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Notice

AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Funding Opportunities for Promoting AI Research, Artificial Intelliegence Journal


Background

The Artificial Intelligence Journal (AIJ) is one of the longest established and most respected 
journals in AI, and since it was founded in 1970, it has published many of the key papers in the 
field. The operation of the Editorial Board is supported financially through an arrangement with 
AIJ's publisher, Elsevier. Through this arrangement, the AIJ editorial board is in the unique 
position of being able to make available substantial funds, (of the order of 175,000 Euros per 
annum), to support the promotion and dissemination of AI research. These funds are made available 
through a series of competitive open calls. This document relates to the sixth call for funding, 
with a deadline of May 13, 2012.

What are the goals of this funding?

In providing this funding, AIJ aims to:
-- promote & raise awareness of AI research & practice;
-- encourage the timely and widespread dissemination of AI research results, techniques, and tools;
-- promote interaction and exchange of ideas between AI researchers, practitioners, and students;
-- promote the exploitation of AI research results, techniques, and tools.

We strongly encourage the submission of proposals for activities that are fundamentally new, and 
likely to lead to the establishment of a new research community or new direction for AI research.

What activities will AIJ consider funding?

Broadly speaking, any activity that achieves the goals described above. For example:
-- student travel scholarships for a conference or workshop;
-- funds for an invited speaker to present at a conference or workshop;
-- funds to support a web site to disseminate proceedings of an AI related conference or workshop;
-- start up funds for a workshop in a promising new area of research;
-- funding to organise a summer school on some aspect of AI.

This list is absolutely not intended to be exhaustive, and we strongly encourage you to consider 
innovative ways in which the goals set out above can be achieved.

What activities does AIJ prefer not to fund?

-- We prefer not to fund individuals. By preference, requests will come from organisations such as 
a foundation, charitable body, or the organising committee of an event. AIJ does not exclude the 
possibility of funding individuals, but this is likely to be exceptional. Note that AIJ will not 
support individual requests for travel funds.

-- We prefer not to fund research projects. Research projects involving staffing costs would 
probably not, in our view, be a cost effective use of the funds.

-- We won't fund duplicate activities. For example, if there is already an established, successful,
and well-regarded conference in the area of X, then in all likelihood we would not provide seed 
funds to set up a duplicate, competitor conference.

-- We prefer not to fund activities where alternative sources of funding are readily available.

-- Activities are funded on a not-for-private-profit basis. AIJ will not fund activities that lead 
directly to profit for the organization or individuals involved. However, we recognise that with 
some events, (e.g., large conferences) it is necessary to budget for a surplus; in this case, 
proposals should describe what will happen to the surplus.

There is no hard and fast rule about how much you can ask for: you should ask for what you need to 
make your activity successful. However, here are some broad principles; as ever, these are only 
guidelines. First, if you are applying on behalf of a large (> 80 participants), successful, and 
scientifically strong conference, then please bear in mind that several such conferences applied 
for funding for student travel grants and invited speakers in the December 2011 round of AIJ 
funding, and typically received about Euro 7000 each. Although, as always, there may be exceptions 
to this, it may be helpful to use this amount as a guideline. Note that we would be reluctant to 
spend more than Euro 35K on an individual activity. Proposals may include the possibility of AIJ 
underwriting an activity (to an agreed limit) in the event of a loss. Finally, we urge you to 
investigate whether it is possible to leverage AIJ funding, for example by obtaining matched 
funding from elsewhere. In t his case, the value of every euro spent by AIJ is effectively doubled,
which makes for a compelling funding case.

How can I bid for funds?

A proposal should contain the following sections:

-- What?
Describe exactly what activity funding is requested for. Please note that AIJ funds specific 
activities. For example, we request funds to support a conference on X' is not a specific request, 
while we request travel funds to bring invited speaker X to conference Y ' is a specific request. 
Provide any contextual information that you think is relevant.

-- How Much?
A (high level) budget, in Euros, which: clearly states the amount requested; provides details of 
the use of requested funds; describes how the requested amount fits into an overall budget for the 
activity/event; and clearly states what will happen to funds in the event of a surplus.

-- Why?
Brief justification for funding; note that priority will be given to activities for which no 
alternative funds are available.

-- Who?
Describe who will benefit from the proposed activity.

-- When?
Dates of the proposed activity, and date by which funding would be needed.

-- Where?
Location of the proposed activity.

-- Contact details.
Name, affiliation, contact details for the responsible party (postal address, email, telephone 
number, fax), web address of event if available.

Proposals should under no circumstances exceed more than two pages in total. Proposals should be 
submitted in PDF via the Easychair web review system at the following URL: 
http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=aij6

NB: PLEASE GIVE ALL COSTS IN EUROS

How will proposals be evaluated?

We anticipate issuing calls for proposals approximately two or three times per annum, with MAY 13, 
2012 being the deadline for this call. Further calls will be issued later' watch the AIJ web site 
for details (http://www.aijd.org/). The AIJ sponsorship committee will assess proposals on the 
basis of:
-- scientific quality of proposed activities;
-- likely level of impact on the international AI community;
-- cost effectiveness/value for money.

All bidders will be informed by email of the outcome of their proposal as soon as an outcome is 
known. If a proposal is approved for funding, then please be aware it may take time to transfer 
funds: if you are bidding for funds to support an event, then we suggest your proposal should be 
submitted at least 6 months before the event takes place.

Where a proposal is felt to have merit but is not fundable in its submitted form, we may return 
to bidders to discuss possible modifications; where this is felt to be necessary, we will try to 
do this practicably and expeditiously. A summary of successful proposals will be made publicly 
available on the AIJ website.

My proposal was rejected ' can I appeal?

The decision of the AIJ sponsorship committee with respect to funding decisions is final, and we 
will not enter into any correspondence with respect to unsuccessful proposals.

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