Organizer's Handbook
TSRC Philosophy & Recommendations

TSRC is about pushing the frontiers of science, exploring new ideas, and building collaborations. TSRC co-founders, Stephen Berry and Peter Salamon, instituted a powerful workshop format to advance these goals:

  1. Create an atmosphere that allows participants to challenge ideas, while maintaining a supportive and collaborative environment. Telluride Science is all about friendliness and inclusion.
  2. Keep the group size small. The average Telluride Science workshop has 23 participants, although they can be as small as 10 or as large as 30. In addition to rooms being less comfortable when groups go above 30 participants, it is harder and takes longer to achieve the same human dynamics and interpersonal relationships than with smaller workshops. Meetings that are larger than 35 are considered "Conferences" rather than "Workshops." We often must use other facilities for these events, and this can elevate the registration cost of the meeting.
  3. Present unpublished research versus results that other participants might already know well. The goal is to push the boundaries and think outside the box.
  4. Allow ample time for discussion. Talks are normally scheduled for 30-60 minutes with substantial discussion during each talk. Interruptions are encouraged. The point of the talk is only to stimulate conversation and the sharing of ideas.
  5. Encourage diversity in the participants. Telluride Science believes that these diversity factors inherently create new perspectives, and this is a key ingredient of successful brainstorming and problem solving. Some of our most successful and vibrant workshops include participants from diverse career stages, and often the best organizer teams are diverse (experimentalist/theorist; gender; career stage).
  6. Allow for substantial "free time" for participants to talk and think. Free time is a hallmark of Telluride Science Workshops as often the best thinking comes during walks through the town or hikes in the mountains. Many organizers have found that an all-day meeting on the first day followed by half-day meetings the remaining days of the week is an effective workshop format.
  7. Tell your participants to interact with local members of the Telluride community and always be respectful. "You are an ambassador for Telluride Science." Part of the reason that Telluride Science has been successful has to do with the fact that Telluride itself is a very welcoming and friendly community. Scientists can come from any corner of the world, feel welcomed, let their guard down, and have the space to think deeply about their science.
  8. All participants are expected to stay for the entire duration of the workshop. A good workshop is a collaborative effort and complete participation should be encouraged.
  9. Organizers should encourage the participation of young scientists who can bring new ideas to the group. Telluride Science's young scientists are the future of the organization.
  10. As a way to help keep the workshop "fresh," organizers should seek to turn over the workshop to new group of organizers at the end of each meeting.
  11. Scientists are encouraged to consider bringing family or friends. Telluride offers a number of options for children's camps (including Telluride Academy, Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Pinhead Institute) and an active program of festivals for family entertainment.
Thank you for being a TSRC Organizer. We appreciate your commitment to TSRC and trust in us. Even if you have run a dozen TSRC meetings, please read this document carefully as some things may have changed.

The list below is, in part, an important To-Do-List that enables us to do their jobs, but does not dictate your science program. This handbook is intended to make things easier for you, not harder.

Mark Kozak, TSRC Executive Director, will be your TSRC point person for all information and assistance regarding organizing the workshop. His phone number is (970) 708-4426 and responds most quickly to texts. Mark can typically be reached between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, U.S. Mountain Time. Good communication is key to seamless organization.

If any of your invitees asks about logistics, please direct them to Mark Kozak, Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm U.S. Mountain Time. Or contact him anytime by email at Please do not attempt to answer questions about logistics yourself, as things change.

To make your meeting as successful as possible, please program the dates and responsibilities below into your calendars. We will also send you email reminders of these deadlines, but it is best if they are already on your radar.

The “early-bird” registration deadline is not necessarily a rigid date, but one that can be extended. Every year, lodging become increasingly competitive and our goal with the early-bird registration deadline is to get participants to secure lodging early so we can guarantee them a wholesale rate. Most workshops will have early-bird registration of January 15th. Please urge your participants to register early.

