Geospace Observatory (GO) Canada -
Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology
Announcement of Opportunity
Table of contents
- AO objectives
- Eligibility criteria
- Funding agreements
- Privacy notice statement
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Appendix A – Core sites
- Appendix B – Complements to the proposal
- Appendix C – Evaluation criteria scale
- Eligible recipients: In order to be eligible, recipients must be Canadian Universities and post-secondary institutions;
- Grants or contributions: Non-repayable contributions;
- Estimated total amount: 3M
- Maximum amount per project:
- Category A: 600K (FY 20/21: 120K, FY 21/22: 240K, FY 22/23: 240K)
- Category B: 187.5K (FY 20/21: 37.5K, FY 21/22: 75K, FY 22/23: 75K)
- Maximum timeframe of the project: 30 months.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Canadian solar-terrestrial science and space weather forecasting communities to propose instruments to compose the Geospace Observatory (GO) Canada from to . The GO Canada program aims to exploit Canada's geographical advantage to make world-class observations of space weather, and thereby increase Canada's resiliency to its impacts on infrastructure and services. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is an initiative under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions (G&C) program aimed at funding a number of projects that will make high-value observations of geospace above Canada as part of the GO Canada program. These observations will aid in advancing knowledge in the geospace sciences and enhance Canadian space missions and projects, most notably the CASSIOPE/e-POP mission, ESA's Swarm mission, NASA's THEMIS mission, and help prepare future science missions with Canadian participation.
For more than 30 years, the CSA has supported the collection of data on geospace, the region of near-Earth space comprised of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere, through arrays of ground-based instruments. These observations began with the Canadian Auroral Network for the OPEN Program Unified Study (CANOPUS), and continued as the Canadian Geospace Monitoring (CGSM) program. Since , the observations are funded through contribution agreements, under the GO Canada program. With this second GO Canada Data & Instruments AO, the CSA solicits proposals for projects that will gather observational data through ground-based instruments for use in scientific analysis and modelling as well as space weather forecasting. The resulting network of instruments and associated data management systems will form the infrastructure element of the next Canadian GO.
This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.
Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.
2. AO objectives
The overarching objective of the GO is to observe and understand geospace. The AO will support this objective by contributing to projects that observe Canadian geospace with networked arrays of ground-based instruments and return their data for processing, preservation, and access. These data will be made openly available as rapidly as possible in order to maximize both their scientific value and their value in mitigating the impact of space weather on the lives of Canadians.
More specifically, the objectives of this AO are:
- To make continuous high-value observations of geospace;
- To generate value-added data products based on these observations;
- To make these data rapidly and openly accessible while preserving them for future use; and
- To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified personnel in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA.
3. Eligibility criteria
3.1 Eligible recipients
In order to be eligible, recipients must be Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions.
3.2 Eligible projects
In addition to being linked to the AO objectives as evaluated by the evaluation criteria, a proposal must demonstrate that the project satisfies the following criteria for eligibility:
- A proposal must contain at least one instrument.
- The instruments must be ground-based, in Canada.
- The measurements made by the instruments must be primarily associated with a geospace phenomenon.
- Taken individually or as an array, the instruments must be able to detect spatial features up to 1000 km in size, when such features are geometrically projected to an altitude of 100 km.
- The instruments must be capable of autonomous and continuous operation whenever viewing conditions allow it.
- All data must be made fully, freely and openly available on the shortest feasible timescale (no more than one week after acquisition by the instrument). An exception can be made for the data that must be manually retrieved from the instrument (no more than three months after acquisition by the instrument).
- Each project submitted by a principal investigator (PI) must be self-contained, cannot depend on instruments already proposed in a separate project, and must plan for the collection, processing and dissemination of data until the end of the agreement.
- Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than ten pages, title page and table of contents excluded, labeled "
Project Development Plan" (as described in Appendix B).
