The school is run by a 'Steering Committee' which solicits proposals two years in advance from people interested in serving as 'Organizer' of the school; such proposals should contain one or more suggestions for the site, a budget, and a suggested list of lecturers and topics for the summer school (discussed more below). The Steering Committee will then discuss the proposals and seek to arrive at a preference.
The selected Organizer and host institution are responsible for handling the practical arrangements (housing and meeting facilities, recruitment and selection of students, and management of the day-to-day activities of the school). The INT can provide poster production and mailing if desired, as well as assistance with financial projections. A subcontract will be established with the host institution, and the host institution will send an itemized invoice to the INT at the end of the summer school to be reimbursed for the costs covered by the grant. The NSF grant (held by Sanjay Reddy and Bruce Barrett) is for participant support costs only (no indirect allowed), intended to cover approximately 75% of room and board for the students, 100% of room, board, and travel for the lecturers, and up to $3K for coffee break refreshments. It is expected that each student's home institution will cover the remaining 25% of room and board as well as the student's travel costs. The host institution should plan on providing about $5,000 in support to cover various social activities of the school (receptions, excursions, etc.). The Summary of Requirements for Host Institutions and Related Information can be found here.
The lecture program is decided by a suitable interaction between the Organizer and the Steering Committee, by iterating on the originally suggested program. There are usually five major lecture series (each consisting of four 90-minute lectures, for a total of 20 lectures), some possibility for student seminars, separate time for 'office hours,' during which the students can interact with the lecturers (a very important part of the summer school), plus occasionally a few special seminars. Each school's lecture program is intended to be broad (as opposed to focussed), which not only helps to broaden the perspective of the (often too specialized) new generation but also helps to attract students from the entire cross section of the field, thereby greatly aiding the formation of a community spirit within the nuclear physics field (this is something the students tend to emphasize as one of the very positve aspects of the NPSS). The Organizer is responsible for making the practical arrangements, including the selection of the students (we are usually oversubscribed and tend to target students that are within approximately one year of their PhD degree, with either sign). The Organizer is not expected to lecture as well.
The Nuclear Physics Summer School grew out of discussions at an informal meeting between a group of theorists held at the Capra Ranch 26-28 February 1987. It has been held each summer since 1988, with the exception of 1994 when we went through a transition phase to the present more formalized structure which involves the DNP in the rotation of the Steering Committee membership.