Call for Proposals to Host useR! 2021

The R Foundation Conference Committee invites proposals to host the useR! 2021 conference. The call for proposals is open to hosts worldwide.

A distinctive feature of useR! is its emphasis on innovative contribution; as such we require all proposals to have substantial involvement from academic partners and to be led by members of the R community.

Further details are given below. Please submit your outline proposal to by Friday 01 November 2019.


Organizing team

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

  • Providing a venue and organizing all facilities required by conference events: furniture, audio-visual equipment, etc.
  • Providing catering for conference participants (at least two coffee breaks and one lunch per day, plus at least one evening social/poster event).
  • Arranging a conference dinner.
  • Arranging accommodation or providing information/reductions on accommodation.
  • Maintaining the conference website.
  • Managing conference registration, providing conference badges etc.
  • Advertising the conference via social media, local societies, etc.
  • Obtaining sponsorship for the conference and providing promotional opportunities for sponsors, e.g. via conference booths.
  • Ensuring smooth running of the conference, e.g. organizing a welcome desk, room helpers etc.
  • Selecting a program committee and keynote speakers in agreement with the RFCC.

It is common to rely on paid support for some or even many of these aspects. For this reason, the “local” team can involve people spread across a wide geographic area, as long as there is sufficient oversight.

Relationship with the R Foundation

The local organizing team should maintain regular contact with the RFCC, so that they are aware of progress, particularly regarding the conference program. The organizing committee should include at least one member of the R Foundation - the RFCC will nominate a member to be added if this is not the case. The program committee should include at least two members of the R Foundation.

The RFCC can provide support by sharing knowledge and materials from previous years (e.g. website template, sponsor contacts that have agreed to their information being passed on, etc). Materials are shared via a GitLab repository that the local organizers should keep up-to-date. The RFCC will also provide input regarding the selection of the program committee and invited contributors. However the local team are responsible for the day-to-day organization.

The R Foundation grants the local 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 major source of income for the R Foundation. Therefore the local 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 useR! conference hubs

For reasons of sustainability and accessibility, we are in the process of changing to a more distributed conference model, with one venue hosting the main useR! conference and “useR! hubs” running in parallel on other continents. This is a work in progress and we hope to run a pilot event in Europe in 2020 to test and develop the idea. The main conference will live stream keynotes that can be incorporated into the program at the conference hubs and provide unedited video of talks that conference hubs can use within a short time frame (e.g. the following day). In addition, it is expected that the main conference will live stream some of its keynotes from one or more of the conference hubs, so that all parties benefit from being part of a wider event.

We expect these changes to have only a small impact on the logistics of the main conference. However, since this is an ongoing, experimental process we welcome hosts that are keen to cooperate with us in shaping and developing this new model. The RFCC will consider the selection of hub hosts not too close to the main venue once this has first been determined.

Proposal process

Interested parties are asked to submit an outline proposal. Based on these proposals, the R Foundation Conference Committee will select a short-list of teams, who will be asked to prepare a more detailed bid. The key dates are as follows:

Event Date
Teams submit outline proposal Friday 1 November 2019
R Foundation Conference Committee select short-list Friday 22 November 2019
Short-listed teams submit detailed proposal Friday 20 December 2019
R Foundation selects host Friday 18 January 2020

Outline Proposal

The outline proposal should give an overview of the team’s plans for useR! 2021 in less than 4 pages.

The plans should be based on 1000 attendees, with a typical useR! format (one day of tutorials, three days of conference with plenary sessions, ~6 parallel sessions, poster session(s), and a conference dinner). Teams are welcome to share any ideas for they have for new intiatives.

The proposal should include:

  • An overview of the team: who are the people leading the bid, what is their scientific/technical background, which universities/businesses/organizations are represented?
  • An overview of the host city: why is it suitable for useR!, how easy is it to get to?
  • Potential venue(s): what are the main facilities/features?
  • Potential accommodation: what type of accommodation is available, what is the typical cost of budget, 3* and 4* accommodation per night in mid-July?
  • Approximate budget: what costs are roughly expected for venue, basic audio-visual requirements and catering?
  • General pitch: what are the main reasons to select your proposal, are there other factors that support your bid?