In an earlier blog post I stated that the Grants Committee has been working to improve the grants process. This work, along with the feedback we received from the community, has lead to two major changes to our rules of operation.
Historically we paid 50% of the grant up-front which led to situations where we paid grantees for little or no results. In future grants will be paid upon completion. It will be possible for a grantee to request an interim payment but this will need to be voted on by the Grants Committee. We have also added clear guidelines detailing the circumstances in which dormant grants will be closed without payment.
As well as these changes to the rules of operation we are working to improve the guidelines given to Grant Managers for determining if a grant has been successfully completed.
I would like to thank Alberto and the Grants Committee for their work and also all the community members who took time to comment on the previous rules and the proposed changes.
The new rules are included in the continuation to this post.
1. Grant Request Scheduling:
1.1. Grant requests will be opened quarterly.
1.2. A grant request which has not been rejected will be valid for two quarters, after which it will no longer be considered. The person requesting the grant may resubmit the proposal with no changes if he or she wishes.
1.3. Grant requests which have been explicitly rejected must be rewritten.
1.4. Grant requests will be evaluated during February, May, August, and November, and awarded in March, June, September, and December, respectively.
1.5. If there are no funds available to award any grants, then the quarter will still count as one of the quarters for grant expiration.
1.6. Grant requests may not be opened for a given quarter due to either lack of available funds or based on a 2/3 vote of the GC. This will not impact any currently running grants that quarter.
2. Grantees, Proposals, and Grant Managers
2.1. Each grantee will have a Grant Manager appointed to them to monitor the progress of the grant. Managers should report at least monthly on progress and present the grantee's final report when the grant is completed.
2.2. Grant Managers do not have to be voting members of the grant committee.
2.3. Grants awarded by this grants committee shall not exceed 3000 USD.
2.4. The Grants Committee does not award grants for travel.
2.5. Grants are normally paid upon completion, after a full report is evaluated and published.
2.6. Grantees may request an interim payment of up to half the grant amount during the grant period. Such payments must be approved by the grants committee.
2.7. Grantees must provide a monthly report, even if no progress has been made. This report may be published to the community.
2.8. If the Grantee does not report for two consecutive months, or if no progress is made for four months, the grant will be considered a failure and will be closed without further payment.
3. Grants Committee Voting Schema
3.1. A grant vote shall not be valid unless at least 2/3 of the members vote.
3.2. Each individual vote shall be a No, a 0 for abstain, or 1 through 5 for a Yes.
3.3. The grants which have more Yes votes than No votes shall be ranked according to the sum of the votes, and then as many as can be funded from available funds shall be.
3.4. Changes to the membership of this committee, including adding or removing members or selecting a new chairman, must be agreed by 2/3 of the committee.
3.5. Changes to these rules must be approved by 2/3 of the grant committee and by the TPF board.
3.6. In special circumstances exceptions to these rules may be made if 2/3 of the committee agree.