Community Update on GOSH Activities funded by the Alfred P Sloan Foundation

Hi All

Here is an update on activities funded by the Alfred P Sloan Foundation via a grant to the Gathering for Open Science Hardware Inc, a US non-profit that was established to administer this funding and to be available as a fiscal sponsor for future open science hardware related projects and activities.

Summary

All activities have been delayed due to COVID and the majority of funding for events and activities ($335k) is pending the election of the GOSH Community Council so that the community can decide how to allocate the support. This responsibility was passed forward to the council by the community governance working group as detailed on the forum, in community calls and in the community governance proposal.

A small number of activities (e.g. hiring of the Community Coordinator, workshops that were clearly defined in the initial proposal) have been taken forward by the GOSH nonprofit board in consultation with the governance working group and other community members in the meantime to avoid falling too far behind the planned timeline and have resources in place such as a community coordinator and a GOSH event planning handbook to enable activities to hit the ground running in 2021-22. Improvements to GOSH web resources are also underway following a community working group crafting a list of what is needed. The proposed work plan will be shared with the community by the developer cooperative leading this work within the next couple of weeks and the improvements are expected to be completed in March/April 2021.

@shannond and I are the grantholders and we have not yet formally requested an extension to the grant but we have discussed that this is likely to be required with our programme officer and will submit a formal request within the suggested timeframe, which is later in 2021. They are also open to us proposing some adjustments to the funding allocation to better match the priorities of the community post-COVID. This discussion is pending the election of the Community Council as above.

Summary of expenditure and budget at end of Feb 2021

(Feb books are not closed yet so may be slightly out)

  • Expenditure on activities up to end Feb 2021: $6,524k (community coordinator, sysadmin contractors)

  • Budget for activities underway: $64k (policy workshops, documenting the GOSH event model and website improvements)

  • Budget pending community decisions on allocation: $335k (total across Year 1 and Year 2 budget)

  • Overhead/admin expenditure to end Feb 2021: $5,721 (primarily legal and accounting fees. If funding remains once it has been disbursed across basic operational requirements, the remaining amount will be rolled into GOSH community funds)

  • No funding allocated to Year 2 has yet been spent.

Breakdown of activities


Completed Activities

Hiring GOSH Community Coordinator

Timeline: planned Oct 2020, happened Jan 2021

Funding: $100.8 k ($50.4 k per annum for two years)

Expenditure to end Feb 2021: $6,000

Progress: Brianna (Bri) Johns was hired as the GOSH Community Coordinator in Jan 2021 and has been making a great impact already, supporting the governance working group and planning roadmaps to bring forward actions on the GOSH Roadmap. You have hopefully already seen Bri around on the forum!

How this work has been managed so far: The original intent was for the Community Council to write the job description and hire for this role but as they will not be elected before May 2021 which is the end of the first year of the grant, the governance working group gave input on the role description and the hire was made by Shannon Dosemagen and Jenny Molloy as the grant holders. This means that coordination support is well established once the Community Council are elected and Bri can assist them in moving forward quickly.


Activities Underway

Writing workshops for OScH policy briefings

Timeline: planned for mid-2020 onwards, now early- to mid-2021 due to COVID
Funding: $20k in total to run events for three audiences: tech transfer officers, funders and policy makers.
Expenditure to end Feb 2021: $0k, expected to spend full budget Mar-May 2021

Progress: Workshops are being convened by Jenny Molloy, Shannon Dosemagen, and other members of the GOSH community, with support from Community Coordinator Brianna Johns. Applications are open to participate in the tech transfer workshop and a writer and graphic designer have been sought to create the policy briefs.

How this work has been managed so far: The writing of these policy briefings was recommended in the GOSH Roadmap and workshops to bring them forward were explicitly included in the original grant proposal and were of particular interest to the funder. They are being taken forward by a small coordinating team as above. All GOSH Community members are welcome to apply to attend the workshops and the resulting briefing drafts will be posted to the forum for community input. You can see the post on the forum for the TTO workshop and email Bri (brianna@openhardware.science) for more information.

Website Improvements

Timeline: conversations started Oct 2020, should be completed March 2021
Funding: $14k over two years plus some funding for additional web design
Expenditure to end Feb 2021: $524, expected to spend majority of budget Mar-May 2021

Progress: Front end: Website improvement suggestions were consolidated by Jenny Molloy and Kaspar Emanuel from the GOSH Roadmap, past forum discussions, GOSH event sessions, one of the 2020 community calls. Two website working group meetings were organised in 2020 to discuss these and were open to the whole community with notes posted for comment on the forum and gitlab. The request for proposals (value of $10k) was opened for comment on the forum and then sent out. Responses to the RFP were assessed by Jenny Molloy and Kaspar Emanuel. Pavilion, a developer cooperative specialising in building communities using Discourse and who also actively contribute open source code to Discourse, were accepted to start work in mid-Jan 2021 as announced on the forum and will complete the redesign by March/April 2021. They are currently undertaking user research and their final proposal will be shared with the community for comments.

