Funding for OSS-related research

Posted 23 Oct 2001 at 14:04 UTC by MikeCamel Share This

Are there any good funding opportunities for research into issues related to Open Source Software? I'm considering a PhD at the moment, and I'm looking for some funding, but it occurred to me (after realising that I'm not eligible for a Cambridge Gates Scholarship (phew) that there might be some OSS-friendly funding sources out there.

I'm collecting my thoughts together for a PhD proposal in trust systems in massively distributed peer-to-peer systems (see www.p2ptrust.org) - as socio-technical, rather than pure technical systems, so looking at how trust operates in Open Source Software projects, for instance (all of you are my test subjects *evil laughter*). I'm looking at the opportunities for funding from the usual UK bodies (both science- and humanities-based), but thought it might be worth looking elsewhere, and also giving the community (that's you again, folks) the opportunity to share any knowledge about funding for this sort of project, or any other relevant project.

If there isn't any funding, why not? Should we be lobbying? Who should we be lobbying? Should we set up a body who does provide such funding?

In addition to this, what strings should be attached to this funding? Presumably, people are in favour of publishing their PhD theses anyway - how could the results be made more open?

I think that these are all interesting questions, and as long as nobody nabs my funding, I'm all in favour of some discussion.


mismatched ")", posted 23 Oct 2001 at 14:07 UTC by MikeCamel » (Journeyer)

Apologies - never finished off the "(" in the first paragraph, which should close after "(phew)". I need an emacs plug-in for Mozilla. Anyone?

My funding, posted 23 Oct 2001 at 22:17 UTC by aero6dof » (Journeyer)

I recently started my own OSS based company based my proposal for a Small Business Innovation Research grant funded by the Dept. of Education. For researchers associated with academic institutions, there is the STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) program, which teams a research institustion with a small business to develop new products. You can find more information on these at the SBA (Small Business Administration) website

You can mail me regarding the details although I've been getting so many requests regarding the ins-and-outs of how this works that I think I might start a "funding research" service line with my company.

BTW, both these programs are U.S. programs which require the involvment of businesses owned by citizens of the the U.S. For those of you reading which are non-US, does your country have equivalent programs?

Article author is in UK, posted 24 Oct 2001 at 10:21 UTC by Denny » (Journeyer)

...for the benefit of those who didn't notice the .ac.uk link in the article. It doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere in the main text.

Regards,
Denny

PS: Hi Mike!

opensource.ac.uk, posted 24 Oct 2001 at 10:27 UTC by Denny » (Journeyer)

This page has been static for literally years now, but it might be worth contacting the admin to see if they can offer any insight...

http://www.opensource.ac.uk/

Regards,
Denny

OSS and research, posted 24 Oct 2001 at 14:25 UTC by zealot » (Apprentice)

I dunno how useful this will be but anyway..
I've been involved in research for approx 4 months, and in that time I have come across several theses that have used OSS in the implementation but have separated it from the initial proposal.

I think you may need to look at this from a different perspective. Put a proposal forward that reads "Trust systems in a peer-to-peer environment" and leave OSS somewhere in the proposal document, in the research approach for example "The development of trust systems using an open-source model approach in a distributed computing environment". Find any institutions that you think would give funding and see what happens *shrug* or even your current university. HEH, funny you mention that topic, I almost took up a research position here

Don't mistake research for writing software, posted 24 Oct 2001 at 16:30 UTC by hanwen » (Journeyer)

Sorry if this reply doesn't anwser the question that you're posing, but let me add my EUR 0.02 anyway.

When you're doing research in applied CS, you have to show that your ideas are working with an implementation. That does not mean that producing software itself is a goal. Practically, this means that whatever you're writing will probably be a research prototype, and not be good for general consumption. If it weren't, I would say that you wouldn't spending enough time on real research.

Also, keep in mind that it is risky to work on research ideas in software on a release-early-release-often basis. Your ideas could easily get "stolen" (i.e. published by someone else first).

Also, doing research on open-source source software mixes work (research) and hobby/idealism (open source). That is also risky.

Now, I'm not sure what kind of research area you would be persuing, so if it is not Computer Science, these remarks might not be completely relevant.

Goodluck, greetings,

Han-Wen,

who is doing his CS PhD in interactive surgery simulation. Incidentally I started out with a more OSS related subject, which was an abysmal failure partly due to the mixing work and fun thing.

Best I can offer...., posted 24 Oct 2001 at 22:48 UTC by renster » (Journeyer)

One of the main reasons I took my phd was because of the scholarship that was on offer. This does not cover other minimal expenditure allowed through the phd program for things like travel, documents etc.

I was considering applying for funding that I saw through redhat some time ago. They appear to have changed the guidelines somewhat from what I originally remember. Check out the Centre for the Public Domain. At a quick glance it doesn't appear to be applicable.

Anyone up for establishing an OS research registry? I can host on my site if their is enough interest. Hell, I might do it anyway. A single list would perhaps provide enough critical mass to identify funding sources and maybe prompt some industry bodies/groups/organisations to fund a little. Besides it would be interesting to see the number and range of research projects out there. Might even promote some collaboration.

anyway..back to doing analysis on sourceforge project data.

Best I can offer...., posted 24 Oct 2001 at 22:48 UTC by renster » (Journeyer)

One of the main reasons I took my phd was because of the scholarship that was on offer. This does not cover other minimal expenditure allowed through the phd program for things like travel, documents etc.

I was considering applying for funding that I saw through redhat some time ago. They appear to have changed the guidelines somewhat from what I originally remember. Check out the Centre for the Public Domain. At a quick glance it doesn't appear to be applicable.

Anyone up for establishing an OS research registry? I can host on my site if their is enough interest. Hell, I might do it anyway. A single list would perhaps provide enough critical mass to identify funding sources and maybe prompt some industry bodies/groups/organisations to fund a little. Besides it would be interesting to see the number and range of research projects out there. Might even promote some collaboration.

anyway..back to doing analysis on sourceforge project data.

Somewhat related news..., posted 25 Oct 2001 at 19:00 UTC by robhudson » (Journeyer)

There is a petition that is pushing to require researchers who are funded by publicly-funded agencies to publish any software under an open source or a free software license. Check it out here: Petition.

UK open source funding, posted 26 Oct 2001 at 00:35 UTC by alan » (Master)

A lot of UK university research is open sourced anyway. Also the EU is funding research projects in open source software in the next big block of funding - so there should be projects out there somewhere.

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