Monday, March 21, 2016

Reminder: DEADLINE approaching for SEN-CSDMS travel grant contest

Reminder that the April 1st deadline for entry to the SEN/CSDMS travel grant contest is soon approaching. Please find detailed information about the contest below:

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is sponsoring a data-utilization contest for graduate-student and early-career geoscience modelers who feel passionate about advancing science through experimental data sharing and reuse. The top four winners of the data-utilization contest will have all travel and registration costs paid for their participation at the 2016 joint CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System) - SEN annual meeting in Boulder, CO, on May 17-19, 2016.

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthCube program as a Research Coordination Network (RCN). SEN integrates the efforts of sediment experimentalists to build a knowledge base for data collection and management. The network facilitates cross-institutional collaborative experiments and communicates with the research community about data and metadata guidelines for sediment-based experiments. This effort aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of sedimentary research for field geologists and modelers as well as experimentalists. More information is available here:

In contrast with past contests focused on submission of data entries to the SEN Knowledge Base (, the purpose of this contest is toward the utilization of Knowledge Base entries and the coordination of new collaborations between modelers and experimentalists through SEN toward achieving science goals.  In particular, how can sediment experimental data be utilized to inform, test, and refine models and predictions for earth surface processes?  This will be a major goal of this year’s joint CSDMS-SEN annual meeting on “Capturing Climate Change.”

Applicants will be judged primarily on the basis of a brief (2 page max) proposal describing how items in the SEN Knowledge Base can help to answer a science question of interest.  We particularly encourage contest entrants to try to track down data and existing experimental facilities and their capabilities listed on the SEN Knowledge Base.  If data can be found, we encourage descriptions of preliminary analyses in the proposal.  If data cannot be found or are difficult to use, please explain the problems you encountered and ways these problems might be addressed in future development of the SEN Knowledge Base.  If data do not exist but potential experimental collaborators can be found, please describe a collaborative project that can be coordinated through SEN. (Please note that we will be highlighting the proposals of successful applications during the CSDMS / SEN meeting.)

This contest is open to current graduate students and early career scientists (within 5 years of graduating) who are interested in advancing science through data sharing and reuse.

  1. Sign up for the SEN Newsletter:
  2. Create a Knowledge Base account at
  3. Start browsing entries containing experimental data, set-ups, methods, and equipment relevant to your science question.
  4. Think of an earth-surface science question to be answered using experimental data and/or new collaborations with experimentalists and prepare your proposal as described above.
  5. Prepare an abstract for the SEN / CSDMS that mentions your proposed data utilization idea, and include this in your presentation at the meeting.  The data utilization idea does not need to be a central feature of your CSDMS presentation, but it should be included.
  6. Write a brief (one paragraph) professional biography.
  7. Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2016.  When registering for the CSDMS meeting, be sure to check the box to indicate that you are applying for the SEN / CSDMS travel grant.  Then, send your application materials (proposal, professional biography) to by April 1, 2016.

Selection of Winners
Winners will be selected on the following criteria:
  1. Originality of proposal.
  2. Depth of engagement with the SEN Knowledge Base.
  3. Applicability of proposal to planned presentation at CSDMS.
  4. Feasibility of proposal and qualifications of applicant toward proposed idea.
Winners will be notified via email and will be given instructions on the funding process. Names of winners will also be featured in the SEN Newsletter. Winners should acknowledge funding from NSF SEN when presenting their work at the CSDMS meeting.

~January 15th: Contest opens
April 1st: Deadline for CSDMS abstract submission, registration, and SEN travel grant application
April 15th: Notification of winners
May 17-19th: CSDMS meeting (Boulder, Colorado)

Questions? Please contact SEN at

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