RPIP-10 sets aside 30% of the pDAO budget for Grants and Bounties. The details of the mechanics of awarding grants and bounties were discussed in a forum post and in the Grants thread on the Discord Governance channel. Based on that previous work, we would like to suggest an outline for a Grants and Bounties Management Committee (hereafter GMC), including guiding principles and governance. Please see RPIP-10 for governance details that apply to all Management Committees.
The GMC was created in RPIP-15.
RPIP-18 superceded RPIP-15, with changes to the committee size (enlarged to 9), the frequency of award rounds (from every-other-month to quarterly), and the removal of the requirement that a majority of the committee be made up of non-team, non-oDAO members.
This RPIP supercedes RPIP-18: it removes the 50% retrospective award cap, adds a GMC administrator, and reworks the awards process to a rolling process instead of a quarterly one.
The Rocket Pool community has always strongly contributed to developing a Rocket Pool ecosystem. From marketing outreach, to developing online tools, the community has self-organized and satisfied their own needs. The community has previously voted to allocate a portion of the pDAO budget to reward such past contributions and to incentivize future ones in the form of grants and bounties. Having an established transparent framework for the awarding of such funds will reinforce confidence in the protocol as well as further incentivize and reward community involvement. With this proposal, Rocket Pool will further develop its rich ecosystem: rewarding contributions and enhancing the Rocket Pool experience for every member.
The motivation for the update in this RPIP is that:
- The 50% retrospective award cap has inadvertently created a bottleneck in the GMC's ability to distribute funds efficiently. The majority of submissions fall into the retrospective award category, causing a significant backlog. Removing the cap would allow the GMC to address the backlog and honor the contributions of community members who have made significant contributions to the protocol.
- The rigidity of the current awards schedule limits the opportunity for adjustments and modifications, leading to decisions that are often too final. Consequently, there seems to be an imbalance favoring retrospective awards over grants. The implementation of an ongoing awards period, allows for more flexibility and adaptability in the decision-making process. By adopting a rolling awards system, the GMC can achieve enhanced efficiency and provide greater value to the recipients.
- Given the identified weaknesses within the GMC and the increased demand necessitated by rolling awards, there is a need for an expanded role of the GMC Administrator. This role would involve overseeing and facilitating various GMC operations, specifically focusing on the new rolling awards process.
- The GMC’s chief mission SHALL be to distribute Grants and Bounties, retrospectively and prospectively, in order to harness the community’s talent to further the goals of the protocol.
- The GMC SHALL abide by the following definitions for grants, bounties, and retrospective awards:
- Grant : A proposal submitted by an individual or group that proposes some action with an estimate of cost and payment schedule. Grants SHALL be a set amount broken up and paid over a set period. This might be X RPL paid over 12 months. This contract is awarded to the entity that submitted the proposal if the grant is approved.
- Bounty : A proposal submitted by an individual or group that proposes a payment for an achieved result of a specific task/project. The bounty proposal SHOULD establish the desired outcome, state an award compensation amount with a payment schedule, and describe how interested parties can compete in the selection process for the bounty. The entity that submitted the proposal MAY or MAY NOT be the person(s) awarded the bounty contract.
- Retrospective Award: A proposal submitted by an individual or group that proposes a payment for a previously-achieved result. The retrospective award SHOULD detail the work that was completed and the positive impacts for the protocol that would merit such an award. The entity that submitted the retrospective award proposal MAY or MAY NOT be the person(s) awarded a retrospective award for the work documented in the proposal.
- Community members can submit grant, bounty, and retrospective award applications at any time
- Submissions received before the second Sunday of the month will be reviewed that month; if received after that, they will be queued for next month
- The GMC will meet on or around the second Sunday of the month to make preliminary decisions and provide comments
- The GMC administrator will contact the submitter and:
- Share preliminary decision and rationale
- Work with submitter on edits, if desired
- Assign individual commitee members for verification, if work is specialized
- The GMC will meet on or around the last Sunday of the month to make final approval/rejection decisions and provide comments
- Submitters are free to resubmit applications in later months if desired
- Prior to the first call for applications, the GMC SHALL develop one or more rubrics by which to select winning grants and bounties. The rubric(s) SHALL be publicly posted and anyone so interested in participating SHALL be solicited in their development. The GMC MAY choose to develop separate rubrics for grants, bounties, and retrospective awards.
- The GMC MAY give retrospective awards for previously-completed work. Such applications MAY be submitted on behalf of others rather than being self-nominated.
- Anyone MAY file an RPIP disputing a grant, bounty, or retrospective award within two weeks of the announcement of recipients. Such an RPIP SHALL be subject to a snapshot vote.
- Funds for grants and bounties SHALL only be considered approved upon either the completion of the two-week waiting period without any objecting RPIPs, or the failure of any objecting RPIP snapshot votes.
- Recipients of Grants SHALL update the GMC in a publicly-available document about their progress on at least a monthly basis.
