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Proposing a Conference to the McNeil Center

The next deadline to propose a conference is Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

The McNeil Center invites proposals for academic conferences to be sponsored or co-sponsored by the Center. Proposals are accepted at any time, but are reviewed only twice each year on or soon after the biannual deadlines of 1 April and 1 October. Proposals will be reviewed by the Director and the Advisory Council’s Conference Planning Committee, with decisions announced within two months of each deadline. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals in advance with the Director or a member of the committee. Proposed programs should be envisioned to take place approximately two years in the future.

Applications must be submitted electronically as pdf files to, and include the following:

A cover sheet containing the following information:

  • Proposed title for the conference.
  • Names of conference conveners.
  • Potential and confirmed members of the program committee.
  • A brief estimate of total anticipated expenses.
  • Committed and potential financial support from universities, departments, institutions, or granting agencies.
    • Applicants are normally expected to solicit support from their home institutions.
    • Penn faculty applicants should visit the SAS Conference Support page (
    • Please note that institutional collaboration is central to the Center’s mission and that the Center is rarely in a financial position to provide sole funding for conferences.
  • A proposal of no more than 1,000 words incorporating the following details:
    • A description of the conference topic and an explanation of its significance.
    • The proposed format and scale of the event, including an estimate of the number of participants, duration of the conference, and possible venues.
    • Potential and confirmed invited participants.
    • Intended outcomes. (The Center encourages applicants to broaden consideration of outcomes beyond publication of an edited volume or special journal issue to include such projects as museum exhibits, educational outreach, or expansion of target audiences.)
    • A draft call for papers not exceeding 300 words.
    • A brief c.v. for each convener.