- The proposal shall also include a document entitled "
Data Management Plan" of no more than three pages, title page and table of contents excluded (as described in Appendix B).
- The PIs leading these projects must:
- hold a Ph.D. obtained from a recognized institution;
- be on the payroll of the eligible recipient.
All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.
The Government of Canada currently operates support infrastructure that may be included as part of a proposal. The support infrastructure includes the Information Technology Infrastructure (ITI) system, telecommunications services, electrical power, and climate-controlled shelter, as described in Appendix A. The use of the support infrastructure will be shared among the funded proposals and coordinated with the CSA.
3.3 Links to CSA priorities
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the CSA priority included in the Space Strategy for Canada: to ensure Canada's leadership in acquiring and using space-based data to support science excellence, innovation and economic growth.
"Space provides a unique perspective for space scientists to observe our planet, the health of our ecosystems and how our planet interacts with the Sun (e.g. space weather), and to learn more about our solar system and the universe we inhabit. The Government is improving its approach to selecting science missions by forging inclusive partnerships with the science community within and outside government to help collectively determine Canada's next slate of science missions. This new approach will ensure that resources are deployed to the highest priority scientific questions and issues. The Government will also explore innovative business models and partnership to deliver on those science missions and activities."
3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program objectives
To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:
- To support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA;
- To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the CSA;
- To support information gathering, studies and research related to space.
4.1 Required documentation
Every applicant must submit an application form. The application must include the following:
- A completed original application form signed by the duly authorized representative;
- A printed copy of the proposal and complementary documents.
- A copy of the proposal (identical to the signed paper copy) as a single searchable PDF/A-formatted document file (preferably PDF/A-1a format) with all security features disabled on a standard electronic media (USB key, CD or DVD). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence;
- A copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
- Letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
- A letter stating that the PI holds a Ph.D. and is an employee of the University;
- The Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the Applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
- For organizations in Quebec, an M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.
Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:
Project Officer, Geospace Observatory Canada AO
Sun-Earth System Sciences
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
- Proposals must be received at the CSA no later than 2 p.m. (ET), ;
- Applications sent by email will not be accepted;
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.
Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (Section 9).
4.2 Service standards – Complete applications
Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.
Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within 2 weeks of receiving the completed application package.
Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within 15 weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a contribution agreement for signature within 10 weeks after formal approval of the proposal.
The CSA's goal is to issue payment within 6 weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the contribution agreement.
Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by AO.
5.1 Eligibility criteria
- Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1;
- Represents an eligible project as defined in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4;
- Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1.
5.2 Evaluation criteria
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria, further described in Appendix C – Evaluation criteria scale.
- Benefits to Canada;
- Project feasibility;
- Results; and
- Risk and risk mitigation measures.
5.3 Evaluation process
Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration. Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, as well as representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. A multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed if applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform and unbiased final score and ranking of proposals.
Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.
The results obtained in this AO could take into account certain factors in the final decision to grant funding, such as, but not limited to, the representativeness of the four designated groups (woman, Aboriginal person, disabled person or member of a visible minority), regional distribution, academic level, distribution between universities and post-secondary educational institutions, etc.
6.1 Available funding and duration
The AO will propose two categories of projects to accommodate the different types of projects in Canada. Category A projects, requesting between $75K/year and $240K/year, will share an envelope of $1M/year. Category B projects, requesting less than $75K/year, will share an envelope of $200K/year. At the time of writing of this AO, CSA intends to fund approximately 4 Category A proposals, and 4 Category B proposals, based on merit and available funding, over a maximum period of 30 months.
Only one eligible project per PI can be funded under this AO. Each proposal will be provided the minimum level of funding required to secure the proposed activity in support of overall program objectives. The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants or the contributions at its entire discretion.
Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs in the case of other eligible recipients. To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.
Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.
The proposal should only include sources of funding that are confirmed by a letter of support. Third party funding that is not secured should not be required for the project to be viable as presented, but the increase in project scope, should the funds be obtained, can be discussed in the project development strategy (see Appendix B).
