Allocation of Community Building Funds

A pot of money has been allocated within NA4 to financially support the community building activities in EGEE-III. The total amount of money reserved is 58,000 and will be dedicated to the following three community-building aims:

  • To bring communities together,
  • To expand existing communities, and
  • To bring new ones to EGEE-III.

It should be emphasized that the funding opportunities discussed below apply only for personnel that is not directly funded by the EGEE-III project. People directly involved and paid by EGEE are not eligible for financial support coming from this pot of money.

Main responsible for managing this money is the NA4 Deputy Activity leader. Decisions about who will be funded and when, will be taken by the deputy in consultation with the NA4 Steering Committee. The accounting details for paying the various expenses and making the reimbursements are handled by the EGEE Project Office in coordination with the NA4 deputy leader.

The following paragraphs provide a detailed overview of the policies pertaining the fund allocation activity and the procedures to be followed for implementing them.

Bringing Communities Together

Face to face meetings are important for the development of EGEE communities. Such meetings are organized either as part of the User Forum scientific programs or in the form of disciplinary meetings taking place between User Forums. In the first case, funds can be allocated for invited speakers to cover their traveling expenses, registration fees and accommodation. To what concerns registration fees, we should aim to take advantage of early bird registration rates as much as possible.

Disciplinary meetings are also needed between major EGEE events. In this case Community Building funds could help cover some of the logistic expenses like:

  • Room costs
  • Room equipment (beamer, screens etc)
  • Coffees and snacks
  • Participant tags, dissemination material etc.
Similar to the User Forums, funding can be allocated for invited speakers attending these meetings.

Funds Allocation Policy

A total of 24,000 has been allocated for the above purpose. Since the amount is very small to satisfy all requests that may come in the two years of the project the following overall policies will be applied to the funding allocation procedure:
  • Travel expenses for invited speakers will cover a maximum of 1,100 per person for User Forums and 800 per person for disciplinary meetings.
  • We aim to support three invited persons per User Forum which gives a total of 6,600 for both events (UF4 and UF5).
  • A sum of 17,400 will be devoted for the organization of disciplinary meetings. The above amount includes the support for invited speakers. We aim to support one disciplinary meeting per cluster, this gives a rough total of ~2500 per meeting. A typical distribution of this amount would consist of 800 for two invited persons and 900 for logistics.

Coordinating Community Effort

Community building efforts of NA4 have two aims in EGEE-III:
  • To expand existing communities, and
  • To attract and introduce new scientific disciplines to the project.

Community Expansion

Seven scientific communities are officially participating in the EGEE-III program of work. These include disciplines with long tradition in grid exploitation, like High-Energy Physics and Life Sciences, but also other disciplines that were introduced in EGEE-II and have evolved quickly to demonstrate significant scientific results produced with grid technology. In EGEE-III one more discipline was added, Computer Science, via the efforts of the Grid Observatory. The above clusters have attracted a significant number of participants, brought new applications to the grid, developed discipline-specific support tools, evaluated the gLite middleware, and provided feedback to middleware developers for improvements to existing services or implementation of new services. Nevertheless, a large number of European research teams and scientists active in the above scientific fields do not yet take advantage of EGEE infrastructure. Existing clusters are always looking for ways to attract new applications and teams; community building funds can help this effort by covering expenses for people to travel and attend disciplinary meetings.

New Communities Induction

Apart from the seven official clusters, NA4 wishes to outreach and attract new scientific disciplines. Such disciplines for instance are:
  • Finance and Economics
  • Multimedia applications (Video & Image Processing, CGI rendering etc.)
  • Social Science and Humanities
  • Material Science
  • IC design
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Part of our work will be to identify key persons that could coordinate with NA4 management in order to initiate a new community, to attract members from this community, and to develop first pilot applications. Funding will be required to invite these key persons to EGEE Conferences and User Forums in order to bring them together with existing communities and support teams of EGEE. Community Building funds will cover traveling expenses, registration fees, and accommodation.

Support for Application Porting

Along these lines, new communities will require consultation from EGEE's Application Porting (AP) team to quickly reach a production status. For large applications, developers might need to travel to one of AP's specialized centers across Europe (SZTAKI, INFN, UCM and CSIC) for face-to-face interaction and hands-on development meetings that will speed the application gridification process. Of course, applications from existing communities can also use this funding support when such tight collaboration with the AP teams is necessary.

