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SCORE COLLABORATIVE PILOT PROGRAM  

Issue Date: April 13, 2020

 

SYNOPSIS OF PROGRAM

Summary: Dr. Carrie Diaz Eaton and Bates College have recently been awarded funding by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Education Program to support nascent collaborations and pilot projects which have arisen from within the SCORE Network, with a particular focus on collaborations between disciplinary-based projects and broader OER, state, and library communities.  We seek to support projects whose outcomes will benefit the wider SCORE Network and foster the development of sustainable solutions to issues pertinent to the Network, including, but not limited to: 1) balancing a commitment to freely available education resources and professional development with the demands to stay relevant, 2) closing the OER lifecycle, 3) bridging disciplinary conversations with institutional conversations, and 4) ensuring financial sustainability. As part of this program, Bates College will provide targeted funding, in the form of mini-grants, to enable organizations to proceed with establishing collaborations and piloting solutions to the issues identified above.  

 

Funding Information (number of awards and dollar amounts will vary):

  • Estimated maximum dollar amount for each award: $20,000 total costs per award
  • Total amount anticipated to be awarded under this RFP: $100,000
  • Estimated number of awards: 5
  • Anticipated type of award: Fixed Cost

 

Eligibility (Who may apply):

Current members of the SCORE Network are eligible to submit proposals as Principal Investigator.  Each proposal should have a collaborating investigator/co-principal investigator from within the members and/or projects of the SCORE Network.  Additional collaborating investigators are welcome, but not required.  Click the link for a list of current SCORE Network Members.

 

Proposal deadlines/dates:

  • Application deadline: May 15, 2020, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time
  • Funding notification: June 1, 2020
  • Funding start date: No earlier than June 15, 2020
  • Project Completion Date: December 31, 2020
  • Final Report due: January 31, 2021

 

Application requirements:

Please apply by completing all required sections in the Application Form. The following required application components should be uploaded in PDF form: 

  • Project Proposal (template) - 2 page max

  • Budget Justification  

 

Contact:

Contact Maggie Diamond-Stanic with questions or for additional information.  mdiamond@bates.edu 

 

SUMMARY/BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Interdisciplinary fields are particular drivers of STEM inequity. Only certain institutions, instructors, and classrooms have access to the fast-moving, often quantitative and computational research and curricula that students need in order to compete.  By participating in the adoption and production of OER, educators get access to high-quality materials in emerging interdisciplinary fields, gain opportunities to shape these OER into what is relevant for their classrooms, and can contribute to creating a shared resource to benefit others.  However, this new model of educational material development presents new challenges, specifically the need to develop human-technological infrastructure that is also financially, socio-culturally, and technologically sustainable. 

The SCORE Network was founded to connect stakeholders from a variety of disciplines and organizations who share a common interest in undergraduate biology OER, sustainability, and social justice and equity, but who have not previously been connected.  With a recognition that a wealth of knowledge pertinent to the issues we seek to address lives in domains outside of biology, we actively sought to include representatives from libraries/information science, social science, or other STEM disciplines as well as from businesses, OER organizations, and multiple types of funding organizations in our Network.  

With support from the National Science Foundation, the first SCORE Summit brought together members of the Network in October 2019.  The goal of this meeting was to identify challenges that are common across projects and to leverage the strengths and best ideas from each project to benefit the others.  The common challenges identified were: 1) balancing a commitment to freely available education resources and professional development with the demands to stay relevant, 2) closing the OER lifecycle, 3) bridging disciplinary conversations with institutional conversations, and 4) ensuring financial sustainability. 

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Our long-term goal is to help our broader STEM education OER community to develop sustainable solutions to common problems facing OER projects through collaboration. The SCORE Summit was successful in fostering ideas for new relationships and collaborations.  Now, with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Education Program, we seek to promote and strengthen these nascent collaborations by providing immediate funding in the form of mini-grants (up to $20,000 per grant) to catalyze projects focused on a variety of issues of interest to the SCORE Network. 

We anticipate supporting up to five projects that will provide tangible examples of potential solutions to issues common across multiple Network members/projects.  Members of the SCORE Network are eligible to submit proposals as Principal Investigator. Each proposal should have a collaborating investigator/co-principal investigator from within the members and/or projects of the SCORE Network.  Additional collaborating investigators are welcome, but not required.

The scope of proposed projects should match the funding limits and timelines.  Projects are limited to $20,000 in total costs and should be completed within approximately 6 months.  The products produced as a result of these grants will be dependent on the grant activities, but should include elements relevant to the broader SCORE and will likely include documentation of the collaborative process. This may include, but is not limited to, workflows for combining cyberinfrastructure across multiple projects and aligning metadata across projects, production of additional OER undergraduate biology lessons, and/or preliminary research data from new collaborations to be used for further grant applications.  The products produced by proposed projects and their relevance to the broader SCORE Network should be described in the Project Description portion of the application.

