The function of an E-ALFA consortium should be twofold:
- E-ALFA consortium represents E-ALFA within X-ALFA
- E-ALFA consortium works to optimize science through
planning and coordination of the E-ALFA surveys,
to standardize software and data products and to avoid
duplication of effort.
What we need to specify
- What constitutes a "consortium"?
- One large, open group interested in all E-ALFA surveys
- What about piggyback surveys with other X-ALFA groups?
- How is effort allocated/rewarded?
- Hierarchical structure
- Each E-ALFA survey is undertaken by a separate team
- Membership in a team constitutes membership in "consortium",
but rules specified by teams.
- What constitutes "participation"?
- Personal effort
- Commitment of additional resources
- Timescales for commitment
- Return on commitment
- What are rules for "joining"?
- Data/software access groundrules
- "Buy-out" options
- What are rules for "continuing membership"?
- Can people be kicked out?
- On what grounds?
- Who decides?)
- What mechanism for conflict resolution
- Function of leadership
- Survey design and planning
- Resource planning and identification
- Survey management
- Oversight and accountability
- Return on commitment
- Rules for electing leadership
- Nomination process
- Election process
Some (hypothetical) questions whose answers must be clear from
the proposed framework:
- Suppose a consortium forms that expresses its intent to propose to
undertake a specific ALFA survey, but another group, not associated
with the consortium for whatever reason, proposes to undertake the same survey.
Is the first group guaranteed the telescope time and/or access to NAIC resources?
Is the second group precluded from submitting a proposal? Who decides who gets
the time, and based on what criteria?
- Suppose an individual joins the consortium at the outset and plays a
major role in the survey and proposal planning and execution (for example,
by running simulations, developing deconvolution software, providing computer
hardware, executing the observing program etc) but then, for whatever reason,
does not participate in final data product delivery or science analysis and
is not involved in the consortium later. What commitments are made to this
individual by the consortium for early involvement in the project? Who decides?
Who insures that commitments are carried forward?
- The early phases of the project (from now until late 2005) are unlikely
to produce scientific results. It thus seems reasonable that it might be
unwise for some parties such as untenured faculty, current senior graduate students
and current postdocs, to spend significant fractions of their time in
the tasks of software and algorithm development and other "investment"
activities. How will be the balance be struck between adequate return for
those who do undertake the groundwork and the later involvement of those
who do not?
- Suppose a survey project starts but after six months, several participants
have not fulfilled their commitments, thereby putting the entire consortium
at risk of not delivering data/software products on schedule. How is this
handled? By whom?
- Faculty at undergraduate colleges and other primarily-teaching
institutions may not be able to commit
large amounts of time, particularly during the academic year. How can they and
their students be involved given such limitations in time commitment, and
possibly, hardware resources and financial support?
- There can be significant imbalance, particularly in the United States,
between scientists at institutions supported on umbrella grants and those
who receive support through individual investigator grants with regard
to the availability of funds for travel, hardware resources and system support,
student support, overhead and fringe benefit costs, etc. Are there mechanisms
available through NAIC and/or the consortium concept that can alleviate or
minimize the potential imbalance, particularly for the full duration of a
survey (planning to analysis)?
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Last modified: Thu Apr 8 22:26:34 EDT 2003