CCN Generative Adversarial Collaborations (GACs)

The GAC Proposal Submission Deadline is 31 May 2022!

What are the most exciting challenges and controversies in cognitive computational neuroscience right now? How can we make tractable plans to solve them collaboratively? As part of the annual CCN Program, the CCN Program Committee is organizing the second installment of our new, innovative event type: the Generative Adversarial Collaborations (GACs). The goal of a CCN GAC is to identify, debate, and make concrete plans to address the most challenging, controversial, and exciting theoretical and empirical debates in our field -- and then to begin implementing these plans.

For information on previous GACs, see the GAC Website.

Applying to lead a CCN GAC

Applicants to the CCN GAC call should submit:

  1. An optional but highly encouraged letter of intent including a short (~1 paragraph) description of the intended GAC and organizers.
  2. The main GAC application should be a single PDF that includes the following:
    • A 2-3 page proposal that includes the following headings:
      • Title: Should clearly communicate the scientific challenge or controversy.
      • Scientific question: A clear empirical or theoretical question that could in principle -- be answered by work covering 1-3 years (experimental and/or theoretical).
      • Background: Information demonstrating sufficient evidence (theory and/or experimental) to lay the foundation for the question at hand.
      • Challenge or controversy: Clearly outline what the contentious issue / open question is in the field and where it stems from.
      • Competing hypotheses and proposed approach for resolution: Alternative hypotheses and how to address the question over the coming year or so.
      • Concrete outcomes: Outcomes that are projected as in principle solvable, ideally in the next years or so, and if possible a plan to achieve those outcomes.
      • Benefit to the community: A statement of how the GAC will benefit the community beyond the scientific knowledge itself, including consideration of relevance to the full CCN community and beyond.
      • References can exceed the page limit if necessary
    • A list of a core group (at least 2) of committed collaborators -- both theorists and experimentalists are welcome. Roles for members of this core group should be clearly defined (1-2 sentences for each). This can include:
      • Senior thought leaders in these areas, ideally for advisory positions
      • Junior group leaders and postdocs who are likely to lead actual experiments or develop new theory resulting from the GAC process
    • Statements indicating commitment from each core group member to collaborate on the chosen GAC topic, including:
      • Incorporating feedback from the community and potentially welcoming new CCN community members to the GAC based on their written commentary to the GAC proposal
      • Running an online kickoff workshop at the annual CCN meeting, inclusive of both founding core GAC members and those new members who joined through the community feedback process
      • Writing the position paper to be submitted early the following year to a curated special issue of NBDT, to be accompanied by commentary pieces authored by attendees of the CCN GAC kickoff workshop
      • Attending and presenting progress at the following CCN annual meeting

Selection process

A small number of CCN GAC proposals will be accepted for the CCN GAC workshops and following development during the year. The selection process will involve the CCN Program Committee and Review Committee evaluating the proposals for (1) adherence to the above criteria and (2) diversity and breadth of target audience, and will incorporate feedback solicited from the CCN community in the process.

Submission Method

Create a single PDF file which contains the information listed in the 2-3 page proposal description, click the Start a new Proposal button below, fill in the listed fields and attach your PDF proposal application document.

You will need to have the email addresses of all of the co-applicants that are part of the proposal. By typing their names you confirm that everyone is willingly part of this proposal application, and we will email confirmation to all of these co-applicants.