Funds Allocation Policy

A total of 34,000 will be devoted for community expansion and new community induction efforts. The policies applied are the following:
  • Travel expenses will cover a maximum of 1,000 for inviting attendees coming from existing disciplines in disciplinary sessions organized in either EGEE Conferences or User Forums.
  • Similarly, a maximum of 1,000 per person will devoted for covering expenses of key persons from new disciplines to travel to major EGEE events.
  • We aim to fund a maximum of 4 attendees per event (2 from existing communities and 2 from new ones). This gives a total of 4,000 per event. With four events (two Conferences and two User Forums) included in the project calendar we plan to spend 16,000 for this purpose throughout the project duration.
  • Regarding the financial support for developers traveling to Application Porting team institutes, we plan to cover 10-20 different new applications. For each application a maximum of 2 developers will be supported each time with a total cost of 800 per person. A total of 16,000 will be dedicated for this purpose. A given application may take advantange of these funds once.
  • The remaining 2,000 , together with potential unallocated funds from the above activities, will be reserved for funding key people from emerging communities or people from existing communities for community expansion to travel to disciplinary workshops held between major EGEE events.

Procedures

This section details the specific procedures that shall be followed, depending on the purpose of funding requested. (Note: in the following text, unless stated otherwise, the term "deputy" refers to the NA4 deputy activity leader).

Disciplinary meeting organization

  1. A request is submitted by the respective cluster workgroup leader that includes the following information:
    • Rationale
    • Location
    • Date
    • Estimated budget
    • Number of attendees
  2. The request is evaluated by the deputy.
  3. The deputy brings the request for discussion in the next NA4 Steering Committee meeting.
  4. The NA4 Steering Committee discusses the request and if accepted the deputy proceeds with the next step.
  5. The deputy forwards the request to the EGEE Project Office (PO) that will handle the allocation of money.

Invited speakers for User Forums

  1. A member of the Program Committee (PC) proposes a speaker for one of the event's sessions or for one of the plenary sessions (keynote speech).
  2. The PC evaluates the request and accepts or declines the proposal.
  3. If accepted, the deputy forwards the request to the project PO.
In the case of keynote speakers, the expenses should generally be covered by the event budget. Community building funds should be used only be used as a last resort.

Invited attendees from existing communities

  1. The community leader proposes an invited participant for a disciplinary session at an EGEE Conference or User Forum.
  2. The deputy evaluates the request and makes an initial decision to support it or not.
  3. The deputy brings the request to the next NA4 Steering Committee for evaluation.
  4. The NA4 Steering Committee discusses the request.
  5. If accepted, the deputy forwards the request to the EGEE PO.

Travel funds to visit the Application Porting team

  1. The Application Porting workgroup leader sends a request to fund travel expenses for developers to the deputy, listing the following:
    • Number of persons to be funded
    • Names, institute and position
    • Destination and days of stay
    • Description of application, discipline, target VO. Names and contact information for application representative
    • Budget estimation
  2. The deputy evaluates the request and makes an initial decision to support it or not.
  3. The deputy brings the request to the next NA4 Steering Committee meeting for evaluation.
  4. The NA4 Steering Committee discusses the request.
  5. If accepted the deputy forwards the request to the EGEE PO.
  6. The PO coordinates with the AP team leader regarding any further details that might needed for the expenses.

Invited persons from new communities

A proposal to invite a person from a new scientific community can be initiated by the Project Director, Technical Director, NA2 Activity Leader, NA5 Activity Leader, or NA4 Activity Leader. The deputy himself can decide about people to propose based on personal contacts and community building activities in which he is involved.

  1. A proposal to invite a person from a new scientific community is sent to the deputy and should contain the following information:
    • Name, Institute and Position
    • Discipline
    • EGEE-community interaction history (how the approach was made, workshops attended were networking took place
    • What justifies for the specific person be considered representative for the community in question
    • Short description about the community. This should include, for instance, references to current use of grid technologies and any other grid projects that this community is affiliated with.
    • List of sample use cases. Aspects of grid technology especially interesting for the community (mass data storage and transfer, HPC, interactivity, remote instrumentation, data security, ontologies, etc).
  2. The deputy evaluates the request in consultation with the Project Director, Technical Directory, and NA4 Activity Leader.
  3. The deputy brings the request for evaluation to the next NA4 Steering Committee meeting.
  4. The NA4 Steering Committee evaluates the proposal.
  5. If accepted, the deputy forwards the request to PO and maintains responsibility to stay in touch with the beneficiary.

-- VangelisFloros - 14 Jul 2008

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Topic revision: r9 - 2008-07-17 - CharlesLoomis
 
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