NSF Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

NSF EarthCube Funding Opportunity]

  • Test Enterprise Governance
    • Description of the activity
    • Specific Responsibilities
    • Core Requirements
    • Additional Review Criteria
    • Additional Proposal Preparation Guidelines
    • Special Award Requirements

  • EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)
    • Description of the activity
    • Specific Requirements
    • Additional Review Criteria
    • Additional Proposal Preparation Guidelines

Submission deadline: March 26, 2013

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)

  • Deadline: March 21, 2013
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 4-6
  • Estimated Award Size and Duration: a maximum of 24 months and up to a maximum of $300,000.

NSF solicits proposals for EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN). More information on Research Coordination Networks can be found here http:www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11691. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact EarthCube Program Directors (see http://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube/ for contacts) to discuss the appropriateness of an EarthCube RCN proposal.

Description of the activity

EarthCube RCNs are intended to advance geosciences cyberinfrastructure through interaction and understanding between geoscientists, CI experts, and computer scientists. RCNs will provide geosciences communities with the opportunity to present coherent and representative plans for their cyberinfrastructure needs. Outcomes should impact the communities involved, moving them closer to shared goals. They will provide a voice and impact on the EarthCube process for the geosciences end-user communities, influencing the direction of EarthCube architecture and cyberinfrastructure developments.

Awards will support geosciences communities to organize themselves and/or partner with other geosciences communities, to discuss, plan and coordinate, in a virtual setting, the standards, policies and cyberinfrastructure that will meet their end-users' common data, software, computation networking and training needs. Proposals must include participation of both geoscientists and cyber/computer scientists to be considered viable.

Examples of possible EarthCube RCNs include, but are not limited to:

  • The development of community standards, data citation or other community plans for data management and other products of research in one or more field of the geosciences.
  • The discussion and articulation of common cyberinfrastructure and technology grand challenges within specific or across different geosciences disciplines, including dialog towards developing potential solutions for data integration, computation, modeling, software and/or visualization needed to meet future scientific and education goals.
  • Data and/or cyberinfrastructure issues involving multiple geosciences fields that will result in improved interdisciplinary access to products of scientific work or training and education.

The goal of this RCN opportunity is to

  • Build partnerships between geo- and cyber/computer scientists
  • Foster new collaborations that lead to better scientific and workflow outcomes
  • Expose participants to new methodologies, approaches, tools, and utilities
  • Discover synergies and reduce redundancies and duplication of effort
  • Expose best practices and "lessons learned" in developing cyberinfrastructure and data management, and
  • Develop a stronger framework within the geosciences for enabling increased and accelerated use of new technologies.
  • Innovative ideas for implementing novel virtual organizations, community networking strategies, collaborative technologies are essential.
  • Broad community participation, with an emphasis on active engagement of large numbers of end-users is necessary for successful EarthCube RCNs.

Specific Requirements

1. Topic/focus

EarthCube RCN proposals must involve both geoscientists and cyber/computer scientists. Proposals should specify what activities will be undertaken, what groups will be involved, what products will be generated by network activities, and how information about the network and opportunities to participate will be disseminated. The proposal should also outline the expected benefits of the network's activities in moving one or more geosciences fields forward and the implications for the broader community.

2. Participation

EarthCube RCNs will be expected to work with and involve EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance. Participation and involvement in EarthCube community events and sharing of information between EarthCube RCNs and other projects funded under EarthCube will be required. Proposals should explain how the network and structure of the organization will help facilitate these interactions.

3. Steering committee

Each RCN is required to have a steering committee comprised of network participants that include both geoscientists and cyber/computer scientists that have key roles in the leadership and/or management of the network. The steering committee should include all Co-PIs, if any are listed on the cover page of the proposal, and any other senior personnel, including any foreign collaborators involved as leaders or otherwise considered senior personnel. Therefore, the steering committee constitutes all the senior personnel for the EarthCube RCN.

4. Network participants

The size of a network is expected to vary depending on the topic or issue and the needs of the proposed activity. The network may be regional, national, or international. It is expected that a proposed network will involve investigators at diverse organizations, including different levels of academic institutions, other agencies and/or commercial partners. The inclusion of new researchers, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates is encouraged. In the proposal, an initial network of likely participants should be identified by position at the institution and name. However, there should be clearly developed mechanisms to maintain openness, ensure access, and actively promote participation by interested parties outside of the initial participants in the proposed network.

5. Information and material sharing

The goals of this program are to promote effective communication, provide opportunities for collaboration, and enhance cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences. When the proposed activity involves generation of community resources, the proposal should explain how the community resource relates to other existing efforts and EarthCube activities. The mechanism for timely sharing and sustainability of the activity must be described in the Data Management Plan.

6. International participation.

NSF encourages international collaboration. International collaborations should clearly strengthen the proposed project activities. As NSF funding predominantly supports participation by US participants, network participants from institutions outside the US are encouraged to seek support from their respective funding organizations. NSF funds may not be used to support the expenses of the international scientists and students at their home organization. For RCN projects that involve international partners, NSF funds may be used for the following:

Travel expenses for US scientists and students participating in exchange visits integral to the RCN project

  • RCN-related expenses for international partners to participate in networking activities in the US.
  • RCN-related expenses for US participants to conduct networking activities in the international partner's home laboratory

Additional Review Criteria

Additional Review Criteria For EarthCube RCNs

  1. RCNs cannot use resources to fund research or to sustain existing networks. RCN proposals will be evaluated for their creativity, innovation, and potential to advance, transform geosciences research through effective cyberinfrastructure.
  2. RCNs will be evaluated on how well they represent their respective geosciences communities, the quality and caliber of the collaboration with cyberinfrastructure and computer scientists, and the processes and efforts to engage as broad and diverse a set of participants.
  3. For all proposals involving international collaborations, reviewers will consider: mutual benefits, true intellectual collaboration with the foreign partner(s), benefits to be realized from the expertise and specialized skills, facilities, sites and/or resources of the international counterpart, and active engagement of US students and early-career researchers in the RCN activities.