Bridging Gaps - A Call for Expressions of Interest to Connect CLARIN to External Language Technology Tools

Introduction

CLARIN provides infrastructural support that allows researchers to find and retrieve interoperable resources for many languages, modalities and data types, in order to combine them in a pipeline architecture and to make them available and re-usable for other users.

With this new call, CLARIN would like to support small-scale research initiatives that can result in case studies that demonstrate the possibility of integrating the data and services available through the CLARIN infrastructure with tools and language models existing outside of CLARIN (including e.g. deep learning algorithms, external libraries such as SpaCy, or tools available through the European Language Grid).

The case studies can be conducted as small-scale projects funded entirely by CLARIN, but applications for subtracks that are part of a larger project (including Master theses, PhD projects) will also be taken into consideration.

The envisaged result of a funded project should be a reusable solution for applying an NLP tool to process one or more resources deposited at a CLARIN centre. If a new tool is developed, it should be made available under an open license to enable CLARIN users to apply it to any data resource for which it may be suited. Solutions pertaining to the processing of virtual collections registered in the CLARIN virtual collection are particularly welcome.

Examples of functionalities envisaged to be featured in the proposed case studies include:

  • Terminology extraction
  • NER and geoparsing
  • Text classification and summarisation.

For selected case study proposals, CLARIN can provide funding for up to six person months for early-career researchers or software developers; the costs for additional expenses (e.g. travel, software license fees) can also be covered. Selected projects are expected to be showcased at the CLARIN Annual Conference in October 2022.

Assessment Criteria

The expressions of interest should address the following:

  • How the outcome of the proposed project will address the requirements of research in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and beyond.
  • The potential added value for the CLARIN target audience(s) beyond the current state-of-the-art (as represented by similar tools or resources available in CLARIN).
  • How the outputs of the project will contribute to interoperability and better integration in the CLARIN infrastructure ant standards and methodologies. 
  • How the proposed project will tangibly and permanently contribute to the CLARIN Infrastructure and where the new service(s) will be hosted.
  • Soundness of timeline and budget, and qualifications of the proposer(s) involved.
  • The dependency timeline: any preparatory steps that need to be completed before the integration work can start should be made explicit. (Funding can be made conditional on evidence for completion of the preparatory steps by a given date.)
  • In case the proposed project is a sub-track of a PhD project, information about the overall project funding should be provided.
  • An overview of the project outputs should be included.

Application Procedure

  • Applicants should use this proposal form and send their applications in pdf format by email to clarin@clarin.eu.
  • Applicants are encouraged to share a project idea before formal submission, in order to allow CLARIN Office to give additional guidelines and assess the eligibility of plans.
  • For each expression of interest, an ad hoc assessment panel (consisting of representatives of CLARIN’s Board of Directors and the National Coordinators’ Forum) will select proposals that have sufficient quality to justify funding.The panel could call in additional expertise where they feel that would be needed.
  • Should there be more proposals than can be funded, the quality criterion, the potential for impact and the coverage of languages will become decisive in the selection process.
  • Applications will in principle be reviewed within a period of three weeks in the order in which they are received. The applicants shall be informed about the decision of the assessment committee asap. The project work can start immediately after the decision to grant a project budget.
  • If the available budget is exhausted, a notification will be posted on this web page.
  • Applications may be submitted at any moment before1 April 2022, but the planning should allow the project to provide demonstrable results before mid-August 2022.

Eligibility of Applicants and Cost Categories

  • Proposers should be early career researchers or developers, affiliated with an institution that is part of a CLARIN consortium in a CLARIN member or observer country, or a CLARIN centre. In case the structure of a national consortium is not in place yet, or not specified unambiguously, proposers should check with the National Coordinator whether he/she can support the expression of interest. Proposers who are not affiliated to a CLARIN consortium should get in touch with CLARIN Office (clarin@clarin.eu) so that before submission a call can be scheduled with relevant experts to discuss how integration of the expected results within a CLARIN centre might be achieved.
  • All personnel costs are eligible for funding, including the relevant indirect and administrative costs, as well as justified costs for support from student-assistants
  • Size of funding /duration per proposal:
    • Maximum costs: budget for up to six person months
    • Maximum duration: seven months.
  • In order to minimise the administrative overhead, by default no more than two persons can be funded on a project. Should a proposer want to propose a team of more than two persons to work on the project budget, this should be motivated and approved by the CLARIN Office (clarin@clarin.eu) before submitting the proposal.

Terms and Conditions

A blog post about the project and its outputs that is suited for publication on the CLARIN website is due within two months after the end of the project. Please follow these guidelines for the blog structure. Be sure to enrich the blog post with the relevant hyperlinks (persons, organisations, projects, videos, materials) and any suitable photos. 

Financial Procedure

The main proposer is responsible for assembling all cost claims relevant for the project. By accepting the grant, you agree to provide any underlying documentation for the costs charged to CLARIN on request. For the payment of personnel costs, several models can be used, including direct invoicing or secondment. (Please contact the financial officer at CLARIN ERIC by email (finances@clarin.eu) in case of questions.) On request, a prepayment by CLARIN ERIC can be issued up to a maximum of 60% of the total project budget. Together with the blog post, a final summary of expenses claimed (budget breakdown) will have to be sent to the financial officer at CLARIN ERIC before the last batch of the funds can be transferred. The cost summary is due within two months of the end of the project.