The following message was sent to FY17 CDI Lead-PIs and registrants on October 21, 2016:
Dear FY17 CDI Lead-PIs and registrants,
Since some of you may be new to CDI’s Community Voting process, I thought I would send a bit of an explanation since we often get questions about what is allowed/condoned, etc.
CDI has had community voting since FY2014 in an effort to engage the entire membership so that we make sure to take into account our grassroots efforts, needs, and knowledge before moving forward with funding projects. In FY2013, the proposals were evaluated only by a panel. Prior to FY2013, proposals were developed at in-person CDI meetings and participants would use sticky notes and discussions to lend their feedback. Now CDI has a Bureau-wide RFP and many members who do not attend the annual in-person meetings, so the online community voting phase is a way to preserve that aspect of proposal development and evaluation.
We sometimes get comments that the community voting system can be “gamed” by especially active PIs who solicit votes. To this, we have several responses:
Community voting is just the first phase of the evaluations, there is a panel evaluation as well in Phase 2, that evaluates the Full proposals.
We look at other metrics in Phase 1 like ratio of number of voters:number of votes, IP address participation that is overly skewed, etc. to see if there are any anomalies.
The community voting indicates the community voice, but there is also the chance for CDI executive sponsors and CDI coordinators to point out SOIs that meet the criteria and add them to Phase 2, this has happened in past years.
We do encourage PIs to spread the word about their proposal to colleagues that would be interested in the project and support the effort, and lend their voice to CDI.
We do not support the solicitation of votes from “anyone off the street” who does not have any personal interest in the actual project or viewing the other submissions. Although, in our experience, this has not helped a project without merit to get funded, due to the other items listed above.
Since this topic has already come up this year, we decided that sending this explanation to all participating PIs was a place to start, and we will continue to do this in following years before the start of voting!