2017 iFellows Doctoral Fellowship Competition

Doctoral fellowships supporting Research on Coherence at Scale
The iFellows Doctoral Fellowship Program will award a two-year fellowship of $50,000 to selected iSchool PhD students during the 2017 – 2018 academic year to pursue independent dissertation research that supports the goals of the Coherence at Scale Program. Coherence at Scale is a broad-based program aimed at coordinating and aggregating national-scale digital projects in order to promote the development of new technology environments to support advanced scholarship across disciplines.

iFellows will be selected following a two-step application process that consists of a Letter of Intent and, if invited to do so, a Full Proposal. The Letter of Intent should demonstrate how the student’s dissertation topic aligns with and complements a topic of interest to the Coherence at Scale project.

Dissertation research relevant to elucidating technology and organizational issues related to Coherence at Scale goals would include topics bearing broadly on interoperability issues of scalable digital infrastructures, the information lifecycle, new scholarly workflows, and Internet accessible, open source tools, and resources for computation and data-intensive digital scholarship.

Deadline to submit a Letter of Intent for the 2016 Competition:  midnight, October 15
Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify partnering organizations for their work.  These would include university research groups (other than the applicants’ home institution), libraries and archives technology development groups, and commercial entities focusing on technologies development.

iFellows will work closely with their faculty advisors and mentors to select appropriate projects with direct relevance to the goals of the Coherence at Scale project. Each Fellowship will have a two-year term. The iFellows will be expected to build strong relationships with staff at a given project(s) as well as to engage with other iFellows on a regular basis.

About the iSchools Consortium
The iSchools organization is an international consortium of information schools in more than 50 research universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia whose primary focus is to understand the relationships – past, present and future – between information, technology, and people. The rapid growth and evolution of the consortium is a direct response to the ongoing explosive creation of digital information and its centrality to human endeavors.

About the Coherence at Scale Program
The Coherence at Scale Program is led by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The Council on Library Information and Research (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

The School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh will serve as the administrative organization for the iFellows Program. Funding support is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Questions? Contact Stephen M. Griffin.


About the Program

The program offers a yearly competition open to iSchool PhD students. A total of 10 fellowships will be awarded. Each of the winning iFellows will receive a $50,000 stipend to support their dissertation research over a two-year period.

The competition will consist of two stages: a Letter of Intent stage and a Full Proposal stage. Only the top ranked applicants resulting from the reviews of the letters of intent will be invited to submit a Full Proposal.

  • The Letter of Intent deadline for 2017 is October 15
  • The Full Proposal deadline for 2017 is December 31

The Fellowship stipend is expected to cover costs associated with the iFellow’s involvement in the projects with which they interact and engage, including:

  • living expenses
  • travel and per diem while visiting the project
  • access to specialized research resources, including hardware, software, and communications equipment
  • attendance at conferences and workshops
  • support for other activities of value

Tuition remission has been pledged by many of the iSchools and it is expected that this will be the case for all of the iFellows.

Project Examples

The independent dissertation research of the iFellows must complement and advance the goals of the Committee on Coherence at Scale. The Coherence at Scale project is intended to examine and take steps to aggregate national-scale digital projects in order to enhance their ability to function as an integrated infrastructure; one having the potential to transform higher education in terms of scholarly productivity, teaching, cost-efficiency, and sustainability.

To accomplish this ambitious goal requires addressing a broad range of topics such as enhancing interoperability at all levels of information, addressing multiple issues associated with scalable and heterogeneous information repositories, accommodating new forms of scholarly workflow contemporary scholarship, increasingly characterized by the use of large scale, Internet-based data and computational resources. More details on relevant specific topics are given in the section Relevant PhD Research Areas.

