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Data Synthesis Grants – Award Year 2015

The Gulf Research Program is pleased to announce its first competition in the area of environmental monitoring. The opportunity seeks to tap the potential of existing observations and monitoring data through integration and synthesis.



A Letter of Intent is required for this funding opportunity.

Key Dates

Letter of Intent
May 4, 2015: Online Submission of Letter of Intent Opens
June 15, 2015, 5:00pm EDT: Letter of Intent Due (CLOSED)

Full Proposal
No later than June 22, 2015: Online Submission of Full Proposal Opens (ONLY to Applicants Who Submitted a Letter of Intent) 
July 31, 2015, 5:00pm EDT: Full Proposal Due (CLOSED)



Access to Online Application

New Applicants 
that are accessing the online application for the Data Synthesis Grants – Award Year 2015 for the first time must use this link https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_2059?SA=SNA&FID=35044.

Returning Applicants that have started an online application for the Data Synthesis Grants Award Year 2015 and would like to return to it, please use this link https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_2059 and bookmark it. 


REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR DATA SYNTHESIS GRANTS – AWARD YEAR 2015
AWARD INFORMATION
ELIGIBILITY
PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
PEER REVIEW PROCESS
MERIT REVIEW CRITERIA
DATA MANAGEMENT POLICY
MAKING THE AWARD
POST-AWARD MANAGEMENT
SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
GRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR DATA SYNTHESIS GRANTS – AWARD YEAR 2015

Opportunity:

The Gulf Research Program seeks innovative ideas on the use of existing data collected in the Gulf of Mexico and associated coastal communities to advance understanding of environmental conditions, ecosystem services, and community health and well-being, including community vulnerability, recovery, and resilience. A number of programs supported by different entities are monitoring physical, environmental and health parameters in the Gulf of Mexico region for various reasons. The data derived from different sources or collected for different purposes have the potential to be synthesized and integrated to obtain novel insights or to increase the generality and applicability of scientific research. Data integration and synthesis can be applied within or across physical, environmental, health, social and other relevant disciplines and across professional sectors to improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico as an ecosystem and of its dependent communities and people. Through this funding opportunity, the Program aims to expand the use and extend the lifespan of data collected in the Gulf of Mexico while advancing thegoalsof the Gulf Research Program as outlined in itsstrategic vision.

A recent workshop summary,Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments, describes how integration of observations and monitoring data in combination with predictive modeling could inform the planning of or decision-making for the numerous restoration activities being undertaken or planned for the Gulf of Mexico. The same summary also highlights the importance of increasing knowledge of Deep Gulf ecosystems in order to better protect their living resources as the Gulf’s oil and gas industry increases its offshore exploration and production activities in the Deep Gulf. Therefore, this Request for Applications seeks to stimulate the use of existing observations and monitoring data to either
  • Inform plans and efforts to restore and maintain the services provided by Gulf coastal ecosystems, or
  • Enhance understanding of the Deep Gulf, or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast, including physical and biological connectivity to coastal communities.
What we are looking for:

