How to organize an in-person project

Every year, YSI’ers organize in-person workshops all over the world. This document will help you navigate the process. Suggested timeline: 4-6 months.

Make a Plan

Pick a place/partner

Most organizers find it helpful to work with a partner organization. You may organize your project next to a larger conference that a lot of scholars in your area of interest are going to. This often means the partner organization can give you free venue space. It also means that you can easily engage senior scholars that are already in town for the bigger conference.

When thinking about your venue, consider:
• How many rooms you will need
• What size room you will need (too big a room will feel empty)
• Any audio-visual equipment available, including cords and adaptors
• If the venue will allow food in the space

Important: when working with a partner it is often helpful to clarify up front what YSI can and cannot do, and what the objective of YSI projects are. Go here for YSI’s Partnership Guidelines. 

Understand what funding is available

When it comes to YSI funding, you can request 1) a budget and 2) stipends. 

Budgets are capped at 3000 USD per project and can go towards accommodation, a group meal, as well as travel for senior speakers, and printing costs. 

Stipends are there to cover the travel costs of the organizer, and to reduce the travel costs of the to-be-selected young scholars. Most projects obtain roughly 2000-3000 USD in travel stipends, and bring together 8-10 participants plus two organizers. 

For detailed funding rules, see YSI’s Standard of Operations

Invite your senior speaker(s)

If there are seniors scholar you would like to participate in your webinar, invite them well ahead of time for the best chance of a yes. YSI’ers often ask senior scholars to give a talk and/or offer feedback on young scholars’ presentations. You can find an invitation letter template here. Note that YSI does not pay honorariums. 

Set up your project page

Write a call for participation

When setting up your project page, you can choose to add an application form for young scholars to submit to. You can draft your own call for abstracts, call for papers, or other call for participation. A call for abstracts tends to work well, because it allows participants to share work-in-process. Plan to keep your call open for at least 30 days. 

Submit a funding request

For your budget, use google to anticipate the cost of hotels, restaurant, and speaker travel best you can. Submit it to YSI management for approval before incurring any expense. If you later find that you need to spend the funds in a different way than originally allocated, you will first need to email YSI management.

For your stipends, list the travel costs you (and any fellow organizers) will have, as well as the stipends you suggest be awarded to your to-be-selected participants. To make the project cost-effective, the majority of travel stipends should be for participants from within the region.

Prepare and publish

After carefully reviewing your title, description, application form, and other details, you can publish your project. This sends an email to all members of the working groups involved. You may find it helpful to request a copy-edit from the management team first. 

Spread the word

Share the link to your webinar page with your friends, colleagues, institutions, and mailing lists you have access to. If you are organizing a project in a country other than your own, make sure to share the call with local institutions to gather enough applicants from the region. When posting to social media, make sure to tag YSI (we’re on Twitter and Linkedin). 

Gather your participants

Make a suggested selection

Review the applications you received, and carry out a credible selection process. Ideally this includes an academic committee involving a mentors or senior scholars. Make sure to consider not just the quality of the contributions, but also YSI’s commitment to openness and inclusivity, the nature of implicit bias, and potential conflicts of interest

Request INET’s approval

Send your suggested selection to the YSI management team. This should be a spreadsheet of who applied and who you suggest be selected for what kind of stipend – example here. Only once INET approves your suggested selection can you go ahead and send acceptance/rejection emails to your applicants. 

Notify your participants

Send acceptance/rejection emails, and ask your participants to confirm their participantion. If they need a formal invitation letter (for visa purposes), please email YSI management with:

– Project title, date, and location
– The participant’s full name
– Stipend & accommodation awarded (incl. name of hotel and checkin/out dates), if applicable

 

Make arrangements

Hotels and meals

Once your budget is approved, you can start making bookings.
For hotels, dinners/caterers, and printers, you can choose to:

• Pay out of pocket and ask YSI management for a reimbursement later
• Ask YSI management to send you an advance and then make the bookings
• Ask YSI management to pay the hotel/restaurants directly (if the other two don’t work) 

 

Senior speaker travel 

Let your senior speaker know how much was budgeted for their travel, and ask them if they are okay with making their booking themselves. If so, you can give them the ‘speaker reimbursement link’ from your project’s control panel, and ask them to fill that out in order to be reimbursed by INET. If the speaker prefers that you book for them, use the same process as for hotels and meals.  

Young scholar travel

After getting your selection approved, let your participants know what stipend they were awarded, and encourage them to book their trip. Tell them to expect a system generated email from YSI, which will tell them how to claim their stipend. The YSI portals allows participants upload receipts and get reimbursed, or to request an advance.

 

Prepare

Create your program

When all senior speakers and young scholar presenters are confirmed, you can
create your program and send it around to your participants. Make sure to include an introduction to YSI (10min), plenty of breaks, as well as helpful information like wifi password and room location(s).

 

Accommodation for participants

When booking accommodation for yourself and your selected participants, try to keep everyone in the same hotel if possible – it makes it much easier to create a good group dynamic. Look for 2 or 3 star hotels with twin rooms, allowing two individuals of same gender to share a room. The hotel should be clean and safe (check reviews) but cost effectiveness must be emphasized. A flexible cancellation policy is always a good idea. 

Accommodation for senior scholars

Senior speakers should be provided with a single room, and may be hosted in a different
hotel from the young scholars, if appropriate. Try to find a hotel that fits your budget but is convenient and comfortable for the speaker, and make a booking for them. Forward them all the information they will need for a smooth check-in.

Catering / Dinner

If you have an approved budget for catering and/or dinner, make your reservations early. You are also welcome to get snacks and water at a store, but make sure to check with your venue if it’s okay to bring food inside. 

Host

Welcome

As the workshop organizer you will represent YSI to the participants and will be their first point of contact when they arrive. Workshop participants will look to you for guidance on how the program will play out as well as logistical details. Keep them informed throughout.

Connect

It is your responsibility to create an open environment that embodies YSI’s values. Try to keep the group together and encourage and respectful atmosphere. YSI’ers come from all over the world, so be mindful of each others differences. If participants are interested in staying involved, encourage them in doing so.

Represent

Most YSI events will have participants that have never attended a YSI event before. Make sure to introduce YSI as a global community and share the mission and vision of YSI, as well the activities of your working group. Here is a PPT template for presenting and a flyer for printing. 

Take pictures

Share your photos to on Twitter and Linkedin so that the Management Team can reshare them with the rest of the community.

Follow up

Return unspent funds

Any unused funds must be returned to INET. Please send them via PayPal to jshure@ineteconomics.org. If paypal doens’t work for you, contact the same email address about a bank transfer.

Request certificates

Some participants will require certificates of attendance for sponsoring purposes of for credit at their home institution. You can ask YSI Management to create those – send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

• Name of participants 
• Titles of paper (optional)
• Title, date, and location of workshop

Submit a report

Within 30 days, submit a brief project report detailing the impact, any conclusions, and any next steps. Your feedback on the organizing process is also always welcome.