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NeurIPS 2023 Call for Affinity Workshops and Socials

Deadline to submit proposal: Jun 10, 2023 AOE

Notification of acceptance: Jun 19, 2023 AOE

We are calling for affinity groups to host workshops and/or socials at NeurIPS 2023. NeurIPS 2023 will take place on Sunday December 10, 2023 through Saturday December 16, 2023 and will be a livestreamed and recorded conference that takes place in New Orleans.

You can send the proposal to the Affinity Workshops team ( in the form of a PDF file. If in case you are unable to submit by the deadline, please inform us and express your interest, and we will try to make room and arrangements for your workshop and/or socials. For full consideration, we highly recommend submitting by the deadline. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at:

In an effort to provide additional guidance, we include the following suggestions, which have been adapted from NAACL 2022's Call for Affinity Group Workshops (to which an author of this document contributed).


At NeurIPS, affinity groups promote and support the ideas and voices of marginalized communities and raise awareness of issues that affect their members. Previously, affinity groups like Women in Machine Learning (WiML), Queer in AI (QinAI), Black in AI (BAI), LatinX in AI (LXAI), {Dis}Ability in AI, Indigenous in AI, Global South in AI, Muslims in ML, and Jews in ML have organized workshops and socials at NeurIPS. In this call, we welcome applications from all kinds of affinity groups.

There is a need for members of affinity groups to have more opportunities to showcase their work and participate and network at NeurIPS. The main aim of workshops is to encourage people to showcase their work and step into the NeurIPS community. Unlike other workshops, affinity group workshops are centered around creating space for communities marginalized in AI and ML, and generally accept a wider scope of submissions topic-wise. The idea of having affinity group workshops is to establish research communities out of affinity groups and raise awareness of the challenges faced by their members. Furthermore, affinity group socials provide safe, inclusive spaces for members of affinity groups to socialize and network.

Affinity Group Workshops

By default, affinity workshops will be livestreamed and have Zoom access (unless the organizers wish otherwise). While we encourage workshops to have in-person components, we recognize that this is often difficult or impossible; as such, workshops can be entirely virtual.

Schedule: Affinity workshops will take place Monday, December 11, 2023 (8:30 - 15:30 local time), which will overlap with tutorials. However, we recognize that there are issues with this plan: 1) hosting affinity group workshops on the first day of NeurIPS is difficult for affinity group members who travel to the conference the day before it starts; 2) there will be large overlaps between affinity group events, which will prevent members of different groups from attending each others' workshops and socials. Given the packed nature of the conference, we cannot host affinity workshops on the main conference days; by request, groups can host events Sunday evening. We strongly encourage affinity groups to host half-day workshops, to avoid overlapping across groups.

Recommended Structure: Workshops may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • Keynote talks
  • Lightning talks
  • Panels
  • Discussions
  • Art exhibit

For examples of past workshops, you may consult:

NeurIPS does not provide travel funding for workshop organizers or speakers. The organizers of each accepted workshop can name up to eight individuals (e.g., organizers, speakers) to receive complimentary registrations (split as desired between in-person and virtual). Affinity group members may be covered by D&I travel and conference grants (applications will open soon). No registration is required to access an affinity workshop virtually (i.e., the Zoom link may be shared).

Affinity Group Socials

Affinity socials can largely take place any time during the week of Sunday, December 10 to Saturday, December 16. We will work with all the affinity groups so that they have flexibility in deciding the date, times, and length of their social(s). Affinity socials are distinct from the socials submitted through the Call for Socials.

Affinity groups will decide the structure of their socials. In the past, affinity socials have included: talks, socializing and networking, discussions, sponsor booths, etc. All affinity socials are encouraged to have some virtual component; however, NeurIPS cannot provide virtual infrastructure for socials (e.g., Groups may consider hosting two socials that are scheduled at opposite times of the day to increase virtual access from around the world. Socials do not need to take place at the conference venue. They cannot be scheduled over keynote, opening, or closing sessions. No registration is required to access an affinity social virtually.

Joint Poster Session

Schedule: We will hold a separate in-person and virtual poster session exclusively for affinity groups. The in-person session will take place on Monday, December 11 from 16:00 - 17:00 local time (tentatively). The virtual session logistics are TBA. Authors from all affinity groups that issue a call for papers/contributions/media are required to participate in either the in-person or virtual joint poster session. However, this does not preclude groups from holding their own mini poster sessions during their workshop or socials.