The Program seeks applications for activities that integrate or synthesize existing data from different sources that, analyzed together, may provide additional insights, address important questions, or lead to new approaches to interpreting monitoring data. Proposed projects could use synthesized data to develop new models, or the synthesized data could be incorporated into an existing modeling framework to inform restoration and maintenance of ecosystem services or to enhance understanding of the Deep Gulf or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast (see bullets above). Data sources could include the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. Proposed projects should seek to generate outputs that would increase fundamental understanding of the Gulf of Mexico region as a dynamic system and lead toward better-informed decision making, translation into human benefits, or other actionable outcomes. Below are examples of the types of activities and approaches that could be considered; this list is illustrative only.
  • Activities that leverage existing but previously unavailable data (e.g., data that were developed to address a specific set of questions or were previously proprietary) or that integrate historic data with recent data.
  • Activities that analyze existing data with new methodologies to expand its utility or that develop innovative approaches to mining large data sets for useful information.
  • Research that validates and links historic coastal monitoring data with recent data derived from advanced technologies.
  • Activities that bring together stakeholders such as the oil and gas industry, academia, public-sector agencies, and the NGO community to identify obscure or previously proprietary data that could be shared for synthesis and analyses to advance understanding of the Deep Gulf environment.
  • Data syntheses that could establish reference conditions or improve our understanding of key processes that in turn could improve the management and protection of important or protected species or habitats.
  • Activities that explore the challenges of data sharing and synthesis across disciplines.
  • Activities that bring together novel combinations of expertise and groups to develop non-traditional approaches to analyzing existing datasets in efforts to identify additional uses.
To be considered responsive, all proposals must:
  • Clearly articulate a rationale or focus that serves as the organizing principle of the activity (i.e., a conceptual framework). For example, mention how the proposed project would be organized around a research question or model development.
  • Describe the novel insights to be gained, the intended output, and how the outputs of the proposed project would
    • Inform plans and efforts to restore and maintain the services provided by Gulf ecosystems, or
    • Enhance understanding of the Deep Gulf, or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast, including physical and biological connectivity to coastal communities
  • Demonstrate the project’s feasibility. For example, characterize the data (types, location, scale) needed to address the research question. Identify existing datasets along with their location and availability, including people or organizations necessary for collaboration. Describe how the project could lead to actionable information. Describe the computing resources available to conduct the work.
The Program will not consider funding:
  • Activities that require the collection of new data.
  • Activities or programs that are simply a continuation of efforts that are already underway. (Back to top)
     
AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Project Duration: 24 months
Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 14 awards
Anticipated Total Amount for this Funding Opportunity: $5 million. Resources made available under this funding opportunity will depend on the quality of the proposals received. The Gulf Research Program reserves the right to select for negotiation all, some, one, or none of the proposals received in response to this solicitation. (Back to top)

ELIGIBILITY

The Gulf Research Program welcomes proposals from non-federal government organizations on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers, health professionals and educators. The applying organization will be referred to as the applicant hereafter. The scientists, engineers, health professionals, and educators who will lead the proposed project will be referred to as project directors hereafter. 
  • This funding opportunity is for new activities only. The applicant must not have received any other support for this project, and the project must not be currently under consideration for funding by another funder.
  • Project directors usually initiate proposals that are officially submitted by their employing organizations (the applicant). When initiating a proposal, the project director typically is responsible for ensuring the proposal meets all the requirements outlined by the Gulf Research Program as well as any requirements set by the employing organizations.
  • Non-federal government organizations in the United States that have a valid federal tax ID number are eligible to apply in 2015.
  • An applicant may submit multiple applications on behalf of different project directors, but it may submit only one application for each project director. Individuals may be involved as a project director and key personnel, or as key personnel, in up to three proposals; in each proposal, a clear description should be included to explain how the proposed project is not duplicative of other proposed efforts or how the participant will budget his or her time. (Back to top)
PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Letter of Intent

A letter of intent (LOI) is required for this funding opportunity and must be submitted via the online application system. LOIs submitted by other means (including mail, fax, or e-mail) will not be considered. The LOI is not binding and is used by program staff to gauge the size and range of the competition so that staff can better manage the selection of reviewers. In addition, the information contained in a LOI is used to help avoid potential conflicts of interest in the review process.

The LOI must include the following elements:
  1. Contact information of:
    1. The Project Director.
    2. The Applicant.

     
  2. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). An AOR or authorized organizational representative is the administrative official who, on behalf of the applicant, is empowered to make certifications and assurances and can commit the applicant to the conduct of a project that the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is being asked to support as well as adhere to various Academies' policies and grant requirements.

