SLiM Workshops: Information for Attendees  

This page is a collection of information for those who are attending, or considering attending, a SLiM workshop. If you are interested in hosting a SLiM workshop at your institution, please contact me. I've tried to make the information here as detailed as I could, to avoid any possible misunderstandings; please let me know if you have any remaining questions.


First of all, as background: SLiM is a software package for creating evolutionary models/simulations that are individual-based and genetically explicit. It is scriptable, flexible, fast, and includes an interactive graphical modeling environment. You can read more about it on the SLiM home page.

For a five-day workshop, the plan is to try to cover all the major topics in the SLiM manual, starting with lots of introductory material to get beginners up to speed with SLiM and its associated scripting language Eidos, and ending up at advanced topics like non-Wright–Fisher models, tree-sequence recording, continuous-space models, nucleotide-based models, and multispecies simulations. We won't cover everything in the manual – that would be overwhelming! – but we'll try to cover all the big topics. There will also be time for attendees to work on their own models with help from me, and we may also have time to explore some optional side topics that are of particular interest to those attending each workshop. More detailed information on the topics covered is in the SLiM workshop overview.

If you are a beginner with SLiM, you might wish to get a head start by reading this paper:

B.C. Haller, P.W. Messer. (2019). Evolutionary modeling in SLiM 3 for beginners. Molecular Biology and Evolution 36(5), 1101–1109. doi:10.1093/molbev/msy237

You can download a PDF of that paper here. This preparation is not mandatory; we will cover everything in the paper during the workshop.


In general, SLiM workshops are free to attend, although there may be occasional exceptions. In some cases there may be funding available for student travel grants; see the workshop announcement for such details. Attendees are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and food costs. Please do not buy tickets or reserve accommodations until you have been formally accepted to the workshop. Workshops may provide snacks, or even lunches; see the workshop announcement or inquire for details from the workshop host.

COVID considerations:

We paused in-person workshops for several years, because of the COVID pandemic. Given the availability of vaccinations and improved treatments, we are now giving in-person workshops again, but we remain concerned about the health risks presented by COVID, especially given the continuing occurrence of serious "long COVID" symptoms. For this reason, regardless of the hosting institution for a given workshop, we will at a minimum require that all workshop attendees are up to date with their COVID vaccinations, including all booster shots recommended by the U.S. CDC. To register for a workshop (see below), this will be verified on the "honor system" with a written affadavit. We reserve the right to additionally require actual proof of vaccination prior to attendance, at our discretion, so please be prepared to provide such proof. (This might be required, for example, if there is a surge of a new COVID variant, or if an attendee has health issues that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID, or if the hosting institution requires proof of vaccination for events they host.) At the present time we expect that wearing a mask during the workshop will be voluntary, but again, we reserve the right to make masking mandatory at any time, so please have a high-quality (e.g., N-95) mask with you at the workshop. Note that unless it is required by the hosting institution, the instructor (me) will probably not wear a mask while presenting, because it makes speaking more difficult; but I will be happy to mask when interacting one-on-one with attendees, if requested. I hope that these choices strike a balance between safety and convenience that is acceptable to all.

Hardware and Software:

There are both hardware and software requirements for participating in a workshop. Please see the workshop setup page for details.


A given workshop's announcement specifies the registration deadline for that workshop, and the email addresses to which you should send your application. In general, the following information is requested in your application email:

(1) your name

(2) your university or institutional affiliation

(3) a link to a research website or similar academic page, if you have one

(4) a 1–2 sentence description of your level of experience with SLiM and any other forward genetic simulation software, if any

(5) a 1–2 sentence summary of why you want to attend the workshop (i.e., the connection to your research)

(6) 1–2 sentences about any specific topics within SLiM that you hope to learn about in the workshop

(7) A sentence stating that you are up-to-date on your COVID vaccinations, including all booster shots recommended by the U.S. CDC. You may be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to attending; see above.

Please do not apply to a workshop unless you are sufficiently serious that you will actually attend, if accepted. Note that acceptance for workshops is generally first-come-first-served (apart from the priority for those from the hosting institution), so early application is advised.

Food & beverages:

The workshop host will have some sort of plan regarding lunch during the workshop; either lunches will be provided on-site, or attendees will walk to a nearby spot for lunch off-site. If you have any dietary restrictions, please notify the host so that those restrictions may be accommodated. You will be responsible for other meals on your own time. Refreshments such as coffee and pastries may be provided during the workshop, but if you need such refreshments (due to blood sugar issues, for example) you would be wise to bring your own.


Feedback on these workshops is very important to me; please send it to me at bhaller [at] mac [*] com (that's a "dot" there). Feel free to provide detailed constructive criticism; you will not offend me as long as you're nice about it. :-> Such feedback will really help me to improve the workshop for future attendees. Thanks!