Wednesday, May 2, 2012


date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 13:43:07 -0000
from: "Steve Juggins" <>
subject: MUPPETS
to: "Steve Juggins" <>, "Gerard Aalbersberg" <>, "Keith Alverson" <>, "Rick Battarbee" <>, "Jacques-Louis de Beaulieu" <>, "John Birks" <>, "Keith Briffa" <>, "Dan Charman" <>, "Basil Davis" <>, "Michael Diepenbroek" <>, "C. Mark Eakin" <>, "Sandy Harrison" <>, "Michel Hoepffner" <>, "Karin Holmgren" <>, "John Keltner" <>, "Atte Korhola" <>, "Stein-Erik Lauritzen" <>, "Andre Lotter" <>, "Simon Patrick" <>, "Jef Vandenberghe" <>

Hi Everyone

Apologies for keeping you waiting for news on the oputcome of our MUPPETS
proposal. Unfortunately the news is bad. The project failed at Stage 1 and
didn't make it to the shortlist for consideration for funding.

I attach the Consensus report.

To summarise:

1. The project passed Step 1 (Block 1) - Scientific evaulation - scoring 3
out of 5, but only just passed as 3 is the minimum score required to proceed
to the next step. Basically they liked the idea of the project, and the
innovative ideas of common data formats, software and numerical method
development, but they were not convinced of the following:

i. Data owners would submit data.
ii. There we not enough management resources for the project.
iii. That we could ensure data quality.
iv. That we could not develop a common data format that would encompass all
data types.

The project was evaulated by an Infrastructure panel, not EESD, so maybe the
reviewers were not so aware of the developments that have already taken
place in DB development and data sharing across Europe. Anyway, although we
did list key datasets that we were assured of getting I obviously did not
make point (i) explicit enough. It is difficult to see what level of
assurance would satisify the reviewers. I don't know why they include point
(ii) in the science review. Point (iii) was addressed in the proposal but
again did not satisfy the reviewers. Point (iv) shows the reviewers
ignorance of the work already done by the PANGAEA group in harmonising
disparate data types in their database.

2. The project fell over at Step 2 - resources, partnership and management,
scoring only 2.5 out of 5 which was not enough to proceed to step 3.

Criticisms here are:

i. Not enough resources for the coordinator. I have to accept
responsibility for this, but I think we had enough!

ii. They did not think we would get the necessary data submitted, despite us
stating that we had obtained assurances from owners of the major datasets
that these would be available.

iii. They thought that one lab for each proxy was not enough to collate
data. This shows the reviewers ignorance of the work already done by EPD,

iv. Workpackage leaders are incorrectly specified and contradictory
information given in Parts B & C. I have carefully checked the proposal and
the only mistake I fould was that I put the wrong partner number for the the
leader of WP6 in the workpackage table. A small mistake given the
complexity and volume of the forms - I would have hoped the reviewers would
have made allowances for such trivial typos.

I did omit WP10 from the WP diagram - my mistake.

v. They were not convinced of the sustainability of the DB, despite a clear
statement that PANGAEA is a WDC and has separate institutional core funding
to ensure longevity.

vi. We didn't include a satifactory demonstration / consultation mechanism
with users. This was covered by linking MUPPETS to HOLIVAR witht he later
providing interaction with users - and especially the modelling community.
I probably did not make the explicit enough.

I suppose we can argue with many of these criticisms but even if we had got
through the "management" evaulation we had probably not scored highly enough
to secure funding.

Finally, thanks again to everyone for you help in producing what I thought
was a reasonably strong MUPPETS proposal. The only encouraging sign is that
the project is seen as desirable and we are encouraged to try again (maybe
they say that to all failed projects?). I know little of opportunities in
the 6th Framework but will start to look.

Best wishes, Steve

Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\MUPPET_Consensus_Report.pdf"

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