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Composition of a proposal

Since 1990, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics has made its name as a place where the international computer science research community meets in seclusion with little distraction in a friendly and nourishing environment, engaging in research and brainstorming, sharing knowledge and insights, collaborating and interacting with colleagues. Schloss Dagstuhl’s renowned seminar and workshop program owes its success to the world-class researchers and scientists who, with great vision, propose and commit to organize scientific seminars and workshops on a variety of topics, from the classical and well-established areas within computer science to the cutting-edge and new topics, often relating different areas within computer science or also to the outside.

Twice a year, Schloss Dagstuhl welcomes proposals for seminars and workshops. These proposals are evaluated by the Dagstuhl’s Scientific Directorate in a review process that is similar to the review process for papers submitted to a conference. A proposal is to convince the reviewers that the intended seminar is likely to be successful, i.e. the topics are scientifically interesting, an appropriate collection of researchers will attend the seminar, and some sort of impact of the seminar can be expected.

If accepted, the seminar will be hosted in the seclusion of Dagstuhl’s well known, own, dedicated facilities in Wadern, on the western fringe of Germany. Moreover, the Dagstuhl office will assume most of the organizational / administrative work, and the Dagstuhl scientific staff will support the organizers in preparing, running, and documenting the event. Thanks to subsidies, the costs are very low for participants.

In contrast to conference program committees, which are typically ad hoc, Dagstuhl’s Scientific Directorate is more stable, with members serving several years and accumulating experience over this time. Moreover, they and the whole process enjoy considerable permanent staff support. Still, every member of the Directorate will end up reading and evaluating a fair number of proposals over a relatively short amount of time, besides their usual professional workload. Please keep this in mind when writing your proposal.

In the following sections, you can find information on what is expected of a proposal in terms of content and form. Please also read the information on the general concept of Dagstuhl Seminars and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops. In the following text, "seminar" denotes both of these two forms as we have done already in the previous paragraphs. While these two concepts are quite different, the proposal application process for both is quite similar. In case of acceptance, applicants will also be named the organizers of the seminar. This is why here we refer to applicants as organizers.

A seminar proposal is submitted in English and consists of the following parts: 



Part A: Metadata

The metadata formally summarizes technical information on the requested seminar and consists of the following points:

  1. Information about the organizers
    • Name / Title / Gender 
    • Affiliation
    • E-mail address 
    • Homepage (optional) 
  2. Seminar title
  3. Type of the seminar
  4. Information on the size and duration of the requested seminar
  5. Classification of the subject
  6. Keywords
  7. Reference to the predecessor seminar, if applicable
  8. If the current application is a revision of a rejected application, reference to the original application number
  9. A short abstract

 A detailed explanation of each entry can be found here



Part B: Proposal Text

The proposal text must be written in English and should clearly describe the following aspects of the proposed seminar:

  • For resubmissions: Overview of what changed, as well as a discussion of the feedback received and how you addressed it
  • Summary of the field(s) of research within which the topic of the proposed seminar lies
  • Description of the seminar topics
  • Composition of the organizing team
  • Expected results (outcome) of the seminar
  • Ideas about the structure of the seminar
  • Difference to other Dagstuhl Seminars within related topics, in particular those within the same topic
  • Conferences and research projects within related topics, and why it is justified to hold such a seminar at Dagstuhl
  • For Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops: A concept for the Dagstuhl Manifesto and/or a plan of how it would be created

A detailed explanation of each entry can be found here.

The proposal text is to be submitted as one PDF document, please in A4 format and without dynamic elements. Other than that, there is no limitation regarding the format. Our applications are typically 5 pages long. Shorter applications are not necessarily worse, and longer ones are not necessarily better. Please keep in mind that the reviewers have to read many proposals.



Part C: Invitee List

Each proposal must be accompanied by a proposed list of participants to be invited. The reviewers will take the submitted invitee list into account when evaluating the proposal, especially taking into consideration whether the list is balanced and diverse with regards to gender, geographical, and experience of the intended participants. A detailed explanation regarding this list can be found here.



Part D: Organizers' CVs

An application must include a curriculum vitae of each organizer, giving a brief overview of their scientific career and containing references to specific services and awards from the scientific community. A detailed explanation regarding this list can be found here.



Part E: Seminar Date

Please specify your preferred dates and block-out dates to avoid overlapping with other conferences and other commitments of the organizers. In general, we will take these dates into account. A detailed explanation regarding this element can be found here.

Submission Process and Review Process

Below you will find information regarding the proposal submission as well as the review process.