Weeks in 2019 with special issues that organizers for that week should know about:
Week of Sunday, June 16th: Workshops start on Sunday, June 16th and run through Thurs, June 20th. Wednesday, June 19th, is the last night with discounted lodging before the Bluegrass Festival. We recommend that scientists reserve lodging at the Hampton Inn or the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose for Thursday night. It is possible to stay for dinner in Telluiride and take a shuttle to the hotel in Montrose after diinner.
Week of Sunday, June 23rd: Workshops start on Tuesday, June 25th and run through Sat, June 29th. Discounted lodging pricing starts on Monday, June 24th.
Week of July 4th: TSRC is not operating during the week of July 4th.
Week of Sunday, July 14th: Workshops start on Tuesday, July 16th and run through Saturday, July 20th. Discounted lodging pricing starts on Monday, July 15th.

Please take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Mark Kozak’s emails ( do not go in the trash folder.

Weeks in 2020 with special issues that organizers for that week should know about:
Week of Sunday, June 14th: Workshops start on Sunday, June 14th and run through Thurs, June 18th. Wednesday, June 17th, is the last night with discounted lodging before the Bluegrass Festival. We recommend that scientists reserve lodging at the Hampton Inn or the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose for Thursday night. It is possible to stay for dinner on Thursday in Telluiride and take a shuttle to the hotel in Montrose after diinner.
Week of Sunday, June 21st: Workshops start on Tuesday, June 23rd and run through Sat, June 27th. Discounted lodging pricing starts on Monday, June 22nd.
Week of July 4th: TSRC is not operating during the week of July 4th.
Week of Sunday, July 12th: Workshops start on Tuesday, July 14th and run through Saturday, July 18th. Discounted lodging pricing starts on Monday, July 13th.

Please take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Mark Kozak’s emails ( do not go in the trash folder.

Getting Started
NOW: Review Your Workshop Description & All Information about your Meeting at

  • Click on the name of your workshop on this future meeting page to review your meeting information
  • Double check:
    1. The name of the workshop
    2. The organizers names & email addresses
    3. The dates of your meeting
    4. The purpose statement
    5. The location
    6. Registration cost
    7. If you are planning on having catered lunches ($22/person/day), it needs to be included in your registration fee. Catered lunches cannot be added once the registration for your workshop opens.
    8. TSRC will only organize group dinners that are covered by the organizer or workshop sponsor.
  • Email Mark if any changes need to be made (

  • Formally invite your participants. TSRC can provide you with a sample letter or you can write one yourself. They are simple.
  • Include:
    1. Registration Opens in the fall
    2. Name of meeting
    3. Organizers names & contact information
    4. Purpose statement of meeting
    5. Dates of meeting
    6. Approximate size of meeting
    7. A “commitment deadline” (so you can invitee others in their stead if they cannot come & so you make your schedules on time).
    8. TSRC contact information - Executive Director Mark Kozak,, 970-708-4426, and Managing Director,, 970-708-5069.
    9. Logistical information about lodging, registration, invitation letters for VISA purposes, student scholarships, etc. to include with the invitation (coming soon).
    10. TSRC strongly encourages all participants to register and book lodging as early as possible. Booking immediately is always the best choice. Booking lodging early ensures that your participants have access to the best lodging options.

Check Registrations
  • Monitor who registers for your workshop by going to TSRC website at, and clicking on the name of your workshop. Keep that URL bookmarked so you can go to it directly. This information is always up to date.
  • If you do not get a response from an invitee, write them again. You will want to know if they cannot come so that you can a) invite their post doc to come in their stead, or b) replace them with someone else. TSRC cannot extend early-bird pricing because someone was invited late in the game.

Uninvited Registrants
  • If someone registers who has not been invited, you can decide to include him or her if you wish. If you do not wish them to attend, please notify Mark Kozak, immediately so that he will not process payment.
  • Then notify the uninvited registrant that your meeting is over-subscribed and that unfortunately they cannot attend the meeting and importantly, copy Mark Kozak on that email
  • You can inform the "uninvited" registrant that they failed to contact you before registering and that on your meeting description it notes: "If you are interested in attending a meeting, but have not received an invitation, please contact the workshop organizer about availability before registering."

