Earth system science data analyses

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Notice of intent – Stage 1
  5. Complete applications – Stage 2
  6. Evaluation
  7. Funding
  8. Funding agreements
  9. Privacy notice statement
  10. Frequently asked questions
  11. Appendices

Summary of key information

  • Estimated total amount for this Announcement of Opportunity (AO): $4 million
  • Eligible recipients: Canadian universities
  • Grants or contributions: Grants
  • Maximum amount per project: $250,000
  • Maximum timeframe of the project: Three years
  • Estimated project start date:

1. Introduction

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Canadian Earth system science community to pursue research investigations that will advance understanding of the Earth system and the impacts of the Earth's surface on the atmosphere.

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and contribution (G&C) program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component. It is aimed at funding a number of projects that will carry out scientific investigations using space-based observations of relevance to the Earth system sciences (fields of: atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere). These investigations will help advance understanding of physical and chemical processes of one or more fields of the Earth system and stimulate the development of models that capture this understanding. The new knowledge and resulting model advancement will help to improve forecasting and prediction capabilities that contribute to increasing societal resilience.

With this AO, the CSA solicits proposals for projects that will use observations from Canadian and complementary foreign space missions and instruments.

Over the past two decades, Canada has been involved in developing several satellites and instrument systems:

Canada also collaborates with NASA and contributes to the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Earth Observation Program:

In order to maximize the scientific value of the data collected through Canadian investments in space-based instruments, proposals are required to perform both:

Applicants must demonstrate that the team has the expertise required to carry out both of these activities. Collaboration with government scientists working on environmental predictive models is encouraged.

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

One of the objectives of the CSA's Earth System Science program targeted by this AO is

The program is directed to generate advances in understanding that support the development of more accurate and reliable environmental forecasts as well as informing strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Together, these forecasts and strategies will lead to more informed and resilient Canadian programs and services based in evidence and sound science. The role that the current AO will play in delivering these benefits is illustrated by the figure below.

Graph ot the role of the current AO. Text version follows.
Text version
  • Data from Canadian space- and ground-based observatories
  • New knowledge from analysis of space data by academia (enabled by this AO)
  • Enhanced monitoring and prediction tools (models) by government departments and academia (enabled by this AO)
    • Government: Canada has more accurate and reliable forecasts and improved policies
      • Resilience to climate change and space weather (societal needs)
    • Industry: Improved engineering and operations strategies
      • Innovation and economic growth sustained

Credit: CSA

The primary objectives of this AO are:

These objectives are supported by the following secondary objectives:

Taken together, the primary objectives will support the development and application of new space-related knowledge. Both primary objectives will be realized through the use of freely and openly accessible data acquired by Canadian or international satellites and instruments. These data are given priority over other eligible data in order to maximize the scientific return of the Canadian or international instruments. The eligible data and prioritization are described in (Appendix B - Eligible Data).

The models may be expressed in either analytical or computational form and may represent all or part of the Earth system. For the purpose of this AO, an analytical model is considered to be a set of mathematical equations that describe a system while a computational model is any model that must run on a computer in order to describe the system. Computational models include physics- or chemistry-based simulation models and parameterized models derived from statistical analyses of data. These may use neural networks, artificial intelligence, and machine learning methods.

Alignment of the research with national and international science priorities serves to increase the impact of the research. The relevant documents are listed in Appendix C - National and International Priorities.

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 Eligible recipients

To be eligible, recipients must be Canadian universities.

3.2 Eligible projects

To be eligible, projects must satisfy the following criteria, which are further described in the referenced sections:

  • analyzes data being acquired by Canadian or international satellites, instruments, or sub-systems in space (Appendix B - Eligible Data); and
  • develops analytical or computational models of all or part of the Earth system.

The principal investigators (PIs) leading these projects must:

  • hold a PhD obtained from a recognized institution;
  • hold a permanent, term, or contract position at the eligible recipient institution for the duration of the funding agreement. The position may be paid or unpaid. This includes Adjunct Faculty that may be employed by government or industry; and
  • may not be paid from the grant.

These conditions must be satisfied at the time of application.

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.