Proposal Submission

Applications for Dagstuhl Seminars and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops can be submitted twice a year via our electronic application system DOSA. The deadlines are as follows:

  • April 15 of each year – the DOSA application system opens, in general, around April 1 of that year
  • November 1 of each year – the DOSA application system opens, in general, around October 15 of that year


As the application phase starts, DOSA's website will provide the following information:

  • Time-period containing the seminar slots that are to be filled in this application round.
  • Important dates and deadlines for the submission process: While the above mentioned deadlines (15 April / 1 November) for submission of the metadata (Part A) are fixed, the deadline for the submission of the application text (Part B), invitee list (Part C), and organizer CV's (Part D) are usually about a week after the first deadline. The proposed seminar dates (Part E) can be edited substantially longer.
  • Possible further technical details


Please enter the proposal metadata (Part A) and the proposed seminar dates (Part E) using the forms of DOSA; please upload the proposal text (Part B) and organizer CV's as PDF-files via DOSA; and finally please upload the invitee list (Part C) as CSV-file (UTF-8 encoded).


Review Process

All applications are peer-reviewed by Dagstuhl's Scientific Directorate and external reviewers. A decision will be made at a meeting of the Scientific Directorate.


Notifying the Organizers

The organizers are notified about the decision regarding their proposal in two to three steps:

  1. Notification of acceptance or rejection of the application
  2. If the seminar has been approved, the assigned seminar date is provided. (This can be done together with step 1 or step 3.)
  3. Formal notification letter together with opinions and comments from the reviewers


Revision of Conditionally Accepted Seminars

Sometimes, a proposal is accepted under the condition of a few small revisions. In this case, please revise your proposal according to the reviewers' comments and the instructions provided in the notification letter. The revised proposal should be submitted as soon as possible but at the latest by the given deadline. Please understand that the scheduling of all seminars hinges on your timely response.

If desired, a reply to the reviewers' criticism can be included in the proposal text.


Resubmission of Not Accepted Proposals

  • In the case a proposal is not accepted, you are of course welcome to resubmit a revised version. But please take the reviewers' advice and suggestions into account. Note that the revised proposal is submitted as a new proposal, but the proposal number of the original application should be provided in the respective field in the metadata. Insufficient revision or the occurrence of new conceptual weaknesses can lead to a renewed rejection of the application.
  • We strongly recommend to explicitly describe how the advice and suggestions have been taken into account. If desired, a reply to the reviewers' criticism can be included as well.
  • If explicitly mentioned in the comments of the Scientific Directorate, a fifth organizer may be nominated.

* Detailed Explanation of the Proposal Components *

Part A: Metadata

The following describes in detail each part of the proposal metadata.

A sample template of the DOSA form is available here.


A.1 – Organizers

  • An application is submitted jointly by two to a maximum of four scientists from different institutions. If two of the applicants have the same affiliation, we ask for a valid scientific justification for this deviation from the above rule.
  • An appropriate composition of the organizing team is very important for ensuring the success of the seminar and participation of a diverse audience (particularly regarding topic, experience, gender, and geographic distribution). Please note that, in our experience, the organizing team and their standing in the research community targeted by the seminar is often a decisive factor in the invitees' decision whether to attend.
  • For the organizers, there are no restrictions on their origin, place of work, or nationality. The international orientation of Schloss Dagstuhl should also be reflected in the organizing team. For instance, as a rule of thumb, at least two of the following three geographical regions should be represented: Europe, America, Asia and the rest of the world. It is advisable that submissions on topics that are strongly represented in a region should also have an organizer from that region.
  • Schloss Dagstuhl strives to improve gender balance at its seminars, with the goal of encouraging diversity in the field as a whole, and particularly welcomes and encourages gender diversity in the organizing team.
  • It is NOT required to have an organizer with German affiliation.
  • Applicants from industry are welcome.
  • If a seminar constitutes a follow-up of a previous seminar, there must be at least one new organizer included without exceeding the maximal number of 4 organizers. The goal is to retain the dynamic nature of seminars and to attract new communities and topics.

A.2 – Seminar Title

Although the title should be short and concise, it should also clearly describe the thematic orientation of the seminar. Please omit phrases such as "Proposal for a Dagstuhl Seminar on" or similar. Please capitalize the title as in the following example: "The Great Unifying Theory of Informatics". Please restrict yourself to use at most 80 characters in the title.


A.3 – Type of the Seminar

  • Please indicate here whether you are applying for a Dagstuhl Seminar or a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop.
  • Please avoid speaking of a "workshop" in an application for a Dagstuhl Seminar and of a "seminar" in an application for a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop.

A.4 – Size and Duration of the Seminar

Dagstuhl Seminars:

Schloss Dagstuhl offers 4 seminar formats, which are determined by combining the size and duration of the seminar.

