Academic workshops

How we prioritize workshop reservation requests

To better manage the high volume of applications we receive, we are implementing a new process of workshop scheduling to introduce a new scientific review component.  

To facilitate this, the workshop application has been expanded to include a summary (maximum 200 words) describing the academic focus of the workshop, why the workshop is timely, information about who is expected to attend and the institutions they represent, and whether trainees will be included.  

A Review Committee consisting of approximately five members from diverse academic backgrounds will evaluate and prioritize applications with the overall goal of developing an annual workshop series that is academically cutting-edge, attracting a diverse group of international participants and making important contributions to research collaboration and training. The Review Committee will also consider the need to balance applications from long-standing recurrent workshops with applications from groups that are new to Bellairs, and to maintain a broad spectrum of research areas in the overall program. The Review Committee shall be chaired by an academic member of the Bellairs Board of Directors and its members should hold academic positions (full-time, associate, or adjunct) at McGill.  

Workshop applications will be prioritized by the Review Committee into the following groups:  

PRIORITY 1: Approximately 8-10 applications would be assigned Priority 1. These would be the strongest applications, addressing exciting research topics, bringing together top scientists at McGill and around the world, and providing unique training opportunities for junior participants.  

PRIORITY 2: The other applications would be assigned Priority 2, if they meet the academic, diversity, and training standards expected by the Committee and if they are seen to contribute positively to the overall balance of workshops. 

PRIORITY 3: Applications would be assigned Priority 3 if they fall short in one or more areas. 

PRIORITY 0: In rare cases the Committee may assign Priority 0 to an application if it found that hosting the workshop could be detrimental to the mission or reputation of Bellairs and/or McGill.  

Review Committee members will recuse themselves from prioritizing any workshop with which they have a personal interest.  

After prioritization is completed, the scheduling of workshops will continue to be performed by the Bellairs Operations Manager and her team. Priority 1 workshops will be scheduled first, and every effort will be made to provide them with their preferred dates. The remaining slots would then be offered to Priority 2 applications, and then to Priority 3 applications once as many Priority 2 applications as possible have been accommodated. Priority 0 applications will not be considered for scheduling.  

To continue to improve community outreach, the full slate of scheduled workshops will be provided to interested parties in Barbados for advice as to which topics might be attractive for a public lecture. The organizers of the workshops chosen in this manner will then be asked to identify a participant who is willing to do this.  

It is important that organizers of workshops receive responses from Bellairs in a timely manner to facilitate their own detailed planning. We anticipate that the Review Committee can complete its prioritization exercise in the two weeks following the application deadline.  Scheduling of Priority 1 workshops will be completed very soon afterward, and scheduling of the remaining workshops should be completed within one month after the application deadline. 

The Chair of the Review Committee will make a presentation to the Board at its annual December meeting about its process and decisions. 

Confirmation timeline for workshop requests

Workshop organizers are requested to submit a reservation inquiry via this website. Organizers will receive a notification of receipt. The timeline for confirming workshop reservation requests is set out below.

Step 1

Reservation requests received

Requests accepted until 30 April for the following high season. Workshop organizers specify their preferred dates and one set of alternative dates.

Step 2

Selection process

Early May: The Review Committee evaluates and prioritizes applications.

Step 3


Mid-May and onwards: Workshops confirmed on a rolling basis starting with workshops designated as Priority 1. The remaining slots would then be offered to Priority 2 applications, and then to Priority 3 applications.

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