Starting from activities and budget

During a recent call with the WeMake team, we realized it would be a good idea to start from what is normally the end of these processes: making a spreadsheet of activities and budget. The reasoning is:

  • Once individual partners put down in writing what they propose to do, we can all make a clearer-cut case for us being excellent at it in the verbose part of the application.
  • As we do so, we are likely to see with greater clarity what each of us needs from other partners, resulting in a more elegant cross- partnership collaboration pattern.
  • We democratize the budget: partners write down what they think they need at the WP level, then we negotiate as we make it a whole.

For this to work, it is essential that we all stay relatively frugal. We are looking at a project under 1.5 M EUR, with 6 partners and 5 WPs: online conversation, prototyping, policy design, network analysis for collective intelligence harvesting, project administration (this last one is mandated). Each partner should receive around 200K – a little more if they are leading a WP, a little less if they are not. WeMake and Edgeryders are already at work: others are encouraged to do the same. Let us set a deadline: how about Monday March 9th?

Remember: the budget of 1.5 M is the amount of the requested contribution from the EU. This means that your direct costs will have to be lower than that. In a research project such as Future of Care, the EU funds 100% of the project’s direct costs. Indirect costs cannot be funded directly, but they are assumed to be 25% of direct costs (please check the unusually well-written Horizon 2020 Rules Facsheet . So, the formula to compute the requested contribution is:

direct costs x 1.25

For example, for a non-profit like Edgeryders, the EU funds 100% of research costs; under Horizon 2020 indirect costs are recoginzed to be 25% of direct costs for all kinds of organizations. So, if Edgeryders spends 8000 EUR for some research activity, it will ask for a contribution of

8000 x 1.25 = 10000

Under the simplifying assumption that all costs behave like this, to ask for a 200K EUR EU contribution you will have to budget direct costs for:

200K/1.25 = 160K EUR

and no indirect costs at all.

March 9 deadline?

Have some people read the above, does it make sense? If so, we can resume our calls and make them weekly meetings from now until the end of the month, setting internal deadlines for key milestones.

I’ve uploaded the beginning of a common timeline for all WPs, and Edgeryders already have our activities in there, feel free to add yours. If you’ve started working somewhere, please upload all your docs in our shared google drive so we can have an overview.

WPs on GDrive

Thanks Noemi for putting the WPs sheet together.

My understanding is that (part of) WP1 and WP4 are closely linked as confirmed by the presence of Alberto on both WPs (maybe also Matthias? and Dan? although their names are not on the team presentation sheet). WP4 after all heavily relies on input coming from WP1. (Of course, all WPs link to one another, but I see here a stronger dependency in performing the work itself.)

I would need to discuss with those who will be involved in WP4 so we agree on a general frame. Would we have anything to test/adjust/develop methods right from the start? Should we wait until some data has been generated “for real”? If the consortium is to make use of network science methods and tools, should we (this actually is a suggestion) plan training sessions early in the project (while the data is boiling)? – in order to develop a common set of tools and methods. Etc.

You’re right and Your right

Well, the Team members sheet will keep on being updated, I had put down the names of the people in our organisations directly involved in the proposal writing and to help our own internal understanding. Will be adding Edgeryders team members there and keep consistency with the WP activities. Feel free to do the same.

To your second point, I think it boils down to what activities you as a WP leader organisation would like to run: maybe you have been wanting to develop a new software tool for some time and you can find a context to do it in this project? If you wait for a consistent set of data to be available, you’d be missing on the first 8 months or so. In my initial timeline I’ve put software integration and research starting in month 7, but we can probably move it earlier. I don’t know, it will be your/Alberto’s call.

Great ideas!

@melancon, I really really like the training sessions idea.

I suppose the thing here is: the project will generate an online conversation which is ethnographically coded. We can represent that conversation as a social network, with participants represented as nodes and comments represented as edges (as we have already done). But with an additional twist: now the edges encode semantics, because we know comment 15792 is about, say, “diabetes” and “biohacking”. This means we can represent the conversation in a more complex, nuanced way than either ethnography alone or social network analysis alone can do. What can we learn from such a representation?

To a first approximation:

  • Associate groups of people interacting to clusters of ethnographic codes. These would be "emergent citizen workgroups" that gather around some issues. Identifying them is useful because you can treat them as workgroups: from a community management perspective, you can engage them when some information or decision is needed that concerns their specialization.
  • Associate individuals or small groups to the border between clusters of ethnographic codes. This can signal that these people are positioned to make some novel connections, and therefore play a role in generating innovation. A similar argument is recurring in the literature on citation networks, like here.

And then, you know the drill: how can the community itself (as opposed to the professional network analyst) benefit from seeing itself in the form of a semantic social network? As an expert on (network) dataviz, you are very well placed to answer this question, and @brenoust’s Data Detangler is an excellent starting point which we should mention, with all honors, in the proposal.