Application Deadline: Friday, March 9, 2018, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Please read the application instructions, glossary, and proposal form before you begin. The word limits are provided to keep our proposals short and to facilitate their efficient review. All proposals must be submitted in English. All applications are considered confidential and will not be shared beyond the foundation staff, Trustees and designated confidential reviewers. We advise that you plan your project using the work plan table that can be found below before writing the accompanying text.
Restrictions on Funded Activities: The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is prohibited from conducting or funding any lobbying or political campaign activities, as these terms are specifically defined under U.S. tax law. U.S. private foundations are prohibited from funding attempts “to influence legislation,” anywhere they operate or from providing grant funding for such activity. Violation of this rule subjects a private foundation to a penalty tax, public disclosure, and possible loss of tax exempt status. The JRS Biodiversity Foundation cannot lobby or fund any lobbying activities carried out by its grantees. There are certain exceptions and conditions under which foundations may fund grantees that lobby such as that foundations may provide analysis and advice regarding legislation. Please enquire if you believe your project may touch upon the above restrictions to JRSRFP@jrsbiodiversity.org.
TIP: Be concise. Don’t max out all the word limits.
Brief questions and tips are provided with each question in the online form but you should refer to the instructions document below for more details. Please refer to the Glossary of Terms to use consistent language with the Foundation regarding the results of your work.
- Download: Application Instructions
- Download: Budget Template
- Download: Work Planning Table Template
- Download: Glossary of Terms
TIP: If your project is not an obvious fit into one of these three categories, send an email to JRS with a short description before spending time on an application.
In-process review: JRS can access your grant application forms before they are officially submitted. Please check the box below if you wish to have brief, preliminary feedback on your application (no longer valid after February 23, 2018). Feedback is no guarantee of future funding:
- Yes, please email me suggestions to strengthen my draft proposal
- No thank you.
- Yes, please review this short summary (Form will open).
TIP: We advise that you check the “Yes” fields to get in-process review as you draft your proposal or to provide an informal summary for advance review. The informal summary will not be seen by grant reviewers and can be deleted before submission.
Notice and Question Regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest: The JRS Biodiversity Foundation aims to foster an equitable grant-making environment and to avoid conflicts of interest. Grant applications that include direct or indirect payments to former JRS Trustees, their close colleagues, or to close colleagues or family members of current JRS Trustees or JRS Staff may create real or perceived conflicts of interest. Grant applicants whose applications include relationships to former and current JRS Trustees or JRS Staff are asked to contact the Foundation for guidance regarding how to identify and mitigate any potential conflicts of interest.
A. Info & B. Summary
A. General Information
Section A seeks general information that will be entered in our database to administer your application. Please follow formatting and content instructions in the online form. Please note these definitions:
- Organization Legal Name: This is the organization that will receive funds and is legally responsible for the project and for financial management.
- Proposal Title: This full title of the project will be used in public documents and our website. Please choose a concise descriptive title.
- Short Title: will be for internal JRS communications.
- Project Director: The name of the individual responsible for the daily leadership of the project and for its success.
- Total Project Budget ($USD): This is your estimate of the total costs, from all sources, for the work in the time that you propose.
- Total Request from JRS ($USD): Portion of the Total Project Budget that you are requesting from JRS.
TIP: JRS grants span a large range in duration and total funding. Propose what is best for the success of your project and do not try to conform to a preconception of JRS time and funding limits. Most JRS grants range from 6 months to 36 months, $70,000 to $350,000 and average about $180,000.
B. Executive Summary [250 words]
Please write a concise summary that includes the approach and the measurable goals.
The Executive Summary should concisely describe your project’s subject as well as your technical and institutional approach and goals. The summary should clearly communicate how the project is within the scope of the request for proposals. The description of goals should be in terms of specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that will indicate your success.
TIP: Get right to the point of what you will accomplish and do not restate the problem and why it is important. Describe the outcomes of who will do what differently as a result of your work. Write the summary last.
C. Problem in Conservation
What problem for conservation or sustainable development are you seeking to address with improved biodiversity data and knowledge systems? [350 words]
This section describes the significance of the work that you will do. Please describe the problem using quantitative evidence and specific terms that apply to the geographic area that your work will address.
TIP: Be specific in describing the connection between improved data and access to data and the outcome you seek in conservation. [JRS does not support general conservation or community development projects.]