See also Section 7.1 Available funding and duration.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the following priorities as expressed in the CSA's - Departmental Plan:

  • Result 1: Space Research and Development Advances Science and Technology. Through advancements in science and technology resulting from research and development in the space sector, the CSA enables the first steps in the continuum of change that will result in socio-economic benefits for Canadians. By providing access to high-quality scientific data and supporting researchers, the CSA will contribute to science excellence and help maintain Canada's international ranking of 11th place among OECD nations with respect to the average relative citation score of space-related publications.
  • Result 3: Space information and technologies improve the lives of Canadians. The CSA currently supports other government departments and agencies in the delivery of their mandates by providing access to space data, information, and services and encourages the development of space technologies that have the potential for use on Earth or re-use in space.

3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of the following objective:

4. Notice of intent – Stage 1

The objective of this stage is to verify the eligibility of the applicant and the project before receiving a complete application. This stage is not intended to eliminate potential applicants. An applicant who has presented a project summary that meets the eligibility criteria will be allowed to use the necessary documentation to submit a complete application.

In this first stage, the Notice of intent (NoI) submitted shall include the following documents:

Documents related to this first Stage can be:

4.1 Service standards – Notice of intent

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions about their project.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of the NoI within five (5) working days of receiving the request. The acknowledgement will indicate whether or not the NoI describes an eligible project.

5. Complete applications – Stage 2

5.1 Required documentation

If application is uploaded electronically:

The application must include the following:

  • a completed original application form (Word, 116 KB) digitally signed by the duly authorized representative;
  • the proposal;
  • the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
  • letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
  • letters from the co-investigators (Co-Is) acknowledging their roles and responsibilities, as identified in the proposal;
  • in the case of partner-led missions, statements from agency or science team representatives of the data source (Appendix B - Eligible Data) confirming the added value of the proposed activity and the planned date of data availability;
  • letters from providers of any other data that are not openly accessible confirming the availability of the data;
  • a completed 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, a M-30 Supporting documentation form completed and digitally signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).

The application must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the Applicant.

Applications will remain valid for a duration of one year from the date of submission. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

The application form and supporting documents must be uploaded electronically to the same CSA secure file account to which the Applicant submitted the NoI as indicated in Section 4.

  • Applications must be submitted (successfully uploaded) by Applicants no later than 11:59 p.m. (ET) on . Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to upload the documentation many days before the submission deadline as technical difficulties may arise. If the technical issues cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their application by mail.
  • Applications sent by email will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete or late applications shall not be considered. A late application is considered to be one that has an electronic timestamp on the CSA system later than the deadline above.

If application is sent by mail or courier:

The application must include the following:

  • a completed original application form (Word, 4.97 MB) with original or digitally signed by the duly authorized representative;
  • one copy of the proposal;
  • the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
  • letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions, if applicable;
  • letters from the Co-Is acknowledging their roles and responsibilities, as identified in the proposal;
  • in the case of partner-led missions, statements from agency or science team representatives of the data source (Appendix B – Eligible Data) confirming the added value of the proposed activity and the planned date of data availability;
  • letters from providers of any other data that are not openly accessible confirming the availability of the data;
  • a completed 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, a M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and digitally signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form); and
  • a single PDF-formatted file containing copies (identical to the hard copies) of all the above requested documents with all security features disabled on standard electronic media (USB memory key, CD or DVD). The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence.

Applications will remain valid for a duration of one year from the date of submission. 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 delivered to the CSA at the following address:

Earth system science data analyses AO
c/o Samantha Gray
Sun-Earth System Sciences
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

  • Complete applications must be received via mail or recognized courier service, with a postmark or registration dated no later than . Applications that do not meet these criteria will be rejected.
  • The CSA reserves the right to refuse applications that meet the above criteria but are received at the CSA after .
  • In the present context of COVID-19, there is no one to receive hand delivered applications;
  • Applications sent by email will not be accepted;
  • Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (See Section 10 - Frequently asked questions).

5.2 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 two (2) weeks of receiving the completed application package.

Decision:

The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within twenty (20) weeks of the AO's closing date and to send a grant agreement for signature within five (5) weeks after formal approval of the proposal.

Payment:

The CSA's goal is to issue payment within four (4) weeks of the successful fulfillment of the requirements outlined in the grant 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.

6. Evaluation

6.1 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; and
  • Meets program funding provisions in Section 7.1.

6.2 Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria (elaborated in Appendix A):

  • Benefits to Canada;
  • Results;
  • Project feasibility;
  • Resources; and
  • Risk and risk mitigation measures.

6.3 Evaluation process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 6.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 6.2 and elaborated in Appendix A. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform 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.