The iFellowship competition will use as a working definition a project or organized effort that meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Projects that collect and manage large amounts of diverse digital content intended for a broad audience having diverse interests and levels of expertise [Examples: Digital Public Library of America, Europeana]
  • Projects that develop extensive systems of federated repositories incorporating leading-edge technologies [Example: The European Library]
  • Projects that promote long-term public access to research articles and data [Example: SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE)]
  • Projects that collect formatted data from a large number of sources (both machines and persons) specific to a scholarly domain [example: Cuneiform Digital Library]
  • Projects that develop and make available information access and data analytic tools for analyzing diverse and large amounts of geographically distributed digital content [Example: California Digital Library]
  • Projects that create new approaches for enabling interoperability at the repository and content level and promote rigorous testing on large collections [Example: W3C, Linked Heritage (EU)]
  • Centers for creating new media, virtual environments and creative forms of information visualization and presentation [many examples]
  • Organizations that engage large numbers of participants to advance institutions’ capabilities to provide digital services to education and research communities [Examples: Educause, National Digital Strategy Alliance]
  • Projects focused on creating new scholarly communication environments that capture and preserve full records of scholarly workflow and prepare assets for reuse [Example: Open Annotation Collaboration]
  • Projects focused on cost analyses and business models for extremely large-scale national and international data collection and access projects [Example: Research Data Alliance, GRDI2020]
  • Projects that address critical stages of the information lifecycle and effectively engage large numbers of participants in advancing goals [Examples: Digital Preservation Network, The Dataverse Network]
  • Large-scale projects typically involve several institutional partners and often a consortium of organizations from the academic, non-profit, government, and commercial sectors. Examples would include Internet2, the European Library, and others noted above.

Development, implementation, and management of digital infrastructure is a major undertaking in the best of circumstances and involves large groups of actors having diverse expertise–researchers, administrators, librarians, archivists, publishers, and stakeholders with many interests. Together they must address a wide range of issues associated with the information lifecycle from creation to preservation and archiving. They work within community-defined, but often externally constrained criteria toward a digital future for which the past has frequently not illuminated the way. It is clear that building geographically distributed repository systems that are interoperable at multiple levels and interact seamlessly with distributed computational services layered within larger ecosystems of organizational entities is central to meeting the demands of scholars for data and computation intensive research.

Technical Considerations

Aggregation of large-scale projects involves many tasks. For those primarily concerned with delivering content, research, and development issues cluster around:

  • facilitating information accumulation of multiple types and sometimes complex information objects
  • internal organization of data within the repository(ies) and how this is packaged and exposed
  • establishing linkages to external repositories and resources (at the systems and content levels)
  • building new access tools to allow advanced information retrieval
  • acquiring or creating data analysis, manipulation, testing, and evaluation software suited to specific information types and user needs
  • enabling new information presentation, visualization, and dissemination tools and services
  • arranging data stewardship practices across the information and scholarly workflow lifecycles

While processes related to organizational cooperation, coordination, and sharing of resources might be formulated by discussions at a high level of abstraction, many projects have evolved over an extended period of time and are wed to content delivery, management, and service strategies that are quite different from one another and cannot readily be normalized–thus attaining coherence at scale cannot be achieved through simple agreement on system and project level issues.

To achieve coherence at scale on digital content across projects means to attain levels of interoperability at which groupings of large, distributed repositories, tools, and other services appear and function as a uniform resource or infrastructure. This requires, somewhat paradoxically, disaggregation of a project’s information and communication assets and services to the basic units and procedures that form the substrate for higher-level functionality.

Agreement on the description, representation and structure of individual information objects must be reached, as well as specific tools, format transformation standards, vocabularies, internal services negotiation, schema, and a host of other technical considerations. The CLIR/Vanderbilt University proposal is wisely including discussion forums for addressing some domain specific requirements in a series of humanities symposia as described in their proposal. Ongoing conversations are considered essential to alignment of large-project technical and operational practices.

It is also essential to anticipate and allow for additional information in the form of annotations, new relationships, and contextual data to be added to individual information objects in a repository by new and as of yet, unforeseen actors. A dynamic system of repositories that grows and changes in step with knowledge production and dissemination can be sustained indefinitely if these considerations are incorporated into early design stages of a project. In this way, the prospects for creating new systems of effective and sustainable scholarly research and communications infrastructures and services are improved, collaborative scholarly environments will become the norm, and the larger goals of Coherence at Scale regarding transforming higher education will become more tractable.

iSchool study programs prepare students to engage in areas of research that cover the myriad of known challenges outlined above. They are well qualified to work with projects at the leading edge of research across the digital information lifecycle.

Organizational Considerations

Also important are studies related to organizational structures, coordination efforts, and governance arrangements associated with shaping and steering the processes of high-level aggregation of large-scale projects. iSchool graduate courses address organizational, cultural, and social complications associated with collaborative work in considerable detail. We believe there will be interest from students and they will be encouraged to participate in the Fellowship Proposal competitions.