D. Information Problem
What demand for data, information, or knowledge access are you seeking to address? [350 words]
This section should describe what gap in data, information, knowledge and related services is key to addressing the problem that you described in the section above. We understand that problems such as preserving freshwater and pollinator biodiversity are very complex and biodiversity informatics is only part of the solution. What is the evidence for demand for the information and who are the end-users? What will the users do with the new information and information access created by this project? Please be sure that you can “connect the dots” between solving the information problem (Part D.) and solving the conservation or development problem (Part C.).
TIP: JRS is a funder of biodiversity data, information, and knowledge access with a “demand-driven” approach. Describe the current “baseline” and technical barriers to data access. Address who actually needs the data to do what differently.
E. Technical Solution
What is your technical solution to the problem described above in Sections C & D? [400 words]
This section should describe the final technical solution to the information problem in specific and technical language (i.e. new data collection, baselines, software, data enhancement, data standards, databases, mobile technologies, APIs, web portals, analyses, visualization tools, etc.). Please describe the end state of your efforts and not the activities to get to that point, as activities will be addressed in the section below on the Work Plan.
TIP: Your project may include technical activities in different domains of conservation and conservation science, but our primary interest is in the information technologies. This section should be specific regarding hardware and software.
F. Organizational Solution
What is your solution to the problems in Sections C & D that are organizational in nature? [350 words]
This section should help us to understand why this project has not been done in the past and what people, organizations, and arrangements are likely to create a sustainable connection between data providers and data end users. Institutional issues are often the barriers to connecting biodiversity information to users and to action. Institutional solutions include new partnerships, capacity, partnerships, network-building, communications, cooperation, awareness, legal agreements, new incentives and awards, etc.
TIP: Answer why this project hasn’t happened before and how your team or partnerships is designed for success.
What major milestones [specific outputs and outcomes] are you seeking to achieve, by when, and how will you know that you are successful? [400 words]
This section should describe specific quantitative and qualitative indicators of progress and success and the project month in which any specific milestones and targets will be achieved (e.g. Month 3, Month 18). Please see the Glossary of Terms for definitions. Indicators may be for activities, outputs, or outcomes and the method for their assessment should also be described here.
TIP: See our Glossary of Terms. List the 5-10 vital outputs and outcomes over time that will show your progress and your success.
H. Work Plan
What is your plan of work? [500 words]
Use this section to break your work into a set of Objectives that logically organize activities and their results (outputs and outcomes) so that you can effectively manage the project, allocate resources, and report on progress. For start and end dates of activities and dates of key milestones, please indicate by project month (e.g. by month 12, end of month 18, etc.) Please refer to the Glossary of Terms and read the instructions in the Work Plan Table template. Provide the level of detail that you feel is appropriate for the foundation to understand your work and to connect your plan to your results and your budget.
TIP: Describe your work plan in 4-8 phased objectives over time achieved with discrete activities and tracked with key milestones. Be sure the role of partners is clear.
I. Data Access
The JRS Biodiversity Foundation believes that open access to biodiversity information and knowledge by all stakeholders is essential to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The foundation requires that the biodiversity informatics output of its grants such as datasets, decision tools, and software is openly and freely available in formats that promote maximum re-use. We further require that grant outputs are made available under the least restrictive licensing possible, and per creative commons license definitions. The Foundation recognizes that different data outputs are subject to different types of licensing and policies. Our grant application forms require that our grantees disclose their data sharing plans and any relevant licenses or agreements to which the grantee organization or the principle investigator is a party that may affect data sharing. JRS grantees may be asked at any time to report on the progress of data sharing plans and are expected to apply appropriate evaluation methodology and analytic tools to provide evidence of successful data sharing. The primary grantee is expected to use good faith efforts to ensure that any subcontractors and sub-grantees also comply with this policy. We recommend that you confirm compliance with this policy with any named partners in this proposal. The foundation recognizes that circumstances may obligate the grantee or may benefit the project if data sharing is restricted in some way. Any exceptions to restrict the use of, access to, or delayed access to the data must be specifically requested and approved by the foundation. All progress and final reports should include live URLs as well as access methods for databases. The foundation will evaluate and base payments upon evidence of fulfilling data sharing plans.
Any exceptions to our Open Data Policy must be justified in this application.
- I have read and understood the JRS Open Data Policy.
- This project’s approach or our institutional policies may not comply with the above JRS policy.
- This project’s approach or our institutional policies appear to comply with the above JRS policy.
TIP: Check all those choices that apply to you.
I.b. How will you comply with each of the five terms of the JRS Open Data Policy regarding access, timeliness, licenses, standards and compliance? [350 words]
Please list and describe how you will specifically comply with each of the five terms of the JRS Open Data Policy regarding (1) access, (2) timeliness, (3) licenses, (4) standards and (5) compliance?
