ACS Request for Proposals: Spring 2016

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) is seeking proposals for Advanced Collaborative Support (ACS) projects. ACS is a scholarly service at HTRC offering collaboration between external scholars and HTRC staff to solve challenging problems related to computational analysis. By working together with scholars, we facilitate computational access to HathiTrust Research Center digital tools as well as the HathiTrust digital library (HT) based on individual scholarly need.

The ACS call is for project proposals that utilize the HT digital library and HTRC computational tools to address scholarly research questions. Examples of such collaboration(s) include, but are not limited to: running topic modeling analysis on a subset of the HT corpus, running large-scale analysis tasks, and visualizing density of word occurrences over time. HTRC anticipates awarding up to 4 ACS projects this round. Proposals are due to HTRC’s ACS group on or before May 2, 2016. Key content of the proposal should include the research context and problems, proposed use of HT digital library or HTRC tools, projected outcomes, and what kind of collaboration is sought from HTRC.

RFP Schedule:

Download Full RFP

RFP Available: April 4, 2016

Proposals Due: 5:00 pm, May 2, 2016

Award Notification: June 1, 2016

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single zip file to

The HTRC Advanced Collaboration Support Group engages with users directly on a one-on-one basis over an extended period of time, lasting from weeks to months. The ACS Group pairs the ACS awardee with expert staff members to work collaboratively on challenging problems.

Program Description (see full RFP for more details)

The proposed project should be based on a research question(s) that can be answered by incorporating HTRC components, such as the HT digital corpus, its subsets, and HTRC computational analytics tools. The output of the project should also be able to be generalized to benefit a larger scholarly community with similar research needs.

The HTRC ACS awards are modeled in the form of HTRC staff time. Each awarded proposal will receive access to dedicated HTRC staff to collaborate on the proposed project during the award period. The HTRC ACS staff consists of specialists in computer science and information science fields.

Awardees can be individual scholars or a team of scholars. The HTRC ACS dedicated staff will provide a general overview of HTRC components, the HT corpus and HT computational tools, to the awardees over the course of the project’s time period. They will also provide prototyping support. Awarded scholars are expected to collaborate on necessary parts of the project as agreed upon with HTRC prior to the project start time.

The successful respondent will demonstrate:

  • A feasible and adaptable use case grounded in the needs of an identifiable scholar or scholarly community; 

  • Scholar(s) well qualified to conduct the work proposed; 

  • A viable work plan and schedule of completion for projects ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months; and
  • A set of collaborative activities scoped within the range of HTRC’s ability to provide technical support (e.g., datasets, compute cycles, prototyping, etc.)

Proposals that demonstrate collaboration with other scholars will be favored, as will those from individuals who are part of the primary audience of scholarly users.


Researchers from HathiTrust member institutions are encouraged to apply, but proposals from non-HT member institutions will also be considered. See for a list of HT member institutions.

For full consideration, an electronic copy of the complete proposal must be submitted by 5:00 pm (Eastern Time Zone U.S.) on Monday, May 2, 2016. Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single zip file containing all proposal elements to Each proposal element (cover sheet, summary and rationale, narrative, bio-sketches) should be a separate file within the zip file. Acceptable formats for proposal elements are PDF and MS Word (.doc or .docx).

Review Panel & Selection Process: 
All proposals will be reviewed by the HTRC Executive Management group and the ACS group. Researchers from HathiTrust member institutions gain higher priority in the selection process. Pending membership applications will be considered during the award process. Respondents will be notified of the HTRC’s final decision, via email, by June 1, 2016.

Respondents are urged to contact in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and HTRC support with the HTRC team.