For the final selection, the CSA will consider the applicants with the highest final scores. The CSA could also take into consideration factors such as geographic distribution and diversified representativeness among the four designated groups (women, Aboriginal People, persons with disabilities and members of a visible minority). We encourage applicants to indicate on a voluntary basis if they belong to one or more of these groups. Please visit the Employment equity site for a definition of each group.

7. Funding

7.1 Available funding and duration

The total maximum funding amount given in grant for each project will be $250,000 over a maximum period of three years. CSA intends to fund approximately 16 proposals under this AO, with the possibility of more depending on funding availability.

A recipient's grant agreement may be amended to allow a recipient to analyze new data from the data sources described in the proposal for an additional year. In such a case, the grant agreement would be amended under the same terms and conditions as those set out in the original grant agreement. Under such an amendment, additional funding to support the work may be awarded to a recipient, subject to the availability of funds and an evaluation of the justification provided by the recipient.

Each eligible recipient can be funded for multiple projects under this AO. A PI can be funded for only one project under this AO and may only submit one application. A PI may be a Co-I on any number of other projects.

The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants 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 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.

7.2 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 grant, with the CSA.

Eligible costs for grants under this AO are the following:

  • access fees;
  • accommodation and meal allowances;
  • acquisition, development and printing of materials;
  • acquisition or rental of equipment;
  • consultant services;
  • 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 all other eligible costs);
  • 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;
  • training;
  • translation services; and
  • travel.

8. Funding agreements

8.1 Payments

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 will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed grant agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm - once a year in the case of multi-year agreements – their eligibility for the G&C Program – Research Component (Section 6.1) and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.

8.2 Audit

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.

8.3 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.

8.4 Intellectual property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

8.5 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 relations canadiennes, 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.

8.6 Performance measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

  • Knowledge creation
    • Knowledge production (including publications)
    • Presentations
    • Intellectual property (including patents)
  • Capacity building
    • Project's research team (including highly qualified personnel [HQP] supported)
  • Collaboration
    • Partners' contributions
    • Partnerships
    • Multidisciplinarity

8.7 Open access publications

In the event that publications result from the project, the CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of such findings as quickly and to the greatest extent 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.

To this end, the CSA promotes the use of open access publications and archiving by recipients. Recipients are invited to publish their articles in a timely manner by using one of the following methods:

  1. accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible, or
  2. in a scientific journal offering open access to articles.

It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

As a courtesy, the CSA would like to receive a copy of publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) arising from the work, along with its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be used to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA publications directory. The CSA would also like to be informed in advance of significant press releases or media interest resulting from the work.

9. 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 six (6) years and then destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. 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:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

10. Frequently asked questions

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 generic email address: asc.atmospheriques-atmospheric.csa@canada.ca. 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 4 p.m. (ET) on .

Question 1: Can the deadline be extended?

Answer 1: The dates have been changed. The new deadline for the NoI is and the new deadline for the completed proposal is .

Question 2: In addition to using eligible data, as described in Appendix B, I also wish to use data that are not eligible under the terms of the AO. May I propose to use such data?

Answer 2: Yes, however such data will not be considered as Primary data. The proposal should clearly indicate how the Secondary data is used to complement the Primary data.

Question 3: It is difficult to obtain letters from some of my funding contributors confirming their contributions to my project. Because these funds are managed by my university, may I simply ask my university's research services office to provide a letter confirming these contributions?

Answer 3: Yes.

Question 4: Can a Co-Investigator (Co-I) involved in the proposed project be paid from the grant?

Answer 4: A Co-I who does not hold a permanent, paid position at a research institution may be paid from the grant. As described under Resources in Appendix D, a Co-I is expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project and to bring their own resources to the collaboration.

Question 5: Can modifications be made to the proposed project after the Notice of Intent (NoI) is submitted?

Answer 5: Yes. NoIs will be used by the CSA to assess the range of proposed research projects, identify potential peer reviewers, and prepare the evaluation process. NoIs should be as accurate as possible but certain aspects of the proposed research may change as applications are finalized. Only Complete Applications will be considered in the Evaluation process described in Section 6.

Question 6: What is a principal investigator?

Answer 6: A PI has primary responsibility for the intellectual direction of the proposed research project and assumes administrative responsibility for the grant. An application has a single PI. As explained in Section 7.1, a PI may only submit a single application but may be a Co-I on any number of other applications.

Question 7: What is a recipient?

Answer 7: A recipient is a Canadian university that has entered into one or more grant agreements as a result of this AO.