Mid-Year Responsibilities

Know your own Early-Bird Deadline: Send Early-Bird Deadline Notifications to Your Invitees Twice
The early-bird pricing deadline for all meetings is January 15th, 2019 & 2020. The goal is get participants to register as soon as possible in order for them to secure their preferred lodging. Lodging in Telluride becomes increasingly competitive every year.

  • Inform your participants one month before the early-bird deadline of the approaching early-bird registration deadline
  • Again, inform your participants one week before the early bird deadline
  • TSRC cannot honor any requests for early-bird pricing extensions, so invite your participants early and often

Ask Invitees for the titles of their talks
Know when you schedule is due to TSRC and request talk titles from your invitees a month in advance or more

Nominate a Town Talk Speaker from your group
TSRC hosts weekly Town Talks throughout the summer on Tuesday nights. If you have a participant who knows how to communicate with the lay public, please nominate him or her as a Town Talk speaker. Contact Mark. Do not contact the nominee. You may feel free to nominate yourself!

Meeting Schedules & Samples

Four Months Prior, Send "Draft Meeting Schedule" to Mark


Deadlines for getting TSRC your draft-meeting schedule varies depending upon the month of your meeting. This draft schedule should include speaker names. If you do not have a complete schedule, you can leave some as TBAs. Getting schedules out early is important for folks making plane reservations and for staffing purposes.

  • For meetings starting in June, send your draft schedule to TSRC by March 1st
  • For meetings starting in July, send your draft schedule to TSRC by March 1st
  • For meetings starting in August, send your draft meeting schedule to TSRC by April 1st.
  • The draft will be posted on our website.

Scheduling Parameters
  • Morning meeting start times can be 8:00am, 8:15am, 8:30am, 8:45am, or 9:00am, however these start times are on a first-come, first-serve basis. The organizers who get their schedules in first have the greatest choice of start times. You may be assigned a start time. Start times should be consistent throughout the week.
  • Schedule breakfast 30-minutes prior to your meeting start time only. TSRC offers breakfast from 7:30 am to 9:00 am on the mornings of workshops.
  • Picnics are now held Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Telluride Intermediate School, under the tent.
  • Town Talks are held Tuesday nights from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (cash bar starts at 6:00 pm) throughout the summer at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. It is roughly a 35 minute commute from the Intermediate School to the Conference Center.
  • Schedule frequent coffee breaks.
  • Many organizers like to schedule group hikes. TSRC staff can assist with suggested trails and meeting places.
  • All five-day-meetings must end by noon on the last day.
  • You may schedule evening meeting sessions on most days, but subject to approval, so that an evening session does not conflict with the picnic or the Town Talk.

Important Information to be Included on Your Schedule:
  • The name of your meeting
  • The names of organizers
  • The dates of your meeting
  • TSRC Hosts: Mark Kozak, 970-708-4426
  • The meeting address: Telluride Intermediate School located at 725 W Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435.
  • The Picnic address: under the tent outside of the Telluride Intermediate School located at 725 W Colorado Ave, Telluride.
  • The Town Talk address: Conference Center in Mountain Village from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (cash bar starts at 6:00 pm). It is roughly a 35-minute commute from the Intermediate School to the Conference Center.
  • Include "Breakfast at TSRC meeting site" on mornings you are meeting, and schedule them 30-minutes before your session starts.

Send your "Final Meeting Schedule" to TSRC no later than one month before the start date of your meeting

  • This is critically important for your participants and staff.
  • TSRC can remain flexible once your meeting starts in Telluride. You must however inform TSRC about any scheduling change 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, we may not have enough breakfast for your group. Your room might not be clean, etc.