The CLIR/Vanderbilt University proposal highlights the importance of understanding projects from an interrelated and interdependent perspective and encouraging them to adopt an identity as being a member of a larger group of efforts working toward common goals.

The Large Scale Project Examples section lists projects that are representative of the type that can serve both the interests of Doctoral Fellows and the Coherence at Scale project. This is a small but representative sample–there are many others. These focus primarily on repositories infrastructure, content accumulation and organization, information access and analysis tools and services, presentation and dissemination of findings, scholarly workflow and communication modalities, and development of new technologies related to advancing scholarship in the humanities, arts, and the natural and social sciences.

A listing of topics attracting high levels of interest and activity is given in the Relevant PhD Research Areas section. The projects are based both in the USA and in other countries. The iSchools are an international consortium, and while we believe students will have interest in projects regardless of their geographic location, the practicalities of Fellows making extended visits to projects based in other countries introduces costs that may be excessive and prohibitive. However, in cases where the host project provides funds for Fellows to visit, suitable arrangements would be expected to include a commitment to a specific level of funding, a work plan, a statement of anticipated outcomes, and identification of any institutional constraints or related considerations that might apply.


Eligibility Requirements

To determine whether or not you are eligible to apply for this award, please review the following requirements:

  • You are currently enrolled at an iSchool Consortium member institution.
  • An applicant may be of any nationality but must be enrolled in a graduate school and be pursuing studies leading to a PhD at an information school.
  • If you are not currently enrolled at an information school, and/or you will not be enrolled for the entire proposed duration of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply.

You completed, or will you complete by December 31, all course work required to develop your dissertation proposal.

  • All applicants must be fully prepared to develop and defend their dissertation proposal by no later than May 1. This must be certified by all members of the candidate’s dissertation committee.
  • Applicants must complete all other doctoral requirements (except the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself) prior to the proposed start date for their fellowship.

Applicants must be ready to begin research as early as January 1.


Schedule

2014

April

  • Announcement and Publication of iFellows research program CFP
  • Formation of application review panels

May – June

  • Pre-application webinar to explain iFellows program, answer questions, and introduce potential project partners

July 31

  • Pre-Proposal Deadline

August – September

  • Merit review of pre-proposals and selection of those to be invited to develop a Full Proposal
  • Report on merit review to Committee on Coherence
  • Workshop to bring together those selected to prepare Full Proposals, projects, and Committee on Coherence

October

  • Full Proposals Due October 31, 2014

November

  • Committee on Coherence panel reviews proposals and selects five for award
  • Fellowship awardees announced

December

  • Project briefing at CNI meeting (DC)

2015

April – August

  • Announcement and Publication of iFellows research program CFP
  • Formation of application review panels
  • Pre-application webinar to explain iFellows program, answer questions, and introduce potential project partners

September

  • Letter of Intent deadline (application step 1) is September 15, 2015
  • Merit review of step-1 letters of intent and selection of applicants to be invited to develop a Full Proposal
  • Report on merit review to Committee on Coherence at Scale
  • Workshop to bring together applicants invited to develop Full Proposals (step 2), projects, 2014 iFellows, and Committee on Coherence at Scale

November

  • Full Proposal deadline (application step 2) is midnight, November 15

December

  • Committee on Coherence at Scale panel reviews Full Proposals and selects winning applicants
  • 2015 iFellows announced
  • Project briefing at CNI meeting (DC)

2016

January

  • 2015 iFellows begin projects

March

  • Mid-term review of fellowship progress
  • Fellowship research presentation/ status report, preliminary findings, project update at iConference or CNI meeting

December

  • Project briefing at CNI meeting (DC)

2017

March

  • Mid-term review of fellowship progress
  • Fellowship research presentation/ status report, preliminary findings, project update at iConference or CNI meeting
  • Final reports of 2014 iFellows due

December

  • Project briefing at CNI meeting (DC)

2018

March

  • Final reports of 2015 iFellows due
  • Wrap-up conference to summarize work and present findings and conclusions
Program Management
At least twice each year, a virtual meeting will be convened in which the iFellows and a representative(s) from their host projects will be required to participate. The meeting will discuss in detail the progress made in the preceding time period and next steps planned. The meetings will also be an occasion for the host projects to share recent developments of interest, discuss potential areas for collaborative work, as well as any problems or concerns.
Evaluation and Monitoring of iFellows Progress
An individual iFellow’s work will be continually monitored and discussed with their advisor. iFellows are expected to keep their advisors fully informed of their activities with the host project. Conference calls or other virtual meetings with iFellows, their advisors, and staff from the host project are expected to occur on a regular basis. iFellows are asked to keep a detailed personal journal of their efforts related to the project. This will become a valuable record for the future.

