In-kind Program Update: Extended Handbook for Proposal Teams, endorsements and more examples

The international proposal teams are in the final week before their Sept 25 deadline, and they are working hard to get all their proposed contributions lined up. They’re following the guidelines in the Handbook for Proposal Teams that the CEC and Rubin International Program Coordinators put together, and we’ve been extending that as we go this summer. The teams are following live at this Google doc link (where its also easier to copy and paste the example proposal sections from!), but a PDF of v1.1 of the Handbook is also now available, at

Here’s a summary of what’s new in v1.1 of the Handbook:

  • Guidelines for proposal teams and recipient groups (eg science collaborations or Rubin operations teams) on how to obtain and provide endorsements for non-directable software development contributions. These guidelines include how recipients can set conditions, eg to ensure that the contribution is properly embedded and clearly adding value to the US community. We’ve tried to make the process as lightweight as possible, in keeping with the notion that we are all in the same large international collaboration. However, we do recognize that securing endorsements is the most likely reason a contribution section may need an exception to the deadline, so we encourage all teams still working on this aspect to follow these new guidelines with their recipient groups and get in touch if they need help from us in converging. (Note that the only type of contribution that needs endorsement is non-directable software development effort. For datasets that primarily benefit one or two recipient groups, the contribution leads should discuss the contribution with those recipients but they don’t need endorsement. They’ll just review better for having been discussed with the recipients.)

  • Some clarifications about the assessment of telescope time contributions., to bring the Handbook up to date with the Telescope and Dataset Evaluation Form being used to inform the proposal teams about the weighting factors they should use when estimating the PI value of their telescope time.

  • An updated proposal review schedule, as presented in our previous post.

  • An extended library of example contributions, including: non-directable software development (including example endorsement statement), past software development, general pooled software development.

All updates to the Handbook text are highlighted with purple shading, to make it easy to see what has changed since v1.0 (July 31). We hope these updates help get the proposals over the finish line, and encourage any proposal team or recipient group that is stuck in any way to get in touch so that we can unstick you.

Best wishes, and good luck to the proposal teams with their submissions!

Phil & Bob

I just edited this post to correct an error: it should have said (and now does say) that “the only type of contribution that need endorsement is non-directable software development effort.” For past software contributions (which were originally included in the erroneous version), note that the Handbook says the following:

“Proposal teams looking to include past software effort in their proposals, whether as part of a long term program extending from the past to the future, or simply to be recognized for the infrastructure work they have already done, should go ahead and do so; Handbook compliance will be evaluated early on in the proposal review, and will include verification with the recipient SC/subsystem.”

No endorsement needed ahead of time - which is hopefully good news for proposal teams trying to submit today :slight_smile: Apologies for the noise.