Conference Policies

Each year, IUPAP sponsors from 20 to 30 international conferences and awards grants to some of them. Conference organisers desiring IUPAP's sponsorship should submit the application form BOTH to:

the appropriate IUPAP Commission (according to the conference topic), and to

the IUPAP Secretariat (or designate)

and inform the liaison committee associated with the location of the conference.

Organisers of interdisciplinary conferences, or those in doubt as to the appropriate Commission, should communicate with the Associate Secretary General.

To ensure that a conference be considered for IUPAP sponsorship in time, requests must be made before June 1 of the year preceding the date of the proposed conference. The request must include the required information indicated on the Application Form.

1. Categories of Conferences

General Conferences - Type A

These provide a broad overview of an entire field (typically the field of interest to a Commission), and normally occur at two- or three-year intervals, as advances in the field warrant. Attendance in the range of 750-1000 would be anticipated.

Topical Conferences - Type B

These concentrate on broad sub-fields (e.g. nuclear spectroscopy, nuclear reaction mechanisms, heavy ion physics, are possible sub-fields in the field of Nuclear Physics). They would normally be scheduled in the years between the corresponding Type A General conferences. Attendance in the range of 300-600 would be anticipated.

Special Conferences - Type C

These concentrate on much more specialised topics than in the case of Type B Conferences (e.g. angular correlations, lifetime measurements, neutron resonance studies in the field of Nuclear Physics). Attendance in the range of 50-200 would be anticipated.

Workshops in Developing Countries - Type D

These concentrate on meeting the needs of a developing region. Unlike the Type A, B and C conferences, they do not need to be truly international, but should involve neighboring countries, and they should address the needs of the region. One Type D conference will be approved each year. All applications for Type-D Conferences must be submitted to the Commission on Physics for Development (C13).

2. Criteria and Requirements

The following criteria and requirements will be considered by the International Commissions in formulating their recommendation to the Executive Council of the IUPAP. Criteria A and B do not apply to Type D conferences.

A. Scientific Value and Composition of Organising Committees

1. There should be a clear need for the proposed conference. For conferences with a history of sponsorship, a statement should be given why the series should be continued. For conferences without such a history, a description of the purpose and relationship to existing conferences should be given.

2. The members of the advisory and program committees and the invited speakers should be distinguished internationally. The composition of the significant organising committees should be broadly international, as well as the list of invited speakers. In keeping with IUPAP policy, it is expected that women be fully included in the membership of organising committees, program committees and the list of invited speakers.

3. The acceptance of papers should be based on a refereeing system which assures a level comparable with that of papers in regular journals. Every effort should be made to have the proceedings of the conference published in order to make them widely and easily available to the scientific community. Publication of proceedings as a special issue of a regular journal or on the internet is encouraged.

B. International Character and Accessibility

1. Only international conferences are sponsored. Such conferences have an international scientific advisory committee and move among different countries and continents. The participation should be genuinely international and not constitute effectively a national or regional conference to which a few physicists from outside are invited.

2. Generally satellite conferences are not sponsored separately but are implicitly endorsed by sponsorship of the main conference.

3. Because of their very large number and variety, IUPAP does not sponsor summer schools, workshops, symposia or annual conferences (without special justification).

4. Notwithstanding (A) above, a small number of regional conferences may be approved, where

(i) the conference is held in a region in which physics activity is underdeveloped and in which some of the countries may not be members of IUPAP,

(ii) such sponsorship has the potential of improving participation in the international community by physicists in developing regions and of leading to new membership in IUPAP, and

(iii) attendance at the conference would be international, even though it might be limited to a region. Attendance from any one country should not exceed 50%. Conferences that are approved for sponsorship under this item are eligible for consideration for travel grants.

5. IUPAP sponsored conferences must conform to the detailed IUPAP Policy on Free Circulation of Scientists. (Implementation of this policy is described in Section 4 below).

