RFC: Nervos Ecosystem Grants Program

Common Vision, Common Goals, Common Knowledge

Nervos Network is a fully open source project. Our long term vision for the Nervos Network is to be fully decentralized in all aspects and community led. Part of our journey to achieving this is enabling and empowering individuals, projects and teams who share a common vision for the network.

Growth of the Nervos ecosystem and developer community is one of the highest priority initiatives to achieve our long term vision and goals for the project. In order to facilitate and bootstrap this growth, the majority of our ecosystem fund will be used to fund and support people and teams who want to contribute to the growth of the Nervos ecosystem.

The objective is to define a clear and transparent Grants Program system, where anyone can apply for support and funding for their work in helping to grow the Nervos Ecosystem. This RFC lays out our proposal for this system. We welcome all input, feedback and suggestions from the community which will be used to finalize the Grant Program structure and design.

Please note: the Nervos Grant Program process and workflow has been updated to create more visibility for the community and give applying teams more flexibility and support during the process.

RFC: Nervos Ecosystem Grants Program

Process of Grant Submissions

The grant application process will consist of 3 rounds, the first being a Grant Proposal Abstract posted to Nervos Talk Forum for initial approval of the concept and team, the second being an Technical Specification posted into the same thread and the third round being a final Q&A Discussion with the review council with the summary and result published into the thread.

The program will initially open for grants for infrastructure building projects. A “wish list” complied by the core dev team and review council will document the areas of high value we would like to see grant applications for. The Program will continue to be expanded in scope throughout the year and beyond, including:

  • Infrastructure grants
  • Community grants
  • App and use case grants
  • Marketing, sponsorship and promotion grants
  • Scholarship, bursary, research and personal grants

First Round: Grant Proposal Abstract

Anyone is welcome to submit a Grant Proposal Abstract by posting a thread on Nervos Talk Forum, on the Grants Board.

The name of the thread should be TEAM NAME - PROJECT NAME with the tags “Grant” and “Abstract”. This Proposal abstract is then open for discussion with the community and developers.

The format of the abstract should follow the specification below:

  • Team and background (Name, website, github and other social profiles, team members and profiles, previous projects) - why are you the right person / team for this project?
  • Project and justification - why is this a valuable addition to the Nervos Ecosystem?
  • High level technical specification and implementation - how can this be implemented successfully and done with CKB programming model?
  • Timeline and project duration

Second Round: Technical Specification

Successful Grant Proposal Abstracts will be contacted and invited to publish a detailed Technical Specification. The details of this will be on a grant by grant basis and discussed directly with each team via Discord. The Technical Specification should be posted into the original Nervos Talk thread, below the original abstract. The Tag “abstract” should then be replaced with “tech spec”.

This technical specification will then be open for feedback and discussion from developers and community for at least 10 days or after all discussion and questions have been resolved.

Third round: Final submission and Q&A call

After the Technical Specification submission and sufficient feedback and discussion period has completed, a final Q&A Discussion call can then be organised between the reviewing council from Nervos and the project team. This format can be flexible to achieve the resolution of the grant assessment but most likely will include the project team presenting their project and plan and an open Q&A from the review council.

Review Criteria & Review Council

The Review Council will be made up of senior engineers from the Nervos developer teams. When assessing grant proposals, the following criteria will be assessed in order to reach a majority decision on whether to approve a grant application:

  1. Have all issues and challenges brought up by team and/or community during the RFC period been resolved?
  2. Is there majority support / consensus for the project from community and Nervos team?
  3. Is the budget and timeline reasonable, justified and achievable?
  4. Are we confident the person / team can deliver the project successfully?
  5. Does this add real value to the Nervos ecosystem and align with the Nervos core principles and values?

If there is majority support from the Review Council, the grant application will be approved. and move into the Grants Program.

Grants Program

Process

Once a successful grant application has been approved by the Review Council, the project will be assigned a Grant Project Manager. This Grant Project Manger will be the point of contact from the core team and will be responsible for overseeing the Project through to completion as well as providing regular reviews and updates for the core team and community.

Grant Fund Payment Schedule

The grant for the project that was agreed during the final review process will be paid out in stages (checkpoints) over the course of the project development. These stages will be aligned with the agreed road-map and checkpoints. The Grant Project Manager will be responsible for assessment of the checkpoints and request of payment release which needs final approval from Review Council Member.

The payment schedule has some flexibility but the default structure is as follows:

  • After initial approval, at project start : 10% of grant money
  • Checkpoint 1 (project is 25% complete): 15% of grant money
  • Checkpoint 2 (project is 50% complete): 25% of grant money
  • Checkpoint 3 (project is 75% complete): 25% of grant money
  • Project completed: 25% of grant money

Following project completion, a “maintenance” grant for continued development can be discussed.

Checkpoint Review Process

The Nervos Grant Project Manager is responsible for assessment of the checkpoints and recommended approval of payment release. Grant payments will not be released until the relevant checkpoint has been adequately demonstrated as completed.