The possible seminar sizes are: 

  • Small seminars with 25 to 30 participants (nominally 30 participants)
  • Large seminars with 40 to 45 participants (nominally 45 participants)

There are two possible choices for the duration of seminars: 

  • Short seminars of 3 days (usually arrival on Sunday afternoon, beginning on Monday morning, departure on Wednesday afternoon)
  • Long seminars of 5 days (with arrival on Sunday afternoon, beginning on Monday morning, departure on Friday afternoon) 

In exceptional cases the 5 days are shortened to 4 days (with arrival Monday or departure on Thursday).

You should choose the format according to content and community. Smaller seminars are suitable for specialized topics and a high level of interaction between the participants. Short seminars are also suitable for very specialized topics or communities with a high time pressure. Please note that it can be difficult to get the industry participants to attend for a whole week. Seminars of 45 participants with a duration of 3 days are not very common as this could complicate the group dynamics.

In general, small seminars have less waiting time (9-15 months) than the large ones (15-21 month)


Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops: 

Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops always take place with 25 to 30 participants for three to five days. We recommend 5 days to have time for working toward creating a manifesto. It is good to start writing the manifesto at the end of the workshop. 


A.5 – Classification

Please classify the application thematically into at least one and at most three categories from the list of subject classes provided at This is helpful for setting up the review process.


A.6 – Keywords

In addition please provide one to five freely chosen keywords or short phrases.


A.7 – Predecessor Seminar (if applicable)

If the proposal is intended as a successor to a previous seminar, please provide the seminar number associated to that seminar. Successor seminars share, in general, at least one organizer with its predecessor seminar.


A.8 – Resubmission (if applicable)

If your proposal is based on an unsuccessful previous proposal, please provide the proposal number of that proposal.


A.9 – Abstract

  • Please provide a short (up to 250 words) abstract of the proposed seminar. The abstract needs to be written in a way that is clear, easy-to-read, and understandable also for people in the informatics community who are working outside the intended research topic of the seminar. Again, this is helpful for setting up the review process.
  • Please give your consent that if your application is accepted, this text may be published under the CC BY license.
  • For this, please also provide the authors of the abstract. Authors are generally all or sometimes only a subset of the proposal applicants.


Part B: Proposal Text

The following describes in detail each part of the proposal text.



B • For Resubmissions: Changes and Feedback

If you are resubmitting a proposal that was previously rejected, please make sure to include in the proposal an overview of what changed as compared to the rejected proposal, as well as a discussion of the feedback received and how you addressed it while reworking the proposal.


B • Research Area

B • Topics to Be Discussed in the Seminar

Please briefly discuss the range of topics to be covered and worked on during the seminar. In general, reviewers expect that these subjects would also be reflected in the invitee list through the inclusion of researchers specialized on those topics. 


B • Composition of the Organizing Team

Please explain why this organizing team is particularly suitable for the proposed seminar.


B • Outcomes

Reviewers often wonder what the outcome of a proposed seminar would be. It is in the nature of seminars that it is difficult to predict the outcome. However, it does help to know what you envisage as the possible outcomes. Keep in mind that in planning those outcomes, substantial involvement of the invitees beyond the seminar may be unrealistic. 


B • Seminar Structure

A convincing plan for the structure of the seminar should be provided. We do not expect a detailed hourly plan. But information like whether there would be talks, discussion and breakout sessions, demos, plenary session, etc. would help reviewers judge whether the composition of the planned seminar is likely to be successful.

Particularly for short seminars (3 days), it would be of the essence that the seminar is prepared and organized in a very disciplined manner in order to achieve a tangible outcome.


B • Relation to Other Seminars

If your seminar is related to a previous or upcoming Dagstuhl Seminar or Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop, please briefly discuss this relation delineating your proposal from the others. In the case of a seminar series (with two or more predecessor seminars), adequate evidence documenting the success of the previous seminars and justifying the need for this follow-up must be provided. Please note that for follow-up seminars requirements may apply with regards to organizers' team.



B • Related Conferences / Projects

Please briefly discuss the relation of the proposed seminar to related conferences outside Dagstuhl and/or projects. Please bear in mind that our seminars are not meant for a project meeting; and therefore, as a rule, no more than half of the organizers and a third of the invitees may be affiliated with any of the involved projects.



B • Manifesto (Only Applicable for Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop)

An important result of a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is a Dagstuhl Manifesto. Its intended audience is not so much the inner circle of experts but people who are generally interested in computer science issues, in particular also policy makers. Such a manifesto should put research issues into a larger context, like their relevance for society and economy, their applications, and their import for other fields.

Dagstuhl's Scientific Directorate acts as the editorial board for Dagstuhl Manifestos. Once a manifesto is accepted, it will be published in the series Dagstuhl Manifestos. Furthermore, manifestos could be passed to national and European funding agencies. Beyond that, summaries of selected manifestos can be published in the Dagstuhl Manifestos column of the Informatik-Spektrum (Springer) journal or possibly also as short contribution to the Communications of the ACM.

