Request for Proposals:
Evaluation of FGDC's NSDI Grants Program


Funding level: $55,000

Deadline: March 10, 2000

UCGIS solicits proposals from individuals at its member institutions to evaluate the funding programs of the Federal Geographic Data Committee. This call for proposals is expected to result in funding for one project by academic researchers. The contract for this project, between FGDC and UCGIS, is pending and the award will be contingent on the completion of the contract.

Project deliverables

The evaluation should document findings about the success and failures of past FGDC funding activities, and yield recommendations for the types of future FGDC funding activities.

Anticipated milestones

  1. Meet with FGDC staff to discuss and confirm methodology and timeline for completion (month 1).
  2. Present preliminary results of the project at a meeting to be mutually agreed upon by the FGDC and the principal investigator (month 6).
  3. Submit findings to a peer-reviewed journal (month 11).
  4. Submit a final report to FGDC in a format to be mutually determined (month 12).

Funding amount

Each proposal should include a draft budget of no more than $55,000 including university overhead, and a timeline for completion of all deliverables not to exceed one year. Anticipated start date is April 1, 2000.

Who may apply

Scientists, engineers, and educators from UCGIS member institutions only are invited to prepare proposals, which must be officially submitted by their employing organization. Interdisciplinary collaboration, such as between experts in GIS and public administration, will be a plus. An institution may submit more than one proposal. Graduate students are not encouraged to submit research proposals, but should arrange to serve as research assistants to faculty members.

Additional guidelines

Proposals should include a discussion of relevant techniques based on experience reported in the literature; a description of the research methods to be employed; a set of hypotheses to be tested; and a detailed workplan including a Gantt chart.

The main body of the proposal must not exceed 4 single-spaced pages at 12pt font, including all figures, tables, and charts. The list of references does not count against the 4 pages.

To the proposal, attach brief biographical sketches (maximum 2 pages) of the Principal Investigator(s) including up to five related publications over the past three years.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of overall quality of the proposal, documented qualifications of the principal investigator(s), relevance of the proposed research activities, and interdisciplinary character of the proposed approach.

In order that UCGIS can plan a timely review process, a letter of intent should be sent by February 28, 2000, by those who intend to submit a proposal. Letters of intent are not required, however. Please send letters of intent by e-mail or fax to the Chair of the UCGIS Research Projects Committee (see contact information below). In order to be considered, proposals are due March 10, 2000, by 5 PM Eastern Standard time. Submit proposals by e-mail or by fax (see contact information below). A hard copy letter or form, with the principal investigator's original signature and an official authorized to commit the organization in business and financial affairs, is due within 7 days of electronic or FAX submission.

Questions about the RFP may be directed to the Chair of the UCGIS Research Projects Committee, Max Egenhofer (, fax 207-581-2206). Funding of the project will be conditional on the availability of funds from FGDC.

Send letters of intent and proposals to:

Max J. Egenhofer, Chair

UCGIS Research Projects Committee
Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5711
fax: 207-581-2206


Robert D. Rugg, Vice-Chair

UCGIS Research Projects Committee
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond VA 23284-2008
fax: 804-828-6681


Since 1994 the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has made grants to seed the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). These grants include the Cooperative Agreements Program and the Framework Demonstration Project Program (for more information see A thorough evaluation of these funding programs is needed to better understand their effectiveness, to determine whether the grants are the most effective means to achieve the NSDI goals, and to help guide future grant efforts.

Possible areas of focus for the evaluation include:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many awards did FGDC make in total under the NSDI grants program?
    Since 1994 about 270 awards have been made.

  2. How many proposals did FGDC received under the program?
    Approximately 500 proposals.

  3. Would FGDC make the names and addresses of unsuccessful proposers available for the study, provided confidentiality would be guaranteed?

      Last updated on February 28, 1999
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