Call for Proposals to Host useR! 2023/2024 (Hybrid)

The R Foundation Conference Committee (RFCC) invites proposals to host a useR! conference in 2023 or 2024. The call for proposals is open to hosts worldwide, deadline Wednesday 30 November 2022.

The useR! conferences are the main meetings for the R user and developer community. There are two main aspects of useR! conferences:

  1. Having substantial involvement from academic partners.
  2. Having diversity and inclusion at the heart.

useR! 2023/2024 will be a hybrid conference, enabling participation in person or online.

The R Consortium is supporting useR! by underwriting core organizational costs that are provided or managed by the Linux Foundation Events Team.

Selection process

Interested parties are asked to submit an outline proposal to by Wednesday 30 November 2022, following the guidance below.

If possible, the R Foundation Conference Committee will select hosts for 2023 and/or 2024 based on the outline bids.

If required, there will be a second stage of selection, involving an interview with the organizing team and/or a more detailed bid.

All teams submitting a proposal will be informed of the outcome of the first stage of selection by Friday 9 December 2022.

Essential functions of an organizing team

The organizing team will typically comprise members of universities and possibly other organizations. They are responsible for:

  • Selecting a program committee and keynote speakers in agreement with the RFCC.
  • Managing the abstract and tutorial submissions process.
  • Establishing the conference program.
  • Obtaining sponsorship for the conference and providing promotional opportunities for sponsors, e.g. via conference booths.
  • Maintaining the conference website.
  • Advertising the conference via social media, local societies, etc.
  • Organizing social activities during the conference (e.g. a dinner, or online social gatherings).
  • Ensuring diversity and inclusion practices are at the core of the conference design, e.g. publishing a diversity statement and accessibility guidelines.
  • Arranging for a trained code of conduct team.

Work with the Linux Foundation Events management team to:

  • Establish a budget for the conference, work to keep the event within budget.
  • Secure the venue.
  • Furnish the venue as required.
  • Provide catering and dining accommodations.
  • Arrange for hotels and other accommodations for onsite attendees.
  • Arrange for diversity and inclusion resources e.g. childcare.
  • Arrange audio visual equipment, on premise internet, and online technology.

The support of the R Consortium is intended to ensure the organizing team can depend on professional event management services to reduce the burden of organizing such an event. However, note that the R Consortium will not underwrite costs without the professional management of the Linux Foundation Events Team. It is also expected that organizers aim to cover these costs through sponsorship and registration fees, the support of the R Consortium is for insurance, to enable planning to proceed smoothly.

We recommend that potential organizers read the useR! Knowledgebase, which provides useful information on organizing a useR! conference, though some parts may be outsourced to the events team.

Outline Proposal

The outline proposal should give an overview of the team’s plans for useR! 2023/2024 in no more than 5 pages.

The plans should be based on 500-1000 in-person participants, with a typical useR! format (one day of tutorials, three or four days of conference with plenary sessions, parallel sessions, poster session(s), and one or more social events). Teams are welcome to share any ideas they have for new initiatives.

The proposal should include:

  1. An overview of the organizing team.

    • Who are the people leading the bid?
    • What is their scientific/technical background, their career stages?
    • Which universities/businesses/R-communities/organizations are represented?

    We suggest taking a look at the areas of responsibility in the useR! knowledgebase (Roles and Responsibilities section): would the team have people for each of these areas? Where do you need help from the Linux Foundation Events team?

  2. A description of the hybrid mode of the conference, see e.g. hybrid mode definitions.

    • Will participants attending online and in-person have access to every part of the program (e.g. keynotes, regular sessions, tutorials, social events)?
    • How do you plan to foster interactions between participants online and on site?
    • On which parts do you need help from the Linux Foundation Events team?
  3. Initial ideas for the program: do you have ideas for keynote speakers or themes?

  4. Key dates: when would the conference potentially take place? The dates are usually between June to September, avoiding major statistical computing meetings and local/major international holidays.

  5. Location:

    • Basic information on the host city, e.g. suitability for participants across all dimensions of diversity, travel connections, affordability.
    • Potential venues
  6. General pitch: what are the main reasons to select your proposal, are there other factors that support your bid?

Remember - the following aspects are required:

  • Involvement of academic institutions and R community members in the organizing team
  • Taking into account diversity and inclusion practices in all spaces of the organization: the organizing team, venue/platforms, ideas for keynotes, budget, and others
  • Including a strong online component at the conference

Next stages

There is much to consider when planning a conference. Below are some of the aspects that selected hosts would need to consider early on and further detail may be asked about these aspects if a second stage of selection is required.

  • Details of the potential venue(s), e.g. accessibility, room capacities, potential for hosting satellite events.
  • Plans to facilitate the virtual component, e.g. how different time zones will be accommodated, which online tools may be used and information on their accessibility.
  • Plans for other tools that may be used, e.g. to handle registration/submission, again considering accessibility/usability.
  • Plans to minimize environmental impact.
  • Plans to directly support inclusion, e.g. childcare, events for underrepresented groups.
  • Plans for legal and financial support, e.g. managing sponsor contracts, providing a bank account. This is usually provided by a host institution or the events team.
  • Financial plans. Approximate budget: expected costs for venue, audio-visual requirements (including captioning), catering, code of conduct training, etc. Potential sponsors.
  • Draft timeline for organizing the conference. (See example in the knowledgebase)

Relationship with the R Foundation Conference Committee (RFCC)

Before submission: The members of the RFCC can be contacted for questions regarding the proposal: .

During the organization process: The organizing team should maintain regular contact with the RFCC, so that they are aware of progress, particularly regarding the conference program. The RFCC will nominate a delegate to represent them in the organizing team if there is no member of the R Foundation in the team already.

The RFCC can provide support by sharing knowledge and materials from previous years, though most of it is already in the useR! Knowledgebase. The organizers should update the knowledgebase and the official gitlab repository, sharing their experience and material to help future organizers. The RFCC will also provide input regarding the selection of the program committee and keynote speakers, giving the final approval for these aspects. However, the organizing team is responsible for the day-to-day organization in coordination with the events team.

The R Foundation grants the organizers the right to use the useR! branding. It will encourage R Foundation members to attend the meeting and advertise the meeting on its website, mailing lists and Twitter account. The useR! conference not only provides an event for the R community but also a source of income for the R Foundation. Therefore the organizing team is expected to share a reasonable proportion of the profits from the conference with the R Foundation.

Relationship with R Core

The useR! conference has a unique opportunity to benefit from contributions from R Core members. One keynote slot is reserved for an R Core speaker and R Core will liaise with the conference organizers regarding other ways that R Core can contribute to the meeting.

Relationship with R Consortium and the Linux Foundation Events Team

Selected hosts will be put directly in contact with the R Consortium and Linux Events Team contacts, to determine how to divide the tasks and how to interact. If there is a second stage of selection, shortlisted teams will have the opportunity to discuss with the Linux Events Team how they might work together in order to make more detailed plans.


The R Foundation Conference Committee welcomes queries from potential hosts while the call is open. We are keen to hear from any interested parties if they wish to informally discuss hosting before submitting a proposal. Examples of successful proposals from previous calls can be provided on request, though note the process has varied and previous calls were for an in-person only format.