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Call for Proposals: Data Science and AI Mini-Symposia

2023-2024 Season

The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) is seeking proposals for data science and AI research mini-symposia from MIDAS affiliated faculty and U-M units.


MIDAS aims to enable high-impact and innovative data science and AI research through these mini-symposia. We collaborate with faculty members and campus units to organize 3-4 such events each semester. Each event focuses on one research theme, and appeals to an interdisciplinary audience. Each mini-symposium includes a public session with invited speakers, and faculty research discussion sessions.

Who May Apply:

All MIDAS affiliate faculty members may be lead organizers. An individual may participate as the lead organizer / co-organizer on only one proposal.  Anyone who is not yet a MIDAS affiliate should join before submitting the proposal, using this application form. Postdocs, graduate students and staff members can be co-organizers, but not lead organizers.

We also welcome campus units to propose joint mini-symposia with MIDAS.

Please feel free to email midas-contact@umich.edu if you would like to discuss your idea prior to submission.

Important Dates:

  • 11:59 pm, May 31, 2023: Proposal due
  • 11:59 pm, June 15, 2023:  Awards announced
  • June 30, 2023:  Event dates finalized and preparations begin
  • Aug. 31, 2023:  Speakers confirmed for all events

Why You Should Apply:

  • Invite your favorite speakers to U-M with MIDAS footing the bill and expanding the audience reach!
  • Develop momentum on campus for research themes that you care about.
  • Develop intellectual products, such as reviews or white papers, together with speakers and faculty collaborators.
  • Connect with the speakers and researchers on campus for collaboration.
  • Build collaboration between your unit and MIDAS.

Scientific Scope:

Each mini-symposium should focus on a significant research theme where data science and AI could enable breakthroughs. The theme can be a methodology or applications of one or more methodologies. The theme should be broad enough to appeal to an interdisciplinary audience, but narrow enough to allow in-depth research exploration. The 2022-2023 mini-symposia can serve as examples:

The Format of the Mini-Symposium:

  • Must happen during the fall or winter semester; i.e. cannot be during the (summer) break.
  • Featured talks open to the public by ~4 external speakers who are prominent researchers for the theme of the event, with additional internal speakers if needed;
  • A faculty research discussion (such as a half-day in-person workshop; but there is flexibility in the format) with the goal of building ideas and collaboration;
  • Additional side meetings and workshops that you think may be helpful.

Award Information and Awardee Responsibilities:

4-5 proposals will be chosen for each semester.  MIDAS will:

  • Cover the cost of travel, hotel and food for external speakers, the cost of event venue, hosting of faculty meetings with speakers, hosting of the faculty research discussion session, and refreshments for the public session;
  • Provide logistical support, including booking venue and travel, and on-site staff support;
  • Advertise the event to the campus community.

Faculty and / or unit organizers will be expected to:

  • Invite external and internal speakers;
  • Convene U-M faculty for the research discussion;
  • Lead the design of the event program, with input from the MIDAS symposium program committee if needed;
  • Ensure that the event planning happens in a timely manner, and the event takes place within the timeframe agreed upon with MIDAS.

Review Process and Criteria:

MIDAS symposium program committee will evaluate the proposals based on:

  • The scientific significance of the proposed theme;
  • The interdisciplinarity of the theme;
  • The potential of the event to stimulate research discussions that will lead to innovative ideas and collaborations to address significant scientific questions.

If needed, we may discuss with the faculty organizers to fine tune the theme statement, for example to broaden it or narrow.


For questions, please contact: midas-contact@umich.edu.