Equipment Award Status Report

May, 2004

Joanne K. Graham



††††††††††† Unidata provided $100,000 funding (including overhead) for 2004 Equipment Awards.The solicitation was first announced on 1/7/2004 and the deadline for submission was 2/27/2004.The awards panel met on March 10th for a full day.The panel consisted of UCAR staff, Unidata Committee Members, and prior award recipients.The overall quality and representational diversity of this committee was quite excellent.


††††††††††† The panel had ten proposals to review totaling $182,959.35 before UCAR overhead, $242,970 including UCAR overhead.For the most part, the proposal quality and diversity this year was quite good.Only one proposal was unacceptable to the point that it did not warrant more than one round of review by the panel.


Funding Recommendations from 2004 Panel:






Funded with OH

University of Oklahoma

Real-time & Archival DODS/ADDE Server



$ 13,527


San Jose State

Deploying the IDV & Improving IDD Capabilities



$ 23,468



An expanded data storage system



$ 25,000


Central Michigan

Upgrade the Hardware of the CMU Unidata Server



$ 12,636


Universidade Federal Do Para Brazil

Meteorology Lab for Research & Teaching



$†† 2,700



††††††††††† After review and approval by the Unidata Director, we asked a technical staff member to look at the proposal requests to see if any of the recommendations made by the panel could be scaled back.Unlike other years, it did not seem feasible to make any further reductions.As a special note, the Brazilian University was cut significantly by the panel because the panel felt that the institution needed seed money to get started with enough money to run one LDM machine and show a proof of concept before it could be considered for larger amounts of funding.The primary concern was lack of resources to install and maintain the equipment to meet their objectives.This small amount of funding will give them a good start.




Special Considerations


††††††††††† It is our objective to make this process as fair and open as possible, to fund projects that are part of our standard current community as well as projects that will help us to expand the community and its resources.There were a few proposals that showed ingenuity that may have done just that, but there were many unanswered questions in the minds of the panelists.The turnaround time between receipt of the proposals and the panel meeting was too short that we were unable to pre-screen all of the proposals and ask for clarification on some pressing issues from some of the applicants.Additionally, it was our hope and intent to fund proposals that were clearly written, showed a strong understanding of the criteria (and Unidata community), and didnít require a lot of follow-up.However, we understand that it might be difficult for parties new to our community to underscore some of those principle issues (free and open access of data, sharing via the IDD, use of THREDDS, IDV, etc.) if we donít ask for clarification.We are therefore considering the possibility of adding steps to our review effort which will allow a short period for clarification of some issues prior to forwarding proposals to the panel.This might help to expedite the panel process and give deeper consideration to some of these more forward-thinking projects.Perhaps some discussion on this issue in the User and Policy Committees prior to the next announcement is warranted.




††††††††††† We are wrapping up the 2003 Equipment Awards process as some funding issues were still outstanding as of early May.The delays have been on the University side, as it is often difficult for Universities to just accept our contractual policies.There have been a few Intellectual Property questions that have arisen from Universities as well.


††††††††††† Jo Hansen is working with Universities who have received their funding to write newsletter articles about their experience with these awards.


††††††††††† Transfer of 2004 Award funding is well underway and we hope that this process can somehow be more streamlined this year.


††††††††††† Overall we were pleased with the quality and quantity of proposals received and feel that the processes for the RFP are going smoothly.