Project Development Requirements

We require all Grant Program projects to:

  • Develop projects in an open source way and on GitHub. Any private repos should be shared with the Grant Project Manager
  • Must be published under a open-source software license e.g MIT

Additionally we ask that anyone within the Nervos Grant Program ensure a high level of personal and professional ethics and morals as well as respecting the Nervos core principles and values. Any team member or project that is deemed to have fallen outside this code of conduct may be removed from the Grants Program. We hope all people, teams and projects within the Nervos Grants Program share a common vision and goal for the future success of Nervos Network.

4 Likes

Still curious why there are nobody has any question about this Grant Program, because I have a tons of question mark after reading this Doc.

  1. When this Grant Program go into effect? Where to discuss this program, here?

  2. If there are some team has already submitted their project, should they run this step again? It would spend some time for them doing so.

  3. How to submit a proposal? to who? It seems there is not a clear pipeline to do so.
    And how do I know that my proposal has already approved at round 1?

4.Post RFC? which board?
There are three boards on NervosTalk? Which boards should I post RFC? And which kinds of language should I use? I know the most active board is Chinese.

  1. Who will be the Grant Project Manager ?

6.Is that meaning that as soon as the grant passed three rounds and Review council, the NF will give project team the 10% money?

  1. How long the time would take from the round one to grants program?
2 Likes

Hey @KGB_agent thanks for your questions.

  1. When this Grant Program go into effect? Where to discuss this program, here?

The Grants Program will open up officially in early 2020 - no exact date yet as we are still in the feedback and consultation (RFC) process. Yes, NervosTalk is the place to discuss the program, ask questions and make suggestions.

  1. If there are some team has already submitted their project, should they run this step again? It would spend some time for them doing so.

If some teams are already in discussion, their Point of contact from Nervos can help get their submission into this official system so there shouldn’t be too much extra work.

  1. How to submit a proposal? to who? It seems there is not a clear pipeline to do so.
    And how do I know that my proposal has already approved at round 1?

For the first round submission there will be a simple online typeform application that will be received by the Grants program team. You will receive the result of this via email.

4.Post RFC? which board?
There are three boards on NervosTalk? Which boards should I post RFC? And which kinds of language should I use? I know the most active board is Chinese.

The details of the RFC submission alongside more detailed information and guide for the next steps will be sent to successful applicants from the 1st round.

Using the RFC board makes sense, but if you have any suggestions and whether another board should be created, that is also an option.

Submissions should ideally be in English. If not possible, Chinese can be used and we will work to have a English version translated. The Grant Project Manager can help with this stage too.

  1. Who will be the Grant Project Manager ?

The Grant Project Manager will be assigned on a case by case basis by the grants project team. This will be a core team member or official community lead who has blockchain development experience.

6.Is that meaning that as soon as the grant passed three rounds and Review council, the NF will give project team the 10% money?

Correct, there will be a standard contract agreement that will need to be signed by both parties as the very last step.

  1. How long the time would take from the round one to grants program?

Once the initial submission is made, we will aim to notify the project within 10 days.

The time from round 1 to the very final decision is dependent on the RFC submission from the project, so this is not possible to estimate. From Nervos side, we will try and process each stage as quickly as possible.

The “wish-list” will be a detailed list and released at the official start of the program.

These are the categories, with each having a detailed wish list. Initially only the “infrastructure grants” category will be open for submission.

  • Infrastructure Grants
  • Community Grants
  • App and use case grants
  • Marketing, Sponsorship and Promotion Grants
  • Scholarships, bursaries, research and personal Grants

Q1: Are there any results conclused from the second round ?

Q2: Why the grant fund payments have not be mentioned in their RFCs ?

Q3:

So far, I haven’t seen one RFC has been executed according to this rule.

Q4:

Is it open to the community?

There are no 2nd round RFC’s that have been open more than 2 weeks so they are all currently within these rules.

The grant fund amount is at the team’s discretion if they want to make it public at this stage.

The final discussion call is for the review council to be able to discuss directly for the team, the summary and result of this will be made public.

1 Like

Sorry, ben. It was one week or two weeks, I thought it was half a week :joy:

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I have updated the post to avoid any confusion :grinning:

Round 2 RFC specification has been updated and now must include:

“additional information on how it’ll work specifically with CKB and its programming model”

This is to make sure all applicants have researched and considered CKB and the programming model for their proposed implementation.

1 Like

how about making it as livestream style?

I think livestream or recording for these calls could be done in certain situations, but this would be the choice of the Team applying for the grant. You can imagine certain situations where these discussions would need some confidentiality when discussing certain IP that the team has developed and other similar considerations.

The grants program process and workflow has been updated in the opening post.

2 Likes

How to deal with the Grants program that have already been in the second round before this adjust? (even part of them were invited for the call with Review Council)

these will be migrated into the new workflow where possible. For Grant Teams that already submitted RFC’s in the second round, they will either move to a final decision, or invited to discord to discuss a more detailed technical specification for the proposal.

1 Like

read this post again
I found it is easier than before because all of the process could be done and seen on the NervosTalk thread in single post.

1 Like