Fieldwork awards support on-site data collection and analysis for archaeological field projects. Successful applicants will receive free use of equipment and software, the participation of SPARC staff members to assist with data collection, as well as post-fieldwork consultation and data processing.
This program is targeted at projects seeking to develop expertise within their team in the application of geospatial technologies through hands on experience in the field, at ‘non-standard’ applications of the technology in question, which involve methodological development, and at projects in other circumstances which discourage a straight commercial hire of equipment. Proposals could include, for example, geophysical surveys of archaeological sites, 3D laser scanning and/or photogrammetry of excavations, monuments or artifacts, or landscape-scale mapping of archaeological features.
The project must be affiliated with an institution and/or organization that would otherwise be eligible for NSF support.
Generally non-US institutions and organizations are not eligible unless partnering with a US entity.
The Principal Investigator or senior technical staff for the project must have previously engaged in an exploratory consultation with SPARC. This consultation consists of a video conference or phone call to ensure that the potential application is a good fit for the SPARC Program and to answer any immediate questions. You can contact us for this preliminary chat up to one week before the application deadline.
The SPARC program does not support projects where the type of activity is one routinely acquired through commercial providers.
Applications for Fieldwork Support Awards will be accepted twice a year. Please see the application cycle calendar, below.
|Event||Summer field season||Winter field season|
|Pre-Consultations Open||15 October||1 March|
|Applications Open||15 November||15 May|
|Application Deadline||15 December||15 June|
|Notification||15 February||15 August|
|Target Fieldwork Period||May-October||November-April|
|15 October||Pre-Consultations Open|
|15 November||Applications Open|
|15 December||Application Deadline|
|1 March||Pre-Consultations Open|
|15 May||Applications Open|
|15 June||Application Deadline|
Every SPARC Award application starts with an initial consultation. Your first step should be to contact us directly at email@example.com to arrange an inital video-conference to chat about your project and potential proposal. After your initial consultation, you may choose to submit an application.
Your application should include:
A completed application. Application forms are available in the user area. Access your user area by registering for an account or logging into the site.
Documentation of your project's affiliation with a US-based Institution.
Documentation that your project has obtained appropriate permissions for the proposed fieldwork.
Contact information for two references.
To apply for Fieldwork Support please register for an account here.
SPARC aims to award full support to up to five fieldwork projects each year. Full support awards include the loan of instrumentation, availability of relevant software, CAST staff time, and travel costs.
Partial support awards may also be available to projects not awarded full support. Partial support awards include the loan of instrumentation, availability of relevant software, and CAST staff time.
Projects are ranked on intellectual merit. The core criteria on which projects are evaluated for ranking are:
The potential of the project’s research to contribute to anthropologically significant archaeological knowledge
The impact of the availability of geophysical or geospatial equipment and expertise on the ability of the project to reach its research goals
The level of methodological innovation of the proposed research
Projects are awarded support on the basis of:
The project's evaluation ranking
Instrumentation and staff scheduling
Training opportunities provided to students and researchers
Projects are ranked in order of intellectual merit. In the case of two projects with equivalent rankings on intellectual merit, the projects' training and educational value will also be considered. The project with the highest ranking is awarded and scheduled first. The next project is then awarded and scheduled. If a lower ranked project requests the same scheduling slot as an already awarded project, SPARC will contact that project's PI(s) to try to arrange alternative scheduling. If this is not possible, the next ranked project in the list is then awarded. Projects not awarded due to scheduling constraints can be resubmitted for the next round of awards.
If you are considering a project proposal to SPARC, and you have not already done so, you should immediately contact the SPARC staff via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org staff to set up a (video) conference call to discuss your project. They will be able to assist you in determining whether or not the Center can be of support or collaborate on your project– and what types of collaboration or support are possible. In addition you should also consider participating in a SPARC webinar, accessing the various resources the Center has on equipment and workflows at The GMV, or check SPARC’s FAQ.
There are a number of different types of awards and collaborations that are possible. Following from your initial contact you should be able to determine which type of effort is the most effective, these are listed below.
After your initial conversation with us, you can start your application process by registering for an account. You must register for an account to gain access to the application forms. You can apply in one or more of the following categories:
Calendars explaining the timeline and deadlines for each type of application are available on the pages under the APPLY tab.
Applications for Fieldwork Awards, Data & Analytics Awards, and Publication Awards are competitively funded based on a review and ranking process by the Center’s Advisory Committee. Applications for residency and collaborative proposal development are evaluated by SPARC staff.
After review applicants will be informed about the status of their application. Projects may be accepted directly, put on a wait list of projects which may be partially supported should the means become available, or declined. Applicants may request feedback on their applications by emailing email@example.com. Information on notification dates is available for each type of application, under the APPLY tab.