     
  3. Project information including:
    1. Project Title and Personnel.
    2. A Synopsis of the Proposed Project that includes:
      1. Overview of the Proposed Project (up to 500 words). The overview should be written in the third person, informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, and, insofar as possible, understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader. It should describe the importance of the proposed project, clearly articulate a rationale or focus that serves as the organizing principle of the activity (i.e., a conceptual framework), and provide sufficient detail to allow selection of reviewers.
      2. Objectives and Output (up to 150 words). The objectives and outputs of the proposed project, including the novel insights, actionable information, and other broadly useful products or relationships that are anticipated to result should be described.
      3. Relevance to the request for applications (RFA) (up to 150 words). Whether and how the proposed project would “Inform plans and efforts to restore and maintain the services provided by Gulf coastal ecosystems”, or “Enhance understanding of the Deep Gulf, or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast, including physical and biological connectivity to coastal communities” should be selected and described.
      4. Relevance to the Gulf Research Program (up to 150 words). Whether and how the proposed project would support the objective of “Improve understanding of how social, economic, and environmental factors influence community vulnerability, recovery, and resilience” and/or “Advance understanding of environmental conditions, ecosystem services, and community health and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico” should be selected and described.
    3. Reviewers. Each LOI may include up to 5 reviewers whom the project director believes are especially well qualified to review the full proposal. The suggestions may be considered for the peer review of full proposals, but the selection of reviewers is the responsibility of the Gulf Research Program.
No later than 3 weeks after the LOI submission deadline, the project director will be notified of the Gulf Research Program’s decision to either encourage or discourage submission of a full proposal. The Gulf Research Program's decision is advisory only, which means that submitters of both favorably and unfavorably reviewed LOIs are eligible to submit full proposals. The intent of encourage/discourage decisions is to improve the overall quality of the full proposal and encourage re-thinking, particularly if a LOI is not specifically responsive to the RFA topic.
 

Full Proposal

Full proposals must be submitted via the online application system, and they cannot be submitted without LOIs. Proposals submitted by other means (including mail, fax, or e-mail) will not be considered. The online form for submission of a full proposal will be available to applicants who have submitted a LOI by June 22, 2015. It is important that all proposals conform to the instructions provided. Conformance is required and will be strictly enforced. The Gulf Research Program may reject without review proposals that are not consistent with the instructions.

The online form for submitting a full proposal contains the following sections:
 
  1. Project Director's Information

     
  2. Project Information including:
    1. Project Title, Total Budget Requested, and Project Summary. The project summary (up to 500 words) should be an overview of the proposed project written in the third person, informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, and, insofar as possible, understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader. It should not be as technical as a typical abstract. It should highlight the following: 
      • What are the specific objectives and how do they respond to the RFA?
      • How could the results of the proposed project lead to future outcomes that are relevant to the three goals of the Gulf Research Program?
    2. Other key personnel and their institutional affiliations and addresses.
    3. Project Description. The project description (up to 5,000 words) must provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include the following:
      1. A description of the novel insights to be gained and a clear statement of how the proposed project is more than a continuation or repetition of current research, data synthesis and modeling activities in this area.
      2. The objectives for the 24-month period of performance, their expected significance, the intended output of the proposed work, and how the intended output would:
        • Inform plans and efforts to restore and maintain the services provided by Gulf ecosystems.
        • Enhance understanding of Deep Gulf, or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast, including physical and biological connectivity to coastal communities.
      3. The general plan of work, including the rationale or focus that serves as the organizing principle of the activity (i.e., a conceptual framework), the broad design of activities to be undertaken and the feasibility of those activities. The plan of work should include datasets to be used along with their location and availability where applicable, and describe analytic methods where appropriate. Proposers should address what they want to do, why they want to do it, and how they plan to do it.
      4. As a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the importance of the proposed project, the potential impact (societal, scientific, etc.) if this project is funded and successful, and how the project impacts/outcomes would advance any of the following objectives of the Gulf Research Program:
        • Improve understanding of how social, economic, and environmental factors influence community vulnerability, recovery, and resilience.
        • Advance understanding of environmental conditions, ecosystem services, and community health and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico.
      5. Relation of the proposed project to the present state of knowledge in the field, to work in progress by the project director under other support and to work in progress elsewhere.
      6. If key personnel other than the project director are included in the project, a description of each person’s role.
      Plans for data management and sharing of other information products (such as samples, physical collections, curriculum materials and other related research and education products) are NOT to be included in this section. The data management plan is addressed in the next section.
    4. Data Management Plan (up to 1,300 words). To facilitate sharing of data and information products, all full proposals submitted to the Gulf Research Program must include a data management plan. Even in the unlikely case in which no data or any other information products will be produced, a plan must be submitted that states “No information products are expected to be produced from this project.” Please see the Gulf Research Program’s Data Management Policy.
    5. Prior Publications and Outputs, and Data/Information Sharing Experience (up to 1,000 words). If applicable, describe the project director's publications and other outputs, and data/information sharing experience from any prior, or ongoing projects funded by the Gulf Research Program and any other science or restoration activities that are in the Gulf of Mexico including but not limited to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the Gulf Coast Restoration Council, the Gulf State’s Center of Excellence, NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and the NIEHS Deepwater Horizon Research Consortia Program. In other words, if the project director has received funding from these organizations, please describe what information products have been generated from those funded projects, and how and when the products have been shared. This section must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the 5,000-word limit of the Project Description. If the project director does not have publications and other outputs, or data/information sharing experience from relevant work, please enter "no prior experience."
    6. Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources (up to 500 words). This section of the proposal is used to assess the adequacy of the resources available to perform the proposed project. Include an aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators will provide to the project, should it be funded. Such information must be provided in this section, not in other parts of the proposal (e.g., budget justification, project description). The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Reviewers will evaluate the information during the merit review process. Although these resources are not considered cost sharing, the Gulf Research Program expects that the resources identified in the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section will be provided, or made available, should the proposal be funded.