Guidelines for Call for Contributions: The following guidelines are only recommended and workshop organizers do not necessarily need to enforce them:

  • Each affinity group should release a call for contributions to be presented in the joint poster session.
  • Affinity groups can invite submissions that are proposals, work-in-progress or fully fleshed out research papers.
  • Affinity groups can feature contributions in English or in any language that workshop authors prefer.
  • Affinity groups can also invite authors to submit in any media: papers, poems, songs, Jupyter notebooks, Github repos, videos, art, comics, books, etc.
  • We suggest the following timeline:
    • First call for papers: Early June (or earlier)
    • Visa-friendly submission deadline: Early July (or earlier, permitting authors have enough time to prepare submissions). Note: NeurIPS 2023 registration has already opened.
    • Final submission deadline: Mid October (or later)
    • Notification date: 2-3 weeks after the submission (at set dates or rolling). Please make notification dates explicit and transparent so authors can accordingly plan to attend NeurIPS.

Organizing Support

We will actively host meetups and organizing sessions to provide affinity groups with the support they need to host their workshop and socials. We will also update all the affinity groups on D&I travel and conference grants. Additionally, we will help affinity groups advertise their events and recruit participants. Each affinity group will receive eight complimentary registrations (that may be split as desired between in-person and virtual). No registration is required to access an affinity workshop or social virtually.

Format for Proposal

There is no length requirement for the proposal. Please CAREFULLY read all of the previous sections before writing your proposal.
Suggested Components
  • Abstract and motivation (< 200 words): A summary about your affinity group, year-round activities, and general motivation for the workshop and/or socials (e.g., any themes you want to focus on). We will present this information to the NeurIPS board so they are aware of all the wonderful work done by affinity groups.
  • Tentative plan of workshop: Schedule, length, format of the sessions, arrangements between virtual / in-person modes. For examples, consult the past affinity group workshops listed in the Affinity Group Workshops section.
  • Tentative plan of social(s): Schedule, length, format of the sessions, arrangements between virtual / in-person modes.
  • Call for contributions: Timeline to release call for contributions, tentative review committee, and submission infrastructure. How many contributions do you expect to receive?
  • Outreach plans: Plans for advertising the call for contributions on social media and other networks. Plans for advertising the workshop and/or socials. A URL for the workshop website (this can be changed later).
  • D&I plans: Plans that you want to implement to increase diversity in participation and representation, e.g. visa support, live captioning, etc.
  • Organization budget: An estimated budget for organizing (excluding registration waivers and travel grants), e.g. purchasing live captioning. This information will help us look into obtaining more funds to support affinity groups, but we cannot guarantee any financial support.
  • List of organizers: Names, brief bio and emails of the organizers. Aggregate demographics of organizers along multiple axes, e.g. gender, race, sexuality, disability, geography, seniority. We request affinity groups to carefully consider the diversity of organizers.
  • Expected attendance: How many people do you expect to attend your workshop in-person? How many virtually? If applicable, how many people attended your NeurIPS 2023 workshop? What is your estimated number of in-person participants from outside the US? What about virtual participants from outside the US? These numbers can be rough estimates.

Questions to Answer

Additionally, please answer the following questions in your proposal to help us plan:

  • VISA support: We understand that many affinity group members will face VISA issues and processing delays. Will your timeline be mindful of VISA requirements, especially if you have a call for contributions? How can NeurIPS provide VISA support? We have already opened registration, and we will provide VISA invitation letters as early as possible, to facilitate early VISA applications. More details here.
  • Workshop schedule: What are your thoughts on the workshop schedule described in the Affinity Group Workshops section? What are your preferred times for your workshop? Please also specify other considerations (e.g. "I would not like our workshop to overlap with other affinity workshops.") If your affinity group has previously hosted a workshop at NeurIPS, what feedback/concerns do you have from previous scheduling? To the best of your ability, please estimate how many of your members could not attend another affinity workshop because of last year because of the same-day scheduling. Note: We will not be able to satisfy all schedule preferences, but we will try our best to do so.
  • Social(s) schedule: What are your preferred dates/times for your social(s)? Please specify your preferences in terms of specific dates during the conference and other considerations (e.g. "I would not like our workshop to overlap with other affinity socials.") If your affinity group has previously hosted a social at NeurIPS, What feedback/concerns do you have from previous scheduling? Note: We will not be able to satisfy all schedule preferences, but we will try our best to do so.
  • Joint poster session schedule: What feedback do you have on the plan for the joint poster session?
  • Organizing support: What are ways in which the affinity workshops team can support you in organizing (that are not already listed in this document)? Do you have any special requirements or technical needs?
  • Any other questions or feedback?

Arjun, Blessing, Konstantina
NeurIPS 2023 Affinity Workshop Chairs