October 20 Call for Proposals: Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants 2016-2017

The Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants, part of GC Digital Initiatives, provide financial support to doctoral students at the CUNY Graduate Center as they design, plan, program, develop, and grow digital research projects that make a clear contribution to the GC’s digital research culture. Since 2012, the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants have supported a range of inventive projects across the disciplines, including: an online, open-access, crowdsourced database of scholarly relationships within writing studies; an app to support street medics and promote health and safety among activist communities; and a first effort at “Diplonomics,” a computational analysis that applies Big Data techniques to the study of diplomatic history. Award recipients will be expected to have participated in all events for Training Grants, and completed all work on project activities for Start-Up and Implementation Grants by the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

This year, three types of Provost Digital Innovation Grants will be available: Training Grants, Start-Up Grants, and Implementation Grants.

Training Grants are awards of up to $1,500 to support travel, daily expenses, and/or registration for students to attend workshops, boot camps, or summer short courses in digital skill development, or to participate in unconferences, code sprints, or hackathons. Students will be expected to write a short blog post about what they learned to share on the Provost‘s Digital Innovation Grant website when they return and may be asked to serve as a reference for future students who wish to attend a similar training event or activity.

Start-Up Grants are awards of up to $4,000 to support the planning and creation of a digital research project by an individual or a team. Projects may include creating new computational methods or techniques for a particular field of study, including research, preservation, or public-facing scholarship. They also could include developing a prototype, wireframes, or best practices for continued research. Successful applicants will be asked to share their proposal on the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant website and to write a white paper upon completion of the grant that will also be published on our website. Additionally, grantees will be expected to present publicly on their work in progress during the 2016-2017 academic year.  This includes presenting at the 2017 Digital GC Showcase, and participating in occasional collaborative meetings and discussions with current and past grantees.

Implementation Grants are awards of up to $6,000 to support the continued development, growth, and deployment of an individual or team project that has successfully completed an initial start-up phase. These projects may need continued funding in order to be refined for public audiences. They may need additional resources to make the tool presentable to an academic audience or to improve the design of an early prototype based on feedback and evaluation. Implementation Grants should offer some form of innovative approach to a recognizable challenge in the applicant’s scholarly field. Successful applicants will be asked to share their proposal on the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant website and to write a white paper upon completion of the grant that will also be published on our website.  Additionally, grantees will be expected to present publicly on their work in progress during the 2016-2017 academic year.  This includes presenting at the 2017 Digital GC Showcase, and participating in occasional collaborative meetings and discussions with current and past grantees.

To Apply: Send a single PDF file containing all parts of the application to gcdi@gc.cuny.edu with “Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant Proposal” and the type of grant (“Training Grant,” “Start-Up Grant,” or “Implementation Grant”) to which you are applying in the subject line of the message.

Proposals for Training Grants must include the following sections:

  1. Applicant information: name and full contact information (email, mailing address, and phone number) of the project lead, who must be a doctoral student at the GC in good academic standing;
  2. Title, website, time, date, and location of the training or activity to be attended, and the type of award to which you are applying.
  3. Abstract: a one-paragraph abstract summarizing the type of training or other activity that the applicant would like to use funding to participate in and how it will be useful to the student’s continued pursuit of research goals.
  4. Narrative: A short 1 page description of the training or other activity that the applicant would like to participate in that includes a specific explanation of why the skills are a necessary part of the applicant’s research goals, how the training could be useful for scholars in the applicant’s particular field, and ways in which the applicant’s participation could be made useful to other students at the GC. Please also describe any further research activities, papers, or scholarly work that would be made possible by participating in the proposed activity.
  5. Budget (max $1,500): a detailed account of travel, registration, housing, or other expenses related to attending the event.
  6. A short CV

Training Grant proposals should not exceed 5 pages.

Proposals for Start-Up or Implementation Grants must include the following sections:

  1. Applicant information: name and full contact information of the project lead, who must be a doctoral student at the GC in good academic standing;
  2. Abstract: a one-paragraph abstract summarizing the innovative contributions of the project;
  3. List of Participants: a list of participants involved in the project (include title/affiliation for each participant)
  4. Narrative: a short (1-2 page) description of the nature and goals of the project and the work that has already been completed (if any);
  5. Work plan: a brief roadmap of planned activities with a timetable tied to project goals;
  6. Budget Justification (max $4,000 for Start-Up or $6,000 for implementation): an explanation of how and why funds will be spent on particular activities, services, or purchases (funds can be used for any aspect of the project but must be justified in this section);
  7. Faculty letter of support: a short letter of support from a GC faculty member (this may be sent separately);
  8. Appendices: Short CVs of major project participants and any ancillary material.

Parts 1-6 of Start-Up and Implementation grant proposals should not exceed 10 pages.

Proposals will be evaluated by a review committee according to the following criteria:

  • Scholarly excellence and innovation of the project;
  • Contribution of the project to the development and promotion of the mission of the CUNY Graduate Center;
  • Contribution of the project to the larger scholarly community and to the public;
  • Experience of the project staff;
  • Likelihood that work can be accomplished within the proposed budget and time period.
  • Given the GC Digital Initiatives’ strong commitment to open-access scholarship and free software platforms, preference is given to projects that use open-source tools and that focus on making work publicly accessible.

Please direct any questions about this competition to Lisa Rhody, Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives at lrhody@gc.cuny.edu.

 

Deadline: 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 20, 2016