     
  3. Attachments. In addition to the required fields, the proposal may include Tables and Figures and must contain the References Cited, Budget Form, Budget Justification, and Resumé(s) as attachments before it can be submitted.
    1. Tables and figures. Applicants may upload a document in portable document format (PDF) with up to 5 illustrations (i.e., any combination of tables and figures of up to 5 items in total) to support the project description. If the total number of illustrations in the document exceeds 5, only the first 5 that appear in the document will be considered in peer review.
    2. References Cited. Reference information is required. If there are no references cited, a statement to that effect must be included in a PDF document and uploaded to the online application system. Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. If the document is available electronically, the website address also should be identified. Proposers must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. Although there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the 5,000-word limit of the Project Description.
    3. Budget Form. Please complete the budget form and upload it to the online application system. Budget requests should be developed commensurate with the support needed to achieve the project goals. Please note that cost-sharing is prohibited.
    4. Budget Justification (limited to 1,000 words). The amounts requested for each budget line item must be documented and justified in the PDF budget justification. Please click here to see a sample budget justification.
    5. Resumé(s) of the project director, and other key personnel if applicable. A resumé (limited to two pages for each person) is required for each individual identified as project director and key personnel. Please click here to see the resumé specification. Please combine all resumés into a PDF single document before uploading it as an attachment.
    6. Current and pending support of project director, and other key personnel if applicable. Please complete this form to provide information on the current and pending support of the project director and key personnel and upload it to the online application system. The form calls for required information on current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals. All current project support from whatever source (e.g., federal, state, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations) must be listed. The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of time of the project personnel and other senior personnel must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s). The total award amount for the entire award period covered (including indirect costs) must be shown as well as the number of person-months per year to be devoted to the project, regardless of source of support.

     
  4. Certification. The applicant must certify that the proposal is original work.

     
  5. Optional Information. Completion of this portion of the form is optional. Responses in this section will not be shared with reviewers and will not affect the proposal evaluation. Information provided in this section will help the Gulf Research Program improve the program’s operation and reach. You are requested to:
    1. Provide demographic information.
    2. Let us know your experience with the online application system.
    3. Tell us how you learned about this funding opportunity. (Back to top)

