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The 2022 ISC Grant Program

A major goal of the R Consortium is to strengthen and improve the infrastructure supporting the R Ecosystem. We seek to accomplish this by funding projects that will improve both technical infrastructure and social infrastructure. 

Technical Infrastructure projects that have be funded include:

  • R-hub, a centralized tool for checking R packages
  • Testing DBI and improving key open source database backends.
  • Improvements in packages such as mapview and sf
  • Improving Translations in R
  • Ongoing infrastructural development for R on Windows and MacOS

Social Infrastructure projects include:

  • SatRDays, bootstrapping a system for local R conferences.
  • Data-Driven Discovery and Tracking of R Consortium Activities

The  Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) projects should have a focus on technical infrastructure or involve software development to support social infrastructure. Conferences, training sessions, and user groups will be funded through the RUGS program.

To apply for an ISC grant please continue with the instructions below. To seek funding for a conference, training session or user group please apply through the RUGS program page.

Projects the ISC Funds

The ISC is interested in projects that:

  • Are likely to have a broad impact on the R community.
  • Have a focused scope (a good example is the Simple Features for R project). If you have a larger project, consider breaking it up into smaller chunks (a good example of this done is with the DBI/DBItest project submission, where multiple proposals came in over time to address the various needs).
  • Have a low-to-medium risk with a low-to-medium reward. The ISC tends not fund high-risk, high-reward projects.

While all projects are considered, the ISC generally does not accept projects that:

  • Impact only a small part of the R community 
  • Request conference, workshop, or meetup sponsorship. For these, you should look at our user group program or connect with the marketing committee for larger events.
  • Are very exploratory. These are better to be pursued through the working group program.

Submitting a Proposal

Please provide a 2 to 5 page proposal that describes the problem you want to solve. We expect submissions to include these components:

  • The Problem: What problem do you want to solve? Why is it a problem? Who does it affect? What will solving the problem enable? This section should include a brief summary of existing work, such as R packages that may be relevant. If you are proposing a change to R itself, you must include a letter of support from a member of R Core.
  • The Plan: How are you going to solve the problem? Include the concrete actions you will take and an estimated timeline. What are likely failure modes and how will you recover from them?
  • The Team: Who will work on the project? Briefly describe all participants, and the skills they will bring to the project.
  • Project Milestones: Outline the milestones for development and how much funding will be required for each stage (as payments will be tied to project milestone completion). Each milestone should specify the work to be done and the expected outcomes, providing enough detail for the ISC to understand the scope of the project work and assess the likelihood of success.
  • How Can The ISC Help:  Please describe how you think the ISC can help. If you are looking for a cash grant include a detailed itemized budget and spending plan. We expect that most of the budget will be allocated for labor costs.  We do not cover indirect costs. The ISC grants cannot cover such things as travel, lodging, food, journal publication fees, or personal hardware. Cloud services may be covered if they are specific to the project and the project period. The ISC reserves the right to vet how funds are used for each project separately.  If in doubt, please reach out to us. If you are seeking to start an ISC working group, then please describe the goals of the group and provide the name of the individual who will be committed to leading and managing the group’s activities. Also, describe how you think the ISC can help promote your project.
  • Dissemination: How will you ensure that your work is available to the widest number of people? Please specify the open source or creative commons license(s) you will use, how you will host your code so that others can contribute, and how you will publicize your work. We encourage you to plan content to be shared quarterly on the  R Consortium blog.

The ISC has a limited grant budget, and we want to ensure that funded projects deliver the maximum benefit to the community.  Successful proposals show well-defined milestones, with initial work completed to minimize delivery risk, e.g. upfront research and well-defined action plans.

If you would like a template to help you structure your proposal, we encourage you to use one contributed by Steph Locke at https://github.com/RConsortium/isc-proposal.

We encourage you to seek feedback from the community before formally submitting your proposal. You are welcome to email individual committee members who might be particularly interested in your proposal to get their informal opinion, and you may want to publicize it more widely to get feedback from the broader R community.

How to Apply

Once you have completed your proposal, create a self-contained PDF and complete this form. If you do not receive a confirmation within 24 hours please email proposal@r-consortium.org. (If you have already received a confirmation that your proposal was received you do not need to take further action.)

Please note that the R Consortium utilizes a standard agreement for all funded projects selected in an effort to streamline the award process and to fund the greatest amount of projects as possible. The standard agreement is available for review in advance: Individual Consultant Agreement for R Consortium ISC Projects – 20170622. If you have any questions please email proposal@r-consortium.org.

Proposal Dates for 2022

First Grant cycle – COMPLETED

  • April 1, 2022 – Grant Application period opens
  • May 1, 2022 – Grant Application period close, 11:59pm US ET
  • June 1, 2022 – All accepted grantees are contacted by the ISC
  • July 1, 2022 – Deadline for acceptance of grant and contract. Public notification of grantees occurs shortly thereafter.

Second Grant cycle

  • September 1, 2022 – Grant Application period opens
  • October 1, 2022 – Grant Application period close, 11:59pm US ET
  • November 1, 2022 – All accepted grantees are contacted by the ISC
  • December 1, 2022 – Deadline for acceptance of grant and contract. Public notification of grantees occurs shortly thereafter.

The Process

All proposals will be read and reviewed by the Chair of the ISC, and assigned to a committee member for detailed review. Proposals will be reviewed as a group, and you will be notified of the decision by the dates listed above.

All accepted projects will be published on the R Consortium blog

We review this process yearly to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, and to incorporate the knowledge gained from putting it into practice. All decisions to accept or reject proposals will be made by R Consortium in its sole discretion and shall be final.

If you have any questions about the proposals or submission process write to proposal@r-consortium.org