Cardano values academic rigor; however, the Catalyst community lacks coordinated and skilled research that focuses on scalability.
The Research Guild will deliver a Scalability Report that scopes scaling solutions across blockchains to inform future Catalyst proposals.
This is the total amount allocated to Research Guild: Scalability Report
RESEARCH GUILD | Our approach is simple – we offer customised research reports for Catalyst campaigns. However, like software development, research isn’t sexy – it takes grunt work. To achieve this work in a scalable way, we propose forming a Research Guild, or a collective of independent researchers investigating blockchain solutions on Cardano. We aim to do so by building a professional research network within Project Catalyst, through invitation and paid research gigs. The Research Guild can also provide paid support to other proposals and initiatives by forming problem-solving scrums around key issues. If the project is successful, our vision is to build a global research network that draws researchers to Cardano, increases adoption as well as knowledge capital for DLT enterprise development.
In this challenge, the key issue revolves around an identified need for research and implementations that increase scalability on Cardano.
SCALABILITY REPORT | We aim to address scalability by conducting a scoping exercise that targets scaling challenges and solutions across blockchains, and within Cardano and Project Catalyst. This exercise will be delivered in the form of a public report with key research insights and recommendations that can be implemented by the community immediately, or pursued through future Project Catalyst funding proposals.
RECRUITMENT | Our team will begin by extending invitations to our personal network of academic and professional colleagues, and by extending an open invitation to researchers within the community. Our primary requirement is that Expressions of Interest (EOI) include:
EOI’s can be sent through Ideascale @rg.admin
RATIONALE | Research and development go hand-in-hand. In the excitement of experimentation, it can be easy to overlook or underestimate the value of founding a project on a sound research base. Effective research helps to scope the lay of the land, and analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths (SWOT) that impact a project. It also removes the guesswork, identifies knowledge gaps, builds future funding cases and supports sound decision-making by challenging false assumptions, misinformation or speculation. To continue Cardano’s research-driven ethos, Project Catalyst needs to invest more into high-value community-driven research at the project preliminary level, through a coordinated and consistent approach.
The Research Guild and Guild Reports are positioned to meet this need across campaigns.
This challenge asks the question: ‘What research and scaling implementations can be introduced to help Cardano increase scalability?’
Along with Interoperability and Sustainability, Scalability is one of the three intertwined pillars of Cardano’s roadmap, and it is what sets it apart from the competition as a Blockchain 3.0 model. However, scalability is a complex problem with no easy solutions, as evidenced in the methodical and iterative development of Cardano and the challenging upgrades and transitional phases experienced on other networks.
This project will directly address the challenge by conducting a professional community-driven research project, and drafting a report that scopes scaling implementations across the blockchain space, as well as developments within the Cardano and Project Catalyst network. A list of recommendations will be drawn from the report’s findings, and these will be disseminated publicly so that the community can initiate actions immediately, or use the findings to support or merge future Catalyst funding proposals.
The final report will be disseminated through a dedicated web-portal, and advertised via social channels.
Since research projects can be time-intensive and time-sensitive, the biggest risk facing our project at this stage is the number of research-hours required to complete larger projects (to a high-standard) versus our current team size.
The first iteration of our team is small and involved in existing research work. In order to juggle the potential demands of a slate of research projects, we will dedicate time to recruit atleast three of our colleagues into the network within the next two months. We will do this by maintaining an open invitation for skilled researchers to join the guild so that the research needs of each project, campaign and the community as a whole can be adequately met.
We will also focus our Fund 8 strategy on proposing a slate of smaller research projects that target research-based solutions to niche campaign-problems. This will enable us to begin building research value in the community, and to recruit and incentivise contributions from researchers. As it will also take time to connect and establish with the wider network of researchers, we will also seek funding to better establish the administrative functions of the guild including building a working bounties program, a Guild research standard, collaborative tools/templates and a dissemination portal (such as a website and Github).
