ICLR 2020 - Call For Workshop Proposals

April 26, Addis Ababa

  • 2019-10-25Workshop Application Deadline

Time left to submit: 


This is the second year that ICLR will have workshops - informal gatherings of people with similar interests, potentially with keynotes, panels, and debates, allowing for discussion of work in progress and future directions, and community building. Workshops will take place on Sunday, April 26th. Each workshop proposal should specify a full day schedule, accommodating lunch and/or coffee breaks as appropriate. The exact format of a workshop is up to your choice, we welcome creative formats. We expect to have approximatively 15 workshops. Each accepted workshop will receive four (4) complimentary registrations for organizers to distribute.


We are especially interested in organizers proposing novel topics on emerging themes. Examples of such topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Interpretable machine learning, fairness in machine learning, transparency, governance and inclusion
  • Uncertainty in representation learning
  • Cognitive and sensori-motor extensions of human capabilities
  • Deep learning / representations learning for scientific discovery
  • Deep learning / representations learning for art and creativity
  • Learning algorithms, program synthesis
  • Privacy in machine learning
  • Energy efficiency in machine learning
  • Representation learning for planning and reinforcement learning
  • Metric learning and kernel learning
  • Sparse coding and dimensionality expansion
  • Hierarchical models
  • Optimization for representation learning
  • Learning representations of outputs or states
  • Implementation issues, parallelization, software platforms, hardware, ML systems
  • Applications in vision, audio, speech, natural language processing, robotics, neuroscience, healthcare, or any other field

For more examples, last year ICLR workshops were:

  • Learning from Limited Labeled Data (LLD) Workshop: Representation Learning for Weak Supervision and Beyond
  • Deep Reinforcement Learning Meets Structured Prediction
  • Deep Generative Models for Highly Structured Data
  • Debugging Machine Learning Models
  • Structure & Priors in Reinforcement Learning (SPiRL)
  • AI for Social Good
  • Safe Machine Learning: Specification, Robustness, and Assurance
  • Representation Learning on Graphs and Manifolds
  • Reproducibility in Machine Learning
  • Task-Agnostic Reinforcement Learning (TARL)

Highlighted Topics: AI for Social Good

This year, we especially encourage workshops pertaining to “AI for Social Good”, which topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Pollution
  • Meteorology, Natural disasters
  • Climate change
  • Wildlife, Biodiversity
  • Policy Making

Selection Criteria

Regarding selection criteria, we took inspiration from the findings of NeurIPS’s workshop organizers, and last year's ICLR workshop organization.

  1. Topicality: degree to which the proposal is focused on an important and topical problem, and the degree to which it is expected that the community will find the workshop interesting, exciting, and valuable.
  2. Intellectual excitement of the topic. Is it likely to break new ground, or merely reiterate tired, old debates?
  3. Diversity and inclusion, in all forms.
  4. Room for discussion: degree to which the proposed program offers opportunity for discussion.
  5. Line-up: quality of proposed invited speakers (including scientific pedigree and presentational ability). Workshop organizers are encouraged to confirm tentative interest from proposed invited speakers and mention this in their proposal.
  6. Accessibility: degree to which the organizers have offered means to engage in the workshop for those unable to attend in person.
  7. Organizational experience and ability of the team.

Workshop Requirements

  1. Global Notification Deadline Prior to 25th of February 2020: By submitting a workshop proposal, workshop organizers commit to notifying those who submit contributions (including talks and posters) to their workshop of their acceptance status before February 25, 2020 to allow time for visa acquisition and travel arrangements. A timeline should be included in the proposal that will allow for this.
  2. Managing Chair and Reviewer Conflicts of Interest
    • Workshop chairs (Asja Fischer and Gabriel Synnaeve) cannot be organizers or give invited talks at any workshop, but can submit papers and give contributed talks.
    • Workshop reviewers cannot review any proposal on which they are listed as an organizer or invited speaker, and may not accept invitations to speak at any workshop they have reviewed after the workshop is accepted.
    • Workshop chairs and reviewers cannot review or shape acceptance decisions about workshops with organizers from within their organization. (For large corporations, this means anyone in the corporation world-wide.)
  3. Managing Organizer Conflicts of Interest
    • Workshop organizers cannot give talks at the workshops they organize. They can give a brief introduction to the workshop and/or act as a panel moderator.
    • Workshop organizers should state in their proposal how they will manage conflicts of interest in assessing submitted contributions. At a minimum, an organizer should not be involved in the assessment of a submission from someone within the same organization.
  4. During the reviewing process, workshop chairs may propose to merge with another proposal if both workshop proposals are exactly on the same topic. The eventual merge would be at the discretion of both sets of organizers.


Organizers should submit proposals as a single PDF file. We suggest the following headings for your proposal, although a proposal can come in any format that allows the evaluation criteria to be assessed. We expect most proposals to be around 3 pages.

Suggested headings:

  • Title: Keep the workshop title short and descriptive.
  • Organizers and biographies: Include short biographies that highlight both organizational experience and technical expertise.
  • Workshop summary: 2-3 paragraphs summarizing the workshop topic, including the problems you would like to see solved, why these problems are important, and how the workshop will contribute to their solution.
  • Tentative schedule: Include a list of tentative/confirmed speakers with a brief description of each (clearly stating which have confirmed). Explain how you will encourage discussion throughout the day.
  • Diversity commitment: Give an explicit statement on how the workshop will address diversity of all forms, as described in the guidance above.
  • Access: Describe anything you plan to do to allow those unable to attend in person to engage, as described in the guidance above.
  • Previous related workshops (if any): List related past workshops at NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR or other venues, and note if the workshop was previously submitted to NeurIPS 2019.
  • Plan for funding (if any): List proposed or committed sponsorships and planned usage of funds. List any need for funding that you think you would have but is not met yet.
  • Any other relevant information


Key Dates

  • Workshop Application Opens Sep 11, 2020
  • Workshop Application Deadline: Nov 09, 2020 10:00 PM PST or (6 pm Pacific)
  • Workshop Notification: The date WorkshopProposalNotifications not found.
  • Mandatory Cutoff for Workshop Organizers to Notify Participants of Accept/Reject Decisions: Mar 26, 2021
  • Workshops: April 26, 2020

Program Committee

  • Jorg Bornschein (DeepMind)
  • Frank Hutter (University of Freiburg)
  • Laurens van der Maaten (Facebook)
  • Cheng Zhang (Microsoft)
  • Michal Drozdzal (Facebook)
  • Yann Dauphin (Google)
  • Theophane Weber (DeepMind)
  • Sungjin Ahn (Rutgers University)
  • Tom Schaul (DeepMind)
  • Camille Couprie (Facebook)
  • Ross Girshick (Facebook)
  • Nicolas Usunier (Facebook)