6.2 Eligible costs
Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement, in the form of a contribution, with the CSA.
Eligible costs for contributions under this AO are the following:
- Access fees;
- Accommodation and meal allowances;
- Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
- Acquisition or rental of equipment;
- Aircraft and watercraft charter services;
- Consultant services;
- Costs for carrying out environmental screening and/or impact studies;
- Costs related to obtaining security clearance;
- Data acquisition;
- Data management;
- License and permit fees;
- Marketing and printing services;
- Materials and supplies;
- Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 10% of eligible costs for universities);
- Participation fees at conferences, committees and events;
- PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled and the reimbursement of any taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country net of any rebate or reimbursement received in the foreign country;
- Publication and communication services;
- Registration fees;
- Salaries and benefits;
- Translation services;
7. Funding agreements
The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.
Payments for contribution agreements (including advance payments) will be made in accordance with the process and the reporting requirements described in the signed funding agreement. Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a funding agreement is signed by both parties. Only eligible costs incurred after the funding agreement is signed and indicated in the agreement will be reimbursed.
The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.
7.3 Conflict of interest
In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.
7.4 Intellectual property
All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.
7.5 Organizations in Quebec
An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.
Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux affaires canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.
Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.
Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.
7.6 Performance measurement
The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:
- Knowledge creation
- Knowledge production (including publications)
- Intellectual property (including patents)
- Capacity building
- Project's research team (including highly qualified personnel supported)
- Partners' contributions
7.7 Open science
The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of data and findings that result from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.
Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open data and open access publication and archiving - in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their data. Articles can also be published by using one of the following methods:
- Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
- Journal offering open access to articles.
The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.
Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.
8. Privacy notice statement
The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.
The information is collected under the CSA Class G&C Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,
- have access to his or her personal data and
- request correction of the incorrect information.
Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.
For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:
9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.
For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address email@example.com. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before .
At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program using the following generic email address or the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box.
Question 1: How does the first evaluation criterion, "Enhancement of scientific return from Canadian space missions and projects and of Canada's world-class expertise/leadership", assess the potential for benefits to Canada?
Answer 1: The data acquired and made available by projects funded through this AO will be used to enhance the scientific return of Canadian space missions and projects in the solar-terrestrial sciences. The benefits for Canadians are the results of these scientific discoveries. For example, scientific discoveries relating to space weather have the potential to contribute to the Canadian project lead by Natural Resources Canada of keeping Canadians safe through Space Weather Forecasting.
Question 2: The AO sometimes uses ambiguous terms, such as "required expertise" and "similar projects". Can these be defined further?
Answer 2: "Required expertise" refers to the skills required to fulfill the proposed tasks. "Similar projects" refers to projects in which the members of the team have gained an expertise that is adequate to fulfill the role that is expected of them in the proposed project.
Question 3: What is the difference between co-investigators and team members?
Answer 3: As described in Section 5 of the application form, the team is composed of the principal investigator and the co-investigators. A co-investigator is a research scientist or engineer from any sector who is formally associated with a project, but will not have access to the funds awarded. A co-investigator must be qualified to undertake research independently and will be expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the project, and bring his/her own resources to the collaboration.
Question 4: If a budget doesn't assign any expenses in a given category, will the project be able to use this category if the project requires it for an unforeseen reason, without impacting the total budget?
Answer 4: The budget section should be filled carefully as it is reviewed part of the evaluation of your proposal. If a funded project must change its budget, the change must be approved by the CSA.
Question 5: The AO states that "Only one eligible project per PI can be funded under this AO." Is there a limit on the number of co-investigators? Are PIs conflicted if they are co-investigators on another project proposal?
Answer 5: There is no limit regarding the number of projects a researcher can be part of as co-investigator.
Question 6: What documentation should be provided for confirmation of "other sources of funds"?