Group Meals

  • TSRC can support restaurant group dinners that will be paid for by the organizers or workshop sponsor. TSRC will make the reservation and pay the restaurant on your behalf and either send you a bill or charge your credit card for the group meal (let us know which you prefer). TSRC will add a 3% administration fee to process payment.
  • As an alternative to a restaurant dinner, TSRC can provide a group pizza and salad dinner with alcoholic beverages under the tent for $45/person. We tested these pizza dinners during the summer of 2016 with great success. Participants stated that it was not only more affordable but they preferred it to the often noisy restaurant setting.
  • Onsite catered lunches are available for $22/person/lunch. The cost of lunches must be added to the meeting registration fee and paid for at the time of registration. Aemono Fine Foods is TSRC's lunch caterer and can adjust the lunch menu to accommodate dietary restrictions. If a lunch is added after the registration opens, the cost must be covered by the organizer and it must be added to the schedule before the start of the workshop.

Meeting Sponsorships

  • TSRC encourages organizers to solicit meeting support to reduce the financial cost for their participants. Supporting organizations can include academic institutions, government agencies/laboratories, foundations, and/or corporate sponsors.
  • TSRC is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Funds paid to TSRC for meeting support are tax deductible.
  • TSRC applies an administration fee for managing meeting sponsorship funds. This fee covers the internal costs of invoicing sponsoring organizations, managing promotions, distributing funds, and credit card fees to TSRC (credit card companies charge TSRC at least 3% to process credit cards).
  • Workshop Support Administrative Fees:
    Sponsorships up to $10,000 will incur a 10% administrative fee.
    Sponsorships above $10,000 that do not require grant administration support from TSRC will incur a flat fee of $1,000.
    Regardless of scale, grants requiring substantial TSRC administration will incur the full 10% administrative fee.
  • Summer Schools: 0% admin fee

Meeting Cancellation Policies

  • It is best to co-organize a workshop with another person or two because if one organizer cannot make the meeting, others can proceed as planned.
  • For whatever reason, if you determine that you need to cancel or postpone your workshop, it must be done nine months ahead of the workshop. If you cancel within nine months of the first day of your workshop, TSRC may need to collect the cost of the rented venue from the organizers. This varies from $500 for a classroom to $7000 for the Palm Theater. TSRC may request a deposit of the rental amount from the organizers prior to the nine-month deadline, or TSRC will request payment for the rental venue if the meeting is cancelled within nine months of the meeting start date.

Virtual-Hybrid Workshops

TSRC's Format Recommendations for Holding an Effective Virtual Workshop

Here is an explanatory video on the hybrid technology.

  • Set your expectations accordingly. You’re not replicating an in-person TSRC meeting with the benefits of Telluride, but creating a similar environment to foster sharing information, generating new ideas, building relationships, and working together to move your science forward.
  • Schedule the workshop to fit your participants' schedule. With virtual workshops, you can host a virtual TSRC workshop at any time a year and over any length of days.
  • Ideally, run the workshop for no more than 2 hours per day. Do not go over 2.5-3 hours to prevent burnout.
  • Keep the talks short: 10-20 minute talks with 20 minute Q&A with flexibility. TSRC can also provide a private (password protected) workshop page for longer pre-recorded video presentations. Some groups, particularly groups that know each other well, take this approach to present more material in the recorded talk with a 5-10 min summary and a longer discussion period for the workshop interaction
  • Provide a break after every two talks.
  • Use chatrooms to create impromptu coffee-break style interactions and discussions.
  • Encourage participants to have follow up conversations>
  • Use a mix of breakout rooms and allow participants to select the breakout room of choice.
  • Organize the meeting well in advance so participants are prepared and you achieve and optimal turn out.


  • Invite more speakers to present
  • Allow lab members, postdocs, and graduate students to listen in at a reduced price.
  • Hold an extra session for students to present. If holding a session for student presentations, provide an incentive prize.

What Does TSRC Provide?

