Request for Proposals — 2024 Grants
Edit 9/7 – Read more about Red Hat Research Project Focus Areas
The Collaboratory seeks to define and demonstrate an open model for large-scale reproducible systems research in achieving a future of secure, reliable, scalable, self-operating, distributed, heterogeneous compute platforms that stretch from edge devices to cloud datacenters. We seek proposals from qualified researchers in three categories:
- Large-scale projects: [total cost < $500,000] These are highly visible projects involving multiple faculty, students, and a community of Red Hat engineers.
- Small-scale projects: [< $175,000] These projects explore a more focused element of the Collaboratory goals within a researcher’s area of expertise, and include collaboration with at least one Red Hat engineer.
- Speculative projects: [< $100,000] These are speculative, fundamental research, or Mass Open Cloud Alliance (MOC Alliance) projects designed to initiate a collaboration.
Projects should generally focus on problems of distributed, operating, security, or network systems whose solution shows promise for advancing their field and impacting industry.
Proposers are especially encouraged to:
- integrate into as many of the existing Red Hat Collaboratory efforts as appropriate (e.g., the Mass Open Cloud Alliance, edge to Cloud, RHODS and application to education),
- review 2022 and 2023 awards to get a sense of the types of systems research that the Collaboratory has supported,
- review topics of recent Red Hat Research Interest Group agendas,
- note related existing or planned federal proposals, and
- describe any relevant broader impacts of the project (e.g. providing opportunities for broader participation in STEM, undergraduate impact, climate change and sustainability, promoting civil society).
We understand that researchers may not have established connections with Red Hat business units and engineers, and we thus encourage researchers to contact the Collaboratory team ASAP (strongly recommended before July 31) at email@example.com for help in connecting to potential Red Hat collaborators.
Please note that any artifacts developed by the projects must be available under an open source license and all project results should be made publicly available (for example, through academic publication).
What can I use for a start date for proposals submitted under this call?
Proposals should have a start date of January 1, 2024 and all awarded funding must be spent by December 31, 2024 for Speculative, Small proposals and Large renewal proposals, and by December 31, 2025 for new Large proposals.
Please note this program does not allow for no-cost extensions. Any unspent funds will revert to the Collaboratory. If more time or additional funding is needed, proposers should submit a new proposal during the next call, anticipated in 2024 (please note in the new proposal that it is a renewal).
What do I submit for the budget?
Please include the budget and justification in the same pdf file as the proposal. The budget justification will not count against the proposal maximum page count. For the budget, all that is needed is the summary page from the budget workbook.
Daniela Demaestri, firstname.lastname@example.org, Financial Manager, Hariri Institute, can review your budget and budget justification if you need another reviewer. Please let her know you will be requesting a review in advance and send her materials three working days before any deadlines. Please cc Nancy Clinton, email@example.com, on these requests.
Are there any restrictions on what can be included in the budget? Can staff time be budgeted? Are there restrictions on the students that can be included?
In terms of budget, currently the only restriction on personnel is that anyone included in the budget must be Boston University faculty, student, or staff. While there are no restrictions on what can be proposed in the budget, please keep in mind the importance of aligning with the Collaboratory research program goals. Staff, SAIL consulting, and students at all class levels (undergraduate, masters, PhD) are all allowable.
Do I need to include Red Hat engineer effort/salary in my budget?
Red Hat engineer participation should be included in the “Participants” section of the proposal, but Red Hat engineer effort/salary should not be included in the budget or budget justification. The proposal should include a specific commitment from each named Red Hat participant for their efforts (e.g., 8 hrs/week avg).
Do I need to route this for signature through OSP?