Application

About the Application

The competition’s application process includes a Letter of Intent (LOI) followed by a Full Proposal for those selected finalists based on expert review of the LOIs. LOIs will be submitted via email, and Full Proposals (by invitation only) will be submitted via the online Application Form. Detailed information and guidelines for both the LOI and the Full Proposal is provided below.

Distinguished scholars will evaluate the Full Proposals. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the application itself, and other materials provided in the Application Form as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria.

To begin your application, please ensure that you are eligible to apply according to the requirements below.


Eligibility Information

You are currently enrolled at an iSchool Consortium member institution.

  • An applicant may be of any nationality but must be enrolled in a graduate school and be pursuing studies leading to a PhD at an information school.
  • If you are not currently enrolled at an information school, and/or you will not be enrolled for the entire proposed duration of the fellowship, you are not eligible to apply.

You completed, or will you complete by December 31, 2016 all course work required to develop your dissertation proposal.

  • All applicants must be fully prepared to develop and defend their dissertation proposal by no later than May 1, 2017. This must be certified by all members of the candidate’s dissertation committee.
  • Applicants must complete all other doctoral requirements (except the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself) prior to the proposed start date for their fellowship.

Applicants must be ready to begin research as early as January 1, 2017.


Letter of Intent

Applicants’ LOIs will undergo a merit-based review, and select applicants will be invited to develop a Full Proposal. The number of applicants selected to move on to this second stage of the application process depends on the outcome of the LOI review.

LOIs must be submitted via email by the deadline to the iFellows Program Administrator:

Deadline: Midnight, October 15
iFellows Program Administrator: Stephen Griffin

Letter of Intent Guidelines

The LOI must adhere to the following guidelines. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration.

Section 1: maximum 1 page

  • Contact Information
  • Eligibility Confirmation

Section 2: maximum 2 – 3 pages

  • iSchool, Department, Expected degree, Year degree will be earned (projected)
  • Field of study [LIS, Archives, et al.]
  • Stage of your studies [coursework completed, preliminary examination, etc.]
  • Academic Record [list of courses and grades – unofficial]
  • Pertinent Achievements and Qualifications [e.g., academic honors and awards, previous fellowships, publications, special skills]
  • Research Focus

Section 3: maximum 3 – 4 pages

  • Concise description of your proposed research, how it would advance scholarship in your field and support the objectives of the Committee on Coherence at Scale
  • Specific projects, research groups, technologies development groups or other on-going efforts that would support your work and might be receptive to serve as a host project for you

Note on formatting:
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration. Please follow the scheme below

  • Text must be in Times New Roman font, 12pt size
  • The document must be double-spaced
  • Document margins set to 1 inch
  • Place page numbers at lower right corner of each page
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer
  • Submitted documents must be in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters: < > : ” / \ | ? * & ‘ , ; { } [ ] ( )

Full Proposal

Full Proposals should include a highly detailed description of the proposed research, the specifics of a work plan, and the working arrangement with the host project. Please include any unusual circumstances that contribute to the strength of the proposal that the review panel should take into consideration during evaluation of the proposal.

Criteria for Selection
A panel convened by the Committee on Coherence at Scale will review and select the winning Full Proposals based on the quality, intellectual merit of the proposed research, and its contribution to Coherence Project goals as described in the Full Proposal.

Full Proposal Guidelines
Upload your Full Proposal as an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). You may edit and replace your uploaded documents at any time prior to final submission of your application. Please include the following information in your Full Proposal:

1. Research Description (maximum 20 pages)
Provide a detailed description of your proposed research. How will it advance scholarship in your field and support the objectives of the Committee on Coherence at Scale as stated in the Committee’s website at http://coherence.clir.org/.