Answer 6: As mentioned in section 4.1 of the AO, letters from other funding contributors will be used for confirming their contributions. No signed funding agreements are required to support the claims made in the proposal. The documents will be required for validating the information provided in the proposal, if the project is selected for funding.
Question 7: Can the CSA assert that it will not accept letters of support, and evaluate the relevance to space missions from the proposals only?
Answer 7: The CSA will take into consideration the information provided by the proposer, and the letters of support, as stated in the AO.
Question 8: Please describe what may and may not be included in a letter of support
Answer 8: A letter of support may only be used to confirm the third-party funding reported in the Budget Breakdown table found in section 7 of the application form. Statements about the merits of the project should not be included in letters of support.
Question 9: Who is eligible to be a co-investigator on a project?
Answer 9: Anyone who satisfies the criteria given in Answer 3 (above) may be a co-investigator on a project. Note that a co-investigator on a project may not receive funds from the contribution agreement for the project.
Question 10: Can an individual, such as a student, who is formally associated with a project have access to the funds awarded for the project?
Answer 10: Yes. Note that such an individual may not be considered a co-investigator. Please see Answer 3 (above) for details.
Question 11: The AO and the application form give different mailing addresses. To which address should we mail our applications?
Answer 11: The preferred mailing address is given in section 4.1 of the AO.
Question 12: Is there a preferred format for the CV?
Answer 12: No. Section 5 of the application form does not prescribe a particular format for the team members' CVs.
Question 13: The AO states that proposals must be mailed and received at the CSA no later than p.m. (ET), Friday, . This is highly dependant on the postal service and penalizes institutions far from the CSA.
Answer 13: To increase fairness across applicants, applications stamped by Canada Post up to will be accepted.
Appendix A – Core sites
To increase synergy among instruments, and reduce travel costs to remote locations, the Government of Canada is maintaining shelters that provide power and communications infrastructure. The core sites are identified in Table 1 below. These facilities can be included to host instruments as part of a proposal. Usage of these sites in a project will not confer any advantage for the selection.
|Site||Code||Lat (°)||Long (°)|
1. Communication infrastructure
This section describes the communications infrastructure provided at the core sites, free of charge to all applicants.
At each core site, the PIs are responsible for the instruments (operation and maintenance), up to the point where each instrument connects to the ITI. The ITI and the internet connection are the responsibility of a separate contract and furnished by the government.
New proposed instruments located at core sites should be compatible with the ITI to make efficient use of resources. A heated shelter is also provided to host the electronics or instruments.
The IT infrastructure provides basic network services, shared storage, and data acquisition capabilities at each GO Canada core site. It is capable of autonomous operation under non-ideal conditions such as dusty environments, poor power quality, and potentially extreme temperatures.
The primary design goal for the ITI is to simplify the requirements for operating scientific instruments at remote field sites. This is done by providing a basic set of required services coordinated over standard internet connections. While the ITI is currently implemented by a particular hardware configuration, clients should only be concerned with the interface specifications.
Communication at each field site is via standard internet protocols (e.g. TCP/IP). Users will connect to a 24-port 10/100 MBps Ethernet switch though a bank of surge protection modules to obtain internet connectivity. All connectors are standard RJ-45; all cables are Cat5. All networked devices can communicate with each other on the LAN through the switch without any intervention by the ITI computer. The ITI computer acts as a gateway to provide WAN access as well as implementing a firewall and NAT translation to allow incoming access to local devices.
The main internal network is configured to allow up to 249 devices in addition to the ITI computer and four power related elements (see below). Several network addresses have been set aside for automatic (DHCP) allocation to temporary (e.g. short-term campaign) clients. Addition of each new permanent network devices requires some minor configuration file changes. A port forwarding structure is in place to enable remote access to multiple internal devices on the LAN.
The ITI computer provides several services to clients on the internal network.