Since this is an internal program, PIs should not supply a Proposal Summary Form or acquire internal signatures. We will notify departments of awards and provide awardees with a contract and relevant program details. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large-scale projects of up to $500k per year engage a community of researchers and students with a community of Red Hat engineers to attack challenges that are beyond the scope of individual collaborators. They are typically highly visible projects that involve multiple faculty, students, and Red Hat engineers. Although these are research projects and should address systems or system problems that have not yet been built or addressed, there should be a fairly high confidence that the research will produce tangible results within the project period. Projects that address convergence of different research areas are also in scope. Large-scale projects run for a minimum of two years, but may be renewed annually up to two times.
Small-scale projects of up to $175k per year are limited in scope, typically involving only one or two faculty, students and Red Hat engineers each, the latter of which must commit at least 10% of their time to the project. This category of proposals may include collaborative experiences that cross disciplinary boundaries, coursework development relevant to the Collaboratory, and initial development projects intended to feed into a later large-scale project. Projects run for one year, but may be renewed annually up to two times.
Speculative projects of up to $100k per year involve systems research with a longer time horizon and need not have the pre-committed involvement of a Red Hat engineer. Fundamental systems research, work relevant to the MOC Alliance, and high-risk systems projects are all in scope for this category. Projects run for one year, but may be renewed annually up to two times.
Note that the Red Hat Collaboratory has meeting and work space available for all Collaboratory project members on the 12th floor of the Center for Computing and Data Sciences (CCDS). Additionally, we can help with booking conference spaces within the building. Please contact Tara Moran (email@example.com) with any space needs.
Funding priority will be given to large proposals over small ones, and small proposals over speculative ones.
Please note that renewal projects have different proposal guidance from new projects. See application requirements for full details on requirements.
All proposal funds are requested per year, including full overhead (65%) but excluding any costs directly associated with Red Hat employees. Proposal work period cannot be extended beyond the initial end date (i.e., through a No-Cost Extension), and PIs are, instead, recommended to submit promising work during the regular funding cycle for renewed consideration.
Funds are available to Boston University faculty proposing systems research that advances the Collaboratory goals. Applicants may submit multiple proposals that address separate and distinct research activities. Please note the limits on the number of times a project can be submitted as a renewal.
10/2 Submission deadline
12/12 Announcement of awards
New Proposal Application Requirements
All newly proposed projects must address research of potential relevance to the Collaboratory, and include:
- Project description
- A terse but clear and complete description of the proposed project, together with relevant references to the literature and an explanation of the placement of the proposed work amidst the state of the art.
- An explanation of the potential relevance of the work to the Collaboratory interests and goals.
- An explanation of how the work will proceed as an open project.
- A brief explanation of what the project will deliver and when (e.g., system, talks, demonstrations etc.).
- Any preliminary work completed to suggest the feasibility and significance of the project.
- Any relevant federally funded projects, existing or planned, with a brief description of their overlap with the proposed project.
- Participants: A list of all faculty, students, and engineers proposed for the project, together with their proposed roles and links to their public web/social media content, with as much detail as possible. A project that will recruit as-yet unidentified student participants should name at least one prospective student participant in the proposal. (If the project includes a large number of participants, the proposal can reference a web link to save space.
- Budget: A line-item budget form, together with a brief text description for the relevance of each expenditure. Expenses or dependencies that are not part of the proposed budget (e.g., donations of time or equipment or computational resources from ORCI) should be noted and specified (to the extent possible) in the project description but not in the budget. Please use the “Non-Federal and all Non-Sponsored Accounts” fringe rates and the “Research/On Campus” F&A rate referenced here. F&A should be calculated using TDC (Total Direct Costs). Please use the “Non-Federal Budget Template” for your budget
- Space: (Optional) A spatio-temporal description of the Collaboratory space the group would like to use (if any), together with an explanation for how this space will promote the project. For example, a group could request one conference room, once per week, for group meetings, or a collaboration area, three times per week, to develop and run larger-scale experiments.
- Bibliography: A list of publications and web/social media links relevant to the proposal. (Links supporting open access to code and infrastructure that demonstrates previous relevant successful work should also be included).