Open access to the data and information products of your project is a requirement of JRS funding. Please refer to the statement of Open Data Policy on the JRS Biodiversity Foundation website. Please use this section to describe the data and information products and their access including specific technical details such as standards, data repositories, requested access limits or restrictions, data formats, and software specific to creating access. Note: Additional details on Data Access plans may be attached to the application.
1c. What are the URLs, Databases, or Digital Object Identifiers for discovery and access to your project’s outputs? [250 words]
TIP: You may not have the specifics but reply in a way that communicates your commitment and understanding that your digital products must be discoverable and accessible.
J. Capacity Development
How will your project increase the long-term capacity for biodiversity informatics in sub-Saharan Africa? [400 words]
One of the foundation’s most important goals is supporting capacity development for the sustainable supply of and use of biodiversity data, information, and knowledge. Use this section to describe training, educational resources, physical infrastructure, and other elements of human and technical capacity that are outputs or outcomes of your work. How will you know that capacity development is meeting needs and is successful? What percent of the requested funds do you consider as contributing to capacity building outcomes? Note: Additional details on capacity building may be attached to the application.
TIP: If the capacity you describe is solely in ecology, taxonomy, fieldwork, or stakeholder interaction, you are missing JRS’ mission.
K. Sustainable Outcomes
What will be the evidence of your success 1 to 3 years after the end of your project? [300 words]
What ongoing activities, outcomes, and capacity will still be creating measurable benefits? How will funding be secured to continue salaried positions created by this project? Will additional financial resources be needed? Where will they come from?
TIP: Imagine you have succeeded and evaluators work to assess your project. What evidence will they find or measure on-site or on-line?
L. Director & Staff
What prior experience of the director and staff will support your success and what % time will each devote to this project? [400 words]
Please name specific individuals and their contributions. If key staff are to be hired, please describe their required credentials, % effort on the project, their month of hiring, and source of salary support.
TIP: Remember to include and justify the % of effort – particularly for low %’s.
What are the qualifications of your organization that will support the success of this project? [250 words]
Please provide a brief description of the organizational unit that is most relevant to the project including its annual budget, physical assets, and staff. Please note if there is in-kind or direct financial support from your organization that will contribute to this project.
TIP: Describe the most relevant unit, e.g. the project team or department and include links to past success, if available.
(a) Have the partners described below reviewed this complete proposal?
TIP: If you name partners, please be sure they are informed of your plan to ensure consistency if they are also involved in other proposals to JRS. If partners have not reviewed, a field will open for you to explain why not.
(b) Who are the project partners and what are their roles? Who are the data and information users? [400 words]
Use this section to describe the partnerships, both individual and institutional, that support the project’s success. Which of the partners represent users of the data and information services? If users are not directly involved in the project, please justify why JRS should make this exception to our “demand-driven” approach. If you checked “No” in the question above, please explain why the partners have not yet directly reviewed the project plan. JRS may accept proposals that have not been reviewed by your partners but may require review, revision, or a specific partnership formation stage as a planning grant or as an initial project activity. Please ensure that any individual specifically mentioned in your proposal has consented to the use of their name and potential engagement.
TIP: Include the end-users of the data, information or knowledge in your project team to greatly increase your likelihood of JRS funding and long-term success.
How does the project’s budget support the activities described above? What are your assumptions, key unit costs, and allocation of resources among objectives, partners, and types of activities?
Describe whether and how the partners will be funded by the project budget here or in the budget narrative below.
This section is one of the most important of the proposal – we are funders and it is vital for us to understand the requested grant award and how the component amounts are sufficient to achieve your stated goals. Please provide explanations of any cost category where you plan expenses and indicate the assumptions that are the basis of the cost calculations. Additional worksheets of calculations may be included in the budget spreadsheet.
TIP: Remember you are writing to a financial institution. Don’t repeat your spreadsheet – explain the assumptions behind your expenses and their timing.
P. Form Uploads
Please use the upload function below to attach the required Project Budget Template and the Work Planning Template. Proposals will not be accepted without these completed forms. Additional detail may be provided on your Data Sharing plans and Capacity Building plans. Please do not attach any other additional materials beyond the required forms or additional detail on data sharing and capacity building. Please be sure to rename your attached file to include the project director or organization name before you upload.
- Budget Template (Required)
- Work Planning Table (Required)
- Data Sharing Plan detail (Optional)
- Capacity Development Plan detail (Optional)