Title would be the same one that is used on announcements, publicity, and in any correspondence regarding the
Subject and Objectives
This section should include a summary of the scientific topics to be discussed, the objectives of the
the relevance of the scientific issues, including alternate views. It is critical that the proposal describe
significance and scientific rationale clearly, concisely, and with a minimum of discipline jargon.
Statement Explaining How the Conference Proposal Will Meet the Purpose and Objectives of a Penrose
What new ideas, unresolved controversy, or potential future significant advances pertaining to the subject
the need for the conference? Does the conference encompass a broad interdisciplinary subject matter, and
bring together various earth and planetary science communities both within and beyond GSA? Is there a
diverse list of potential key speakers and key participants (including international, gender, and
Preliminary List of Keynote Speakers
Include a list of key speakers and their field of interest, with an indication of their willingness and
ability to participate. This indication normally would be in the form of letters to the convener from the
key speakers. This is a particularly critical item in the review of the proposal and must be included
because the success of a conference is largely a function of who participates. It may be useful to
distinguish between keynote speakers and key participants. A keynote speaker is invited to lead off a
meeting session with a presentation that reviews the state of knowledge and defines the scope and agenda of
the session. A handful of excellent keynote presentations can greatly enhance the success of a meeting. Key
participants form a broader category that includes not only keynote speakers but other participants whose
presence the conveners believe is sure to enhance the meeting. The total number of invited participants
should not exceed 30% of the total attendance, thus leaving at least 70% of the space available for open
In preparing a conference proposal, prospective conveners may contact colleagues to build support by
soliciting expressions of interest in the conference. In so doing, prospective conveners should recognize
that a person thus contacted is likely to construe the solicitation as an invitation to participate in the
conference. The number of such solicitations therefore should be limited accordingly.
Preliminary List of Supporting Organizations/Communities
As the primary sponsor of the Penrose Conferences, GSA welcomes cosponsorship as a logical means to promote
interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary participation in the conference. As a self-supporting conference,
cosponsorships are another resource to support conference participants. This can be in the form of financial
or other in-kind support. If the cosponsor has guidelines, and if they are available, a copy should be
submitted with the proposal. It is the responsibility of the conveners to check those guidelines for
compatibility with the GSA rules and guidelines.
A Preliminary Outline of Sessions
A preliminary outline of the schedule is important because it forces careful thought about relevance,
organization, and treatment of subject matter. The schedule might include tentative titles and speakers for
key presentations, as well as some indication of the gross structure of the program or how the time will be
used. Meeting structure should allow sufficient time for input and discussion for all participants, not just
key speakers. Such information permits evaluation of the reasonableness of the conference content in terms
of the time available. Time must be scheduled for formal and informal discussions and for poster sessions if
these are planned. If a field trip is included, explain how it fits into the topic of the Conference.
The geographic location will be dictated by a field trip plan, and little choice will be available. For
conferences without associated field trips, a wider range of possibilities obviously will be possible, and
alternate sites should be identified. There should be a balance with regard to a location that lends itself
to keeping costs down and at the same time attracts attendees.
Provide preferred and alternate dates (or at least a preference for the time of the year). In selecting the
dates, refer to the appropriate discussion in the guidelines.
Conference Participants and Size
If the anticipated number is above 90 or below 50, an explanation and justification should be included. A
statement on diverse participants (international, gender, and career level) who might be considered and the
source and amount of anticipated financial support for their participation. For most conferences, a diverse
list of participants is essential for success, but in many cases, the expense of participation, especially
for overseas travel, is prohibitive. Potential outside sources of funding for partially defraying the
expenses of selected participants should be identified, but no official contact with the source should be
made until after the proposal has been approved.
GSA is committed to making Conferences accessible and inclusive to all people interested in attending.
Conveners should be aware and prepared for the possible use of auxiliary aids or services that may be needed
by some participants because of a disability.
Provide a description of the nature and logistics of any field trip that is a suggested part of the
conference. How and when will the trip fit into the program? Generally, what is its length and destination?
What forms of transportation will be needed? Will there be any difficulty in arranging this transportation?
For conferences with field trips, an itinerary must be included.
Anticipated Conference Reports for Publications
Include a statement of intent regarding publishing of a GSA Special Paper series or themed issue in
Geosphere. Each option requires a proposal to the respective science editors of those publications.
Include a statement from the conveners indicating their willingness to abide by the Penrose Conference
General Rules and Guidelines and the GSA Event Code of Conduct. The conveners understand the conference is
to be self-supporting. Consequently, the budget (which is developed by the meetings coordinator in
conjunction with the conveners) will typically include meals, lodging, field-trip transportation, and
audio-visual equipment. If applicable, international conferences MUST list the names of any local
coordinators or destination management companies and any anticipated service fees. GSA staff assumes
responsibility for contracting all services required for the conference.
Convener Curriculum Vitae
For each convener, list any research-oriented conferences or similar meetings that the convener has been
associated with organizing or convening. Curriculum vitae for each of the conveners, including telephone
numbers, email, and a list of publications and projects that qualify each for leading the proposed
conference proposals are essential to approval.
Preliminary Draft of Budget
A draft of the meeting budget should be included with your proposal. Items for the budget include:
- Lodging (based on double occupancy)
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day)
- Facility/meeting room rental (including audio visual, internet, and poster boards)
- Transportation and fuel costs
- Field guides
- Miscellaneous items (park entrance fees, shipping, and supplies)
This is not a complete list and is for reference only. GSA will approve the final registration fees for the
conference. GSA staff assumes responsibility for contracting all services required for the conference, and
conveners are strongly advised against making formal contacts with any vendors regarding contracts.
If you need additional information or a sample budget, please contact Lindsey Henslee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional questions please contact:
Lindsey Henslee, email@example.com
The Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place, P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
Revised April 2019