Quite likely, organizers of a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop will be asked to present the results of their workshop at a Dagstuhl’s Scientific Advisory Board meeting.

C – Invitee List

Each proposal must be accompanied by a list of tentative invitees.

  • For small Dagstuhl Seminars, as well as for the Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops, with about 30 participants: 40 invitees for the first round
  • For large Dagstuhl Seminars with about 45 participants: 60 invitees for the first round

The organizers are to be listed and counted in the invitee list. The initial overbooking is due to the observation that, on average, about 50% of the invited guests accept the invitation. Organizers may additionally provide an optional second round of invitations: 

  • up to 20 people to invite for small seminars
  • up to 30 people to invite for large seminars

Please note the following criteria when compiling the invitation list: 

  • International and institutional balance and diversity; in general, no more than 3 scientists from the same place or research group should participate in the same seminar.
  • Balance between experts on the different facets of the proposal
  • Consideration of all groups working in a subject area
  • A balance between theory and practice and inviting industry representatives (if appropriate for the topic)
  • For Dagstuhl Seminars, a mixture of proven experts (approx. 75%) and talented junior researchers (approx. 25%) is preferred. As a rule of thumbs, researchers before finishing their Ph.D. or until 5 years after finishing their Ph.D. are treated as junior researchers. Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops invitee lists usually only contain senior researchers.
  • Schloss Dagstuhl strives to improve diversity and balance with regards to the gender of the participants. We are convinced that such diversity is very desirable. Moreover, our funders deem it important. Therefore, we strongly encourage organizers to make an effort in ensuring adequate gender balance in the invitee list.

Participation of researchers with disabilities are welcomed. Schloss Dagstuhl provides accessible facilities, and barrier-free rooms are available on request.

Proposals from and/or involving participants from under-represented groups are welcome.


The list of participants should contain the following information for each person: 

  • last name and first name,
  • affiliation (institution / company), country of affiliation,
  • email address, homepage (if available),
  • tagging of junior researchers, women scientists, and industry participants,
  • scientific field of work (in relation to the seminar topic).


Click here for a sample list; further details about the list format and contents can be found here.


D – Organizers' CVs

  • An application must include a curriculum vitae for each organizer, giving a brief overview of their scientific career and containing references to specific services and awards from the scientific community.
  • In particular, it should demonstrate that the applicant is sufficiently known in at least one of the research areas of the seminar to attract participants.
  • A maximum of five publications relevant to the seminar should be mentioned.
  • Each organizer's CV must not exceed a 2 page limit.

E – Seminar Date

  • Please specify your block-out dates to avoid collision with other conferences and other commitments of the organizers. In general, we will take these dates into account.
  • Periods in which the seminar should preferably take place can be specified. Due to the numerous constraints regarding seminar dates, we cannot guarantee that the seminar will actually take place on such a preferred date.
  • Possible seminar dates for small seminars are generally between 9 and 15 months after the submission deadline and for large seminars between 15 and 21 months after the submission deadline. You can find the current data on the homepage of our application tool DOSA.

Data Privacy

Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics (German: Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik) takes privacy seriously. In this section, you can find a non-binding English summary of the relevant sections of our policy. For the complete policy (in German only), see: Datenschutzerklärung gemäß DSGVO Art. 12 im Bereich "Seminarwesen"


We do not pass any of your data to other parties unless it is necessary for our service.


Disclosure of the Data to Reviewers: For the purpose of evaluation, the data provided in the proposal is disclosed to the reviewers (i.e, the Scientific Directorate and, if applicable, external reviewers). They are instructed to delete the data after completion of the evaluation. Reviewers may reside outside the EEA. If that is the case, and there is no adequacy decision of the European Commission, the standard data protection clauses of the European Commission ('Model Clauses') are used in order to ensure an adequate level of data protection.


Disclosure via Documentation: If your proposal is successful, your name, your affiliation, and a link to your website will be made publicly available, e.g., on the event's website.


You have, at any time and with regard to the personal data concerning you, the right to request access, data portability, rectification or erasure of the personal data, or restriction of processing concerning you, as well as the right to withdraw consent or to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. You can contact our data protection officer via the e-mail address


Proposal Deadlines:

Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop proposals can be submitted twice a year on one of the following dates:

  • April 15
  • November 1

Submission Portal

Dagstuhl Online Seminar Application portal: DOSA


Bild Dr. Andreas Dolzmann

For all questions concerning proposal submission and the online submission portal (DOSA) please contact

Dr. Andreas Dolzmann 

Telefon: + 49 681 / 302 38 48

E-Mail: andreas.dolzmann(at)