Backend/Sysadmin: The GOSH website has been moved to WordPress managed hosting, GSuite has been set up and some backend improvements undertaken, moving the Discourse forum to new managed hosting is still pending. To make sure we stay up and running, Kaspar Emanuel who has been acting as the GOSH sysadmin for some time in a voluntary capacity is now working as a contractor for a few hours per month to look after the website, forum, emails and other GOSH web services.

Writing workshops for documenting GOSH event model (i.e. handbook on how to run a GOSH event)

Timeline: early- to mid-2021
Funding: $30k
Expenditure to end Feb 2021: $0k, expected to spend majority of budget Apr 2021 onwards

Progress: Community Coordinator Bri Johns will be reaching out to past GOSH event organizers in March to convene a workshop on how to organize a GOSH event. A call to GOSH session organizers for write-ups on how to run a GOSH session will follow. A writer and graphic designer have been sought to help collate the document. After the initial writing workshops, a draft will be posted on the forum for further input from community members who have attended or organised GOSH or similar events.

How this work has been managed so far: This activity was detailed in the original grant proposal to support increasing the number of GOSH regional events (as recommended in the GOSH Roadmap) through access to event planning resources, lessons learned and more. Decisions on moving this activity forward are being made by Bri Johns in collaboration with past GOSH event organizers in order to ensure that resources are in place once the Community Council is seated, applications open for regional event support and the organising committee for the next global GOSH gets started.


Activities that have not started yet (delayed due to COVID and/or awaiting Community Council being seated)

Global GOSH

Timeline: planned for late 2020-early 2021, expected late 2021 - early 2022 due to COVID
Funding: $100k

Progress: Awaiting Community Council to be elected and decide how to put together an organising committee.

Local and Regional GOSH Events

Timeline: planned for mid-2020 onwards, expected mid- to late-2021 onwards due to COVID
Funding: $80k in total to be awarded to different events following applications from organisers
Progress: Awaiting Community Council to be elected and decide how to run the application process.

Writing workshops for research scoping and policy proposals

Timeline: planned for mid-2021 onwards, expected to start on time
Funding: $25k in total to be awarded to different events and initiatives following applications from organisers

Progress: Awaiting Community Council to be elected and decide how to run the application process.

GOSH collaborative development program

Timeline: planned for mid-2020 onwards, expected mid- to late-2021 onwards due to COVID

Funding: $110k in total to be awarded to different events following applications from organisers

Progress: Awaiting Community Council to be elected and decide how to run the application process. Meanwhile, Bri will put out a call on the forum to run design meetings with community members to plan a basic model and organise a pilot program to start mid-2021.


General Operations of GOSH Nonprofit

General Operations/Administration/Overheads

Timeline: May 2020 onwards
Funding: $75k over two years (standard funder 15% overhead)
Expenditure to end Feb 2021: $5,721

Progress: The GOSH nonprofit board has spent significant time and effort ensuring that operating systems are in place, hiring a part time operations contractor (1 day per month), and getting accounting and business documentation systems set up so that the organisation can administer funds and contracts and provide fiscal sponsorship for other projects. Legal advice was also required for incorporation and for ensuring bylaws and policies adhered to Georgia state law.

If funding remains once it has been disbursed across basic operational requirements, the remaining amount will be rolled into GOSH community funds.


Budget & Expenditure Summary

May 2020-21 May 2021-22 Expenditure to Feb 2021
Contractors
Community Coordinator (responsible for managing events, the Collaborative Development Program and facilitating workshops and outputs from this proposal) $50,400 $50,400 $6000
Contracts for special projects (report editing, design and web design projects as they arise) $10,000 $10,000 $0
Program
GOSH 2020 $100,000 $0
Development of GOSH model and support for local and regional events $50,000 $60,000 $0
GOSH collaborative development program $55,000 $55,000 $0
Writing workshops for research scoping and policy proposals $0 $25,000 $0
Writing workshop for OScH policy briefings $20,000 $0 $0
Improvement/upkeep of GOSH web resources $12,000 $2,000 $524
Administrative overhead at 15% (taxes/audit, insurance, CPA, etc.) $44,610 $30,360 $5,721
Total: $342,010 $232,760 $12,245
10 Likes

Hi!
Nice report, thank you! :grin:

Organizing this info is very complicated, I appreciate the job done so far.
Let me suggest some more actions that can make documentation, organization and transparency better:

  • Create a special tag for this type of info, or a subgroup inside de “General” category. This will make search for this info easier;
  • Plus, there could be one special thread for accountability. For example, future “reports” could be sent as a response do this post.

A special wiki page is an option, but maybe is not necessary if we are able to organize the info on the forum; the advantage of the forum is the the registration of who post the info, and when was posted; I believe this is better for accountability than a wiki page.

Those are some thoughts about it, I’m willing to help organize this information.

3 Likes

discourse allows very good optional “wiki editing mode”. and i also believe it’s the best place to discuss further.
Thanks for the nice and clear overview of current status of the grant and expenditures, @jcm80

1 Like

Thanks @marinappdf!

I tagged with #sloan-grant and will happily post further updates in the same thread.
If you think there needs to be a subcategory or other way to organise then that sounds good to me.

Jenny

1 Like