C. Inclusion of Women

It is the policy of IUPAP that all IUPAP sponsored conferences must include women on the organising and program committees and as invited speakers. The application should include a list of the program committee with evidence that women are included, and the numbers of women invited speakers should be recorded in the conference report.

D. Registration fee 

Most international conferences charge a registration fee. IUPAP requires that this not exceed a defined limit. For conferences held in 2013 the maximum registration fee is 550 Euros. This includes abstracts, preprints and/or proceedings, but does not include meals and/or accommodation. If proceedings are not included, the fee shall be substantially lower.

Conference organisers should give special financial consideration to unsupported young scientists and scientists from developing countries, and make every effort to waive or lower their fee. For the purpose of this item, 'developing countries' are defined by the World Bank's most recent list of 'low income' and 'lower middle income' countries.

3. Roles and Procedures

A. Organising Committee

1. The Organisers should send the application for IUPAP sponsorship both to the appropriate IUPAP Commission (please note that all Type D conference requests, irresepective of topic, must apply to C13 Physics for Development) and to the IUPAP Secretariat before 1 June of the year preceding the date of the proposed conference.

Early Approval 
The approval in October of conferences that will be held in the following year may provide too short a lead-time in many cases. It is desirable to have IUPAP sponsorship known at an early stage, particularly for the major Type A conferences.

Type A conferences 
Type A conferences will be eligible for approval at least two years in advance. For example, conferences to be held in the summer of 2015 would be eligible for approval at the Council meeting in October of 2012, 2013, or 2014.

Approval of Type B conferences 
Type B conferences will be eligible for approval at least one year in advance. For example, conferences to be held in the summer of 2014 would be eligible for approval at the Council meeting in October of 2012 or 2013.

In both cases, the approval given would be provisional; if the requirements are not met when first approved, evidence that they have been met must be given in subsequent years for sponsorship to be maintained. In particular, the conference registration fee must be within the IUPAP limit. The exchange rates would be applied as of May 1 of the year before the one in which the conference is held.

2. The request must include the information indicated on the Application Form. Conference organisers should show that their plans conform to the relevant general IUPAP policies for the sponsorship of IUPAP conferences. In particular they must conform to the criteria and requirements described under items '2.A. Scientific Value and Composition of Organising Committees', '2.B. International Character and Accessibility', and '2.C. Registration Fee'.

3. The motivation and the scientific value of the Conference should be explained. The composition of committees should give evidence of scientific quality and diversity; in particular a list of the programme committee should be provided with evidence that women are included.

4. The Organisers must state that the Conference fee will not exceed the defined limit set by IUPAP (550 Euros for conferences held in 2013). Such fee includes abstracts, preprints and/or proceedings, but does not include meals and/or accommodation. The Organisers should also explain the financial measures that are planned to give special consideration to unsupported young scientists and scientists from developing countries.

5. Conferences organisers must publish the statement given in section 4. G (below) on free circulation of scientists in any circular or announcement and in the proceedings of the conference.

6. Conference organisers may request a travel grant to be used to assist with travel costs of scientists from developing countries. Funds from these grants are distributed by conference organisers. Travel grants are not awarded by IUPAP directly to individuals.

7. Precise beginning and ending dates, location of the conference, and name, address and e-mail address of the conference secretary or chief organiser are required . Conflict of dates with those for related conferences should be avoided.

8. It is very helpful to the IUPAP Council to have details of the organisation and budget for the proposed conference.

9. Information supplied should include a specific statement of plans for dissemination of the results or proceedings with particular reference to commitments regarding publication schedule, availability, and estimated cost, both for conference participants and for the physics community at large.

10. After the Conference, the Organisers must complete a short Conference Report, using the web form, to the appropriate IUPAP Commission(s) and to the IUPAP Secretariat (or designate), containing basic information on the Conference and confirming that they complied to all IUPAP requirements. It is essential that you do this as IUPAP must keep statistics on the conferences that it supports. In particular, all visa issues should be reported.

