Arranging a Winter Symposium

Arranging a Winter Symposium

Updated 2022-04

Arranging a Winter Symposium


The coordinators are responsible for organizing the Winter Symposium. They decide how and where the symposium takes place, and the number of participants allowed.

The coordinators are responsible for selecting dates (recommended between January and mid-March) and finding a location. Typically, a location is selected which is easy to travel to and from, and the location should alternate between different countries during the three-year cycle of the circle. The Winter Symposia must be held in one of the Nordic Countries or the Baltic Sea States.

They find local partner(s) and arrange the booking of rooms, accommodation and plan meals. The collaboration with local partner(s) or institution(s) can be for example: offering meeting rooms, facilities, inviting local students or other local guests to the seminar, open meetings with institutions, faculty members and students etc. NB! Collaboration must be documented, for example, through a partnerships agreement or in-kind contribution of rooms etc. (you can find templates at Intranet>Coordinators>Downloads).

Crucial deadlines for your tasks as coordinators:

    • October 15: upload the Call for Proposals (CfP) on the NSU website and then distribute it within the NSU channels and to all other relevant institutions, networks and participants in the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as internationally.

CfP should include: 1) the topic of concern for the symposium and the study circle; 2) the practical information needed for the applicants, such as date and place and fee for the symposium, the deadline for applying (recommended December 1), and notification of acceptance; 3) the NSU’s logo and a brief orientation about NSU in general (and the local collaborating partner/institution). Preferably, write the CfP in the NSU’s CfP template (you can find it at Intranet>Coordinators>Downloads)

    • October 31: Send information about your WS rates to be included in the NSU webshop to the treasurer.
    • February 15: Compulsory date for announcing the program for the WS on the NSU website and in emails to all the applicants.
        • if requested by the participants, write a letter of acceptance in order for them to apply for external funding (regardless of whether they will present or only attend).
    • At the latest 1 month before the WS:
        • The budget with the list of prospective participants and details of the coordinator responsible for the economy has to be sent by email to NSU’s accountant (CC to the treasurer of NSU)
        • Finalise the necessary arrangements (booking of rooms, accommodation and plan meals):
            • If you find a partner that offers you the room for free, please ask the partner to fill out the in-kind contribution form including an estimate of what a comparable local venue would cost,  in order to put an estimation of the economic value of this free space into the financial report of NSU (you can find in-kind contribution form at Intranet>Coordinators>Downloads).
            • make a plan for how to ensure accommodation/meals for the entire session. In general NSU offers accommodation in double rooms. If there are participants who wish to have a single room, they should pay the difference themselves.
            • inform the participants about all practicalities regarding the symposium.
            • have a sign-in sheet for each day where visiting (non-registered) participants should leave their name and email, to be used for the report and to join the mailing list of the NSU.
    • 1 month after the WS, or at the latest by May 15: The final accounting, including the receipts for all the costs (accommodation and meals) and the travel support granted processed in the Zoho system, must be submitted to NSU’s accountant.

More detailed information on the accounting part can be found at Winter Session & Ad Hoc accounting procedure.

Templates and forms available at Intranet>Coordinators>Downloads.

Budget and Accounting

In this section you find more detailed information needed for creating the budget and doing the accounting.

Coordinator responsible for economy

One of the coordinators of each circle is to be responsible for the economy of the circle, i.e. for creating the budget and the accounting report. The details of the assigned coordinator are to be recorded both in the budget and the accounting report. The coordinator responsible for the economy of the circle is personally liable for ensuring that the money received from NSU according to its rules. Any expenditures not accounted for, or exceeding the limits stated below, must be covered by the coordinator responsible for the economy of the circle.  

Finalizing the budget (one month before the WS at the latest)

When the date of the WS is approaching and you know how many people will attend, the coordinator responsible for the economy of the study circle should send the request for transfer of money to both the NSU Treasurer and the NSU accountant. Also, CC your contact person on the board. The request should include:

  • The completed budget template (see under downloads), it includes 3 different sheets (see the tabs at the bottom of the template):
    • SHEET 1: “Budsjett for vintersymposium / Budget for the winter symposium” in DKK
    • SHEET 2: “Liste over påmeldte deltakere / list of registered participants to the WS” (for as far as known at that moment. In the finalised accounting after the conference you can send the final list)
    • SHEET 3: “Kontaktopplysninger for den økonomiansvarlige koordinator “ / Contact information for the coordinator responsible for economy
  • The program for the WS

Finalizing the accounting (latest by 15 May)

One month after the WS, or latest by 15 May, you need to finish the accounting and send it to the NSU treasurer by email ( Remember that all original receipts must be sorted and scanned: they should be individually numbered on the receipts (preferably written by pen) and recorded through the Zoho system, classified according to the sub-categories Travel, Accommodation, Meals, Other costs. Use the templates in the budget template to enter the totals recorded in Zoho to give an overview of the accounting and the demographics of the WS.

