Working Groups are interdisciplinary groups that collaborate to produce novel research in ecology and allied disciplines. NCEAS provides a stimulating "neutral territory" for these researchers to come together. Each Working Group includes 10 to 15 researchers who visit NCEAS for 1 to 2 weeks at a time to focus intensely on the analysis and synthesis of existing information in their respective fields. To carry out these projects, NCEAS supports researchers' travel costs and provides the infrastructure necessary for deep analysis and collaboration in a hospitable environment.
The success of the NCEAS approach is evident from the significant impact  that synthetic work has had on ecology and conservation. While the names of many NCEAS Working Group investigators are well known in the ecology and conservation communities, NCEAS is proud that 75% of participants are typically first-time visitors. NCEAS strongly encourages proposal submission by investigators who are new to NCEAS.
Proposals for new Working Groups are reviewed twice yearly  and also may be solicited and reviewed irregularly in response to specific needs in the Conservation and Resource Management Program  or the Ecoinformatics Program . Due to the diversity of researchers involved, NCEAS Working Groups carry out research across a wide variety of topics  in ecology and allied disciplines.