Helpful Advice:

(i) A time period of not less than six months should be allowed between the scheduled date of the conference and the first formal announcement and call for papers to permit participants sufficient time to obtain visas and to make other arrangements to attend.

(ii) Specific information on accommodations, on ancillary tours, or spouses' programmes planned should be included in the first announcement.

B. Liaison Committee

The role of the national liaison committee is to provide an assessment of the ability of the local organising committee to handle an international meeting (space, facilities, funding, assistance with visas as required, etc.). This assessment should go to (a) the IUPAP Commission and (b) to the IUPAP Secretariat (or designate).

C. IUPAP Commission

The role of the IUPAP Commission is to provide an assessment of the science, the international character of the meeting, and the planning within the IUPAP guidelines for sponsored conferences. The Commissions should forward their recommendations to the Secretariat (or designate) not later than August 31. If more than one conference is recommended by the commission for sponsorship in a given year, the conferences must be ranked in order of priority.

The commission is charged with planning ahead and placing conferences in the context of long term plans.

D. IUPAP Executive Council

The IUPAP Executive Council meets in late September or early October of each year, at which meeting sponsorship of conferences is decided and grants, are approved.The following matters will be considered by the Executive Council in deciding whether sponsorship will be granted to a proposed conference:

•  the recommendation of the appropriate IUPAP Commission and local liaison committee;

•  the density of international conferences planned by the Commission, by other Commissions on similar topics or by other Unions on similar topics, and the synchronization of dates;

•  the current situation concerning the free circulation of scientists in the proposed conference site.

When the Executive Council has met and made the decisions on sponsorship, the information will be communicated to the organising committee by the relevant commission.

The President and Secretary-General of the Union, in consultation with the Commission Chair, may withdraw sponsorship of a conference, should extreme circumstances arise subsequent to its having been given warrant. Such action usually results from problems of free circulation of scientists (see section 4, below). 

4. Implementation of IUPAP Policy on Free Circulation of Scientist

A. The free movement of scientists for international scientific purposes is one of the most important aims of IUPAP. IUPAP has made this policy the object of repeated resolutions, and adheres to the declarations of ICSU in this respect.

B. While a host country may not be expected to declare in advance that any scientist will be admitted to any IUPAP-sponsored meeting, a minimum commitment is expected that the host country will declare in advance that individuals will not be excluded solely on ground of national origin or citizenship. 

C. While it s a right of the host country to decline an application on personal grounds, the test of the sincerity of such a commitment (declared or undeclared) is the country's willingness to allow participation of other scientist from the same country should they show an interest in the IUPAP sponsored conference..

D. If no commitment is received from official sources in the host country, IUPAP will normally proceed as if the declaration has been made, and will plan the conference on the basis of its own policy. In this, it is guided by recent experience with the host country.

If, subsequently, scientists are excluded from the host country on grounds of national origin, this fact will be publicised in IUPAP documents and reported to the ICSU Committee on Free Circulation of Scientists. IUPAP will not consider future events in that country until satisfactory changes have been made. 

E. If, after a conference has been granted IUPAP sponsorship, a host country issues a declaration that it will not grant visas to citizens of a particular country, then IUPAP sponsorship will normally be withdrawn. IUPAP recognises that scientists do not, in general, approve of restrictive visa practices. It therefore seeks redress by correction of the visa practices.

F. IUPAP recognises that individual scientists have a responsibility to allow sufficient time for administrative procedures to take place. To this end, applications for visas should be forwarded by participants to the appropriate consular offices at least three months prior to the date of the conference.

G. IUPAP has resolved that the following statement, as a standard declaration, shall be published by the organisers in any circular or announcement and in the proceedings of the conference: 

"To secure IUPAP sponsorship, the organisers have provided assurance that (Conference name) will be conducted in accordance with IUPAP principles as stated in the IUPAP resolution passed by the General Assembly in 2008. In particular, no bona fide scientist will be excluded from participation on the grounds of national origin, nationality, or political considerations unrelated to science."