Funding of the Winter Symposium

Funding from NSU

NSU will fund based on actual expenses. This can be expenses for coordinators, keynotes and (invited) participants. 

For budget reasons, there is an upper limit of 34 000 DKK for each study circle to arrange their WS. If less than 15 people attend the WS, please contact the trasurer before receiving funding from NSU. If the prepayment from NSU is not fully used, the remaining sum of it has to be returned to NSU once the accounting report has been finalised. There can be no money saved from the NSU funding for other activities. The participation fee money that is left over, can be used for other purposes, as long as they are used for activities of your circle – for instance making extra scholarships available to the summer session, publications, etc. 

Registration / Participation fee

The WS shall have a mandatory registration fee of minimum 50 DKK. It is recommended to have a system of differentiated fees: a lower fee for local participants, students or other people in need of it, and higher fees for other participants. Coordinators, invited speakers and guests do not pay the registration fee. The registration fee has to be included in the budget estimate. Any surplus resulting from these participation fees can be freely used to accommodate other needs of the circle within its three-year period, for example, to invite external keynotes or to publish work of the circle.

Annual NSU Membership Fee

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) annual membership fee facilitates the existence of NSU, which is a volunteer-based organisation. As a member you can sign up for all events organised by NSU, take part in the democratic decision-making process on which NSU is based, and become part of the extensive network of NSU. There are two rates: a standard fee of 25 euros and a discounted membership of 10 euros for self-financed/freelance/independent students, scholars and artists. 

Membership fees go towards NSU, and coordinators are not able to use this money towards organising the WS and/or SS.


Participation fees & NSU membership fees are paid directly to NSU through the NSU webshop. Please contact the treasurer and provide all the information you want included in the webshop by October 31. For example: the different rates of participation fees and what the requirements for discounts are.

Once the budget is approved (one month before the start of the WS), the NSU board will pay out the NSU funding and the received participation fees (not the membership fees) to the responsible coordinator. Any late and remaining payments will be paid to the coordinator later, once the accounts have been finalised by the coordinator and have been accepted by the NSU treasurer.

External funding

Participants can apply for external funding to cover their travel expenses. If they need a letter of acceptance to the seminar, coordinators should provide them with this. A letter of acceptance to the seminar is not dependent on the participant giving a presentation.

In case of in-kind external funding, like an institution providing rooms and places to hold the seminar, please get the proper documentation of this in-kind contribution. It is very important for NSU to document such external funding, so it would be great if you could use the document you can find here, to be filled out by the in-kind provider.

All external funding needs to be shown in the financial reporting. So, even when a partner pays for a meal, you need to have the receipts for this (or a copy/photograph of it). Please also provide documentation that confirms that this external partner has contributed money towards the WS.

Travel Support

It is the coordinators’ role to decide on a fair system for granting travel support for the WS, to explain the system used to the participants, how they can apply for support, and what is required for getting their reimbursement when the support is granted.

The travel reimbursement cannot exceed actual costs of travel. It can be distributed after application to non-local participants, for example, based on:

  • needs (i.e. students and low-income participants),
  • an equal % of total travel costs, or
  • a flat amount.

The form for the reimbursement of the travel costs can be found in the Internal website. The deadline for getting money back, no matter when the WS was held, is set to the 15th of May. After this date no refunds will be given.

Remember that the coordinators need to make the actual payment of the travel support granted to the participants first as part of their accounting, and only then enter all the documents (including the accounting travel support forms with their scanned receipts) in the Zoho system.

NSU cannot reimburse travel or other costs where the trip had to be cancelled before the session. NSU strongly encourages all participants to take out travel insurance in order to cover any such eventuality.

Distribution of CfP and media strategy

The Winter Symposiums are a unique and important opportunity to attract new participants and to widen and strengthen networks within the Nordic-Baltic countries, and we encourage coordinators to spread the CFP widely within their own and wider networks, and to share activities on Social Media.

  • Coordinators can create a Facebook event for the Winter Session and coordinate this with the Board Member responsible for Communication, who will help to spread this via NSU’s social media channels.
  • Before and during the WS, this event and other channels in use can be updated regularly.
  • After each winter symposium, a selection of photographs along with a few lines of the place and activities should be sent to NSU. The coordinators’ should ensure the NSU has permission to use these photos.

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