IMLS Funding supports access to research proposals

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida (UF) have received $99,833 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to launch a new initiative, “Planning for Open Grants: Fostering a Transparent and Accessible National Research Proposal Infrastructure.”

Navigating the process to secure funding and fellowships requires a huge investment of time and energy from researchers, staff and funders, but many of the resulting proposals remain inaccessible. This is an obstacle for those seeking out examples to help guide proposal writing or documentation of the questions and methods that shape scholarly endeavors. Although some funders and applicants post full proposals online, this practice is not universal.

During the planning phase through 2023, the project team will convene a series of dialogues and conduct interviews with stakeholders to develop an implementation blueprint for future work. Expert contributors will include researchers in STEM and humanities fields, librarians and archivists, representatives from foundations and funding agencies, and research administrators from a diverse array of institutions. Together, these experts will help document current efforts to share grant proposals and identify potential opportunities and challenges.

Project leader is Dr. Hao Ye, reproducibility librarian, who brings expertise in open science and data management. Co-Principle Investigator Perry Collins, copyright and open educational resources librarian, brings her experience in grantmaking and intellectual property. The project will build upon two pilot efforts developed at UF to encourage open collections of grant proposals, one led by the Libraries’ Grants Manager, Bess de Farber.

“An open repository of funding proposals will elevate their recognition as scholarly products, improve access for the public and other grant seekers, and bring transparency to this facet of the research process,” Dr. Ye said. “We thank IMLS for this support to bring together experts and contribute to a more open grantmaking landscape.”

Calls for additional participants will be circulated throughout 2022. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Award # LG-250067-OLS-21.

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