- DHCP – dynamic host configuration protocol;
- DNS – domain name services;
- NTP – a network time protocol reference is available to all internal clients. The primary standard is provided by a GPS (Trimble 18x GPS), which should be accurate to less than 1 millisecond. Additional time sources can be obtained over the internet, but satellite travel time delays introduce significant and variable inaccuracies (e.g. 0.1 to 1 seconds).
Each GO Canada core site has a single connection to the internet provided by a satellite link. Peak instantaneous uplink rates are approximately 1 MBps, but the average sustainable bandwidth is closer to 300kBps. Current utilization for most sites (except those with all-sky imagers and scanning photometers) is typically 100 kBps.
The ITI computer acts as the primary gateway for the internal network. It provides multiplexing capabilities so that multiple internal clients can share a single external IP-address.
- SNAT – source network address translation allows internal clients to initiate network connections with external systems. This is accomplished automatically for all internal clients.
- DNAT – destination network address translation allows external devices to initiate network connections with internal clients. Configuration file changes are made to accommodate each additional client and a standardized list of port/protocol mappings is provided to the client to facilitate configuration of their devices.
Shared power is provided for client use via a 1500 W uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and network switched power bar with remote monitoring and control. All plugs and outlets are standard NEMA 5-15.
- UPS – uninterruptible power supply provides short duration (<30 minutes) battery backup.
- PDU – power distribution unit has 8 individually switchable outlets and a total current monitor.
- Temperature sensors for environment monitoring (internal and external).
- KVM – an 8-port keyboard/video/mouse switch allows clients to share the site LCD display and keyboard/mouse input devices.
- Rack – a standard equipment rack is provided for client use to mount instrument and support electronics. Space in the rack is assigned on a first come first serve basis
- Storage – roughly 1TB of disk space is available for general use and storage of client data. Multiple access methods (e.g. SMB, RSync, HTTP) can be configured as required.
2. Shelter and site maintenance
The infrastructure for each core site (operation and maintenance of shelter, utilities, custodian, etc) is provided through a separate industrial contract at no cost to the observational elements of GO. Equipment maintenance and data retrieval services are available to the client by way of yearly maintenance trips by the industrial contractor and local custodian support. A heating and ventilation system automatically maintains the building temperature within the 10-30 °C range. The shelter is approximately 8 feet long by 12 feet wide, and 8 feet in height. Instruments can be installed inside the shelter or on the land base around the shelter. Building penetrations are provided for cable runs to external instrumentation and can be customized to client needs.
Annexe B – Complements to the proposal
1. Project development plan
Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than ten pages, title page and table of contents excluded, labeled "
Project Development Plan". The Deployment and Operations Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal and shall include the following information:
- Technical description
- Description (functional, technical and interface specification) of the instruments.
- Description of the integration, testing, calibration, verification and characterization required of the instruments in preparation for the deployment, or during operation.
- Deployment and maintenance strategy
- Proposed or current location of all the instruments related to the applicant's proposal.
- If the proposed or current instrument is not located at a GO Canada core site, provide a description of the infrastructure required or currently in place for all sites related to the applicant's proposal (building, utilities, custodian, communication link, etc).
- Project development strategy
- Current funding partners, including their expected contribution over the years
- Plans to seek supplemental funding if this contribution agreement is awarded, including the increase in scope of the project, as appropriate
- Risk assessment and mitigation
- Risk assessment (likelihood, impact and mitigation) associated with the project.
2. Data management plan
The proposal shall include a document entitled "
Data Management Plan" of no more than 3 pages, title page and table of contents excluded. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal. The Data Management Plan must describe how the proposal will conform to the Geospace Observatory data policy and include the following information:
- The description of the data
- The formats of data, software and APIs (the CSA encourages the use of the Heliophysics API (HAPI)), related materials and supporting documentation to be produced in the course of the project (identify which one will be made open);
- The standards to be used for data and metadata format (the CSA encourages the use of the Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) data model) and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
- The methods to be used for accessing the data;
- Release dates of the data and plans for preserving data and other research products, and for long-term access to them;
- Name and coordinate of the data steward;
- URL that will link to the project's data landing page;
- The maximum anticipated daily volume (bytes/day) at which data will be collected or generated (one rate per dataset);
- The total volume of data that will be collected or generated per year (one amount per dataset); and
- Digital Object Identifier (DOI), if applicable.
