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We are excited to hear that you plan to apply to the Open Infrastructure Fund! Below, we provide some guiding questions to help you think through and prepare for an application.  

What is the problem/need that the proposed work addresses?

A main goal of the Open Infrastructure Fund is to address real needs in the community. In the proposal, please share your understanding of the needs of your community or the issue at hand - who is affected, what caused the issue, what is the evidence for the need, and what is the impact of not addressing it?

How does the proposal align with the goals of the Fund?

At IOI, we believe that in order for access and participation in research and scholarship to be equitable and inclusive, the tools that underpin them should be similarly designed. Therefore, in your application, please tell us how your proposed work will strengthen the resilience and sustainability of open infrastructure(s) and how this work would further equity in research. Consider the groups that being excluded or marginalized by the the ways that research and scholarly communication infrastructures are currently developed, maintained, implemented, or governed. Show how your proposal would seek to meaningfully and concretely advance their access and participation in research and scholarship.

How is the proposed work open?

Illustrate how your plan to build your project with a community of users, supporters, collaborators, and others impacted by the work. Consider carefully what barriers they may face in their participation in your project and how specific activities/measures can be put in place to reduce some of those barriers. Describe clearly the not-for-profit and non-commercial platforms and services used/involved in your proposal and any open standards and protocols you plan to employ. Refer to resources like the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) and the Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs) for additional guidance on how open scholarly infrastructure can be run and sustained.

Is existing funding for this type of work scarce or neglected?

A key goal of the Open Infrastructure Fund is to support areas of work critical to the health of open infrastructures, but often challenging to get funding for. Successful applications illustrate an awareness of other potential funding sources in the space, as well as previous successful and unsuccessful attempts to find funding for this work.

hanging light bulb on a pink and neon yellow background
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Are you prepared and ready to carry out this work?

For projects to be successful, the team leading the work should understand the challenges they may encounter during the project and be prepared to address them. It is also crucial that the team possess various skills, resources, experience, and/or partnerships needed for this work. Finally, the timeline and budget should be realistic for the goals of the proposed work.

If you have experience with similar projects, it can be helpful to reflect on those experiences to anticipate the challenges you may face and the required skills and capacities. If you are new to this work, think about whether there are others in your network who may be able to advise you or partner with you to maximize the probability of success.

What does success look like for your project?

Think about the short- (during or immediately after project completion) and long-term (1-2 years after project completion) impact of the project – what would you like to see after this work is completed? How would you know how successful the project has been? It may be helpful to revisit your initial problem statement and consider the impact on those currently affected by the problem. Additionally, think about how you might measure or capture the impact of the work qualitatively and quantitatively.

Additional guidance/resources for applicants

  • If you intend to apply, we suggest you register on the OpenReview portal as soon as possible - it can sometimes take up to 24 hours for the OpenReview team to approve an account.
  • Please use the application form templates (Google Docs, .docx) to draft the application.
  • For the budget, please use our budget template - the README tab contains more information about what can be budgeted for.
  • Have a question? Please refer to the FAQ section or contact the IOI Engagement Team (emmy [at] investinopen [dot] org and/or jerry [at] investinopen [dot] org).
Posted by Emmy Tsang