The Call for Tutorials Proposal

By Yanina Bellini Saibene in Theme Features R

November 6, 2022

The conference tutorial session is one of the ways for attendees to get more out of the conference experience. Students, young professionals, and seasoned experts alike all can benefit from a hands-on learning experience with in-depth content prepared especially for this occasion.

What is a Call for Tutorials?

One of the first steps to organizing the tutorials is to decide whether there will be an open call for tutorial proposals, will be by invitations, or a hybrid model, where some tutorials will be invited, and another number will be decided by open call. The goals of a call for tutorials are to:

  • solicit high-quality proposals from experts in the field;
  • create a robust and representative tutorial program;and
  • ensure that the event will have well-prepared tutorials.

In order to achieve these goals, the call for tutorials should provide clear guidelines on what is expected of a proposal, and how proposals will be evaluated. Furthermore, the call should be independent from the general call for contributions, like talks and posters.

How to create a Call for Tutorials

If you’re looking to create a Call for Tutorials, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account.

Concept Map for organizaing a workshop session in a conference.

First, you’ll need to decide on a numbers of aspect (the pink boxes on the concept map):

  • List of topics you will accept tutorials: these topics have to respond to the needs of the attendees, so they have to cover new technologies or methods, updates of topics and traditional topics, since there are always new people joining the discipline.

  • Language: are you going to offer tutorials on several languages? if so, which languages are the best for you audience?. For example, at useR! we offer content in English, Spanish and French, in the case of LatinR we offer training in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

  • Tutorial target audience: you need to decide if you will offer content for beginners, competent practictioners or experters, or the combination of this levels. This is also related to the population of your attenedees and the number of tutorials you can offer.

  • Number of tutorials: it depends on the infrastructure available (ex: classrooms when in-person or videoconference software accounts when online) and will influence the schedule.

  • Payment, cost and grants: you also need to decide the cost of the tutorials, if you are going to offer grants, fee waivers or scolarships, and if tutors will get monetary compensation for the tutorial, and all the details related to that (ex: and how much you will paid, how you can paid them, what happend if it is a team of tutors, among others).

Afterward, determine the opening date and closing date of the call for proposals. Make sure to give potential tutors plenty of time to prepare their proposals; a good timeline to follow is four weeks for submissions and two weeks for selection.

Finally, you need to choose the platform through which the proposals will be received. You will need to have the application form ready in the platform before opening and announcing the call for tutorial proposals. It is a good idea you also show briefly the data you will request on the application form. This data should focus on the pedagogical proposal of the tutorial.

The next step is to to write the call for proposals including all these details. You also have to include the refence and a link to your Code of Conduct and your Accesibilities Guidelines.

Template Call for Tutorials

To exemplify how a complete good tutorial call looks like, look at this template base on the call we did for useR! 2021. The text between brakets {} indicate data you should change for your event.

Call for Tutorials {name of the conference}

In this announcement, we outline topics of interest, presentation guidelines, and important dates for proposal submission.

The tutorials will be for {programming language/technology - role (ex: R users)} in all sectors, e.g., researchers, government officers, and industry representatives who focus on the applicability of {programming language-technology} in practical settings and for all levels.

The duration of each tutorial can vary between {minimun} to {maximum} hours, we encourage shorter length but we expect at least {minumun} hours. We strongly believe that similar tutorials have helped the {programming language/technology - role (ex: R users)} community to be updated about the latest packages, concepts, and best practices.

Since we have a {scope, ex:global, regional, national)} event this year, we will accept proposals for tutorials to be taught in {list of languages (ex: English, Spanish or French}. If you plan to teach in {languajes (ex:Spanish or French)}, the proposal must still be submitted in {language, (ex: English)}.

These tutorials will be organized in multiple time zones, so we request that you select a convenient time zone. We will later determine the timezone based on all other tutorials and attendees’ interest to combine them into a session. The recordings of the tutorials will be shared online with the consent of the organizers, instructors, and attendees. We prefer tutorials to have hands-on exercises or examples to be carried out by the participants for their best interest.

The organization will offer a payment of {currency and amount (ex:USD 500)} for those tutorials that are selected.

Topics of interest

Suggested topics for this edition, although not exclusive, are the following:

{list your topic of interest}


  • Environmetrics
  • Epidemiology
  • Big data
  • Spatial analysis and modeling
  • Transportation
  • Usage of Rcpp
  • Introduction to artificial intelligence/machine learning, exploratory machine learning, and/or ethical artificial intelligence
  • Non linear statistical modeling
  • Reproducibility and best practices
  • Ethical web scraping
  • Imaging and signal processing
  • Database management
  • Docker and RStudio
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Shiny app development and best practices
  • Predictive modeling time series forecasting
  • R Packages: building packages, CRAN submission and package maintenance
  • Teaching R and R in teaching.
  • Visualization
  • Using git with R

Submission guidelines

Submissions must be sent using the Tutorial Submission platform following this link {add link} from {date} to {date}

Please read the code of conduct {link to COC} and the accessibility guidelines for tutorials {link to guidelines} before submitting the tutorials.

Submissions must be written in {language (ex: English)} and include:

{list the data requested on the application form}


  • The title of the tutorial
  • Abstract
  • The broad topic it covers
  • The learning goals
  • Time zone preference and time slot (please mention at least three different time zones you are comfortable with)
  • Length of the tutorial
  • Language in which the tutorial can be taught.
  • The intended audience and method of online engagement with the audience
  • If there exists, a link to the Tutorial materials and/or web page.
  • Prerequisites / requirements
  • Material sharing (license), recording consent
  • A brief biography of the instructors

Important dates

  • Tutorial submission start: {date with format: Name of the day, number of the day, year with 4 digits}
  • Tutorial submission deadline: {date with format: Name of the day, number of the day, year with 4 digits}
  • Tutorial acceptance notification: {date with format: Name of the day, number of the day, year with 4 digits}

Review Criteria

Each submission will be carefully evaluated by our Program Committee regarding the submission’s overall quality, research scope, and its appeal to a reasonable fraction of the {programming language/technology - role (ex: R)} community. The submission will also be checked for its technical content and the pedagogical proposal. Final decisions will be based on the review committee, depending on conference attendees’ interest, topic relevance, and slot availability. The outcome of the review process will be declared on {date}

Next steps

We wrote a Call for Proposal that help to ensure that there is a good mix of tutorials, covering a variety of topics and levels of expertise. This diversity helps to make the event more useful, enjoyable and educational for all attendees.

There are several element of the call we need to discuss in more detail, for example, the accessibility guide, the data in the application form and the code of conduct.

We will explore these aspects in the next post.