Appendix C – Evaluation criteria scale
Scoring and weights: Each evaluation criterion below will be rated on a letter scale from A to D, with A being the highest score. A numerical weight is associated with each letter as indicated hereafter.
The criteria assume that the proposed instruments will be deployed in isolation from any other instruments proposed in response to this AO. This condition ensures that the possible non-funding of other instruments will not compromise the proposed instrument array.
1. Benefits to Canada
- Maximum: 20
- Minimum: 8
Enhancement of scientific return from Canadian space missions and projects and of Canada's world-class expertise/leadership
- Will the data enhance the scientific return of Canadian space missions such as CASSIOPE/e-POP or missions with substantial Canadian involvement such as ESA's Swarm by enabling research aimed at addressing the science objectives of these missions?
- Will the data enhance Canada's expertise/leadership in the geospace sciences by enabling research aimed at addressing the science objectives of international missions that do not have substantial Canadian involvement such as NASA's Van Allen Probes?
Poor. The data is unlikely to enhance the scientific originality and innovation of any space mission. (Score: D = 0)
Average. The data is likely enhance the scientific originality and innovation of at least one space mission or project. (Score: C = 8)
Good. The data will enhance the scientific originality and innovation of one Canadian and one international space mission. (Score: B = 14)
Excellent. The data will significantly enhance the scientific originality and innovation of more than one Canadian and more than one international space missions or projects. (Score: A = 20)
- Maximum: 20
- Minimum: 8
Feasibility of the ground-based observation system
- Does the proposal demonstrate an understanding of the requirements associated with collecting and processing the data?
- Is the proposed work feasible and is the approach capable of collecting and processing the data within the budget requested?
- Are the methods proposed for collecting and processing the data of high quality?
- Does the proposal demonstrate a realizable strategy for expanding the project?
Poor. The Project Development Plan demonstrates poor understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Objectives are not clearly described and/or not likely attainable. The budget does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is not clearly described and/or appropriate. (Score: D = 0)
Average. The Project Development Plan demonstrates fair understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term and short-term objectives are described. The budget demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is partially described and/or appropriate. (Score: C = 8)
Good. The Project Development Plan demonstrates good understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term goals are defined and short-term objectives are planned. The budget demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is clearly described and appropriate. (Score: B = 14)
Excellent. The Project Development Plan clearly demonstrates complete understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term goals are clearly defined and short-term objectives are well planned. The budget clearly demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is clearly defined and appropriate. (Score: A = 20)
3.1 Quality and experience of the team
- Maximum: 10
- Minimum: 4
- Is the mix of knowledge, expertise, and experience of the project team sufficient to attain the scientific and technical objectives?
- Are the responsibilities and contributions of each of the team members clearly identified?
- How will communication between the team members be accomplished?
- Does the proposal include a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from the four designated groups (woman, Aboriginal person, disabled person or member of a visible minority) within the research team?
- Will the project contribute to the development of highly qualified personnel in the field of Solar-Terrestrial Sciences?
Poor. The knowledge, expertise and experience of the proposed team is below an acceptable level. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is below an acceptable level. The contribution, complementarity of expertise, and synergy of team members is poor. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is not clearly described. (Score: D = 0)
Average. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are of reasonable quality, impact and/or importance. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is modest. There is some contribution, complementarity of expertise, and synergy of team members. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear. (Score: C = 4)
Good. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are of superior quality, impact, and/or importance. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is strong. The team members have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear and efficient. (Score: B = 7)
Excellent. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are at the highest level of quality, impact, and/or importance to a broad community. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is very strong and extensive. The team has demonstrated the required expertise in two or more similar projects. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear, concise, efficient, and effective. (Score: A = 10)
3.2 Access to other funding sources and resources
- Maximum: 20
- Minimum: 8
- Are the resources sufficient to attain the scientific and technical objectives within the proposed schedule?
