To be eligible, an organisation/infrastructure must meet the four basic qualifications (established for two years or more; not-for-profit; multinational or international and be broadly relevant and not discipline-specific) and must submit a completed EOI form by the closing date.
An application is more likely to be successful within a competitive field, when the organisation/infrastructure can demonstrate:
- Alignment to the current themes in scope
- Completion of all questions to a high standard
- Value and benefits included in the aim
- Financial and/or service sustainability issues and how SCOSS funding may assist
Submitted EOI forms are initially evaluated by the SCOSS Advisory Board which also considers the need to support a diversity of themes, infrastructure types, geographical locations, and languages.
Generally, up to six EOI applications are prioritised from a much larger field for putting forward to the SCOSS Board for broad discussion and further prioritisation. The SCOSS Board will generally select between three and six applications for progression to the next stage, which invites a full written application.
The Advisory Board receives full applications and evaluates these on the basis of the responses provided to the questions in the form. The Advisory Board scores all full applications and provides a summary report with recommendations to the SCOSS Board. The SCOSS Board will identify a range of issues and may contact applicants to have questions answered or additional information supplied. This usually involves a short online meeting with each applicant. A draft work plan will be improved and finalised with prioritised infrastructure. The funding target will be agreed with each infrastructure and is based on the work plan.
Contracts are made between each infrastructure and SPARC Europe.
Only after all contracts are executed does SPARC Europe publicly announce the supported infrastructure for the pledge round which can then begin.
SPARC Europe may request governance documentation from prioritised infrastructure applicants to support risk management and assurance during the contract phase. Governance documents could include for example, but are not limited to: evidence of not-for-profit status; supporting statements from governing organisations such as universities; annual budgets and reports; infrastructure architecture diagrams, service usage data, operational workflows; risk management assessments; copyright compliance procedures, etc.
SCOSS also requires letters of support in the final application phase. Letters of support should be sought from existing stakeholders, partners, or funders. They must be specific to the SCOSS application process and not a general note of support. Letters can be provided in any language, with a translation into English to assist the advisory committee.
Crowdfunding for supported infrastructure can begin only upon the completion of the SCOSS application and contract execution processes outlined above.
A contract with SCOSS does not guarantee the funding target will be reached. The partial or total success of a funding campaign to reach its funding target requires considerable time of the supported infrastructure, SCOSS, consortia of pledging institutions, and pledging institutions. Supporting activities undertaken by supported infrastructure include conducting marketing campaigns, building new partnerships, attending conferences and other events, developing marketing resources, conducting business development activities such as stakeholder webinars, and other fund-raising activities as well as invoicing and taking payments, making scheduled progress against the annual work plan, and providing annual reports.
A funding campaign usually runs for three years. Supported infrastructure and/or consortia do the invoicing and funds are paid from pledging consortia and institutions directly to the infrastructure. SCOSS does not handle the funds.
Supported infrastructure which reach their funding target by the end of the second year are eligible to work with SCOSS to generate an additional work plan and funding target for the third year. This is subject to the approval of the SCOSS and SPARC Europe Board.
SCOSS will work with applicants to determine the appropriate funding target, based on the sustainability problem and the agreed work plan. The three-year funding target will be included in the contract, however it does not ensure the funding target will be reached. While there is no minimum funding target, infrastructures have previously set targets of greater than €200,000 over three years. SCOSS has set a maximum funding target of €1 million over three years per infrastructure. The first €25,000 funding actually received by an infrastructure from pledgers is contracted to be paid to SPARC Europe as a service fee to operate and provide the SCOSS Service to the infrastructure over the three year term.
Yes. An infrastructure which was unsuccessful in an application round can apply again in a subsequent round. It is hoped you will learn from the first experience and will submit a stronger application the next time.