The Catalyst Fund is accepting applications through February 20, 2019. See criteria and instructions below to submit a proposal or idea.
Submissions are accepted from any member of
LYRASIS in good standing. A member may submit no more than ONE proposal and ONE
idea per year.
If submitting a Proposal, you are
requesting funding to pilot your own project. Funds will be awarded to
your organization if the project is selected.
If submitting an Idea, you are recommending
a service, program or consortial solution that will benefit the field
which LYRASIS could provide. If selected, LYRASIS will design the program,
service or solution and pilot it for all members.
If you wish to submit a proposal or idea to continue work on a
project previously funded by the Catalyst Fund, you may apply, but the
application will receive no special consideration and will be judged by the
same criteria as others in the competition. The work on the prior Catalyst Fund
project must be completed and the final report submitted. In addition, the new
Catalyst Fund submission must include a description of how the previously
funded project met its goals and what new activities are proposed.
Criteria for Consideration
All proposals and ideas should be innovative concepts that stimulate creativity and serve the broad interests of the LYRASIS membership.
Evaluation Criteria for Proposals:
Does this proposal innovatively test-and-try a solution to a well-defined problem or opportunity?
Does the proposal advance an important objective of the library, archive and/or museum communities?
What is the potential for the proposal to impact and serve the broad LYRASIS community?
Is the proposal of interest to others outside of your organization?
Is the plan of work appropriate to the proposal's goal, and the budget reasonable and justified?
In 2019, the LYRASIS Leaders Circle is especially interested in projects that cross organizational boundaries and engage diverse types of libraries, archives and museums in partnerships which expand the impact of innovative solutions to shared challenges.
Evaluation Criteria for Ideas:
Does this idea identify a well-defined problem or present a well-defined opportunity for LYRASIS and its members?
Does the idea innovatively advance an important objective of the library, archive and/or museum communities?
What is the potential for the proposed program, service or consortial opportunity to serve the broad LYRASIS community?
Is it a common and/or shared issue for members of the LYRASIS community?
Is the idea of interest to others outside of your organization?
Is the solution sustainable or can a sustainable business model evolve to support it long-term?
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted from January 7 through February 20, 2019.
"Catalyst Fund: The Application Process and Overview" webinars will be held in January and February 2019. Search the LYRASIS class calendar after December 1, 2018, for dates and times.
Volunteer to Review Proposals and Ideas
Each proposal and idea will be reviewed and
rated by multiple experts to identify those of greatest interest to the field.
This review happens after the application period closes, typically during March
and April. Reviewers receive a subset of all submissions aligned to their
expertise. An online survey form is provided to rate proposals and ideas
according to the criteria listed above.
To volunteer, complete this short form so we know what areas you’re most interested
After you register, LYRASIS will contact you
in late February 2019 to confirm your availability during the anticipated
review period. A short webinar will be offered to go over the review process.
An email will follow with a link to the review form and PDFs of the proposals
or ideas for your review.
If your institution submits a proposal or idea, you won’t be eligible to review
in that cycle.
What is the Catalyst Fund?
The Catalyst Fund is a program administered by LYRASIS and
Leaders Circle members. The Fund is designed to foster
new ideas that will benefit the archive, library and museum communities. Catalyst
Fund awards support LYRASIS members as they test and try innovative approaches
to advance our field.
How much is available for projects?
LYRASIS anticipates awarding $100,000 in 2019.
This amount may change year-to-year. We anticipate making four to six awards in
2019. The maximum amount that can be requested is $100,000. The average award
in 2018 was $26,150.
Who is eligible?
All LYRASIS members in good standing may
submit an idea and/or proposal and are eligible to receive awards from the
Can group agents apply for the Catalyst Fund?
Yes, a group agent can apply.
Can affiliates apply for the Catalyst Fund?
Affiliates or group participants are not members
of LYRASIS and are not eligible to receive Catalyst Fund awards. They may be
partners in a project sponsored by a LYRASIS Institutional or Group Agent
Member. If unsure of your membership status, check the current list of
LYRASIS members or contact Member Support.
How many proposals and ideas can my
LYRASIS members may submit a maximum of ONE
proposal and ONE idea. If multiple proposals or ideas are submitted by a
member, LYRASIS will contact the individuals who submitted and request that
they choose one to go forward for review. The proposal or idea that the
institution defers may be re-submitted in next year’s Catalyst Fund cycle.
If my project or idea is funded this year, can
I submit another proposal or idea next year?
Yes, past recipients can reapply in subsequent
years for new or continuing projects.
If applying for a second phase of a project
that was already awarded Catalyst Funds, the required final report for the
initial award must be complete and submitted to LYRASIS for sharing with the membership.
If it is a new project proposing work in a different area unrelated to the
preceding Catalyst Fund award, there are no prerequisite requirements.
Who determines which ideas and projects are
All submissions are reviewed by field experts. Their input is provided to the Leaders Circle, which makes final selections among proposals. LYRASIS Board of Trustees and staff will determine which Ideas to pursue.
What's the timeframe for implementing funded
Proposed projects should be no longer than 12
Catalyst Fund recipients will be announced in
early June 2019. Projects can begin as soon as funds are disbursed. All funded
projects will report on accomplishments at the annual LYRASIS Member Summit in
October of each year. 2019 project activities should be completed no later than
June 30, 2020.
Do I have to implement the idea?
No. While proposals are to be implemented by
the applicant and its partners, selected ideas will be implemented by LYRASIS
staff. LYRASIS may elect to implement the idea directly, work with members to plan
or test the idea, or contract with a third party to do initial research and/or
testing. Your organization's participation in design and testing of your idea
is completely optional and not a factor considered as part of the idea
Will LYRASIS review a draft?
Yes, LYRASIS staff will review draft
applications if submitted prior to February 6, 2019. Drafts should be sent as
MS-Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. Drafts are not required. Comments provided
will be suggestions only and do not imply any specific outcome from the review
and selection process.
How do LYRASIS members benefit?
Libraries, archives and museums benefit by
learning from new approaches and concepts developed and tested through the
Catalyst Fund. The results of all Catalyst Fund projects are shared with the
LYRASIS membership upon completion (see completed 2017
projects and in-process 2018
materials from the Member Summit, final project reports, and links to project
websites and open source code repositories are made freely available to
disseminate results and provide models for local adaptation.
How much can I request for a proposal?
The maximum you can request is $100,000. Note that
funding in the past year averaged $26,150, so a $100,000 request will need to
be very compelling for Leaders Circle consideration.
Will the Catalyst Fund cover overhead or
No, the Catalyst Fund will not cover overhead
costs or indirect expenses.
Indirect costs, also called overhead or
"facilities and administrative costs," are defined as administrative
or other expenses that cannot be directly tied or allocated to a specific
program, project or activity. Instead, they are related to overall general
operations and are shared among projects, programs and/or functions. Examples
include expenses for executive oversight, accounting, utilities, shared
technology and systems support, and facility maintenance. Some organizations
may have a negotiated indirect cost rate with a federal government agency.
Can capital expenditures be included in the
Catalyst Fund budget?
No, the Catalyst Fund cannot be used for
Capital expenditures are expenses that result
in the acquisition of longer-lived assets, those that have a useful life in
excess of one year, such as property, buildings, equipment, furniture and
fixtures. Expenses that are capitalized are amortized or depreciated over
multiple years based on the expected life of the asset.