  • Workshop Organizing Support
  • Workshop Marketing Support
  • Registration Support
  • Zoom sub-license with breakout rooms and teleconference coaching
  • Private (password protected) video platform (Vimeo) for pre-recorded talks and for posting sessions to viewed later
  • Participant interaction technology (e.g. to replicate coffee breaks, poster sessions, and impromptu conversations
  • Real-time Support from TSRC Staff
  • Introductions from TSRC Executive or Managing Director to set tone and expectation for the workshop
  • Well-known and respected brand for presenter’s CV

Additional Recommendations for Hybrid Workshops

  • Have an in-person organizer/participant connect to zoom (without audio/video) so they can monitor chat and respond to remote participants right away is really important. That way nobody is frustrated when audio cuts out (which did happen a few times) and no questions get missed.
  • Have some of the remote participants be session chairs to make the meeting feel more inclusive -- as a note of caution, the only way this works is if there is also a 'shadow' chair in the room who zoom-chats the names of people raising hands in the room to the remote session chair.
  • During a presentation, minimize the virtual participants windows on the projected zoom screen. It can be distracting for both the in-person presenters and participants and it can hide parts of the slide. Additionally, it puts the virtual participants in an awkward position to be on the big screen for the entirety of a session and not feel like a distraction.
  • During Q&A/general discussion, have the participants' videos up on the main screen. Have a room camera positioned to show the in-person participants in addition to the speaker.
  • Keep the virtual participants informed of the start and end of breaks.
  • Encourage the speakers to use descriptive words rather than using a laser pointer when drawing attention to things on the slide. The virtual participants cannot see the laser pointer.
  • Encourage virtual participants to clear their schedules as if they were in-person. This helps them to remain focused on the workshop and not be distracted by regular scheduled events like office hours.
  • In 2021, most workshop organizers scheduled their daily session between 8 am - 12 pm MST, with two morning sessions that allowed time for 2-3 speakers each one 15-20 coffee break separating the two morning sessions. The morning session was most popular in order to accommodate participants in Europe. Some organizers held evening sessions from 7 pm - 9 pm MST in order to accommodate participants in Asia.
  • In 2021, many workshop organizers recorded their daily sessions on Zoom and had the TSRC staff upload the sessions to a password-protected Vimeo page so the sessions could be viewed by virtual participants in other time zones.


"I was fortunate to be at two exceptional workshops these past two weeks. While nothing compares to being at Telluride in person, I did think the hybrid format worked better than I expected, and I certainly had some interesting one-on-one conversations after sessions wrapped up." – Nandini Ananth, Cornell University

“While I was very skeptical of hosting a virtual workshop, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement and exchange of ideas. I will absolutely hold another one. TSRC made it extremely easy.” – David Reichman, Columbia University

"The participants were very positive about the workshop. One of the most positive aspects of holding the meeting virtually, is that we were able to engage far more students than had signed up for the physical meeting. Participants also expressed the opinion that in the future we might want to explore hybrid workshops with some participants physically present in Telluride and others participating virtually and/or alternating physical and virtual workshops. This sentiment was motivated by it being easier and less expensive to participate in a meeting virtually, especially for overseas participants." – Ken Jordan, University of Pittsburgh

"Overall this meeting was definitely a success. A virtual meeting is not the same thing as a live meeting, and we should not aim to transpose (too much) what happens live, so that's what you did and I think it was great." – Sophie Marbarch, Courant Institute, New York University

"We decided to adapt our meeting “Quantum Frontiers in Molecular Science” to a virtual setting in response to feedback by our community that clearly signaled the need to have a meeting in this area this summer, even if it meant that we couldn’t wonder through the streets of Telluride together. The synchronous component was done over Zoom, pre-recorded lectures were deposited in Vimeo channels, and "hallway" discussions were channeled through Slack. TSRC handled the logistics of registration, posting of the recorded lectures and provided Zoom accounts. We had 5 longer pre-recorded tutorial sessions, 20+ shorter invited synchronous presentations, and about 15 contributed pre-recorded 10 minute presentations. The format worked surprisingly well and the meeting was very successful! The main advantage of the virtual setting is that it enabled us to broaden participation and to include students and postdocs that will not normally participate on focused TSRC workshops. Even when we all missed meeting each other in person, the virtual setting catalyzed very useful interactions for this community." – Ignacio Franco, University of Rochester

Telluride Science Research Center
Post Office Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435
Tel: + 970.708.4426
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