State Of The Map/Planning/Creating a program

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When the call for session proposals closes the process a creating a program can begin (note: scoring can start early whilst the call for proposals is still open).


Scoring is the process of reviewing the session description and judging it as a simple "yes", "no" or "maybe" (scored as +1, -1 and 0 respectively). At this stage other attributes, such as whether the speaker needs a scholarship, or whether there are similar talks on the same topic should be ignored. Simply score according to the session description.

For more info see planning/scoring.

Link with scholarship process

We run our scholarship application process alongside our call for session proposals.


In the call for session proposals, applicants may tick a box indicating that in order to give their talk they will need a scholarship. Some tick this box but fail to complete the scholarship application form.

  • If this is noticed before the scholarship application closes we will notify the person concerned (note: we rarely check at this stage so don't rely on us).
  • If this is noticed after the scholarship application closes then we will write to the person concerned to notify them of the error. They will not receive an extension to the scholarship application process (this would be unfair to the 100+ people who apply each year) but will be asked if they can provide their talk without a scholarship (i.e. if they ticked the box in error). If not, then this talk is unfortunately rejected[1].

In the instances where the applicant did not indicate that they needed a scholarship to give their talk, but went on to apply for one anyway, we give the benefit of the doubt and assume this (failure to tick the box on the call for sessions) was a mistake. Their scholarship application continues to be treated as valid.


In the call for session proposals we ask which languages the speaker can give their talk in. This is a multiple choice question with English, the official languages of the host country and "Other" as options. Some speakers only select "Other":

  • In this case we write to the applicant to notify them of our language guidelines. If they can give the talk in one of the agreed languages, then great. Alternatively if they can arrange for their own translator to be on stage with them then we can still accept the talk (assuming there is a limited number that fall in to this case). If neither of these apply, and the State of the Map working group has no capacity to provide translations, then the talk is unfortunately rejected. We endeavour to bring SotM to many countries so as to cover different languages each year.


  1. Note: This policy is going through the process of being verified by the State of the Map working group (restricted link).