FUNding Friday Rules

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)
(Redirected from FUNding Friday)

FUNding Friday is an annual mini-grant competition associated with ESIP's July Meeting (see previously funded projects here). The mini-grants are available to ESIP meeting attendees ($5000) and to students and Education Committee workshop participants ($3000), with the total number of awards specified annually; generally 2-4 awards per participant group.

Projects are expected to be completed over a one-year period between the July Meeting of the award and the next July Meeting.

(FUNding Friday will be abbreviated as FF throughout this document.)


FF promotes and supports innovative ideas and novel connections between ESIP meeting attendees, projects and technologies. FF showcases how a modest amount of funding can lead to projects of real value to ESIP community members and beyond.

Successful projects are:

  • Innovative
  • Collaborative
  • Valuable to the ESIP community

Interested participants are encouraged to consider the meeting theme and session content when developing a project idea, however the competition does not have a single theme or topical focus.

Eligibility and Participation

Registered meeting participants, including ESIP Community Fellows and participants in the Education Committee’s Teacher Workshop, are eligible to participate in FF.

For group projects, all members receiving funding must be listed on the poster. We strongly encourage all group members to be present during the Poster Pitch event. We also strongly encourage participants to discuss project roles and budgets during their project preparations.

Eligibility Restrictions

  • FF awardees from the previous year or anyone in leadership positions (ESIP's Board and Program Committee), are ineligible to receive a FF award.
  • Federal employees may participate as project collaborators but cannot receive cash prizes or travel funding.
  • Individuals from non-federal organizations may also have organizational limitations related to accepting outside funds or using official resources for outside projects. It is the member's responsibility to be aware of these limitations and propose projects accordingly.

How to Participate

Interested participants must exhibit a poster describing the project during the Poster Pitch session (Friday morning, check the July Meeting schedule for specific time and place). The poster should be hung in the provided space before the pitch session begins.

The poster must be hand-drawn; materials for the posters are provided to interested participants during the FF Poster event Thursday night (check the July Meeting schedule for specific time and place).

The lead person/principal investigator for the project must be present at the Poster Pitch session on Friday morning. This person must give a maximum 2 minute project pitch during this session. Proxies cannot provide the project pitch. Additional project participants may contribute to the project pitch. The 2 minute limit will be strictly enforced.


  • Awards are determined by a community vote immediately following the Poster Pitch session.
  • You must be present at the Poster Pitch session to vote.
  • Anyone who is an in-person registrant of the July Meeting, i.e. anyone with a badge, is eligible to vote.
  • Each person attending the Poster Pitch session (Friday morning) will receive THREE member ballots and THREE student/educator ballots. You can allocate these votes across projects, e.g. three votes for one project or one vote for three projects. Voting ends at the end of the Poster Pitch session.
  • In the case of two-way tie for third place, the winners can choose (by consensus) if they prefer to split the funding and do both projects, or flip a coin to determine the winner. In the case of a three (or more) way tie, the winner of the tie will be determined by a vote of the ESIP Programming Committee at the next scheduled telecon.
  • The winners will be announced during lunch (refer to the July Meeting schedule for details). Participants do not need to be present at the award announcement; however, the project lead should verify that their contact information is correct with ESIP staff immediately following the Poster Pitch session if they will be unavailable for the award announcements. Likewise, participants for awarded projects should verify their contact information with ESIP staff immediately following the announcements.
  • All decisions are final.

Awarded Projects: Responsibilities and Expectations

The awards are distributed in two parts:

  1. Half once a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), containing a statement of work, is delivered to ESIP staff at the start of the project after the July Meeting;
  2. Half following January or July meeting when the results of the project are presented during the poster session. All work must be completed at this time. Awardees may present their projects in a relevant session at the January Meeting but must also present a poster.

Note that funding is not immediately disbursed - awardees should account for the time needed to draft the MOU and ESIP staff response.

Variations in the schedule must be requested in the initial statement of work and agreed upon by ESIP staff. The payment schedule can be revised by the ESIP staff in cases where there is a compelling reason to modify the standard timeline.

Project groups may allocate the awarded funds within their groups as necessary to meet the project goals. ESIP is not responsible for managing those allocations.

All funds must be spent according to current US Government rules on contract expenditures.

Overhead is not supported.

Tax Information for the FUNding Friday Awards

FF is an award and is transferred to individuals not institutions. Those individuals will be taxed on the prize. An award is an amount received primarily in recognition of a special achievement, like winning FF. ESIP does not specifically state how the money should be spent.

Individuals accepting the cash award will need to submit a W-9 tax form, they will be sent a 1099-Misc, Miscellaneous Income form, from ESIP and should claim this on their annual taxes. Awardees will not be able to use the 1040EZ form and may want to use their previous year's tax rate to estimate the tax liability of the award.