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RDM Competitive Funding Call 2

Evolution of Existing RDM Platforms, Repositories, and Services for National and International Interoperability

The ability to reuse research data supports accelerated knowledge creation, allows for reproducibility of scientific results, and maximizes return on investment of research funding. The research data management (RDM) workflow is enabled by a range of software components and tools.

In response to a community-identified need, CANARIE’s Research Data Management Program funds the development of software components and tools to enable Canadian researchers to adopt best practices in research data management.

About RDM Call 2

The goal of CANARIE’s RDM Program is to contribute to the development of a more integrated, interoperable, and accessible ecosystem of RDM platforms, repositories, and services.

This is CANARIE’s second call for proposals to develop software components and tools that support data management and facilitate interoperability and integration with digital research infrastructure (DRI) at the national and international levels.

Building on the foundation of RDM Call 1, RDM Call 2 will contribute up to $2.0M toward continued alignment of existing national platforms, repositories, and services with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) Principles, and focus on the development of national and international interoperability of these platforms, repositories, and services.

The purpose of the call is to:

  • Fund the enhanced interoperability of RDM components (platforms, repositories, and services) that form part of existing and emerging national data services (NDS). NDS are services that provide one or more data management-related functions to applicable stakeholders and disciplines in a specific national context.1 In Canada, these services form the National Data Services Framework (NDSF). You can view more information on the NDSF via the FAQ Page. For more detailed information, see the January 2019 NDSF Summit Background Document. Project submissions must address interoperability in one or more of the following Functional Layers of the ecosystem and must also describe how these development efforts support both the FAIR Principles and the NDSF:
  1. Discovery
    Discovery, either across all participating systems using a federated approach or via harvesting/indexing in a single system.
  2. Metadata Interoperability
    This consists of support for a common descriptive metadata schema, and/or profile across all participating systems, ideally enhanced by support for internationally recognized domain-specific metadata schemas.
  3. Persistent ID Creation, Use, and Maintenance
    This includes Persistent IDs (PIDs) support within metadata, ID minting, and synchronization.
  4. FAIR Services Registries, APIs, and Protocols
    Development of federated systems that are themselves FAIR, with APIs that provide access to metadata and specify details of the services and resources provided.
  5. Metadata Deposit and Harvest
    Interoperability in this context can include the development of services to allow deposit between disparate systems, common deposit services that facilitate metadata creation, and offering a selection of best practice repositories for deposit.
  6. Identity Management
    Providing services across a suite of research systems using Federated Identity Management (FIM).
  7. Storage
    Implementing an interoperable and standards-based approach to data storage software.
  8. Other
    Proposals may also address interoperability at additional functional layers in response to researcher needs, including data management planning, data creation/processing/analysis, security, provenance, and curation.

Eligibility Requirements

  • This call is intended for projects involving a multi-institutional collaboration, representing currently non-interoperable systems (e.g. software platforms, repositories, services), that will be integrated via one or more Functional Layers, thereby increasing the level of interoperability for components of Canada’s National Data Services Framework.
  • Applicants must be employed by a Canadian university, college, corporation, or other legally recognized entity. This entity will act as the Lead Contractor. The Lead Contractor must be able to enter into a Project Agreement with CANARIE.
  • The Lead Contractor may complete the project with one or more funded participant(s) from other Canadian entities. The Lead Contractor and any participants will be required to enter into a Consortium Agreement.

This call is not open to:

  • Federal government institutions (federal departments, agencies, or Crown corporations, including their research facilities).
  • Foreign organizations

Participation Obligations

  • All projects must align with the FAIR Principles.
  • Each proposal must include multiple existing platforms, systems, or data repositories that will be integrated at one or more functional software layers as part of the project.
  • The Lead Contractor will be required to enter into a Consortium Agreement(s) with any organization(s) involved in the software development, or that receives funding as part of the project.
  • Software developed with CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost through the CANARIE Research Software Registry at science.canarie.ca.
  • The Lead Contractor shall not issue any release or publicity concerning a funded project or its subject matter except with prior written approval of CANARIE.