Question 8: As described under Resources in Appendix D, a Co-Investigator (Co-I) is expected to bring their own resources to the collaboration. What are the "resources" that a Co-I could bring to the project?

Answer 8: There are various examples of resources that a Co-I could contribute to a project. A Co-I typically brings the following to a collaboration: a cash or in-kind contribution from their institution or a funding agency, access to computational resources, access to specialized instrumentation or equipment, and/or access to unique numerical or analytical models. Contributions of a uniquely intellectual nature are typically reserved for research staff funded from the project, such as post-doctoral or research associates.

Question 9: While the number of co-investigators allowed in a team is 4, is there any limit on the number of collaborators who can participate in an project? Or are collaborators not recognized in this call?

Answer 9: The terms "co-investigator (Co-I)" and "collaborator" may be taken as synonymous. The research collaborations proposed are expected to be established through identified Co-Is only. As described under Resources in Appendix D, any additional Co-Is will be dropped from the provided list of team members.

11. Appendices

Appendix A - Evaluation criteria scale

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.

1. Benefits to Canada

  • Maximum: 30
  • Minimum: 10

The potential for advancement of knowledge in the Earth system sciences will be assessed on the following

  • the relevance of the research to the stated objective of the CSA's Earth system science program: to improve understanding of the physical and chemical processes of one or more fields of the Earth system (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere);
  • the novelty of the overall concepts (i.e. scientific excellence and discovery, with a clear analytical description of the physical or chemical process targeted for innovation) and approach compared to the state-of-the-art; and
  • the extent to which the new knowledge is expected to have an impactFootnote 1 on the Earth system Sciences.
  • Poor: The proposed project is barely relevant or not relevant to the stated objective of the CSA's Earth system sciences program and includes few or no new concepts. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project is relevant to the stated objective of the CSA's Earth system science program and includes some new concepts with the potential to advance the Earth system sciences. (Score: C=10)
  • Good: The proposed project is very relevant to the stated objective of the CSA's Earth system science program and includes original concepts with the potential for a significant advance in the Earth system sciences. (Score: B=20)
  • Excellent: The proposed project is completely relevant to the stated objective of the CSA's Earth system science program, clearly states the analytical description of the physical or chemical process targeted for innovation, and includes highly original concepts with potential for a breakthrough in the Earth system sciences. (Score: A=30)

2. Results

  • Maximum: 35
  • Minimum: 12
2.1 The use of data and the development of models will be assessed on the following
  • the analysis of data from Primary data sourcesFootnote 2 (defined in Appendix B.1);
  • he extent to which data from Secondary data sources complements the data from Primary data sources;
  • the calibration and/or validation of Primary or Secondary data sources; and
  • the development or improvement of modelsFootnote 3 that are based on the data analyses and/or seek to reproduce phenomena observed in the data.
  • Poor: The proposed project is inadequate in any of the above elements that have been proposed. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project will analyze data from one Primary data source, and may be complemented by data from a Secondary data source. The proposed model may depend partially on the results of the data analyses or the proposed model may be capable of accurately reproducing phenomena observed in data acquired by the identified Primary data source. (Score: C=8)
  • Good: The proposed project will analyze data from two Primary data sources, or from one Primary data source complemented by data from a Secondary data source, and will advance the calibration and/or validation of either data source using data from Canadian ground-based or airborne instruments. The proposed model will depend partially on the results of the data analyses or the proposed model will be capable of accurately reproducing phenomena observed in data acquired by the identified Primary data sources. (Score: B=17)
  • Excellent: The proposed project will analyze data from two Primary data sources, or from one Primary data source complemented by data from two Secondary data sources, and will advance the calibration and/or validation of these data sources using data from Canadian ground-based or airborne instruments. The proposed model will depend strongly on the results of the data analyses from the identified space-based data sources or the proposed model will be capable of accurately reproducing phenomena observed in data acquired by the identified space-based data sources. (Score: A=25)
2.2 The alignment with external priorities and opportunities will be assessed on the following
  • the alignment of the research with national and international priorities (identified by organizations listed in Appendix C); and
  • the extent to which the research will prepare the team for anticipated international opportunities.
  • Poor: The proposed project is inadequate in both of the above elements. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project is acceptable in one of the elements listed above. It helps advance one priority of one organization. (Score: C=4)
  • Good: The proposed project is strong in one of the elements listed above and acceptable in the other. It helps advance multiple priorities of one organization. (Score: B=8)
  • Excellent: The proposed project is outstanding in both of the elements listed above. It helps advance multiple priorities of multiple organizations. (Score: A=10)