Each Research Guild proposal looks at supporting a two-prong approach to campaign problem-solving:
Building the Research Guild (20% of treasury) will be achieved as follows:
Custom Guild Reports (80% of treasury) will be achieved as follows:
Project Commencement - May 1 (Q2 2022)
Project Plan (10% of project/budget - 4 weeks)
Literature Review (30% of project/budget - 12 weeks)
Interviews (if required)
Literature Analysis (10% of project/budget - 4 weeks)
Draft Report v1 (15% of project/budget - 6 weeks)
Editing / Review
Draft Report v2 (15% of project/budget - 6 weeks)
Editing / Review
Finalise Report v3 (15% of project/budget - 6 weeks)
Final Report.pdf (5% of project/budget - 2 weeks)
Project Completion - Feb 1 (Q1 2023)
A Scalability Report for ‘F8: Cardano scaling solutions’ will be framed as follows:
Much of the administrative functions of the Guild will need to be established in the early-stages of the project’s lifespan, and subject to ongoing review by the Guild members. Administration in the form of project management, and research in the form of tailored reports, will be an ongoing function of the project.
Based on an approximate funding cycle of 4-5 Catalyst rounds per annum – and in the event that community funding should be perpetual - the proposal roadmap for the project will involve:
It is estimated that a research report of this scale and complexity will take nine months to complete: commencing in May (Q2 2022) and concluding in January (Q1 2023).
We have determined a base hourly rate for researchers, based on the average of five online career surveys. We have selected surveys from the US (x2), New Zealand, Australia and Germany. USD is the native currency for Project Catalyst recipients, while Australasia and Germany are where our research team resides. The initial rate will not take into consideration education level, specialist skills or experience.
Indeed.com = US$67,873
Indeed.com (AU) = AU$86,828 (or US$62,444.53)
Money.usnews.com = US$59,870
Payscale.com (DE) = €57,073 (or USD $62,607.65)
Salaryexpert.com (NZ) = NZ$91,192 (or US$61,497.13)
The base rate for research projects will be:
US$62,858.46 per annum
US$1,309.55 per week @ 48 weeks
US$32.74 per hour @ 40 hours
To review each proposals roadmap and budget, we must consider the scale and scope of each project (based on the research problem and criteria), the time required to successfully complete the project versus the funders/community’s time requirements, and the hourly rate of the researcher.
Hourly Rate = Base Rate (+ Specialist Rate) (+ Priority Rate).
The Specialist Rate factors in education level, specialist skills or experience, scale, urgency and complexity of the project. In the case of the PhD candidates composing the first generation of our team, a specialist rate for the project – including professional and doctoral research experience - will be added.
The specialist rate for this project will be:
US$60.00 per hour
With project delivery estimated at nine months, it is likely that one extra researcher (paid at the Specialist Rate) and one research assistant (paid at the Base Rate) will be required for this project, equating to a research team of three.
With both principal researchers engaged in the project part-time (20 hours each per week), and one research assistant required part-time (12 hours per week), it is estimated that 52 research hours per week will be dedicated to the project for the nine-month period.
The budget requirement for the Research Guild’s Scalability Report is estimated at:
RESEARCHERS (x2 @ 20 hours each per week)
@ US$60.00 per hour (specialist rate)
@ 40 hours per week = $2,400
@ 40 weeks (nine months) = $96,400.00
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (x1 @ 12 hours per week)
@ US$32.74 per hour (base rate)
@ 12 hours per week = $392.88
@ 40 weeks (nine months) = $15,715.20
SUBTOTAL = $112,115.20
An additional $22,423.04 (20% of the report budget) will be requested to support the Research Guild's Admin Fund, to build project management and administrative capacity. This brings the project total to:
TOTAL = $134,538.24
For each successful proposal, funds will be allocated into the Guild treasury as follows:
According to Project Catalyst’s reporting processes, funds will not be released until successful completion of project KPI’s (see Auditability section below). The Research Guild will place bounties on project critical KPI’s that apply to Guild Admin (Network Building) and Guild Research (Custom Reports). These bounties will be open to Guild members and subject to peer review prior to Catalyst sign-off.
