Call for Proposals

Call for proposals will close on Sunday, August 15, 2021 (AoE) . You will be notified of the proposal acceptance status by September 2, 2021.

Proposal Guidelines

PyData Global 2021 will be a three-day event with live Talks, Tutorials, and Workshops. Speakers will give their presentations live. 

The proposal selection process is double-blind meaning that reviewers will not be able to see your name or other identifying information. Reviewers will see the proposal Title, Prior Knowledge Expected, Brief Summary, Bullet Point Outline, Description, specialized tracks, and keywords. Please withhold identifying information from those fields. 

Speakers will receive a free ticket to the entire event. 

Thank you so much for considering submitting to PyData Global. We look forward to reading your proposal and appreciate you being a part of the community. Please submit and encourage your colleagues and friends to submit as well!


Talks are 30-minute sessions including time for Q&A. A talk proposal is a short description of a talk that is aiming to convince someone to part with 30 minutes of their time, in order to learn about something. A good proposal should disclose:

  • The topic (the WHAT) and WHY it is interesting
  • The audience to WHOM the talk is addressed
  • The TYPE of talk (lots of maths, hands-on, etc) and possibly the tone (light-hearted, informative etc)
  • The TAKEAWAY, a.k.a. what will I learn

There are two parts to a proposal:

  1. Brief Summary – This informs attendees what the talk is about. Discloses the topic, domain and overall purpose. This is at most a few lines long, and will be printed in the conference programme.
  2. Description – This is a self-contained statement that summarises the aspects of the talk. It should be structured and present the objective of the talk, its outline, central thesis and key takeaways. After reading the description, the audience should have an idea of the overall presentation and know what to expect. The description should also make clear what background knowledge is expected from the attendees. Both this and the summary will be included in the talk details online.

While there is no strict template for this, you should make sure that the audience can understand why your talk is relevant for them.


Tutorials are 90 minute hands-on sessions where you have the opportunity to lead a virtual classroom so attendees can learn about a new skill/library/technology in a self-contained way, and have materials available to students before-hand so they can follow suit. Guidelines for the tutorial proposal are the same as above, but the description should make clear what are the requirements for the class and how the materials are going to be distributed (e.g. github repo, links, etc). 


Workshops are two hour sessions focused on a theme.  They are intended to give a sub-community a space to assemble and focus.  Themes have included topics like deployment, geosciences, GPUs, imaging, and data file formats.

It is expected that these workshops will include a mix of invited speakers and could be one of several formats:

  • Series of invited talks 
  • Panel discussion + Q&A
  • Working session

The proposal for a workshop should include the topic/theme of the workshop and the proposed format. The workshop organizer(s) will have freedom to invite speakers and conduct the workshop. The program committee will work with you to fine tune the content and format of the workshop.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are short 5-10 minute sessions.Have you been working on an interesting project that you want to share with the PyData community? It could be something that you learned, or a technique you think other people will be interested in.We encourage anyone – especially first-time speakers – interested to sign up for a short presentation on any topic of interest to the PyData community.

Specialized Tracks

If you feel your talk will fit in one or more of the specialized tracks for the conference, you will have the opportunity to indicate this on the proposal submission.

Fitting with the theme of the event, the specialized tracks this year are:

  • Causal and Statistical Methods
  • Data Visualization & Interpretability
  • Julia for Python Users & Julia Users
  • Data Science in Production
  • Lessons from Industry
  • Open Science
  • Interpretability 
  • Fairness/Equity 
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Vision
  • High Performance Computing 
  • Machine Learning
  • Organizing Open Source 
  • Data Engineering or MLOps


You will have the opportunity to tag your proposal with keywords to assist with the proposal review. Expand to see the full list.


  • Algorithms
  • APIs
  • Astronomy
  • Augmented Reality
  • Best Practice
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Business & Start-Ups
  • Coding / Code-Review
  • Community
  • Computer Vision
  • Data Engineering
  • Data Mining / Scraping
  • Data Visualization
  • Databases and ETL
  • Development Methods
  • Devops: Pipelines, Deployment, Scalability
  • Ethics of Machine Learning (Privacy, Fairness, …)
  • Functional Programming
  • GIS / Geo-Analytics
  • Hardware
  • Julia
  • Jupyter / Notebooks
  • Machine Learning
  • Makers
  • Microcontrollers
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Networks
  • Neural Networks / Deep Learning
  • New libraries
  • Packaging
  • Parallel Programming / Async
  • Philosophy
  • Python – CPython new features
  • Python – PyPy, Cython, Anaconda
  • Predictive Modelling
  • Python fundamentals
  • Python in Social Sciences
  • R
  • Reproducible Science
  • Robotics
  • Rust
  • Science
  • Security
  • Simulations
  • Spark/Hadoop
  • Statistics in ML
  • Survey
  • Theory
  • Transparency in ML / Interpretable Models
  • Unsupervised ML
  • Use Cases


Are Speakers able to attend the full conference for free?