2. Infrastructure Project Sources and Schedule (if applicable–included within the 20 page count)
Identify the following about your targeted research project sources:

  • each project that will be the subject of your research
  • the location of each
  • when you anticipate visiting each
  • how long you anticipate staying at each
  • the principal objectives of your visits, and how these contribute to the overall goals of your proposed research

Should there be unusual circumstances you feel the committee needs to know to properly evaluate your proposed research plan, you should provide the necessary information.

3. Research Goals (included within the 20 page count)
Provide a statement addressing the ways in which your research will do one or more of the following:

  • Examination of relationships among a set of Coherence-related projects
  • Theoretical investigations of models of scalable infrastructure.
  • Distributed open repository design, linkage and integration
  • cross-platform workflow architectures to facilitate resource sharing and reuse
  • Analysis and modeling of large domain application projects
  • Domain-specific information access and analysis toolkits
  • Scholarly workflow representation, capture and reporting
  • New models for dissemination and sharing of scholarly work, data and resources
  • Extensible schemes for migration from analog to digital scholarly resources
  • Project workflow analyses
  • Improved distributed information access, analysis, presentation and dissemination capabilities

4. Other Information for Full Proposal (included within the 20 page count)

  • Provide the dates (mm/yyyy) you completed or achieved the following requirements:
    • course requirements
    • foreign language requirements
    • qualifying or comprehensive exams
    • anticipated approval of your dissertation proposal (to occur no later than May 1, 2016)
  • Please indicate the expected length of time needed to complete your research. This may be longer than the amount for which fellowship support is requested.
  • Please confirm your proposed starting month for research and fellowship support. 2016 iFellows are expected to start in January 2017. If you do not intend to begin research at that time, you are not eligible to apply for a fellowship this year.
  • Please indicate the date by which you expect to complete your dissertation (mm/dd/yyyy). It is expected that this date will represent a good-faith estimate on your part, based on your currently planned schedule.
  • Please provide a statement of any difficulty you foresee in meeting the fellowship requirements to provide a report on the research experience and to attend the scheduled meetings and workshops during the fellowship period. Full proposals will be due on December 31. A project briefing will be scheduled at the CNI Task Force meeting in December to publicly announce the fellowships. Fellowship recipients will be invited to attend. If you are aware of circumstances which may hinder your ability to attend either the workshop or the CNI Task Force meeting, make a note of them here. Your statement will not affect consideration of your application. If you do not anticipate any difficulties, please enter “N/A” into the field.
  • Please indicate any other grants or fellowships you have received for dissertation research or for which you are applying. Receipt of other funding to support your dissertation work outside the proposed tenure of this fellowship, including other Mellon grants, will not render your application ineligible. However, the Coherence Fellowship from Mellon cannot be held concurrent with other grants, awards, or fellowships (including awards from your home institution).
  • Regions of Research: Indicate the region(s) in which you intend to conduct research during the proposed fellowship tenure.
  • Intellectual Property: The A. W. Mellon Foundation requires fellowships awarded under this program to agree to the following intellectual property terms whenever a project involves the digitization of works of authorship, or the creation of digital technology, software, and/or digital databases. Under the terms of the agreement, a fellow:
      • Represents and warrants that he/she will solely own all intellectual property created with grant funds, either as work made for hire or as a result of a contractual agreement;
      • Represents and warrants that he/she has obtained the necessary licenses for third-party content and that the project will not infringe on third-party rights;
      • Will make software available, wherever possible, according to the terms of an open source license and in open source repositories, and will publicize its creations;
      • Provides the A. W. Mellon Foundation the right to review the pricing and distribution of any software services, content, and digital products developed with Foundation funds;
      • Will maintain any software created for five years beyond the term of the grant; and
      • Grants the Foundation a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable license to distribute any Foundation-funded software and/or digital products for scholarly and educational purposes, in the event the fellow cannot complete or sustain the project.
      • The Full Proposal must contain a statement that the fellowship awardee understands and agrees to the above intellectual property terms. 