Evaluation will be a key component of successful applications. Funds to support project evaluation are provided for separately and should not be included in the budget for each project. A common evaluator will be used across all projects to facilitate an overall evaluation report on effectiveness of the SCORE Collaborative Pilot Program and collaborations. Robin Taylor, PhD of RTRES Consulting is the evaluator for the SCORE Network project and will serve as evaluator for SCORE Collaborative Pilot Program grants.

Grant awardees will be asked to support evaluation efforts of the grant by responding to all evaluation data requests in a timely-manner. 

Open Licensing: Successful applications will be expected to comply with the Hewlett Foundation’s Commitment to Open Licensing Policy.  Final materials (reports, videos, white papers, etc) created with funds from the SCORE Collaborative Pilot Program should be openly licensed.   under the most recent Creative Commons Attribution license. Products relevant to the SCORE Network should be made freely available to the Network.   If necessary, funds to support open access to Program products should be included in the budget description.  

 

  

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Please apply by completing all required sections in the Application Form.  The following required application components should be uploaded in PDF form: 

 

  • Project Proposal (2 pages max) - Please use the Application Template to address the following:

    • Project Focus

    • Problem Statement

    • Organization Overview

    • Proposed Activities

    • Timeline

    • Outputs

    • Outcomes

    • Impact

  • References Cited - No page limit, but please list only references cited in application.

  • Total Funds Requested - Please list the total dollar amount of funds you are requesting

  • Budget Justification (no page limit, but please be succinct) – Applicants should include a budget justification that clearly delineates costs associated with the proposed project, separated by major categories.  

 

As these are collaborative projects, we expect each budget will include at least one subaward or contract to the collaborating institution/investigator/project.  It is the responsibility of the prime application institution to initiate, oversee, and manage these subawards/contracts.

 

Allowable costs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Salary and benefits compensation for faculty, staff, and/or students

  • Subawards/Contracts to collaborative institutions/projects

  • Contracts for professional services (note: do not include funds for the evaluator in your budget justification.  See Program Description above for more information)

  • Travel for conferences or collaboration meetings

  • Publications Costs/Costs associated with dissemination of project results

  • Computer Services

  • Materials and supplies

  • Stipends/honoraria

  • Subsistence associated with conferences

  • Professional Development Activities

  • Indirect costs of up to 10% of direct costs.  Total costs (direct costs + indirect costs) may not exceed $20,000.

Prohibited costs include:

  • Construction and renovation projects

  • Lobbying or advocating to a particular course of action (this refers to pieces of legislation)

  • General office supplies, institutional administrative charges (e.g., telephone, other electronic communication, IT network, etc.)

  • Pre-award charges

  • Costs associated with participation in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or to otherwise influence the outcome of any specific public election 

  • Any other expenses not directly related to the project

 

 

FUNDING INFORMATION

  • Each award is capped at $20,000 in total cost (direct costs + indirect costs).  The indirect cost rate is capped at 10%, as per Hewlett Foundation Policy.

  • It is the responsibility of the awardee to issue subawards and contracts to collaborating investigators and contractors.  

  • Funds will be awarded on a Fixed Cost basis.  Applicants should submit a budget justification detailing expected expenses.  A description of how the funds were spent must be included in the Final Report submitted to Bates College.

 

APPLICATION REVIEW

Applications will be reviewed by the SCORE Hewlett Advisory board, which is comprised of a subset of the SCORE Advisory Board.  Review criteria include feasibility of the project within the budget and time constraints of the Program and the products produced and their expected benefit to the broader SCORE Network.  In addition, the Advisory Board will seek to fund a portfolio of projects whose combined impact will expand the capacity of the SCORE Network to reach its goals of achieving sustainability for OER.  Applicants will be notified of their award status by June 1, 2020 of 

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Applicants, Institutions, and Projects are expected to review and adhere to the Policies of the Hewlett Foundation regarding Conflict of Interest, Equal Opportunity Employment, Commitment to Open Licensing, Whistleblower Protections.

Distribution of funds and reporting requirements will be made available upon award. All terms and conditions will be dependent upon agreement by successful applicants to abide by the terms and conditions set forth in the Bates College Notice of Award.

Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research is the responsibility of the Grantee. Grantees conducting human subject research must have appropriate standards to ensure compliance with generally accepted research ethics. If grant funds will be used in whole or in part for research involving human subjects, Grantee will be required to represent that it has such rules and review processes in place and that these rules and processes will be followed. (Such processes may include: obtaining and maintaining institutional review board (or a research ethics review committee) approval, and informed consent of participating research subjects.)