FUNding Friday Rules

FUNding Friday is an annual mini-grant competition associated with ESIP’s Summer Meeting.

The mini-grants are available to ESIP members ($5000) and to students and Education Committee workshop participants ($3000), with total number of awards specified annually and generally 2-4 awards per participant group.

Projects are expected to be completed over the six month period between the Summer Meeting of the award and the next Winter Meeting.

(FUNding Friday will be abbreviated as FF throughout this document.)


FF promotes and supports new collaborations and novel connections between ESIP members’ projects and technologies. FF showcases how a modest amount of funding can lead to projects of real value to ESIP community members and beyond.

Successful projects are:
Valuable to the ESIP community

Interested participants are encouraged to consider the meeting theme and the discussions and activities of the Summer Meeting registrants when devel2-minuteproject idea. The competition does not have a single theme or topical focus. A list of awarded projects is available.

FF project leads can be ESIP members, student attendees including ESIP student fellow, and participants of the Education committee’s summer meeting workshop. Other meeting attendees are welcome as project participants.

Education Committee workshop participants do not need an ESIP member to sponsor them or to be a project collaborator.

Students, including student fellows, do not need an ESIP member to sponsor them or be a project collaborator.

An eligible member can be the lead person/principal investigator on only ONE proposed project. Other project participants do not need to be ESIP members.

FF awardees cannot be the principal investigator of a FF project the following year or anyone receiving travel funding via ESIP, i.e. those in leadership positions. Awardees can participate on an awarded grant the next year.

For group projects, each group member MUST BE listed on the poster. We strongly encourage all group members to be present during the Poster Pitch event. We also strongly encourage participants to discuss project roles and budgets during their project preparations.

FF is awarded as a prize and is transferred to individuals not institutions. Those individuals will be taxed on the prize (see Tax Information for the FUNding Friday awards below).
Federal employees may participate as project collaborators but cannot receive cash prizes or travel funding.

ESIP members from non-federal organizations may also have organizational limitations related to accepting outside funds or using official resources for outside projects. It is the member’s responsibility to be aware of these limitations and propose projects accordingly.

How to Participate
Interested participants must exhibit a poster describing the project during the Poster Pitch session (Friday morning, check the Summer Meeting schedule for specific time and place). The poster should be hung in the provided space before the pitch session begins.

The poster size is limited to 25 by 30 inches. It can be hand-drawn; materials for the posters are provided to interested participants during the FF Poster event Thursday night.

The lead person/principal investigator for the project must be present at the Poster Pitch session on Friday morning. This person must give a maximum 2-minute project pitch during this session. Proxies cannot provide the project pitch. Additional project participants may contribute to the project pitch. The 2-minute limit will be strictly enforced.

Awards are determined by a community vote immediately following the Poster Pitch session.

You must be present at the Poster Pitch session to vote.

Anyone who is a registrant of the Summer Meeting, i.e. anyone with a badge, is eligible to vote.

Each person attending the Poster Pitch session (Friday morning) will receive THREE member ballots and THREE student/educator ballots. You can allocate these votes across projects, eg. three votes for one project or one vote for three projects. Voting ends at the end of the Poster Pitch session.

In the case of two-way tie for third place, the winners can choose (by consensus) if they prefer to split the funding and do both projects, or flip a coin to determine the winner. In the case of a three (or more) way tie, the winner of the tie will be determined by a vote of the ESIP Programming Committee at the next scheduled telecon.

The winners will be announced during lunch (refer to the Summer Meeting schedule for details). Participants do not need to be present at the award announcement; however, the project lead should verify that their contact information is correct with ESIP staff immediately following the Poster Pitch session if they will be unavailable for the award announcements. Likewise, participants for awarded projects should verify their contact information with ESIP staff immediately following the announcements.

All decisions are final.

Awarded Projects: Responsibilities and Expectations
The awards are distributed in two parts:

1) Half once a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), containing a statement of work, is delivered to ESIP staff at the start of the project after the Summer Meeting;
2) Half following the next Winter Meeting after the results of the project are presented during the poster session. All work must be completed at this time. Awardees may present their projects in a relevant session at the Winter Meeting but must present a poster.

Note that funding is not immediately disbursed – awardees should account for the time needed to draft the MOU and ESIP staff response.

Variations in the schedule must be requested in the initial statement of work and agreed upon by ESIP staff. The payment schedule can be revised by the Executive Director in cases where there is a compelling reason to modify the standard timeline.

Project groups may allocate the awarded funds within their groups as necessary to meet the project goals. ESIP is not responsible for managing those allocations.

All funds must be spent according to current US Government rules on contract expenditures.

Overhead is not supported.

Tax Information for the FUNding Friday awards
An award is an amount received primarily in recognition of a special achievement, like winning FUNding Friday. ESIP does not specifically state how the money should be spent. Individuals accepting the cash prize will need to submit a W-9 tax form, they will be sent a 1099-Misc, Miscellaneous Income form, from ESIP and should claim this on their annual taxes. Awardees will not be able to use the 1040EZ form and may want to use their previous year’s tax rate to estimate the tax liability of the award.