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

All complete proposals will be sent to external reviewers for panel review. The external review panel will evaluate the proposals on the basis of the Merit Review Criteria, discuss the merit and all received comments of each proposal, and rank the proposals. The Gulf Research Program will make reasonable efforts to develop a review panel in which external reviewers will not be affiliated with any institution that submitted proposals. In any event, external reviewers are recused from reviewing or participating in any discussion of proposals submitted by any institution with which they are affiliated. Program staff will examine the full proposals and prepare a grant-funding plan taking into consideration the review panel’s ranking of the proposals, summaries from the panel discussion, and the program’s funding availability, current portfolio, objectives, and goals. The grant-funding plan will be subject to oversight by a subset of the Gulf Research Program’s Advisory Board members. The Gulf Research Program strives to have Advisory Board members not affiliated with institutions that submitted projects to oversee the grant-funding plan and recommend a list of projects for funding. Individual proposals and their reviews will not be reviewed by Advisory Board members affiliated with the institution that submitted the proposals. Advisory Board members are recused from individual proposals involving conflict of interest. The final decision for funding will be made by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

MERIT REVIEW CRITERIA

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of four broad review criteria. The sub-bullets under each criterion are meant to guide the reviewers on what to consider in a proposal and are not intended to be all encompassing or comprehensive. Some sub-bullets may not apply to all project types, and reviewers may raise additional concerns under each review criterion that are not covered by the sub-bullets.

  • Relevance and Impact (35%)
    • Would the proposed project and its intended outputs advance either of the following objectives of the Gulf Research Program and how?
      • Improve understanding of how social, economic, and environmental factors influence community vulnerability, recovery, and resilience.
      • Advance understanding of environmental conditions, ecosystem services, and community health and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Would the outputs of the proposed project
      • Inform plans and efforts to restore and maintain the services provided by Gulf ecosystems, or
      • Enhance understanding of Deep Gulf, or the connectivity of the Deep Gulf to the coast, including physical and biological connectivity to coastal communities.
    • How important and/or what is the potential impact if this project is funded and successful (societal and scientific)?

     
  • Technical or Scientific Merit (35%)
    • Does the proposal clearly articulate a rationale or focus that serves as the organizing principle of the activity (i.e., a conceptual framework)? For example, a statement as to how the proposed project would be organized around a research question or model development.
    • Does the proposal outline an implementation strategy that demonstrates the feasibility of the project?
    • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
    • Does the proposal include a data management plan that is appropriate for the scope of work and follow the published guidelines of the Gulf Research Program?
    • Is the budget commensurate with the proposed work?

     
  • Originality (15%)
    • To what extent does the proposed project suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts, approaches, or methodologies? Please provide examples.
    • Does the proposal clearly define the novel insights to be gained or outcomes that will increase the generality and applicability of research that address one of the two focus areas?
    • What is the likelihood that the proposed project would lead to the novel insights or outcomes?

     
  • Project Personnel and Institutional Support (15%)
    • If data access is necessary, does the proposal demonstrate the project personnel’s knowledge of how to get access to the data?
    • Relative to the stage of career, how well qualified is the project director, and other project personnel if applicable to conduct the proposed project?
    • Does the proposal demonstrate that the project personnel would have adequate resources (for example, institutional support, equipment and/or other physical resources) to conduct the data integration and synthesis or associated activities?
    • Will the project benefit from unique features of the work environment or collaborative arrangements?
Because the Gulf Research Program emphasizes cross-boundary approaches that catalyze work across disciplines, geographic borders, perspectives, and sectors, the following factors may be used for ranking equally meritorious proposal in award selection.
  • Projects that involve or stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Projects whose products or outcomes are also applicable to U.S. outer continental regions beyond the Gulf of Mexico. (Back to top) 
DATA MANAGEMENT POLICY

The Gulf Research Program funds research and other activities that generate and disseminate knowledge. Most funded activities produce information products. Information products include databases and data sets; documents (scholarly publications, reports, workshop summaries, etc.); images (maps, data visualizations, photographs, etc.); digital models, simulations, and/or software code; multi-media curricula for education and training (video and/or online tutorials, manuals and handbooks, etc.); and other media and communication platforms. Data are one of the most common information products.
 
Guided by its mission and three goals, the Gulf Research Program (GRP) promotes the responsible management of scientific information that maximizes the value of data. The program requires management practices that curate information products for future use and that make information widely available for public discovery and access. For example, the program encourages practices that enhance information discovery and accessibility (e.g., sharing). Sharing research data enables data verification and reproduction of results, as well as the re-use of those data and results. Moreover, sharing allows scientists, engineers, and health professionals to expedite the translation of research results into new knowledge, products, and processes that can benefit society.
 