3. Feasibility

  • Maximum: 15
  • Minimum: 5

The feasibility of the research will be assessed on the following

  • the focus and clarity of the objectives of the project;
  • the appropriateness of the research methodology;
  • the coherence of the activities, milestones, timelines and deliverables described in the project schedule;
  • the availability of the data, models, equipment, and infrastructure required; and
  • the plan for how the team and project will be managed.
  • Poor: The proposed project is inadequate in two or more of the above elements. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project is acceptable with no major weaknesses in any of the elements listed above. (Score: C=5)
  • Good: The proposed project is strong in most of the elements listed above and acceptable in all. (Score: B=10)
  • Excellent: The proposed project is outstanding in all the elements listed above. (Score: A=15)

4. Resources

  • Maximum: 15
  • Minimum: 6

The quality of the team and access to other funding sources and resources will be assessed on the following

  • the research record of the team;
  • the relevance of the team's expertise to the proposed project;
  • the breadth and complementarity of the team's expertise, which may include members from both academia and government;
  • the budget and the team's access to additional funding sources and resources; and
  • the justification of the line items in the budget sections.
  • Poor: The proposed project is inadequate in one or more of the above elements. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project is acceptable with no major weaknesses in any of the elements listed above. (Score: C=6)
  • Good: The proposed project is strong in most of the elements listed above and acceptable in all. (Score: B=11)
  • Excellent: The proposed project is outstanding in all the elements listed above. (Score: A=15)

5. Risk and mitigation

  • Maximum: 10
  • Minimum: 3

The project risks and the associated mitigation strategies will be assessed on the following

  • the assessment of technical risks and strategies for their mitigation;
  • the assessment of managerial and timeline risks and strategies for their mitigation;
  • the assessment of financial risks and strategies for their mitigation.
  • Poor: The proposed project is inadequate in two or more of the above elements. (Score: D=0)
  • Acceptable: The proposed project is acceptable with no major weaknesses in any of the elements listed above. (Score: C=3)
  • Good: The proposed project is strong in most of the elements listed above and acceptable in all. (Score: B=7)
  • Excellent: The proposed project is outstanding in all the elements listed above. (Score: A=10)

Evaluation score

  • Maximum score 105
  • Minimum passing score 65

Appendix B - Eligible data

This AO makes a distinction between eligible data sources for the purpose of maximizing the science value of data being acquired by Canadian instruments in space. The two levels of data sources—Primary and Secondary—reflect the different priorities given to Canadian and international data sources by this AO. These priorities are reflected in the evaluation criteria (Appendix A).

Appendix B.1 - Primary data

Primary Data sources are Canadian instruments or sub-systems on currently operational spacecraft. These are:

Canadian instruments on the SCISAT/ACE mission:
Instrument Description PI
Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) Measurement of over 60 trace gas profiles Peter Bernath
Measurement of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation (MAESTRO) Measurement of O3, NO2, aerosols, and other specie profiles Tom McElroy

Note: even though the study of aerosol extinction profile measurements from the ACE-Imager are encouraged, the imager instrument is not considered a Primary Data source for this AO.

and the following Canadian instruments on foreign missions:
on the NASA Terra satellite:
Instrument Description PI
MOPITT Measurement of global carbon monoxide levels James Drummond
on the Swedish Odin satellite:
Instrument Description PI
OSIRIS Measurement of O3, NO2, aerosols, BrO, and OH species Doug Degenstein
the Canadian sub-systems integrated into the NASA/CSA CloudSat satellite:
Instrument Description PI
Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) Measurement of vertical structure of clouds Graeme Stephens
on the NASA SMAP satellite:
Instrument Description Science definition lead
Radar & Radiometer Measurement of surface soil moisture and freeze/thaw state Dara Entekhabi
on the NASA SWOT satellite:
Instrument Description Science leads
KaRIn radar interferometer & Altimeter Measurement of ocean and surface water levels, Sea Surface Height (SSH) Tamlin Pavelsky, Lee-Lueng Fu, Jean-Francois Creteaux, and Rosemary Morrow
on the ESA SMOS satellite:
Instrument Description Leads
Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) Measurement of soil moisture, sea surface salinity, sea ice thickness, wind speed, freeze/thaw soil state. Yann Kerr, Jordi Font
  • Information about the SCISAT/ACE satellite and its instruments, data availability, and data access may be found on the SCISAT/ACE website.
  • Information about the MOPITT instrument on Terra, data availability, and data access may be found on the Terra website.
  • Information about the OSIRIS instrument on Odin, data availability, and data access may be found on the OSIRIS website.
  • Information about the CPR instrument on Cloudsat, data availability, and data access may be found on the Cloudsat website.
  • Information about the SMAP satellite and its instruments, data availability, and data access may be found on the SMAP website.
  • Information about the SWOT satellite and its instruments, applications, and data plans may be found on the SWOT website.
  • Information about the SMOS satellite and its instruments, applications, and data access may be found on the SMOS website.

