to attend your workshop in-person? How many virtually? What is your estimated number of in-person participants from outside the US? What about virtual participants from outside the US? These numbers can be very rough estimates.
Questions to Answer

Additionally, please answer the following questions to help us plan:

  • VISA support: We understand that many affinity group members will face VISA issues and processing delays. Will you provide any VISA support to members of your group? Will your timeline be mindful of VISA requirements, especially if you have a call for contributions? Is there something NeurIPS can potentially do to help? We will provide VISA invitation letters as early as possible, to facilitate early VISA applications.
  • Workshop schedule: What are your thoughts on the tentative workshop schedule described in the Affinity Group Workshops section? What are your preferred dates/times for your workshop? Please specify your preferences in terms of specific dates during the conference and other considerations (e.g. "I would not like our workshop to overlap with other affinity workshops.") If your affinity group has previously hosted a workshop at NeurIPS, what feedback/concerns do you have from previous scheduling? Note: We will not be able to satisfy all schedule preferences, but we will try our best to do so.
  • Social(s) schedule: What are your preferred dates/times for your social(s)? Please specify your preferences in terms of specific dates during the conference and other considerations (e.g. "I would not like our workshop to overlap with other affinity socials.") If your affinity group has previously hosted a social at NeurIPS, What feedback/concerns do you have from previous scheduling? Note:We will not be able to satisfy all schedule preferences, but we will try our best to do so.
  • Joint poster session schedule: What feedback do you have on the plan for the joint poster session? What are your thoughts on the Tentative Schedule described in the Joint Poster Session section?
  • Organizing support: What are ways in which the affinity workshops team can support you in organizing (that are not already listed in this document)? Do you have any special requirements or technical needs?
  • Any other questions or feedback?

Arjun, Kehinde, Sunipa
affinity-workshop-chairs@neurips.cc
NeurIPS 2022 Affinity Workshop Chairs