AISB opportunities Bulletin Item
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: "AI JOURNAL -- Funding Opportunities for Promoting AI Research",
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 fourth call for funding, with a deadline of May 20, 2011. 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 kinds of 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 kinds of activities does AIJ prefer not to fund? Some guidelines: * 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 organisation 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 (e.g.) student travel grants and invited speakers in the December 2009 round of AIJ funding, and typically received 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 this 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://tinyurl.com/aijournal4 **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 20, 2011** 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.