In developing its own Data Management Policy, the Gulf Research Program looks to the White House’s Open Data Policy and the data management policies of other major funding agencies and institutions. Grantees are expected to make information products generated by program-funded projects, initiatives, and activities publically discoverable and widely accessible in a timely manner, subject to any Institutional Review Board (IRB) or legal restrictions. The program requires that program-funded projects, initiatives, and activities create detailed, machine-readable metadata for information products and deposit metadata in a digital repository or data center to enable discovery and sharing. In addition, program-funded projects, initiatives, and activities must deposit information products, where appropriate, in a digital repository, data center, and/or other suitable curation facility that facilitates access to these products and ensures long-term curation. The Data Management Policy will be updated as the program grows and evolves.
 
Data: Definition and Rights

The Gulf Research Program follows the federal government’s definition of data in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 200.315: “…the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings.” This definition includes both original data (observations, measurements etc.) and metadata (title, date(s), collection methods, experimental protocols, statistical methods, etc.), as well as software or computer code that is required for replication, etc. 

Although the grantee shall retain all rights in research data, the grantee shall provide timely and unrestricted access to the data to the Gulf Research Program and the U.S. Government. Without limitation, the U.S. Government and the Gulf Research Program shall have the right to (1) obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the research data first produced under this Grant, and (2) authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for the grantor’s or U.S. Government purposes. Unless agreed upon between the Gulf Research Program and grantee, the Program expects the timely release and sharing of data to be no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset or 2 years after the project end date, whichever comes first.

Requirements

All full proposals submitted to the Gulf Research Program must include a data management plan that does not exceed 1,300 words. In the unlikely case in which a proposed project anticipates no collection, production, or generation of information products (i.e., no data, data sets, or other information products), the application must contain a management plan that states, “This project will not result in the production of data or other information products.”
 
In collaborative proposals or proposals involving sub-awards, the lead applicant is responsible for the information or data management plan for the entire project (i.e., The plan must cover all data types that collaborators plan to collect and all other information products generated over the course of the project.).The lead applicant is also responsible for reporting on the management of all project information products and the accessibility of these products in the Annual and Final Grant Reports.
 
The data management plan should describe how the applicant will manage and disseminate program-funded information products (data and other products) in sufficient detail to enable evaluation of the plan during the merit review process. GRP Program Officers and Advisory Board members will monitor adherence to the proposed data management plan.
 
Data Management Plans

The Data Management Policy strongly encourages applicants and their project personnel to practice information and data management as a vital part of the entire research project process, from project design to completion and dissemination. The policy directs applicants and project personnel to manage project information and data through all data life-cycle stages: planning, collecting and assuring (quality and security), describing (i.e., creating metadata and documentation throughout all life-cycle stages), processing and analyzing, preserving, and publishing, curating, and sharing data.
 
The Gulf Research Program recognizes that different disciplines may have their own best practices and standards for management of information products, particularly data. Moreover, the program understands that accepted norms will likely change as collaborations among disciplines increase. Therefore, each data management plan should be appropriate for the information products that a project expects to generate. The management plan should adhere to 1) data management best practices that are widely adopted across many disciplines, or 2) those data management standards and best practices that are specific to the area(s) of research or activities proposed.
 