Annexe B.2 - Secondary data

Eligible Secondary data sources are datasets produced from any currently-operating instruments onboard currently-operating, space-based satellites (or missions) that have potential complementarity (synergy) with the Primary data sources. The proposal must demonstrate how data from the Secondary data sources complement data from the Primary data sources. Statements from agency or science team representatives of the Secondary data sources confirming the added value of the proposed activity and the dates of data availability should be included in the proposal.

Serving only as examples, the ESA and NASA satellites listed below have been recognized to provide complementarity (synergy) with the Primary data sources:

Mission Instrument(s)
Sentinel-3

Two instruments:

  1. the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) measuring global sea- and land-surface temperatures, and fire detection and fire radiative power;
  2. the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) measuring ocean colour, vegetation, and atmospheric aerosols and clouds.
Sentinel-5 Precursor The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI): Measurements of ozone, NO2, SO2, CH4, CO, aerosol, and clouds.
ADM-Aeolus The Doppler wind lidar (Aladin) that measures profiles of wind, aerosols and clouds in the lowermost 30 km of the atmosphere.
CALIPSO The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) that provides vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds; the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) to retrieve cloud emissivity and particle size; and the Wide Field Camera (WFC).

Appendix C - National and international priorities

The CSA's Earth System science program is supportive of national and international Earth system science priorities expressed by the organizations listed below:

Appendix D - Proposal

The proposal is a detailed description of the proposed project that will be assessed according to the evaluation criteria (Section 6.2 and Appendix A). The proposal must include the three sections identified below and must not exceed ten (10) pages in length; any additional pages will be removed. The section descriptions are provided to aid the applicants in writing their proposals. Note that each evaluation criterion is associated with one or more sections; when assessing a criterion, evaluators will be instructed to only consider the material in the associated section(s). The title page, table of contents, references, curriculum vitae (CVs), and letters are not included in the page limit.

Summary (approx. one page)

This summary is a self-contained description of the activity that would result if the proposal were funded. The summary must identify the project objectives, introduce the approach to be used, and clearly demonstrate that the project is eligible under the terms of the AO. As far as possible, the summary should be understandable to a scientifically literate lay reader.

The information provided in this section will be used in determining whether the application satisfies the screening criteria (Application form, Section 5).

Scientific and technical description (approx. six pages)

This section of the proposal describes the scientific objectives of the proposed project and the methodology to be used in conducting the research. The description relates the research and approach to the current scientific and technical developments in one or more fields of the Earth system sciences (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere), supported by references to the literature pertinent to the proposal. The methodology describes the relationship between the data source(s), the analysis method(s), and the proposed model(s). This section should also demonstrate the relevance of the research to the objective of the CSA's Earth system science program and its alignment with national and international priorities and opportunities.

The information provided in this section will be used in assessing the following criteria: Benefits to Canada, Results, and Feasibility (Appendix A).

Resources (approx. two pages)

This section of the proposal describes the resources of the proposed project, including the team, complementary funding sources, and in-kind contributions, and how they would be managed. The description identifies the pertinent expertise, the roles, and the expected contributions of the team members to the project, referring to CVs as needed. Note that the team is limited to four (4) Co-Is; any additional Co-Is will be dropped from the provided list of team members. Co-Is must be qualified to undertake research independently. They may be collaborators from Government or Industry that contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project and bring their own resources to the collaboration. The diversified representativeness of the team may be described in this section (see 6.3 Evaluation Process). The description also includes a project work plan that describes how the research team and the project would be managed and the availability of the equipment and infrastructure as well as a discussion of the risks and strategies for their mitigation. The description of funding sources and in-kind contributions refers to the Budget page of the application as needed. The estimated value of the time that team members will spend on the project should be included in the budget as in-kind contributions.

The information provided in this section will be used in assessing the following criteria: Resources, Risk and mitigation, and Feasibility (Appendix A).

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