One question which come up frequently is “How do I submit a proposal for a Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) grant?” Grant proposals come to CII via many different avenues:
- individual Steering Committee or Advisory Board members submit proposals or ideas
- ideas get submitted to the cii-discuss mailing list for public review
- proposals get submitted via the form on the coreinfrastructure.org website
- informal contacts are made through networks.
The difference between an idea and a proposal is that an idea typically takes the form of “CII should do xyz” whereas a proposal takes the form of “John Doe would like to do the following work. It will have this effect and take this long. It will cost $x”. We are always happy hear both ideas and proposals.
If you have an idea for a grant for yourself and you need help formulating it into a proposal, I will personally be glad to help you. Submit the idea via the CII contact form and I will contact you to work together to craft a proposal.
If you have an idea for a grant for someone else, please contact that person and bring them along for the discussion.
If you have an idea for a grant, but you don’t know who the recipient should be, then this is a perfect topic for the cii-discuss mailing list. Ideas like ‘CII should fund a source code audit for the foo framework’, or ‘Project bar is used by everyone and they don’t even have an automated test suite’ are perfect for discussion on cii-discuss.
There are a couple of quirks to bear in mind when submitting a proposal. CII has a policy of providing grants to individuals rather than organizations, so each grant proposal must have the person’s name (or multiple people’s names) associated with the proposal. Funding decisions can be made on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline for proposal submission. Proposals can be made at any time. The term “core infrastructure” means different things to different people. CII uses a very broad definition of the term, but CII is primarily focused on improving the security and maintainability of open source software, so most successful grant proposals have some element of secure coding advocacy, testing, software development (whether of core infrastructure itself or of software development tools), or managing open source projects associated with them.
Finally, CII is not the only organization providing grants. If you have an idea or a proposal that doesn’t quite fit CII, but you want some information or contact to other funding organizations, then shoot me a mail or submit a question via the CII contact form and I will be glad to work with you to direct your inquiry in the most useful way that I can.