Additional requirements differ according to the type of project being proposed:
Project descriptions for these proposals must consist of no more than eight (8) pages of single-spaced, 11-point text and figures (not including bibliography or endorsements), and further include the names and commitment levels of Red Hat engineers collaborating on the project.
Project descriptions for these proposals must consist of no more than five (5) pages of single-spaced, 11-point text and figures (not including bibliography), and further include the name of a Red Hat engineer committed to work on the project for at least 10% of their time.
Project descriptions for these proposals must consist of no more than three (3) pages of single-spaced, 11-point text and figures (not including bibliography), and further include a description of the prospective rewards of the project, if successful.
Since this is an internal program, PIs do not need to supply a Proposal Summary Form or acquire signatures. We will notify departments of awards and provide awardees with a contract and relevant program details. Grant Administrators have been made aware of the program. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renewal Proposal Application Requirements
Large-scale proposals are initially funded for two years and Small-scale and speculative projects are funded for one year. All projects can be renewed annually up to two times.
Renewal proposals should involve largely the same high-level objectives as the original proposals and follow the same structure as new proposals, but their project descriptions should not repeat the research justification of the original proposal (i.e., assume that the review committee will have access to the previous proposal). The description should be a single page focused on describing:
- how the proposed work changes or extends the original proposal,
- what work was accomplished so far, and
- the directions for future work in the upcoming funding period.
In addition, the proposal should include as an appendix a preliminary artifact report that includes information about all the publications, talks, repositories and a description of any impact the project has on the wider research and education community
Please note that proposal work periods cannot be extended (e.g., by means of a No-Cost Extension) after being awarded; instead PIs are encouraged to submit promising work through the regular funding cycle for renewed consideration, with a reference and explanation of any previous funds that were not used.
Submitters should upload a pdf file named RHC_proposal_<PI name>.pdf, where <PI name> is the last name of the first PI, (e.g., RHC_proposal_Trachtenberg.pdf) to the submission form below, and they should expect an acknowledgement of receipt. All 2023 proposals must be received by 11:59pm Eastern time on 10/2/2023. Potential PIs can also email email@example.com to ask questions about this RFP and request feedback on potential proposals.
PIs planning to submit proposals that require Red Hat collaboration (i.e., non speculative projects), should send a short description (e.g., couple of paragraph) of their idea to the Collaboratory team at firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible. We will work to identify and connect the PI to engineers and/or business units that might be interested in a collaboration.
We strongly recommend reaching out by July 31 to the Collaboratory team or Red Hat partners; identifying interested parties and obtaining manager or business unit buy-in will take time and integration into the business unit planning process.
Each application will be checked for completeness and conformance with the proposal requirements, and may be rejected without review if it does not meet requirements.
Speculative proposals will be reviewed by the administrative team of the Collaboratory for basic fit and technical soundness. At present, this committee consists of: Hugh Brock (Red Hat), Heidi Dempsey (Red Hat), Orran Krieger (BU), and Ari Trachtenberg (BU).
Small and Large proposals will be evaluated and scored by a committee chosen by the administrative team in consultation with the Collaboratory’s BU and RH Oversight Committee. This technical committee is expected to consist of researchers at Boston University that are not applying for funding through this process and Red Hat technical experts. Evaluation scores, together with any available explanations, will be communicated to applicants upon completion of the review process.
Projects will be reviewed based on feasibility, potential visibility, potential impact, novelty, contribution to diversity, and especially relevance to the Collaboratory and its infrastructure, all within the context of the proposed budget.
Funded investigators will present their projects throughout the year at various Red Hat Collaboratory activities including the annual MOC Alliance meeting (likely in Spring 2024). In addition to summarizing work done in the previous year, PIs should outline products of the research, including documentation of systems that were developed, talks, demonstrations, papers, follow-on grant proposals, and collaborations with other institutions (e.g., university, industry). While we will send a formal “artifact request” at the end of the period of the grant, we also strongly encourage PIs to let us know about developments as they occur so that we can highlight them appropriately