The Research Guild
A collective of independent researchers interested in investigating blockchain initiatives on Cardano. We aim to build a professional research network within Project Catalyst to support initiatives at all levels by forming problem-solving scrums around key issues, and to recruit and tender research projects out to the network through a bounties program. Invitations for graduate and professional researchers to join the Guild are open.
Troy Egan | Research Lead, Project Manager, PhD Candidate (2019-Current)
Troy is a PhD candidate at Auckland University, studying peer-production strategies within the creative sector. He has 20 years’ experience in the creative, health and community development sectors in New Zealand and Australia. He is also a previous Co-Proposer and Catalyst Fund3 Co-Recipient with NFT-DAO. Troy will be supporting the Research Guild’s project management and research contributions.
Mina Cu | Research Lead, PhD Law / International Relations, PhD Candidate (2021-Current)
Mina holds a Doctorate in Law and International Relations from Renmin University in China. She is currently a PhD Candidate studying blockchain applications for land management and documentation; as well as a Lead Teaching Assistant and Adjunct Researcher at the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management at The University of Auckland. Mina describes herself as a blockchain believer.
Sév | Research Lead, Compliance / IP Auditing, PhD Candidate (2021-Current)
Sév has a professional background in license compliance and intellectual property auditing in the software industry, both open source and proprietary. He started his PhD with The University of Osnabrück in Germany, focusing on the impact of distributed ledger technology for the management of the intellectual property life cycle. Sév has research interests in NFT’s, DAO’s and has contributed to governance building within several Catalyst projects.
The Research Guild Scalability Report will approach auditability in three ways:
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are built on tasks associated with the two-prong development of 1) The Research Guild as a sustainable network of skilled researchers and 2) Custom Guild Reports targeting viable solutions to campaign or proposal briefs. To do so, the Research Guild will maintain a series of Variable KPI’s (for building the Research Guild) and Fixed KPI’s (for targeted Guild Reports) across the Fund 8 campaign rounds. Dependent on the success of one or many of these campaign proposals, the Research Guild KPI’s for Catalyst Fund 8 are as follows:
VARIABLE KPI’s (Capacity Building): Establish the Research Guild (20% of project)
These are predominantly one-off KPI’s used to establish the Research Guild in its first iteration, and will become more focused on growth and maintenance in future rounds.
FIXED KPI’s (Campaign-Specific Reports): Scalability Report (80% of project)
These are perpetual KPI’s used to execute research deliverables against a reporting template, and are targeted to research-driven outcomes for campaigns and proposals.
Global Blockchain Scalability Research
Cardano Blockchain Scalability Research
Project Catalyst Blockchain Solutions
Finally, we are pleased to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), where we are able, with a few goals that intersect with the project. These goals include:
These goals are further expanded upon in the SDG Rating section (bottom of page).
Success for this project will be three-fold:
NOTE: Judging from the overwhelming community support of one of the proposals within this campaign, and the proposers request for all of the funds offered by the campaign, it is likely that this and other proposals within this campaign will not be funded. If this is the case, this proposal will be repeated in Fund 9, and consideration will be made as to the scaling gaps and opportunities that have arisen by solely funding one dominant proposal.
Fund 8 is the first Project Catalyst fund the Research Guild has participated in as a project.
From this fund onward, the Research Guild will take a blanket approach to funding proposals and budgeting, in proportion to the projected scale of the investigation required, and the approximate specialist hours required to complete the investigation.
We will do this by approaching every Project Catalyst campaign as a research brief.
UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
This project supports the following UN SDG goals:
UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUB-GOALS
This project supports the following UN SDG sub-goals:
UN SDG Key Performance Indicator (KPI):
This project intersects with the following UN SDG KPI's:
Three PhD candidates studying blockchain applications in land management, intellectual property and peer production; a PhD in Law and International Relations; expertise in research, project management, community development, governance, teaching, license compliance and auditing.