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FAQ: RDM Call 1

+ How does this program relate to the Research Software calls?
The RDM program is separate from the Research Software program in that 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.  As RDM becomes more integrated into the research workflow (for example, as funding policies evolve), CANARIE is likely to coordinate more strongly between the RDM program and the Research Software program.
+ Is long-term storage of research data an appropriate example of something the RDM program is designed to support?
The first RDM call has a focus on software development projects. While these efforts could intersect with data storage, 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.
+ When referring to data, is it data in any form: numerical, text, audio, video etc.?
Yes. All forms of research output are of interest in this context. The CASRAI Dictionary definitions of data and research data are useful in considering the nature of data in this context.
+ Could a non-profit in the US partner with a Canadian organization/institution to submit a response?
Yes, but only if the submission is made by a Canadian institution. Other partners in the submission can be mentioned in the text of the submission, and/or as a CC in the distribution at the time of submission.
+ Is usage tracking considered important, for example, as it relates to papers and datasets that are changed/retracted?
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 version of the same/similar outputs, and a host of related functions.
+ Does a focus on supporting National Data Services mean that software with international importance is less favoured?
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.
+ 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?
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.
+ Are there other materials besides those linked to on the CANARIE website that might be important to consider in making a submission?
The Tri-Agencies’ Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, and Research Data Canada’s Statement of Principles are useful documents. The RDC document Data Innovation in Canada: Context for a National Conversation, as well as outputs from the 1st National Data Services Summit held in September 2017 may also be of interest.
+ Can you provide more information on how my software must create or contribute to a national data service?
RDM Call 1 is intended to support the development of software components that implement RDM best practices in support of the National Data Services Framework (NDSF). View image.

In all cases the infrastructure that emerges from the funding program is intended to function at the level of a 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 a 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 a NDS.

+ There is no funding limit for the $2.7M call: is there a soft target for the number of funded projects, budget ranges?
No. There is no target or budget range: projects will be assessed on a case by case basis and according to the criteria.
+ What are the reporting requirements?
CANARIE Finance will schedule audits. Each claim submitted will need background documentation. Status updates are required every 6 weeks via conference call with Program Manager, Mark Leggott.
+ Could you give an example of a National Data Services Framework?
There are two ways to consider the NDSF context: projects that bring RDM best practices to a national community of researchers, either all researchers regardless of institutional affiliation, or all researchers from a specific discipline; projects that facilitate adoption of the FAIR Principles at a national scale. One example of the latter is the Portage DMP Assistant, which provides a data management planning tool to any researcher in Canada. Examples of the former include domain-specific platforms that provide functionality to all Canadian researchers in a specific domain, such as the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre.
+ Will the evaluation criteria be published before the end of the call?
The evaluation criteria is currently posted online under the RDM Call. 
+ How long after the call does the software have to be sustainable?
Software developed under CANARIE funding must be made available for other researchers to use at no cost, through the CANARIE Research Software Registry at: https://science.canarie.ca for a period of 3 years from the end of the funded development period. The Statement of Work does include a question regarding the “your maintenance and support plan for the proposed software post CANARIE funding”, and this will be reviewed as part of the adjudication process.
+ Is collaboration with international colleagues possible?
Yes, although Principal Investigators (PIs) must be from a Canadian Institution, and funds must be spent on resources based in Canada. International partners may participate with their own resources.
+ Is it mandatory to have a Principal investigator?
Yes, someone denoted as the Principal Investigator is required, and must be identified as part of the application process. The PI must be employed by the Lead Contractor or a Participant to the Project Agreement. The selection committee will review the PI’s bio during the evaluation and recommendation process.
+ What are the eligibility characteristics of the PI for the purposes of this competition, and will their qualifications form part of the criteria for evaluation?
The PI must be an employee of the lead contactor or of the participating organization, and their qualifications will be reviewed by the selection committee during the evaluation process.
+ Can the software development be subcontracted to an external company?
Yes, software development can be subcontracted to an external company, however in order for the costs to be eligible the following must be applied: Please see Schedule of Eligible Costs
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.

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 it is identified in the Statement of Work and approved budget, and pre-approved in writing by CANARIE.

+ Can a project target only one theme, or it should address more than one?
Yes, the project can target just one theme, or as many as can be articulated in the proposal. Proposals will be judges on their merits, and the details provided in the Statement of Work, and will not receive additional consideration or weight based on the number of themes covered.
+ Must the institution receiving the funding be a university or research institute? Could it be a charity or for-profit company?
Yes, the Lead Contractor could be a charity, or 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.
+ Are the scoring criteria given numeric ratings and/or different weightings.
All criteria have the same scoring and weighting, except for the overall project assessment component, which has a higher weighting.
+ What degree of interoperability is intended, for example is the focus of the funding on syntactic or semantic interoperability?
Ideally both levels of interoperability are desirable. Syntactic interoperability is generally considered a prerequisite to semantic interoperability, and Interoperability in the FAIR Principles context would imply semantic interoperability.
+ Is there someone I can discuss my ideas with prior to developing a full application to make sure we are on the right track?
Yes, please contact CANARIE’s RDM Program Manager, Mark Leggott at mark.leggott@canarie.ca or 613-220-7236. Project ideas will be held in confidence.
+ Will CANARIE permit funding that leverages a currently funded CANARIE grant?
Having an existing CANARIE project does not preclude you from submitting an application under this program.
+ Has CANARIE identified interoperability protocols or specifications, or will this call solicit recommendations?
No. CANARIE is looking to the community to identify international best practices in their projects, and does not have a specific pre-defined set of protocols or specifications.
Updated: June 8, 2018