Grants Management Committee Calendar and Resources - Community Input Needed

With the GMC vote having hit quorom, we will thankfully have a GMC voted in within 60 hours or so. There were a few topics I wanted to get community discussion started on now, as it will certainly help whoever ends up on the committee.


I was re-reading the calendar laid out in RPIP-15, and it runs as follows.

November: GMC develops rubric and call for applications.

December 1: Call for applications goes out. Deadline is December 15.

December 15: Deadline for applications.

December 15 - 30: GMC scores applications and meets to discuss awards.

(by) December 31: GMC announces first round of awards.

January 14: Any disputes must be filed, otherwise awards are disbursed.

Technically the RPIP specifies that the calendar does not start the month after the GMC is selected, but rather the month after the GMC successfully completes the rubric. In other words, the spacing between dates on that calendar is specified by RPIP but it could be December = develop rubric, January = all the applying/scoring/awarding stuff. In most months I would certainly push to get the rubric done right away, but I recognize that December is the holidays and GMC members might not be super jazzed about trying to do all of this during the holiday season. I suppose that will be a discussion for the 7 folks selected to actually do this, but I did want to point it out for community discussion as well.


RPIP-15 specifies that there shall be a scoring rubric used and the community shall be solicited for feedback. I started a thread on this a while ago: Grants/Bounties Scoring Rubric

As you can see, there hasn’t been a ton of action there, but the last general consensus (of the four people who took part in the conversation) was something like a multiplicative rubric with the categories being:
Impact: 1-10
Return on Investment/Bang for the RPL Buck: 1-5
Feasibility: 1-5

If you have thoughts you want considered before the GMC starts discussing it next week or whenever, then make sure to post in that other forum link.

Information Required for Application

One thing I imagine the GMC will have to decide fairly early on is what information is required of any applicants for grants, bounties, or retrospective awards. I’m thinking things like name/username, qualifications, summary of project, feasibility statement, impact statement, address to send award to if selected, etc. If anyone has any suggestions, this is a good time to share them. Ideally the applications are long and detailed enough to make decisions on (since in some cases this could be substantial amount of money) but perhaps not so long that no one wants to fill one out. There would need to be different applications for each of the three award types since they are all unique things.

Method of Collecting/Submitting Applications

How are we doing these applications? Google Forms? documents? I am sure others have some familiarity with tools that might be appropriate here, hence the call to the community for suggestions.


Also, I did not post this as a presumption that I’d be selected. I think this is all stuff that we should be talking about as a community regardless of who is selected, and I wanted to do it sooner rather than later so that whoever is selected has the community’s input right away.


That first discussion period is a very common holiday period - folks will need to proactively discuss to make that work smoothly.

1 Like

I agree with pretty much all of this, of course the specifics need to actually get worked out. Doesn’t Google forms require an email to login? I don’t have much experience with mirror but if it’s more anonymous, then it is likely a better choice. Or they can post in the forum and follow a specific post template, though that might be a little much. I wouldn’t want to overwhelm the forum, but if we add a specific section for each: grants, bounties, and retroactive rewards, then have a template post pinned to the top, as well as the rubric, that might work. Obviously as far as the rubric goes, for retroactive rewards it wouldn’t need the “feasibility” section, so is there a third scoring criteria we can add so it isn’t just “impact” and “ROI”? For the other two, I believe the three categories mentioned work okay.

1 Like

So I realize the time to bring this up was before RPIP15, but that schedule is indeed extremely compressed. Grants from optimism sometimes take months to disburse and they have a large paid team. Not sure what there is to do about it now except give extra love to the committee members for their dedication, and to say before this starts that if things run late it’s likely from overoptimistic assumptions rather than lack of effort from the volunteers.
The only thing to consider is that if impact is the largest component (or maybe if impact and bang-for-the-buck [which implicitly includes impact] are both included), wouldn’t a single large project always win out over 4 smaller projects that combined have equal cost and impact?

1 Like

The idea of using the forum makes a lot of sense. Could just be three separate threads for each round of applications, a template at the top of each thread, and a request that people only post applications as replies with no other discussion in thread. Also helps with anonymity.

1 Like

Hah! Yeah, that would have been more helpful prior to passage of RPIP-15, but it is certainly not unhelpful information now. I think it’s useful for the committee as a whole to realize that RPIP-15 may turn out to be overly aggressive in its calendar. While I am sure there are parts of the RPIP that should remain more static (like the charge to the committee), I would hope the community would be understanding that the committee might recommend amending the RPIP to a calendar that was more feasible.

1 Like

In thinking more about the calendar, given the way RPIP-15 is written, what we are really choosing is whether grant applications be submitted and scored in odd months or even months. While odd months are pretty bad for me personally (I expect to be out of internet range for probably 10 days in May, for example), committing future committee members to even months - which includes the holidays - is probably not a great idea.

We could leave this up to the applier, but clearly stating that certain information will make it easier to score them higher on the rubric (ie doxing of professional history).

I think we should feel free to experiment. So long as we choose a singular “launchpad” where we can link to our forms/documentation.

Perhaps a Github repository where the is the master info place? Or a shared Notion page?

Thanks for being considerate to the human aspect of the volunteers :). Personally I have no strong preference.

1 Like

Re: application details, this is just a personal preference perhaps, but I find it a lot easier to evaluate applications when there is a baseline of comparable required information. Much like the four items we asked all applicants to list when running for GMC/pDAO Treasurer, it helps make it a little bit more apples-to-apples. On the other side of it when applying for grants in the past, I’ve also found it very helpful to have specific things to be responding to and structuring my application around. I don’t feel super strongly about this either way, though, and the application itself (whatever form it takes) will likely remain a work in progress between rounds.

Re: tools, I do have a bit of a stronger preference on this one, although I was a bit unclear about whether you were suggesting we just put the instructions in Github but have the applications submitted elsewhere or whether they’d also be submitted in the repository. I’m not a techie, and while I learned the basics of Github for doing the RPIP, it was enough of a disincentive that it took me an extra week or two every time I had to learn something new because I put it off. While most of our grants will be tech related, some will not necessarily be (e.g. things around marketing or design) and the retrospective awards in particular can be submitted by anyone nominating anyone else, which inclines me to avoid people feeling like the tools themselves are a hurdle.

Keeping things simple makes total sense. I don’t mind if it’s Github or Notion, but having a central “check here to see the current process” place is important I think. I didn’t mean it as a grant application place.

Ah, gotcha. That makes sense to me!