Yes! Presenting a talk, tutorial, or workshop entitles you to an all-access conference pass.

Do Speakers receive payment in exchange for speaking?

No. We will have a number of modest speaker stipends available based on need; the quantity available will depend on successful sponsorship of this effort. If a stipend would make a difference in your ability to prepare and present your material, you can indicate that you would like to be considered for these funds through the CFP. Proposal selection is need-blind; asking to be considered for need-based stipends will have no bearing on the consideration or likelihood of acceptance of your proposal.

My company wants to sponsor. Can I introduce them to you?

Yes! Please indicate this on your application. This will have no bearing on the consideration or likelihood of acceptance of your proposal, but it will help us identify and source leads for sponsorship, which helps support open source and educational outreach in order to advance the mission of NumFOCUS. You may also share our sponsorship prospectus.

Tips on How to Write a Successful Proposal

A proposal serves two purposes: 1) convince the Program Committee to accept your proposal, and 2) act as the description of the talk/tutorial on the schedule. If accepted, you will have the opportunity to further edit and clarify the proposal ahead of the schedule’s publication.

The guidelines for proposing a talk versus a tutorial are essentially the same. 

Good proposals include:

  • The topic and why it’s interesting
  • The audience that will benefit from attending this talk/tutorial
  • The takeaway for the audience
  • Any background knowledge needed to understand the talk/tutorial
  • Approximate time breakdowns of how the material will be covered, e.g. minutes 0-10: X1, minutes 10-15: Y1, etc.

There are two parts to a proposal:

  1. Abstract: The abstract tells attendees what the talk/tutorial is about. It should answer all of the above questions, but it should remain short and to-the-point. This is your chance to pitch attendees on watching your talk/tutorial. If you are submitting a tutorial proposal, the abstract should also specify the requirements for participating and how materials will be distributed (e.g. Github repo, links, etc). If your materials are already hosted publicly somewhere, you can include the link. 
  2. Description: The description expands on the abstract and provides background and additional details about your talk/tutorial. It is often helpful for talk descriptions to include an outline of the talk/tutorial. The Program Committee reads each description carefully to determine if a talk/tutorial is a good fit. This is your chance to pitch the Program Committee on accepting your talk/tutorial. The Program Committee does occasionally ask for more information after proposals have been submitted, but it’s better to include relevant details up front and try to anticipate what questions the Committee will have after reading your proposal. For example, if you think the Committee may think you’re trying to cover too much ground, an outline with time estimates could help alleviate that concern.

Additional Talk/Tutorial Proposal Suggestions

  • Who is your target audience? Think about your target audience in terms of job role (data scientist, engineer, researcher, etc.) and experience level. Being clear about who you are speaking to (and the background knowledge you can expect them to have) is helpful both to you as you prepare your presentation, as well as to the audience considering whether your presentation is a good fit for them to attend.
  • Clear title: A catchy title can be useful, but don’t overdo it. People should get a rough idea of what your presentation is about just by reading the title. Your proposal and your presentation should be consistent with your title.
  • Get feedback: Ask friends and colleagues to review your abstract; bonus points if they are your target audience. Take time to tweak your abstract if needed. Additionally, if you are a first-time speaker, please indicate this in your proposal and we will reach out with more information regarding mentorship opportunities.

Common Pitfalls

Here are some common pitfalls that could lead to the proposal not being understood or rejected by the Program Committee:

  • Overly long proposals: Keep it simple and clear. Good proposals typically provide all the important information within 200 words. This is not a strict limit, just a suggestion to help you stay focused.
  • Future work: While talking about future work is interesting and could be mentioned in your talk, the core content of the talk should already be shaped, and you should be able to describe it in your proposal. Don’t rely too heavily on future data collection or future prototyping, because things often don’t go as expected.
  • Sales pitches: We are a community of creators and users of open-source scientific computing tools. You can reference your closed-source product or platform, but the audience will find the talk more interesting if they can try your techniques with the open source PyData stack. Your problem definition, proposed techniques, and business domain are also interesting, but sales pitches are typically rejected.
  • Repeated talks: We have a strong preference for new talks, and new speakers. If your talk is already available online, it is unlikely to be accepted for the conference.