FAQ Open call 2

Frequently asked questions

1. Should we submit proposals via email to opencall2@confine-project.eu? No. Submissions should be sent to: confine-oc-submission@ac.upc.edu.  You will receive an automatic reply. Questions on the open call should be sent to opencall2@confine-project.eu.

2. Does the envisioned funding per experiment apply to requested EC contribution? Yes, it refers to requested EC contribution.

3. Is there an editable template to prepare the proposal? Yes, there is a Word template.

4. Do you have an example of how an experiment could be deployed on the CONFINE testbed? We have an example in form of a tutorial for the setup and deployment of an experiment in the Wiki of the Confine project.

5. Any more information about Community-Lab ? Yes, recent publications and recent talks describe aspects of the testbed and community networks. The reference paper of the testbed is:

6. What is the recommended page length of the proposal ? Clarity is always more important than length, and it facilitates the review process. However, regarding recommended limits: For section 1, scientific and/or technical quality, relevant to the topics addressed by the call,  we recommend four to eight pages, no more. This limit does not include the Gantt chart, Pert diagram or tables 1.2 of section 1. For section 2, implementation, we recommend for 2.1 (Participant) a maximum length of two pages per participant, and for 2.2 (Resources to be committed) a maximum length of two pages. For section 3, impact, we recommend two to four pages at most.

7. What is a typical technological experiment ? A research result with relevance (accepted for publication at a conference or journal) has been validated by simulation or by evaluation of a prototype in the lab. Using Community-Lab will allow testing the research result under realistic conditions and learn from it to improve the idea. The open call funding contributes to the cost of that extra effort. See questions 15 and 16 for social experiments and multi-disciplinary research.

8. What is a typical expansion of Community-Lab ? A community network willing to join Community-Lab to allow running experiments in that network (through additional nodes capable of running experiments), ideally with previous experience of collaboration with research. The community network should show commitment towards researchers, and it can even apply together with another supporting institution (e.g. a local or remote, academic, industrial or governmental organisation). The open call funding contributes to the cost of expanding the capacity of the network, include additional nodes to run experiments, and keep them operational. Check this wiki page with more practical info.

9. Can a proposal combine categories A and B ? NO. We need to be able to evaluate experiments separately from testbed expansions.

10. I am a small non-profit organisation new to EC projects, what “standard FP7 payment rules” means to me? Participation should not cost you any extra money. The costs of participation can be fully covered by the EC funding if the amount of effort is balanced with the amount of small equipment bought and travel costs are kept low.

In many cases funding (check the rules) can be 75% of (direct costs (effort costs + equipment + travel) + 60% of indirect costs) which can easily cover all costs. However, as with any other public funding, you’ll need to make sure you keep your accounting right. You can usually get free support from national or regional public authorities to prepare the budget, but don’t wait to the last week.

11. Can I participate from country X? The short answer is ‘yes’. Organisations and researchers from more than 100 countries all over the world are already involved in EU research programmes.

Clearly so for organisations from EU countries, also for International Cooperation Partner Countries. Organisations from high-income countries (in particular the United States of America, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco and Andorra) can also participate and receive funding subject to negotiation. Our impression is that participation of non-profit organisations selected for his unique contribution can be duly justified. All the details here.

12. Can an organisation submit two proposals?  Yes, there are no reasons that would prevent this, as long as the proposals are different. All proposals will be evaluated under the same rules and under the same conditions.

13. My experiment/expansion is big. Can I partition it and propose two or more dependent proposals?  This is not advisable since it will weaken each part. Any dependency should not be relative to other experiments or external factors. See also the question on several proposals by one organisation.

14. My experiment/expansion is more expensive. Can I request a higher budget than the budget foreseen in the call?  No!

15. Social experiments and multi-disciplinary research? Do I also need to use the Community-Lab computer testbed? You don’t necessarily need to use the computer testbed. You can perform a social or multi-disciplinary experiment or study that has generic value in the context of community networking and work with its participants. One of the main reasons for extending the Open Call deadline is reaching out to specific research communities of particular relevance, and make sure that there are new research activities focused on multidisciplinary aspects, such as the social and economic impacts of community networks (e.g. incentives for participation in community networks, how to deal with conflict among users and operators, the sociology of community networks).

16. What is the typical social or multi-disciplinary research? Can be work with social groups involved in community networks (currently involved or not in the project), starting from some initial results (e.g. previous relevant research results as publications) that require further experimentally-driven research, including field studies or social experiments exploring the multidisciplinary aspects mentioned in the previous item. Open data made available by Community-Lab can be considered for usage in your research and contributions to the open data sets are encouraged. The open call funds that additional research work with the communities and the elaboration and generalisation of the knowledge and lessons learned.

17. How to fill in a typical budget and costs to take into account for a small organisation? The EC funding will only cover RTD costs; no management or subcontracting. Thus, the following are the costs that can be incurred and that can be funded (Caveat: this is a simplified case for a typical small organisation, your case may vary). Check this for specific details for a category B proposal (expansion).

Direct costs are all costs for contracting personnel, depreciation, consumables, travel, etc. Indirect costs are estimated at 60% of the sum of all direct costs. (The Special Transitional Flat Rate of 60% is the most usual Indirect Cost Model and can be applied by all non-profit institutions, secondary and higher education establishments, research organizations, SME, excluding large enterprises). Funding is 75% of (direct + indirect costs), except for large enterprises. Indirect costs may therefore cover tasks that are not directly attributable to the project work (e.g. office costs, accounting, paperwork, VAT, infrastructure not used in the project). Therefore the budget should be balanced to ensure a sustainable participation. Specifically, as guidelines for the proposal document:

“Cost and funding breakdown” table: RTD and Total columns (same values, other values are 0)
1. Personnel costs (number of person months * total cost of a person-month)
2. Other direct costs (travel + equipment costs + consumables + others)
3. Total direct costs (Sum of row 1 and 2)
4. Indirect costs: (0.6 * row 3)
5. Total costs (Sum of row 3 and 4)
6. Requested EC contribution (0.75 * row 5)
Travel costs:
– Project meetings: 3 trips/year, 1-2 person, in Europe, 2-3 days (e.g. 3000-4000 €) (participation: mandatory)
– Participation in any dissemination activity (participation: depending on activity)

Consumables/Equipment costs: Depends on needs.

Personnel costs: Effort for RTD tasks proposed  (participation: depending on activity)