Mini-Grants for Open Geospatial Datasets

Through this new pilot mini-grants program, we will identify and support the low-hanging/enabling/linchpin geospatial datasets that will we always wanted but never had.
Low hanging fruit, literally
Low-hanging fruit, literally


We all (probably) can say something about missing linchpin datasets. For example, a few years ago, there was a CGIAR-wide hunting for a global, agreeable, high-resolution Agro-Ecological Zone (AEZ) data layer. Something like a globally-expanded version of HarvestChoice’s AEZ in SSA. This wasn’t meant to be an output of any elaborate research project. Members from multiple centers assumed there must be one until we collectively realized there wasn’t. Many wanted to have this data layer as the common baseline in subsequent analyses, such as targeting of new projects and study sites, overlaying with other variables for the purpose of data aggregation, among others. There were some options available, but none was quite ideal and agreeable to use by multiple centers. This is just one example, but others may have similar experiences — since you can’t have all the data you need, most of the times. Sometimes we don’t know where to begin, but some other times we know exactly what needs to happen, but we don’t know how to make it happen. For the AEZ case, we even identified who might be able to undertake this type of activity, but at that time we were not able to make such community-wide investment happen. And, luckily now we do, through the support of CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture!

Announcing CSI’s Mini-Grants Program

Through this new pilot mini-grants program, we will identify and support the low-hanging/enabling/linchpin geospatial datasets that we always wanted but never had.

Here are some details:

  • We will select two mini-grants.
  • Each applicant can apply for the maximum amount of USD 10K.
  • The maximum timeline of the work will be 3 months (July – September 2018).
  • Submissions due by Thursday, May 31, 2018, 11:30 am (U.S. Eastern Standard Time). Not a lot of time, but we are hoping to receive your proposals pretty much ready-to-go. We won’t ask too much detail in the grant application.
  • All applications will be double-blindly reviewed. The review criteria will include:
    1. How important is the data for CGIAR’s research?
    2. Without this data, what is the alternative option currently?
    3. What is the potential value of this data to serve as global public goods for agricultural research and development community?
  • Winners of Mini-Grants will be announced on our CGIAR-CSI Community Website on June 7, 2018.
  • Importantly, applicants of this Mini-Grant is must be CGIAR’s external partners.
  • Deliverable will need to include the dataset, metadata, and a brief technical documentation (2-page max).
  • All deliverables will be open and publicly available through CGIAR’s data repository.
  • Datasets with global coverage will be preferred.

Ready to submit your proposal? Please fill the application form at Google Forms. If you have any questions, leave your comment below and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Good luck!


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