Note on formatting:
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will automatically disqualify the application from consideration. Please follow the scheme below:

  • Full proposals should include a clear and meaningful title (e.g. “Modeling of Scenarios for Scientific Workflows at Scale”). It is permissible to use a working title.
  • Your proposed research title must be included at the top of the first page of the document.
  • The title must also appear on each page of the document, in either the header or the footer
  • Full proposals are expected to include bibliographies, but these will not be included in the page count. You may include footnotes, endnotes, tables, images, etc. at your discretion, but the Full Proposal, itself, may not exceed the 20 page limit. (Footnotes and endnotes may be single-spaced, and should be in a font no smaller than 10pt size.)
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer.
  • Text must be in Times New Roman font, 12pt size
  • The document must be double-spaced
  • Document margins set to 1 inch
  • Place page numbers at lower right corner of each page
  • Your full name should appear on each page of the document, in either the header or footer
  • Pages must be numbered
  • Documents must be in PDF format
  • Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters: < > : ” / \ | ? * & ‘ , ; { } [ ] ( )

Academic Information

Please include information for all graduate study you have undertaken, including coursework taken where no degree was granted. Transcripts for all study listed here must be uploaded in PDF format.

A transcript, mark sheet, or final grades sheet from each institution where you have undertaken graduate coursework must be provided. If your institution provides you with an electronic copy of your transcript, you may use this IF it is not a protected document; otherwise, you will need to scan and upload a copy of a paper transcript.

All documents must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Documents should not have any sort of protection (e.g. passwords, expiration dates, restricted print functionality, etc.). Many institutions issue transcripts in PDF format with protection that can make them difficult or impossible for program reviewers to access. Please ensure that the document you are uploading is protection-free. Scanned copies of paper transcripts, even if they have a watermark such as COPY, are acceptable, as long as they are legible. Filenames must not include spaces or any of the following characters, as they will not be accepted by the system: < > : ” / \ | ? * & ‘ , ; { } [ ] ( )
  • Institution: Provide the formal name of the institution.
  • Information School: Provide the name and department (if applicable) or specific sub-discipline.
  • Type Degree Earned/Expected (e.g., PhD)
  • Date this degree is projected to be earned (mm/dd/yyyy).
  • Subject/Title of proposed dissertation

Your most recent transcript should be uploaded first, with successive transcripts uploaded in reverse chronological order. Do not upload transcripts for undergraduate study unless this information is included on the same transcript as other graduate coursework in the same institution.

If you have obtained more than one degree at a given institution, you do not need to upload the transcript more than once. Simply indicate the degrees earned/expected in the “Type degree earned/expected” field (e.g. BS/MS) and, in the Date Field, use the date of the most recent degree.

If your transcript is not in English, the uploaded transcript must be accompanied by a certified English translation as part of the same document. The translation should be literal and complete. If you have undertaken graduate study at a non-U.S. institution and do not have a transcript but instead were issued a record of study or an official degree verification, you may supply this document in lieu of a transcript. Transcripts cannot be accepted by mail. If an official paper transcript is deemed necessary for any reason, you will be contacted to request one.

Field of Study: Please indicate your current field of study. If none of the fields indicated serve as an approximate match, you may select “Other” and enter your field in the box below.


Qualifications (max. 1 page + CV)

Provide a statement describing your qualifications to do the proposed research, speaking specifically to the requirements and goals of this fellowship program and your ability to conduct and complete the proposed research. Attach your full curriculum vitae.

  • post-secondary education: institutions, degrees, and dates, major and minor fields
  • level of competency needed for your proposed research
  • previous experience in research
  • other relevant achievements and qualifications (e.g., academic honors and awards, previous fellowships, publications, teaching experience, special skills needed for the proposed research)

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant who is invited to develop a Full Proposal is required to provide letters of recommendation from both dissertation committee members and host project representatives.


Project Examples

USA-Centered Projects

CANADA

EUROPE


Research Area

iFellow research could address a range of broadly defined technical areas common to large-scale digital projects, including but not limited to:
  • Examination of relationships among a set of Coherence-related projects
  • Theoretical investigations of models of scalable infrastructure.
  • Distributed open repository design, linkage and integration
  • Cross-platform workflow architectures to facilitate resource sharing and reuse
  • Analysis and modeling of large domain application projects
  • Domain-specific information access and analysis toolkits
  • Scholarly workflow representation, capture and reporting
  • New models for dissemination and sharing of scholarly work, data and resources
  • Extensible schemes for migration from analog to digital scholarly resources
  • Project workflow analyses
  • Improved distributed information access, analysis, presentation and dissemination capabilities

A more extensive list of specific topics is given below.  The iFellow application would necessarily need to address specifically how the topic is of crucial importance to the success of the large-scale project identified and how it can be related to the higher level issues noted above.