Funding Details

This call will provide up to $2.0M of funding to projects for the period of April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022. The maximum funding available per project is $700K.

Financial Requirements

Accounting Representatives – An accounting representative from your institution’s Research Accounting/Research Services office or from your organization’s Finance department must prepare a preliminary project budget using CANARIE’s Preliminary Project Budget Template. An Accounting Representative is someone who will be accountable for related financial accounts, records, and the submission of financial reports to CANARIE. Should a project be approved for funding, CANARIE will work with the Accounting Representative to finalize the budget. The budget will form part of the Project Agreement between the Lead Contractor and CANARIE.

Eligible Costs – CANARIE funding is claims-based, i.e. quarterly claims must be submitted with back-up documentation for eligible project costs. Details of eligible project costs are listed in the Schedule of Eligible Costs .

In-Kind Contributions – All projects are required to contribute in-kind costs that are equivalent to at least 15% of the total eligible project costs. Please refer to the Schedule of Eligible Costs for more details on in-kind costs.

Project Schedule

  • Start of Development: April 1, 2020
  • End of Funding Period: March 31, 2022

CANARIE will require technical progress updates every 6 weeks.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

Projects will be selected through a competitive process. All project proposals will be evaluated against the Mandatory and Scoring Criteria below, which must be addressed in the Statement of Work (SOW). Applicants must use the SOW Template to describe their project and its deliverables. The SOW will form part of the Project Agreement between the Lead Contractor and CANARIE.

Mandatory Criteria

  1. The proposed software makes use of Canadian digital infrastructure (networking, compute, storage and/or sensors).
  2. The proposed project contributes to one or more of CANARIE’s Expected Results:
    > enhances opportunities for collaborative knowledge creation and innovation within Canada’s research and education communities through the maintenance and development of the CANARIE Network and related tools and services;
    > expands the research and education community’s access to and utilization of the CANARIE Network and the availability of tools and programming that increase the effectiveness of its use; and,
    > enables the creation of innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services and accelerate their commercialization in Canada.
  3. The software development proposed is technologically feasible and economically viable in the timeframe of the project plan.
  4. All funded work must be performed in Canada and locations must be identified.
  5. The Lead Contractor must be a Canadian university, college, corporation or other legally recognized entity.
  6. No more than half of the membership and Board of Directors of the Lead Contractor can be composed of representatives or agents of the federal government.
  7. In-kind contributions must be at least 15% of total eligible project costs. This is to be demonstrated in the Preliminary Project Budget.
  8. Software developed using CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost, through the CANARIE Research Software Registry for a period of 3 years from the end of the funded Development Phase.

Scoring Criteria

  1. Extent to which the project makes use of or contributes to the use of data management infrastructure, while supporting the FAIR Principles;
  2. Extent to which the project creates or contributes to the interoperability of multiple systems in the context of the National Data Services Framework;
  3. Extent to which the project supports accepted standards/best practices in one or more of the Functional Layers listed above;
  4. The number of platforms, repositories, and services that will be integrated and become interoperable through the project;
  5. Extent to which the project intersects or interoperates with international research infrastructures;
  6. Completeness and quality of the proposed project plan;
  7. Completeness/quality of the project and software architectures, including compute and storage allocation strategy;
  8. Additional costs to users such as license fees, compute and storage resources, or the need to purchase expensive equipment;
  9. Overall assessment of the proposal.

Evaluation Procedure

Proposals under this call will be evaluated by CANARIE through an external expert advisory committee.

Key Dates

  • Information webinars (please register for the session of your choice at the links below):
  • Proposal submission deadline: October 29, 2019 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Notification of Project Selections: December 5, 2019

Application Procedure

To be accepted for evaluation, applicants must complete and submit the Proposal Submission Form, which includes uploading the Preliminary Project Budget and Statement of Work.

Required Documents for Submission:

Submit a Proposal

Reference Material:

Questions about the Call

Additional Resources

To find and learn about software for research contributed by participants in CANARIE’s Research Data Management Program and by members of the Canadian research community, visit science.canarie.ca.


[1] https://forum.casrai.org/t/national-data-service/939