Proposal Guidelines


The Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach runs weekly Workshops with about 45-48 participants. Sometimes there are two Workshops of half the size (about 24 participants) taking place in one week. In addition, there are fixed weeks for Mini-Workshops, consisting of about 15-17 participants, every year.

Arrival is on Sunday afternoon (see Practical Hints) and departure is on Saturday morning or Friday evening. Participation in a Workshop is only possible by invitation of the Director, and on suggestion of the organizers. The Institute offers accommodation free of charge. Travel expenses cannot be refunded (with the possible exception of special grants).

Proposal of a Workshop

There is no specific form. A typical size is 3-5 pages containing:

  • Title
  • Proposed organizers
  • Abstract
  • Mathematics subject classification
  • Description of the aim
  • Preliminary list of proposed participants

There should be 2-4 proposed organizers (with full address and email address, please), and one of the organizers must come from outside Germany. The Institute wishes to increase the number of female participants. In view of this policy, proposals with at least one female organizer are strongly encouraged.

Please include a short abstract of not more than half a page. In case your proposal will be approved, we shall publish the abstract on our homepage prior to the Workshop. Moreover, the abstract can be used afterwards for the Oberwolfach Report of the Workshop, with regard to the listing in MathSciNet and Zentralblatt MATH. Hence, title and abstract should be in English.

Please also include the classification (primary and secondary), according to the latest Mathematics Subject Classification Scheme used by MathSciNet and Zentralblatt.

Of course, the most important part is a description of the aim of the Workshop including new developments, thematical focus, possibly special lectures of some distinguished expert, ... In case of further questions concerning the proposal it may be helpful to contact a member of the Oberwolfach Scientific Committee who is close to the subject in advance. In some cases, it may be attractive to propose a half-size Workshop.

A preliminary list of about 50 (25 for a half-size Workshop) proposed participants (name and city are sufficient, please indicate also gender) is very welcome. Submission of the curriculum vitae and publication lists of the organizers is not necessary. Note: During the recent evaluation of the MFO in 2016, the current rate of about 15% female participation in Oberwolfach Workshops was criticized as being too low. Please ensure that you consider the full spectrum of qualified senior and junior female researchers in your area in preparing your application.

You may suggest or exclude dates for your Workshop (this will not affect the decision), and we will do our best to realize your wish in case of a positive decision. Please note that the chances are better to realize a proposed date which is not in summer. Hence, if you make suggestions, please also suggest at least three weeks which are not in summer. We thank you for your understanding that we are not able to guarantee suggested dates in case of a positive decision.

The deadline for proposals of Workshops concerning the year after next year is end of July.

The classification and evaluation procedure then starts, and the decision on all proposals will take place at the annual meeting of the Oberwolfach Scientific Committee in October. You will be notified about the decision in October/November. In case of a positive decision, we shall also inform you on the date of your Workshop.

Please note that even proposals of Workshops which have taken place several times in Oberwolfach are evaluated each time individually and independently by the scientific committee. Criteria like the team of organizers, hot and topical subjects and recurrent renewals of organizing teams play a role in the decision of the Scientific Committee. Because of the restricted capacity at Oberwolfach, the committee can in some cases approve a Workshop of half size (25 participants) instead of a full-size Workshop.

Please send a proposal for an Oberwolfach Workshop to the Director of the Institute:

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Huisken
Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach
Schwarzwaldstr. 9-11 (Lorenzenhof)
77709 Oberwolfach-Walke

This can be done preferably by e-mail to, with attachments in pdf format, but also by mail or fax (+49 7834 979 55). The organizer sending us the proposal may sign on behalf of all organizers in the proposal. Further correspondence of the MFO will only be sent to the organizer who is responsible for the communication and coordination with his co-organizers. After receipt of your proposal, we shall send you a short confirmation.

Proposal of a mini-workshop

Besides the size (15-16 participants) the only formal difference to the proposal of a Workshop is that there are fixed weeks for the Mini-Workshops. You can find these slots, together with the deadlines for application, under the item Mini-Workshops. Please include in your proposal the slot to which you refer, the deadline is about six month prior to the proposed date.

As the Mini-Workshops mainly aim at recent hot topics, the decision process runs very fast. We shall inform you about 3 weeks after the deadline on the decision. Sometimes, for example for reasons of capacity, a Mini-Workshop which is approved may be realized only at the next slot. Hence, please inform us also on other possible slots in case that the next slot should not be possible for you.