Repository and Infrastructure Research Topics

  • Repositories architectures and technologies
  • Repository interoperability and scaling
  • System modeling technologies
  • Component-based design and reuse
  • Large scale data and system integration
  • Internal data-structures and packaging standards
  • Assured-service negotiation strategies among federated repositories
  • Automatic categorization & correlation of large multi-source collections
  • Low-level facilities for managing multiple large collections
  • Generalizable modules adaptable for different topics and disciplinary areas
  • Scalability and performance analysis
  • Semantic web and linked data technologies
  • Complex information object structures
  • Information object modeling and documentation
  • Institutional repository management practices
  • Information services design processes
  • APIs for repository ingest, search, harvest, deposit, delete

Information Content Research Topics

  • Instantiation and sharing and of complex object models
  • Technologies for re-use of content, software, services across application areas
  • Query languages and ontologies
  • Data-sharing policies and strategies
  • Metadata, tools, format transformation
  • Semantic web, linked open data models,
  • Content creation and ingest issues (born digital and legacy collections)
  • Auto format and conversion tools
  • Conceptual reference models for semantic frameworks
  • Automatic indexing and semantic annotation for text and non-textual information
  • Version control technologies
  • Acquisition/verification/cataloguing/indexing of electronic media
  • Virtual research environments
  • Collections usage and impact measures
  • Collection of user feedback

Information Access and Use Research Topics

  • Queries and query analysis tools
  • Heuristic optimization and search strategies, retrieval ranking
  • Tools for search, retrieval and aggregation across domain repositories
  • Multimedia information retrieval and combination tools
  • Web information retrieval and social media search
  • Automatic tools for entity and relationship identification
  • Domain specific information access, manipulation and analysis tools
  • Collection level browsing and search
  • Cross-domain knowledge and discovery management services
  • Predictive analytics and modeling
  • Data science, analytics and web science topics
  • Document representation and content analysis
  • Syntactic, semantic, stylistic and other forms of text analysis
  • Social media and analysis
  • Multi-model adaptivity to support personalization
  • Open data, ontologies, software
  • Event-based metadata and annotation
  • Data mining and knowledge discovery across very large digital ecosystems
  • Personal objects; personal archiving
  • Personalized information retrieval and presentation
  • Interactive multimedia applications
  • Information display, visualization and infographics of multiple object types
  • Transmedia representation applications
  • Software, services, and infrastructure for use and reuse of content
  • Information security & privacy
  • Usage metrics and impact indicators

Scholarly Communication

  • Open access publishing, dissemination
  • Researcher-centered design for scholarly workflows
  • Formal and informal scholarly communication models and services
  • Transparent scholarship
  • Digital scholarly editing
  • Web-based collaborative authoring
  • Open-source web-publishing platforms
  • Information licensing issues

Community Use, Applications and Issues

  • Collaboration technologies of all sorts
  • Information reuse, integration and sharing in collaborative environments
  • Analysis of  international mandates for data management and open access
  • Scholarly social media services:  annotation, review, comment, citation
  • Scholarly citation, attribution, acknowledgment, and altmetrics
  • Changing roles of libraries in digital era; new organizational structures and types
  • Innovative knowledge commons research
  • Recommendation in social networks
  • Services for entities and relationships adaptivity based on community input
  • Collaborative filtering and recommender systems

Data Curation Research Topics

  • Stewardship practices across the information and scholarly workflow lifecycles
  • Data curation lifecycle services
  • Digital preservation tools, services & infrastructure
  • Models of collaborative preservation
  • Best practices for documenting  authenticity, integrity, and provenance of assets
  • Harmonize data storage and preservation policies
  • Semantic workflow models and formalized representations of the curatorial processes

Contact

University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information: www.sci.pitt.edu
Coherence at Scale Project: http://coherence.clir.org/
iSchools consortium: http://ischools.org/

2016 Application Form
(for submission of Full Proposals only by invitation)