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Proposal Requirements

A complete proposal package requires the following materials:

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Statement of Work

The Statement of Work is intended to be a concise but thorough overview of the work that will be undertaken and should be up to 5 pages in length, not including the references section. Each page should have no less than 1” margins and no less than 11-point font. Please follow this high-level outline: 

Key Project Details 

  • Title  
  • Principal Investigator (PI) name and title  
  • Hosting institution  
  • Requested start and end dates (note the expectations for start date and project duration included in the proposal call)

Problem Statement

In an overview of the project, please describe the problem that is to be addressed in this work and the proposed approach. What open questions or issues exist that this project will address?What do you intend to accomplish? How is the approach to the problem in this proposal novel or differentiated from other related or existing work? How will this work further develop the pathway to operationalizing safety in intelligent systems?

Impact Statement

Describe the anticipated ramifications of this work and why it is important to pursue. Specifically describe how this work would further CASMI’s mission of operationalizing safety in machine intelligence. Proposals may, but are not required to, reference explicitly how this proposal aligns to or complements the CASMI Research Roadmap or the articulated research focus and priority areas discussed in the Call for Proposals.

Intended Outcomes

Identify the major intended findings, deliverables, measures of success, and/or artifacts that would be produced from the work. For each item, particularly note if it would be open-source or made publicly available for further research and use. If the proposed project is intended to be more than one year in duration, specifically differentiate the outcomes that are intended to be delivered within the first year of the project work, and what would be delivered in the second year. It is expected that multiyear projects would show sufficient progress in the first year in order to be approved to continue into the second year of funding.

Project Components and Timeline

Articulate the major elements of the specific work to be undertaken and the key steps in this effort, as well as any intended milestones for completing the major components of the work. This is intended to be a high-level overview of the effort over the duration of the project and is not expected to be a detailed task list. Include a simple Gantt chart visual of the timeline with quarterly time increments that shows the major work components and milestones over the project horizon.

Project Team

Identify the key contributors to the project effort. For each named individual, include their current title and primary affiliation, and a description of their intended role or contribution to the project. It is not required to name or specifically identify graduate student researchers, research subjects or support personnel, though their roles and work focus can be described in this section if that is pertinent to understanding of the project.

Communication Plan

Describe what you intend to do with the outcomes of the project and how this would be intended to be shared, with what constituencies or audiences.

Related and Potential Work

If this work is related to or an extension of work that you have done already, please provide a brief description of what has been achieved to date and how this work is related and complementary. In addition, if you foresee this work as an incremental step toward other future work, please describe the longer term objectives that you envision.

Data and Research Subjects

Briefly describe the data or datasets that will be utilized or created in the performance of this project. Please also specifically identify if the research work will involve the use of human subjects or the collection or use of personally identifiable human subject data.

References

Include a bibliography of any key referenced work from the previous sections as needed. The length of the References section is not included in the overall 5-page maximum for the Statement of Work.

Budget

Provide a detailed budget, in a spreadsheet format, itemizing the direct and indirect expenses for the project as a cost-reimbursable agreement in US Dollars. Please note the guidance in the Call for Proposals regarding the maximum total budget. This may utilize the proposing institution’s standard sponsored research budget template. The budget should differentiate and subtotal at least personnel costs, equipment costs, travel costs, and other direct costs.

Please note: As part of its objectives to convene and engage the research network, CASMI anticipates hosting semi-annual workshops at Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois. We intend for the subaward project leaders to join these workshops in person. Thus, the proposal budget should include travel costs for the PI to attend two workshops in Evanston per year, expecting a two-day duration for each workshop. 

Budget Justification

Provide a written budget justification document, likely a one- or two-page document, that describes the calculations and costs in the budget and how they relate to and support the project statement of work. 

Biographical Sketches

Please provide a biographical sketch (biosketch) of the principal investigator, as well as a biosketch for each individual who is named as key personnel in the proposed project team in the Statement of Work. Biosketches are not required for graduate student researchers funded on the project. There is not a CASMI-specific prescribed template for this document. Instead, we will accept a biosketch created with the format required for the NIH, NSF or another government funding entity. This must list at minimum the major education and employment history of the individual. For the PI, the biosketch must list a minimum of five related products or publications that are highly relevant to the proposed research or that demonstrate capability toward the proposed research objectives. If you do not have a biosketch template, we recommend using the NSF Fillable PDF form available here. 

Letter of Intent

For researchers affiliated with an organization other than Northwestern University

This letter must be issued by the proposing institution to confirm that the named principal investigator is eligible to lead the proposed endeavor and to confirm institutional support for the proposed project should it be awarded. It should be issued from the appropriate authorized individual of the proposing organization, per the institution’s policies, who can commit the organization to support of the proposal package. The letter must be on institutional letterhead and include the following key information:   

For researchers affiliated with Northwestern University

Download the CASMI Letter of Intent for NU Researchers. This letter should be completed and signed by the proposal principal investigator, confirming that they are eligible to serve as a PI for Sponsored Research per the Northwestern University Office for Research.

 

Please see the CASMI Proposal Funding Opportunity for additional guidance or attend one of the information sessions 

Any questions on any of the requirements or expectations for the proposal package can be sent to the CASMI operations team at casmi@northwestern.edu 

 

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