FQXi Mini-Grants - Application - For FQXi Members Only
FQXi is now accepting Mini-Grants focused on Physics of the Observer.
Through the FQXi Mini-Grants program, a select group of qualified scientists and others—that is, FQXi Members—may apply for small sums of money to help support unconventional work and collaborations in physics, cosmology, and related fields. FQXi will solicit Mini-Grant proposals and determine awardees; a Donor Advised Fund will then administer the grants.
FQXi Mini-Grants - Goals & Policies
Mini Grants focused on the Physics of the Observer will be prioritized over those that are for other requests. Please see below for info on how the weighted lottery works.
- Create and sustain connections between FQXi Members, and between Members and the wider scientific community
- Enable FQXi-consonant research by applying small amounts of funding to key areas for strategic leverage
- Disperse small grants in a way that is minimally burdensome to the FQXi Membership and FQXi itself
APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCEDURE:
- Applications will be accepted from FQXi Members only, and must be submitted by 11:59PM US Eastern Time, Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
- Applications will consist of a web form with just the following data required:
- Applicant Name, Institution, Address & Contact Information
- Project Title
- Budget: The total proposed amount in US dollars, from $1,000 to $15,000. Please keep in mind that the lower the budget, the higher the chances of winning the Mini-Grant, as described below. Include at most 15% overhead cost. Funds must go to the proposer's institution and must be used for the described project. Reallocating funds for your budget are strongly discouraged.
- Proposal: A brief proposal, of less than 500 words, describing how the funds are intended to be used.
- Anticipated Product: To ensure that funds are used as proposed, we request that Mini-Grant recipients provide a 'product,' potentially to be listed on the FQXi website, and deliverable within a year of the Mini-Grant application deadline. Acceptable products include: Slides of a talk given; website of workshop run; written proceedings of an event; etc. Because the required 'product' is an important part of our financial oversight, intangible products (such as 'we will produce a new understanding of such-and-such') or research papers (which grantees tend to produce irrespective of funding) will not be considered acceptable products. Further, negligence in delivering an agreed product will be noted and remembered during future Grant rounds.
- Statement of Enablement: A statement of less than 100 words explaining why the Mini-Grant would enable FQXi-related work that could not otherwise be reasonably done using existing resources.
- FQXi Administration will conduct a screening of applications to ensure proposals meet the program requirements. See below for examples of good and bad Mini-Grant proposals.
- A weighted lottery procedure (prioritizing Physics of the Observer applications) will be followed to ensure equitable distribution of Mini-Grants and a streamlined application and approval process. Qualified proposals are expected to exceed available funds, but there will be little basis for ranking proposals without a highly detailed application process that is burdensome to Members relative to the value of the grants. (Consider, for example, the problem of choosing between two excellent researchers who both propose to visit a colleague to collaborate on FQXi-relevant research—how to choose?) Thus, the procedure will be as follows:
- Each proposal will be assigned a probability that is inversely related to its monetary value PLUS one-half of the total value of Mini-Grant funds awarded to the applicant in previous rounds. Previous Mini-Grant Winners are still encouraged to apply for additional Mini-Grants; however, this weighting will help disperse funds to the widest number of Members.
- Proposals will be selected randomly using these weights, until available funds are dispersed. (Believers in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics will be happy to know that quantum-mechanically generated random numbers will be employed, so they are sure to be funded in some world. Others can be assured that they will receive the same expectation value of funding as all others.)
- Applicants will be notified by email of the lottery results, and the selected proposals will be quickly funded.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD MINI-GRANT APPLICATIONS:
- A mini-workshop inviting a handful of collaborators, at least some of them FQXi Members, to the proposer's host institution for an intensive work session.
- A visitor program to the proposer's host institution, inviting several speakers over the course of a year, at least some of which are FQXi Members.
- A trip to visit a collaborator, or to an FQXi-related conference, where the Member does not have other funds usable for this purpose.
- A small outreach program, such as production of a podcast, related
to FQXi research.
EXAMPLES OF BAD MINI-GRANT APPLICATIONS:
- Additional funds for an FQXi project already in progress.
- Speaker fees or "honorariums", for the applicant or others.
- A project so vaguely defined that it allows the money to be used for an essentially unlimited variety of purposes.
If you are an FQXi Member and are ready to apply for a Mini-Grant, please input your email address and password at the top of the screen.