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.

RFC: Nervos Ecosystem Grants Program

Process of Grant Submissions

The grant application process will consist of 3 review rounds, the first being initial approval of the concept and team, the second being an open RFC with the community and the third round being a final submission with full project details and an Q&A session with the review council.

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: Initial approval by core team based on project idea, team, estimated budget and duration

This will be a simple typeform application that is open for any applicants and reviewed as applications are submitted (max 1 week turn around time). If the people / team seem credible and experienced and the project, budget and timeline fits within the criteria, wish-list and will add value to the Nervos ecosystem, it will be approved and move to the next submission round.

In addition to basic contact information, the form will ask for:

  • project category (from wish-list)
  • overview of project / idea
  • justification of project - why this? how does it add value?
  • estimated duration
  • estimated grant request amount

Second round: Public RFC

If initial approval has been made, the applicant will be invited to publish an RFC for a more detailed project proposal and technical specification.

This “ecosystem grant” RFC should be posted to Nervos Talk (and announced on Nervos social channels) for feedback and discussion from core team and community. This RFC should be as detailed as possible with the aim of convincing the Nervos Team and wider community of the value of the project and that it can be successfully delivered. At a minimum, this should include the sections detailed below. A well written, professional and comprehensive RFC will have the best chance at success.

RFC specifications posted to Nervos Talk inc:

  • team and background - why are you the right person / team for this project?
  • project and justification - why is this a valuable addition to the Nervos Ecosystem?
  • technical specification and implementation - how can this be developed and implemented successfully?
  • timeline and roadmap- is the timeline reasonable and achievable? Does the roadmap demonstrate how this project can be successfully completed?

Third round: Final submission and Q&A call

After a sufficient feedback and discussion period for the RFC has completed (1/2 weeks), a final submission of the RFC with any adjustments, revisions and additions should be made - any issues brought up during the RFC period from community members or core team must be resolved. A clear development timeline and road-map with at least 3 clear review checkpoint should be included along with a detailed breakdown of budget and costing needs. Any required interaction, resources or support from Nervos core team needs to be detailed.

After this submission, a final 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 the co-founders and senior members from the core team. 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.

3 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