- Is the budget appropriate and are the expenses justified? Is there a budget breakdown and does it support the proposed activities?
- Are there other sources of funding and does the proposal establish their relationship with the proposed project?
- Is there a clear methodology to how the work will be carried out to ensure that the planned activities will be accomplished on time and within the budget requested?
Poor. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is inadequate. The requested budget does not seem to relate to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal does not show how the work can be performed given the funds available. There are no leveraged funds or in-kind contributions from the applicants or other organizations. (Score: D = 0)
Average. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is adequate but some questions remain. The requested budget relates to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a rough breakdown of the expenses, including funds from partners if applicable. Funding from partners is required to deliver high-quality data but is not secured. (Score: C = 8)
Good. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is solid. The requested budget is linked to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a clear breakdown of the expenses. The proposal does not require partners, or if it does, funding from the partners is promised in the form of support letters. A plan is provided to benefit from future leveraging opportunities, to enable the project to evolve. (Score: B = 14)
Excellent. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is very strong. The requested budget and categories are clearly linked to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a clear breakdown of the expenses, including funds from partners. Leveraged funds from other organization(s) are significant, funding from the partners is guaranteed and both are captured through signed agreement letters. A plan is provided to benefit from future leveraging opportunities, to enable the project to evolve. (Score: A = 20)
- Maximum: 20
- Minimum: 8
Collection, generation and accessibility of high-value data
- Will the data be of high quality (i.e. high accuracy, high resolution, high cadence)?
- Will the data be well-documented (i.e. complete instrument descriptions, full set of complete metadata)?
- Will the data be recorded using open formats (i.e. non-proprietary formats such as ASCII, HDF, CDF, FITS)?
- Is there a plan for long-term preservation of the data and a stable access location on the internet?
Poor. The quality of the data will be lower than that of data collected or generated by instruments or systems of this type deployed in Canada. There is no indication that descriptions and metadata will be available. Most of the collected data will not be available in open formats. (Score: D = 0)
Average. The quality of the data will be comparable to that of data collected or generated by instruments or systems of this type deployed in Canada. The descriptions and metadata will contain most of the information necessary for the data to be understood by users. Most of the collected data will be available in open formats. (Score: C = 8)
Good. The quality of the data will equal to that of data collected and generated by the best instruments and systems of this type deployed in Canada. The descriptions and metadata will contain the essential information necessary for the data to be independently understood by users. The collected data will be available in well-known open formats. (Score: B = 14)
Excellent. The quality of the data will be higher than or equal to that of data collected and generated by the best instruments and systems of this type deployed anywhere. The descriptions and metadata will contain all the information necessary for the data to be independently understood by users. The data will be available in community-standard open formats. (Score: A = 20)
5. Risk and mitigation
- Maximum: 10
- Minimum: 4
Difficulties associated with operating remote observatories
- Are the key risks identified along with the associated probability, impact and mitigation strategies (e.g. technical, financial, managerial)?
Poor. The proposal does not identify key risks and their mitigation strategies. (Score: D = 0)
Average. Three risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified and evaluated. The risk evaluation is deemed unrealistic or incomplete. (Score: C = 4)
Good. Six risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified, described and evaluated adequately for probability and consequence, with credible mitigation strategies. (Score: B = 8)
Excellent. Nine risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified, described and evaluated adequately for probability and consequence, with credible mitigation strategies. (Score: A = 10)
- Maximum: 100
- Minimum: 70
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