06 October 2017
Subject: CDI FY17 Funded Project Next Steps
Dear FY17 Funded Project PIs,
Here is more information about things to consider as you finish up your CDI projects.
At this point, we just want to help you complete your project and communicate the results to the wider community. Recent feedback has helped us to identify where we can improve the CDI’s role in helping you do this. The process this year is different from previous years so please read through this message carefully.
1. CDI FY17 Annual Report:
We will follow up with you individually about a plain-language summary of your project proposal that we will include in our CDI FY17 Annual Report, which we plan to release later this calendar year. This is different from previous years where we heckled you for final project reports in the fall.
What you need to do: Reply to the email that you will receive from me soon, confirming that the summary is factually correct. (A communications specialist helped us to create these ~150 word plain language summaries and we need your confirmation that you agree with it.)
2. Final project reporting:
As mentioned earlier, your final report is due by March 2, 2018, giving you more time to complete your proposed project. The report format will be different from previous years, and hopefully easier to follow:
A. 150 word plain-language account of what is the problem, what you did about it, and what is the value to the CDI / the larger research community. (This will be some great reusable text for you to use elsewhere to describe your project if needed!)
B. Your outputs (as links or attachments)
Example: Link(s) to a white-paper, OFR, webpage, web service, or code repository.
We understand that each project will have different types of outputs. In some cases, the output may be a 1-2 page write-up of accomplishments lessons learned from the project (our previous requirement for the final report). However, we do not want to require that if it is duplicative of your other outputs (OFR, etc.). We suspect we will be having further conversations with each of you to figure out the details. Our primary goal is to have something interesting and of value to report back to the CDI, not necessarily that you completed everything that you proposed!
C. An image/figure and caption to be associated with your write-up.
We hope this new format is easier to create than the previous open-ended instructions to “give us 1-2 pages describing your accomplishments.”
What you need to do: By March 2, 2018, send us items A-C. If you’d like, you could directly update your ScienceBase item with them. Otherwise, we will help you get the information onto ScienceBase. If you have anything that is ready for linking to ScienceBase now, send it to us if you haven’t already (we like to keep the pages as current as possible!) Let us know if this guidance is not clear or you have any questions.
We are really excited to help promote your project to the CDI community and beyond.
A. We will schedule presentations at the CDI monthly virtual meetings for you to report your findings. Last year these were in the form of 8-minute talks.
B. We would like to help you spread word of your project once finished, for example with a “Highlight” that gets passed up to USGS Leadership. We could coordinate with your Center Communications Specialist if you have one. To be most effective, if you remember to contact us when some output is about to be released (1-2 weeks ahead), we can help craft the announcement.
What you need to do: Let us know when your products are about to be released. (If it is afterward, that is fine too.) Be on the look-out for an email in the next few months about scheduling your presentation to CDI.
We are continually trying to improve the RFP process. We’d appreciate it if you (or your collaborators) could take 5 minutes to answer the following questions at this anonymous form.
A. Did you find the data management plan format to be useful to helping you plan your project? If not, why? (we are looking to improve it)
B. This year’s schedule gives approximately ~11 months from notification of award to deadline for final report - is this a good amount of time to expect products to be completed and written up? If not, what do you suggest?
C. We try to offer frequent support and contact throughout the funded project and are focusing on helping projects with their communication, sustainability, and adoption. Do you feel that the amount of time we spent on these topics to be useful to you?
D. Let us know anything else you'd like to tell us about the CDI proposals process.
What you need to do: Answer the questions here at your earliest convenience. Let us know when your products are about to be released. (If it is afterward, that is fine too.) Be on the look-out for an email in early 2018 about scheduling your presentation to CDI. Keep in touch to help us improve our process!
That was a long email but I hope it gives better guidance on your next steps.
Thank you to those of you who did a quick email check in around Sept 30, and also thanks for working to spend the funds on the compressed schedule due to this year’s unique budget situation. We know that the CDI funded project process may be “a little bit different” than others you are used to, but we hope it is different in a good way, helping to support and promote your work!
Are you still wondering about something I missed? Give me a call or email.