• Call for Proposals: Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants 2017-2018

    by  • September 22, 2017 • 2017-2018 Provost Digital Innovation Grant Winners, News

    Deadline: 5:00 PM on Friday , October 20, 2017

    The Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants, a GC Digital Initiatives program supported by the Provost’s Office, provide financial support to doctoral students at the CUNY Graduate Center as they design and develop 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 mentor relationships within the field of writing studies; an app to support street medics and promote health and safety among activist communities; and a computational analysis of Cold War diplomatic history.

    This year, three types of Provost Digital Innovation Grants will be available: Training Grants, Start-Up Grants, and Implementation Grants. Award recipients will be expected to have participated in all events for Training Grants, and to have completed all work on project activities for Start-Up and Implementation Grants by the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

    Training Grants are awards of up to $1,000 to support travel, daily expenses, and/or registration for students to attend workshops, boot camps, or 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 and may be asked to consult with students future applicants who are considering 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 the creation of new computational methods or techniques for a particular field of study, including research, preservation, or public-facing scholarship. They also could include the development of a prototype, wireframe, or best practices model for continued research. Successful applicants will be asked to share a description of their project 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 2017-2018 academic year.  This includes presenting at the 2018 Digital GC Showcase tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, from 4:15 – 6:15 PM, 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 a 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 a description  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 2017-2018 academic year.  This includes presenting at the 2018 Digital GC Showcase, and participating in occasional collaborative meetings and discussions with current and past grantees.

    We encourage students to consider connecting available resources at the Graduate Center in their project design and proposal where appropriate. For example, students may consider applying to the New Media Lab to reserve workspace (https://newmedialab.cuny.edu/get-involved/student-application/). Applicants interested in bridging research and pedagogy may also consider applying for additional funding through the GC’s Teaching and Learning Center, which is currently accepting applications for their TLC Grants. More information is available on their website. Applicants seeking funding from both the Provost’s Digital Innovation Grants and TLC Grants should include a brief note in their PDIG proposal that they have also submitted to the TLC Grants competition. Dual proposals should include in the budget an explanation of how each set of funds would be used if awarded.

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

    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 $1,000): 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. If a similar or related proposal will be submitted for a TLC Grant, please explain how the two proposals are related and how funds from each will be used.
    8. Faculty letter of support: a short letter of support from a GC faculty member (this may be sent separately);
    9. 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.

    Deadline: 5:00 PM on Friday, October 20, 2017

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

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