- If a majority of the GMC agrees that a grant recipient is failing to provide the specified services to the protocol in a timely manner (as documented in the original application and in subsequent monthly updates), the GMC SHALL publicly announce such a decision and cease any future payments. This decision MAY be disputed by anyone through the creation of an RPIP within two weeks of the GMC's announcement. The RPIP SHALL be subject to a snapshot vote.
- Any group or individual MAY submit a publicly-available document to the GMC claiming successful completion of the bounty. The GMC SHALL discuss all such applications. If a majority of the GMC agrees then the GMC SHALL announce the award of the bounty. Anyone MAY dispute the awarding of the bounty through the creation of an RPIP within two weeks of the GMC's announcement. The RPIP SHALL be subject to a snapshot vote.
- The GMC SHALL abide by the following processes to minimize conflicts of interest:
- Any GMC member SHALL NOT score, vote on, or participate in GMC discussions about any retrospective award for which they are nominated. They MAY participate in the ratifying snapshot vote.
- Any GMC member who submits a grant application SHALL abstain from scoring, voting on, or participating in GMC discussions about any grants during the application period for which they are an applicant. They may participate in the ratifying snapshot vote. They may also score, vote, and participate in discussions in future rounds during which their grant is ongoing, provided they have not submitted an application during that round for any new grants.
- Any GMC member who submits a bounty SHALL not complete that bounty.
The expanded GMC Administrator role's responsibilities will include: meeting coordinator, awards facilitator, spokesperson, grants and bounties liaison, treasurer, and governance author.
The administrator will follow an internal handbook that they manage for their processes. It can be reviewed and revised by the GMC at any time.
- The GMC will publish an open job posting for a part-time GMC Administrator position with a 1-year term. The posting will include the position's title, responsibilities, qualifications, expected time commitment, and compensation.
- The job posting will be accessible to the public, allowing interested candidates to submit their applications within a designated 14-day window.
- The Grants and Management Committee (GMC) will review the received applications once the application window closes.
- The GMC will conduct interviews with shortlisted candidates to assess their suitability for the role.
- The interviews may include a combination of virtual or in-person meetings, skill assessments, and reference checks.
After the interviews and evaluations are complete, the GMC will deliberate and make a decision regarding the candidate selection. The decision will be made through a single choice vote, where each member of the GMC selects their preferred candidate from the pool of applicants. The candidate who receives more than 50% of the votes cast by the GMC members will be selected. In the event that nobody meets the threshold (no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes), or if multiple candidates receive an equal number of votes, The GMC has 7 days to engage in further discussions to reevaluate the candidates, review their qualifications, and reconsider their merits. Within 7 days they will hold another single choice vote to choose their preferred candiate. This 7 day discussion process repeats itself until a candidate is successfully chosen.
The decision will be based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, alignment with the organization's values, and their ability to fulfill the position's responsibilities effectively.
The decision will come within 14 days of the application window closing.
To ensure a smooth transition and maintain operational continuity, the committee will assess the administrator's term one month prior to its end. At that point, the committee will have two options:
- Term Extension: The committee may choose to extend the current administrator's term by one year, provided they have been performing effectively and meeting the organization's expectations. This allows for continuity in their role and provides stability within the position.
- Hiring Process Initiation: Alternatively, the committee may decide to initiate the hiring process outlined below, seeking potential applicants for the position. This proactive approach ensures a seamless transition if a new candidate is selected.
- Any committee member can formally request a vote to remove the current GMC administrator by bringing the matter to the attention of the committee.
- The request will initiate a consensus vote among the committee members, where they will collectively decide on the removal. A majority vote of greater than 50% is required for removal.
- If the GMC Administrator role is vacant at any time, the GMC SHALL, within at most 3 days, select a current GMC member to act as interim administrator during the hiring process. This selection is based on a vote, with the highest vote receiver being selected. In the event of a tie, the pDAO treasurer will cast the tie breaking vote. The backup will receive compensation equivalent to the administrator's compensation during the time the backup serves.
- The backup committee member will ensure the smooth functioning of the administrator's duties until a replacement is hired.
- Upon the initiation of the replacement hiring process, the GMC will promptly begin the recruitment procedure outlined in the standard hiring process mentioned above.
- The job posting for the administrator position will be updated to indicate the urgency of the situation and the need for an emergency replacement.
Current and historic membership is recorded in RPIP-36.
The community has long desired a process by which some portion of pDAO funds could be used to reward past contributions and incentivize future such contributions. Discussion has been ongoing for at least the past six months on Discord and the forums about what such a grants and bounties award process might look like and who would comprise the selecting committee. At one point consideration was given to having the initial committee comprised of Rocket Scientists plus one team member. In the time since, the Incentives Management Committee has created a precedent for a procedure by which such a Management Committee’s membership might be selected. This RPIP follows that precedent.
Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.
Please cite this document as:
ShfRyn, Calurduran, Valdorff, "RPIP-26: Updating of Grants Management Committee," Rocket Pool Improvement Proposals, no. 26, June 2023. [Online serial]. Available: https://rpips.rocketpool.net/RPIPs/rpip-26.