The program is committed to the timely and rapid distribution of information products. Applicants must describe how they will address timely access to project data and other information products in their management plans. In addition, the program is committed to the short-term management and long-term curation of information products. Applicants should include the costs of managing and curating data and other information products in their budgets. To assist reviewers in the merit review process, please organize the data management plan as follows. Please address all six sections and relevant subsections:
  1. Data and Other Information Products: Planning
    1. Describe the kinds of data that the proposed project will create or capture (e.g., environmental or ecological data, oceanographic data, climatic data, health or social well-being data, oil and gas safety management, risk assessment data, and quantitative modeling data).
    2. Identify the different formats for data capture and storage (e.g., tabular data sets, relational databases, geospatial or visual media [i.e., maps], simulations and related data, software code).
    3. If the proposed project involves the use of existing data, please identify the original source of the data. Describe when and how the existing data were collected. Describe any relevant sharing arrangements.
    4. If the proposed project involves the use of proprietary data, please describe the data and the permissions obtained to use these data.
    5. If the proposed project involves the creation or use of confidential or other sensitive information, please describe the data and reasons for protection. When working with sensitive information, the applicant must adhere to IRB policies, institutional guidelines, and other professional policies and best practices. The applicant is responsible for complying with IRB policies and standards and providing evidence of IRB approval.
    6. Describe the project’s quality control and data validation procedures.
    7. Identify other information products that the proposed project will create (e.g., documents, images, software and software code).

     
  2. Short-term Management: Collection and Processing
    1. Identify the hardware, physical facilities, and cyberinfrastructure that project personnel will use to capture and store data and other information products (e.g., images, audio and video recordings) during data collection and processing.
    2. Identify software that project personnel will use to capture, store, and process data and other information products.
    3. Describe procedures and protocols for managing and storing data and other information products during the project (e.g., organizing and aggregating data, adding newly collected data, altering and correcting data, version control, daily back-ups on and off site)
    4. If the proposed project involves confidential or other sensitive information, describe security procedures and protocols. Describe provisions for protection of privacy, intellectual property rights, other rights, and other security issues as appropriate.
    5. Identify the persons responsible for maintaining and managing data and other information products during collection and processing. If the proposed project involves confidential or other sensitive information, identify persons who will have access to these data and persons responsible for maintaining security.

     
  3. Metadata: Describe the Data, Data Collection, and Data Processing
    1. Identify the metadata that project personnel will create to document the project, the project’s data and other information products.
    2. Identify the metadata and any other documentation (e.g., guides and manuals) that project personnel will create to describe data collection methods and data processing/analysis.
    3. Wherever possible, ensure that metadata are created and stored in machine-readable formats (e.g., XML and JSON).
    4. Describe the management and storage of metadata.

     
  4. Data Sharing
    1. Identify policies and procedures that will govern the timely release of and access to project data, other information products, and related metadata.
    2. Describe plans for making project data, other information products, and associated metadata discoverable and available to others (e.g., other researchers, decision makers, and the interested public).
    3. If the project involves confidential or other sensitive information, refer to IRB and/or other professional policies and guidance. Describe the short-term and long-term management of restricted access to sensitive data and other information products.

     
  5. Long-term Management: Curation and Accessibility
    1. Identify a curation facility or facilities (e.g., digital repository and/or data center) in which project data, other information products and metadata will be deposited. The facility or facilities should ensure the long-term curation and wide accessibility of project data, other appropriate information products, and associated metadata.
    2. Describe the timeline and process for transitioning from short-term management to long-term management of data and other information products.
    3. Describe procedures that will govern the continued, long-term management of data, other information products, and metadata.
    4. Describe policies and procedures that will govern access to project data and other appropriate information products.

     
  6. Data Management Budget
Guidance

The Gulf Research Program advises that project personnel contact information professionals at their institution or another institution or organization for assistance in preparing a data management plan and identifying appropriate repositories for project data and other information products. To learn more about data management best practices and view tutorials, please visit the following websites:
Early selection of a widely recognized and trusted digital repository can help create, capture and host detailed metadata and curate project data. For lists of digital repositories, please visit the following websites:
The Gulf Research Program encourages the use of disciplinary metadata standards and discipline specific controlled vocabularies to ensure comparability with other research in the area(s) of study. See http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/metadata-standards for examples of disciplinary metadata specifications. (Back to top) 
 
MAKING THE AWARD

Selection Notice

When the evaluation of a proposal is complete, the project directors will be notified that (1) the proposal has been selected for funding pending contract negotiations, or (2) the proposal has not been selected. These official notifications will be sent via email to the project director identified on the application. If a proposal is selected for award, the Gulf Research Program reserves the right to request additional or clarifying information for any reason deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, indirect cost information or other budget information. Awardees are free to accept or reject the grant agreement as offered.

