Arranging a Winter Symposium

Updated 2019-07

An updated version of this manual will be available every year on the NSU Internal website. In case of other updates the coordinators will be notified by email.

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. They arrange the booking of rooms, accommodation and plan meals. 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.


Crucial deadlines for your tasks as coordinators:


    • October 15: Upload the 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.
    • February 15: Compulsory date for announcing the program for the WS on the NSU website and in emails to all the applicants.
    • 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.
  • 1 month after the WS, or at the latest by April 15: The final accounting, including the receipts for all the costs (accommodation and meals) and the travel support granted, must be submitted to NSU’s accountant.


Templates and forms


Budget template (.xls) (Send latest 1 month before the WS)

NSU-Instructions-for-the-accounting-report-WS (pdf) (Submit one month after the WS; however, at the latest by 15 April

For reimbursement of the travel costs, see Travel form.

For issuing ECTS points, see  ECTS certificate.

Arranging a Winter Symposium (WS)


The coordinators are responsible for arranging the WS, this task includes:

  1. Finding dates (recommendation between January and mid March), location and local partner(s).


Remember the Nordic impact, therefore, the WS:

      • must take place in a Nordic country or a Baltic Sea State,
      • must involve collaboration with local partner(s) or institution(s); this 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.
      • must document the collaboration, for example, through a partnerships agreement (you can find a template for such an agreement at the page  Templates for Cfp and Partnership),
      • should preferably take place in different countries over the three year cycle of the circle, unless there is a specific reason to return to the same place or country
    • should aim to extend its network and impact keeping in mind the NSU regional focus in the current strategy plan  


  1. Finalizing the call for proposals (CfP) by 15 October.


The CfP should include:

      • the topic of concern for the symposium and the study circle,
      • the practical information needed for the applicants, such as date and place and fee (minimum of 50 SEK/participant) for the symposium, the deadline for applying (recommended December 1), and notification of acceptance.
      • the NSU’s logo (you can find it here) 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 here). The logo of our funder Norden must be included. You can download the logo here.
    • Moreover, remember to:
        • upload the CfP on NSU website by 15 September (you can find the instructions here),
        • distribute the CfP to relevant institutions, networks and interested parties in all the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as internationally if relevant.
      • send the CfP to your contact person in the NSU Board and distribute it internally in the NSU channels and your own channels.


  1. Selecting presenters and if relevant, other participants, and plan a preliminary program by 15 February.


Remember to:

      • inform all applicants whether their proposals were accepted or not. 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).
      • upload a preliminary program on NSU web page latest by 15 February.
    • Make a budget and send it to NSU’s accountant with a list of registered participants and the contact information of coordinator responsible for the circle accounting at the latest one month prior to the WS. (More information below.)


  1. Organizing the symposium (recommended between January and mid March)


Remember to:

      • book a meeting room (If you find a partner that offers you the room for free, please provide 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.)
      • make a plan for how to ensure accommodation (maximum of 1500 SEK/participant) and meals (maximum of 1000 SEK/participant) 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.


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 Officer of web and support (OWS) and the NSU accountant. Also, CC your contact person on the board. The request should include:

    • The completed budget template, it includes 3 different sheets (see the tabs at the bottom of the template):
        • SHEET 1: “Budsjett for vintersymposium / Budget for the winter symposium”
        • SHEET 2: “Liste over påmeldte deltakere / list of registered participants to the WS”
      • SHEET 3: “Kontaktopplysninger for den økonomiansvarlige koordinator “ / Contact information for the coordinator responsible for economy
  • The program for the WS

Finalizing the accounting (within one month after the WS, or latest by 15 April)

One month after the WS, or latest by 15 April, you need to finish the accounting and send it to the NSU Accountant Susanne Farre by email ( Remember that all original receipts must be sorted and scanned: they should be individually numbered in order to be recorded on the accounting form and classified according to the sub-categories Travel, Accommodation, Meals, Other costs. Use the templates in the budget template to give an overview of the accounting and the demographics of the WS.

Funding of the Winter Symposium

Funding from NSU

NSU will pay up to 2100 SEK per participant in support of expenses: travel, accommodation and meals. In this context, “participants” are defined as participants who pay the registration fee (see below) and the two coordinators. Out of the amount of 2100 SEK, up to 1500 SEK per participant could be spent on accommodation and rental of facilities, and up to 1000 SEK on meals (so if more is spent on meals, then less can be spent on accommodation). There is no fixed amount for spending when it comes to travel support; however, the reimbursement of travelling expenses cannot exceed the actual expenses for travelling.

For budget reasons, there is an upper limit of 50 000 SEK for each study circle to arrange their WS. This equates to funding for 24 participants. You may of course still invite more than 24; however, this is the limit of NSU funding. If the prepayment from NSU is not fully used, the remaining sum of it has to be returned to NSU together with the accounting report.

Registration fee

The WS shall have a mandatory registration fee of minimum 50 SEK. 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 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.

Examples of funding structures

    • Example 1: 15 participants and a request for prepayment of 2100 SEK x 15 = 31 500 SEK. Out of this (maximum of) 1500 SEK x 15 = 22 500 SEK is estimated to be spent on accommodation, and (maximum of) 600 x 15 = 9000 SEK on food. From the total prepayment of 31 500 SEK then it remains 0 SEK to spend on travel support.
    • Example 2: 15 participants and a request for prepayment of 2100 SEK x 15 = 31 500 SEK, only 1000 SEK x 15 = 15 000 SEK is estimated to be spent on accommodation, and 400 x 15 = 6000 SEK for food. From the total prepayment of 31 500 SEK then it remains 10 500 SEK to spend on travel support.
  • In the first example, the travel support can only be covered thanks to the participant fees (e.g. make them higher) or by letting the participants themselves pay partially for their expenses to food or accommodation.


External funding

Participants may 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 template can be found here (LINK TO TEMPLATE). 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.

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 April. 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 send all the documents (including the accounting travel support forms with their scanned receipts) to NSU accountant.

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 (Tbc)


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 should 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 should 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 Communication. The coordinators’ should ensure the NSU has permission to use these photos.