Frequently Asked Questions
- + Q. How does this call relate to CANARIE’s Research Software calls?
- A: CANARIE’s RDM Program is separate from the Research Software Program. The RDM Program is focused on software tools to support research data management, while the Research Software Program is focused on software that supports the entire research workflow or portions of it.
- + Q. How does this call relate to the first RDM Call?
- A: 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. RDM Call 1 had a focus on projects that added or enhanced existing RDM software platforms (or proposed the development of a new platform) with support for the FAIR Principles and the National Data Services Framework (NDSF). RDM Call 2 focuses on the interoperability of multiple existing RDM platforms, repositories, or services.
- + Q. Is long-term storage of research data an appropriate example of something the RDM Program is designed to support?
- A: This Call is not intended to fund long-term storage. Also, CANARIE does not itself provide data-hosting services, but works with stakeholders in the community to facilitate this service.
- + Q. When referring to research data, is it data in any form: numerical, text, audio, video, etc.?
- A: Yes. Research data includes all forms of research output. The CASRAI Dictionary definitions of data and research data are useful in considering the nature of data in this context.
- + Q. What types of projects are intended for this call?
- A: 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.
- + Q. Is collaboration with international colleagues eligible?
- A: Yes, although the Lead Contractor must be a Canadian organization and funds must be spent on resources based in Canada. International partners may participate using their own resources.
- + Q. Where can I get more information on how to describe the connections between my project and the FAIR Principles and NDSF?
- A: The FAIR Principles are described in numerous documents, but the original article is a good place to start. A number of the presentations from the 2nd NDSF Summit describe projects funded in CANARIE’s 1st RDM Call using the 4 FAIR Principles as themes, so these may also be of interest.
- + Q. Is usage tracking considered important in RDM as it relates to papers and datasets that are changed/retracted?
- A: Yes, tracking the creation and evolution of research outputs (e.g. scholarly articles and datasets) is an important part of the RDM ecosystem, whether it be maintaining a provenance record, or ensuring links between different versions of the same/similar outputs, and a host of related functions.
- + Q. Does a focus on supporting National Data Services mean that software with international importance is less favoured?
- A: No, the key aspect of support for National Data Services is to deliver services that can function at a national level, across, or within disciplines. As research is highly collaborative both nationally and internationally, software that integrates international RDM standards or that reflects the needs of an international research community will not be less favoured.
- + Q. When thinking about a National Data Services Framework, is the audience restricted to researchers associated with higher education institutions and government, or is it assumed that services will be publicly available?
- A: Access to services integrated into a National Data Services Framework should be accessible to any publicly-funded Canadian researcher, although we realize that some services may be accessible to only specific domains of research. Also, software developed with CANARIE funding must be made available via an open source license.
- + Q. Are there other materials besides those linked to on the CANARIE website that might be important to consider in making a submission?
- A: The outputs from the 1st National Data Services Summit held in September 2017, and the 2nd NDSF Summit held in January 2019, may be of interest.
- + Q. How do you define interoperability of appropriate research infrastructures, and can you provide examples?
- A: RDM Call 2 is focused on the development or enhancement of existing RDM platforms, repositories and services (research infrastructures) to provide greater interoperability between systems at a national and international level. The Call for Proposals highlights Functional Layers that would provide greater interoperability in the NDSF context, although they are not the only ones that would fit the Call. A few examples:
1. A project that “federates” previously separate data repositories via a single interface accessible through a domain-specific research platform, and allows a researcher to deposit their dataset into one or more repositories without using the native interface.
2. A project that harvests and enriches metadata from multiple meta(data) sources, links metadata from the same research project, and makes it discoverable via a single interface.
3. A project that creates software to mint appropriate domain-specific PIDs for research meta(data), and updates the researcher’s ORCID record.
4. A project that replaces separate storage layers for multiple data repositories with a single managed storage and preservation layer.
- + Q: Can you provide more information on how my software must create or contribute to a national data service?
- A: Please see Figure 1: Illustration of the elements and relationships in a National Data Services Framework (NDSF)
In all cases, the infrastructure that emerges from RDM Call 2 is intended to function at the level of an NDSF, which could mean across multiple disciplines, or within a specific domain. Development efforts that operate at an international level also fit the definition of an NDSF. Projects that develop pilot infrastructure that functions at a local or regional level, but are intended to eventually function at a national level, would also fit the designation of an NDS.
- + Q. CANARIE funding is claims based. What does that mean to me?
- A: During the project, you submit claims quarterly. Claims must be accompanied by supporting documentation (e.g. employee timesheets, proof of salary and fringe benefits, supplier invoices, etc.).
CANARIE reimburses your organization for eligible amounts claimed, less a 10% holdback which is paid at the end of the project.
- + Q. How do I know whether a project cost is eligible?
- A: Please see the Schedule of Eligible Costs. When in doubt, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- + Q. Are there any limits on eligible project costs I should be aware of?
- A: Eligible cost limits are noted below:
1. Employee fringe benefits costs must not exceed 20% of eligible direct labour costs
2. The total of sub-contractors’ and consulting fees must not exceed 5% of total eligible project costs
3. The total cost of direct materials (i.e. software) must not exceed 5% of the total of all eligible project costs
4. The total cost of travel must not exceed 3% of the total of all eligible project costs
- + Q. How do I know whether a travel cost is eligible?
- A: Eligible travel costs are limited to domestic travel to meet with new users for the purposes of onboarding and to attend meetings with participants for the purposes of co-development.
- + Q. Can I claim the overhead associated with employees working on my project?
- A: No, you cannot claim any overhead. General office supplies, utilities, rent for office space, office equipment, etc. are considered overhead, and are not eligible costs.
- + Q. Can I claim sales taxes?
- A: Yes, non-recoverable portion of taxes incurred on purchases are eligible.
- + Q. Will the project finances be audited?
- A: Yes, audits may be scheduled at any time during the project.
- + Q. What qualifies as an in-kind contribution?
- A: In-kind contributions include salaries and fringe benefits paid at the rates shown in the organization’s payroll and accounting records incurred for the project, e.g. salary and fringe benefits for university faculty or Principal Investigator. Anyone not paid a salary will not qualify as an in-kind contribution.
- + Q. Is there a minimum in-kind contribution?
- A: Yes, in-kind contributions must be at least 15% of the total quarterly eligible project costs before a project is eligible for funding.
- + Q. Can the software development be subcontracted to an external company?
- A: Yes, software development can be subcontracted to an external company, however, in order for the costs to be eligible, any of the following must apply:
1. Work performed by Canadian sub-contractors or consultants to advance a Project to the extent it is identified in the Statement of Work. The fees charged must be reasonable and not exceed fair market value.
2. The total cost of sub-contractors and consultants fees MUST not exceed 5% of the total of all eligible Project costs.
3. Fee-for-service contracts with federal labs that have the authority to collect revenue are eligible.
4. The sub-contractor or consultant provides specialized guidance to the Project team.
5. Work performed by foreign sub-contractors or consultants to advance a Project to the extent that it is identified in the Statement of Work and approved budget, and pre-approved in writing by CANARIE.
Please see the Schedule of Eligible Costs.
- + Q. Must the organization receiving the funding be a university or research institute? Could it be a charity or for-profit company?
- A: The Lead Contractor can be a charity, for-profit institution, or any other legally recognized entity such as a university, college, or non-profit organization based in Canada. Federal government agencies are not eligible to receive funding.
- + Q. Will CANARIE permit funding that leverages a currently funded CANARIE project?
- A: Having an existing CANARIE project does not preclude you from submitting an application under this call.