Award Notice

The Gulf Research Program transmits award notices to organizations via e-mail. The award is not finalized and the National Academy of Sciences is not obligated to provide any funding until a signed copy of the award agreement has been received by the National Academy of Sciences.

Grant Periods

Upon receipt of the award notice, the awardee should note the effective date and the expiration date. Each award will be made as a 12-month agreement with the possibility of renewal for another 12 months upon demonstration of satisfactory progress toward completion of the project and contingent on the availability of funding. Effective date is the date specified in the grant notice on or after which expenditures may be charged to the grant. Charging expenditures to the grant prior to the effective date is strictly prohibited. Expiration date is the date specified in the grant notice after which expenditures may not be charged against the grant except to satisfy obligations to pay allowable project costs committed on or before that date. The expiration date is the last day of a month.

Once an award is made, the effective date cannot be changed. The expiration date may be changed when the 12-month agreement is renewed for another 12 months or as a result of approval of a request for a no-cost grant extension at the end of the 24-month performance period. If approved, the Gulf Research Program will issue an amendment to the grant.

If additional time beyond the 24-month performance period and the established expiration date is required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work within the funds already made available, the awardee may apply for a one-time no-cost extension of up to 3 months. A formal request must be submitted to the Gulf Research Program at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the grant. The request must explain the need for the extension and include an estimate of the unobligated funds remaining and a plan for their use. This one-time extension will not be approved merely for the purpose of using the unliquidated balances. (Back to top)

POST-AWARD MANAGEMENT

Reporting Requirements

After an award is conferred, the grantee shall provide a semi-annual financial report to the Gulf Research Program to report on grant expenditures to date under the grant. The grantee shall provide an annual written report to the Gulf Research Program to report on activities being carried out under the grant, including but not limited to project accomplishments to date and grant expenditures. Within 30 days of completion of the all grant activities, the grantee shall provide in writing a final grant report. The final grant report shall address the original objectives of the project as identified in the grant proposal, describe any changes in objectives, describe the final project accomplishments and include a final project accounting of all grant funds.

Data Management

Implementation of the data management plan will be monitored through the annual and final report process. Annual project reports required for all multi-year awards must include an account of ongoing data management and the accessibility (e.g., sharing) of research information products (e.g., digital object identifiers [DOIs] or accession numbers for digital information; citations of relevant publications, conference proceedings, and conference presentations; and other types of dissemination). In addition, the report must articulate any current or foreseeable changes to the original plan. Continued funding for subsequent years of multi-year projects will be contingent upon acceptable performance, which includes adherence to the data management plan.

Final project reports, which are required for all awards, must describe the implementation of the data management plan. They must also clearly describe any changes from the original plan. At a minimum, the final report should include descriptions of the following:
  • Data, datasets, and information products produced during the award period
  • Metadata (that describe the project and that describe the data and other information products) produced during the award period
  • Data, other information products, and associated metadata that will be maintained or curated after the award expires
  • Dissemination activities (e.g., publication of results and data, presentation of results and data)
  • The curation facility or facilities (e.g., digital repository) where project data and other information products have been deposited or are being curated for long-term management and accessibility.
  • Verification that the data and other information products are, or at least will be, widely discoverable and accessible (e.g., DOIs for data and other information products).
In addition to evaluating the final report descriptions, the Gulf Research Program may review any digital products curated in digital repositories or otherwise curated to ensure that they are properly preserved, documented, and accessible. (Back to top)

 
SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY

A fundamental purpose of the Gulf Research Program is to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and the application of the science to address Gulf region challenges. All activities of the Gulf Research Program will be conducted to meet the highest standards of scientific integrity. All grantees have a responsibility to use the funds wisely. To continue the emphasis on scientific integrity throughout the award period, the Gulf Research Program will ask all researchers, trainees, and fellows to comply with professional standards as defined by the report On Being A Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. (Back to top)
 

GRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Click here to view a sample grant agreement. (Back to top)

Questions? Send questions about the grants to gulfgrants@nas.edu.



Updated on May 4, 2015