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Propose a Workshop

We invite the submission of proposals for scientific workshops to be held at the NSF-Simons National Institute for Theory and Mathematics in Biology (NITMB). A Scientific Workshop at the NITMB is a week-long, focused program in a specific area of current research at the intersection of biological and mathematical sciences.  Each workshop hosts 30–50 non-local participants and 20–30 local participants. 

Workshop participants sit in a circle and discuss


NITMB Workshops typically have only a few formal talks; the bulk of the time is allocated for discussions, brainstorming, informal chalk talks, with adequate time for initiating research projects within smaller groups. Workshop organizers are also expected to launch the workshop with a half-day tutorial that provides background to the scientific questions.

When do workshops happen?

NITMB Scientific Workshops take place in Fall (September - December) and in Spring (March - June).

NITMB Support

Scientific workshops receive full administrative and financial support from the Institute, including lodging, travel and local support for all its participants. This allows organizers to focus solely on the scientific aspects of the activities. We expect 15 to 30 invited participants for each workshop, with a typical workshop size of 50-75 people.

Proposal Submission Process

There are two stages:

  1. Pre-proposal: provide the information described in the NITMB program template, and submit your pre-proposal to

  2. After a pre-proposal is approved, the NITMB staff and workshop committee will collaborate with the organizers to suitably develop the program. This is typically an iterative process that ensures that the workshop aligns with NITMB mission and values. More information can be found in the Workshop Full Proposal Guide - NITMB


The NITMB Workshop Committee accepts application of pre-proposals on a rolling basis. We are now considering applications for workshops in Spring 2025 and after.


The following are factors in the evaluation of scientific workshop proposals.

Mathematics and Biology in balance: we seek proposals in topics with potential for generating new mathematics in any field that will lead to greater biological understanding.

Workshops structured to enhance communication between domains: successful proposals lay out a plan for facilitating productive interactions between mathematical and biological scientists.

Scientific Workshops at the NITMB

Workshops that reflect the DEI values of the NITMB: competitive proposals have diverse leadership and proposed participants. Their activities include efforts at broadening participation, and developing future scientific leaders with diverse backgrounds.

Potential to Identify Emerging Research Directions: each winter the NITMB hosts an Emerging Directions Workshop described at, in rapid response to new biological discoveries and new advances in mathematics. We anticipate that these are often identified for their rapid development during long program activities.

Potential to Seed New Research Collaborations Across Domains: the NITMB supports research collaboration between mathematics and biology that can lead to discovery in either or both domains. Successful workshops lead to research that is show-cased in future NITMB Synthesis Workshops described at, organized by some of the organizers and participants.

NITMB Workshop Committee Members


Antonio (Tuca) Auffinger
Workshop Committee Co-Chair


Mary Silber
Workshop Committee Co-Chair

Stefano Allesina.jpg

Stefano Allesina
Professor, Ecology and Evolution
University of Chicago


Luis A.N. Amaral
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Northwestern University


Anindita (Oni) Basu
Assistant Professor, Medicine
University of Chicago


Madhav Mani
Associate Professor, Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematics
Northwestern University


Edwin M. Munro
Professor, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology
University of Chicago

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