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Collaborating with CIG

WHO we are

CIG provides infrastructure for the development and dissemination of software for the geodynamics community, and collaborates with the community to develop software for geodynamics applications. As a community-driven organization, our 89 member institutions (2 international affiliates) participate in decisions that affect our programs, facilities, and scientific mission.

WHAT we do

CIG develops common infrastructure and  promotes reusable software, software components, and data. CIG defines best practices in developing open-source research software and their communities and guidance on their implementation. CIG provides cyber infrastructure for disseminating qualified software projects including hosting projects and documentation and supporting software education and outreach efforts. CIG collaborates with working groups to obtain funding for community-driven software development for geodynamics applications.

HOW we facilitate software projects

By joining our software community your project can benefit from resources as described below.


CIG facilitates both PI-driven and community-driven software development. We are open to engaging with software development projects and exploring deeper collaborations with our community.

CIG defines best practices for software development and encourages PI-driven software development projects to leverage common building blocks for scientific applications. We provide guidance to software projects on meeting these minimum and higher levels of best practices and in creating policies for sustainable communities. We are especially interested in projects that increase our community’s capabilities. This includes software development that extends the functionality of community code, extends interoperability and reusability of software components and data, and promotes interoperability. If your project requires an extended time commitment by CIG staff for software development, software engineering, tutorial development, event support or perhaps something we have not thought of, talk with us about including CIG in your proposal

CIG encourages community-driven projects to form working groups to engage the community throughout the software development process. Software development involving CIG staff for specific community-driven projects must be funded by additional proposals. Proposal teams should engage CIG early on to ensure they are sufficiently resourced.


Projects in our community have a software landing page on our website. Landing pages facilitate discovery, collaboration, and credit for your community.  Software accepted into the CIG community meets our established minimum best practices. All software in our community is open source and free to use. Our software_template is a GitHub repository designed to help you meet these standards. As part of our best practices, all software releases are archived in our Zenodo community facilitating reproducibility.


Coming soon!


All projects have the following opportunities for reaching out to our international community:

  • Feature your project in our quarterly newsletter
  • Present a CIG webinar
  • Use our virtual platform for education 
  • Contribute an educational module
  • Include your videos and animations as part of our YouTube Channel CIG Geodynamics

All events are advertised through our Forum which reaches over 600 registered members.

16% of our Member Institutions are minority serving institutions (MSI’s).


Software tutorials and workshops follow our software training best practices. We work with projects in applying best practices, advising on implementation, and reviewing and testing. We have experience running workshops and hackathons and can provide guidance or assistance in organizing your events.

Projects have access to our HUBzero platform, which can serve interactive content. We host material for education and software tutorials. Our Courses feature allows you to structure your lessons in sequence (or not!). Inquire about hosting your interactive computational narrative notebooks for educational and research use. We can collaborate with you on developing your educational and training materials.


CIG maintains a community allocation on ACCESS resources for community use to benchmark and prepare your own allocation request.  See Community > Computing for more information.


We encourage projects to include us in your Data Management Plans and Broader Impacts. Below we provide examples for how to include CIG in your proposals (these are excerpts, both sections need to include other details specific to your proposal).


Data management plan example:
Source code and documentation developed in this project will be made publicly available through the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG). CIG is an NSF-supported community organization that maintains best practices for the development and dissemination of community research software. CIG also provides infrastructure to host and distribute community software. All source code and documentation generated in this project will follow CIG guidelines and be published through CIG infrastructure."


Broader Impact example (generic):
Software made available through CIG can be freely accessed and downloaded through CIG serves an international community as tracked through forum membership (>600 registered users), publications (>140 per year), and institutional membership (68 member institutions, 21 international affiliates). As part of the CIG community, projects have access to communication channels including the CIG newsletter, webinar series, YouTube channel, and notebook server to host educational and training materials.


Broader Impacts example (for projects that integrate with CIG software):
Enhance infrastructure for research and education: A central component of this project is to make all created software infrastructure available to the broader community in a form that follows best practices for reproducibility, testing, and documentation. This in particular means that the created methods will be integrated into existing community software projects hosted by the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG). Our project will specifically, … add details how your project contributes or makes use of CIG software projects. These CIG projects form the basis of a large number of other research and education activities, illustrating their broader impact on research and education. For example, … add details about the impacts of the used software project on your field. 


If you include CIG contributions in line with the example text provided above, no additional letter of collaboration is necessary. This includes deployment on our HUBzero platform, software consultation, and assistance with community engagement and training. However, if you want to include CIG in an extended role, please contact us to discuss CIG's collaboration in  your proposal.

A Letter of Collaboration can be requested by Contacting Us with:

  1. Lead PI’s name and email address
  2. Proposal title
  3. Description of how CIG is included in your proposal
  4. Deadline for receipt of letter

WHERE  / Contact Us

Start the conversation by using our ticketing system to contact us. Describe your project and what you need assistance with.

WHEN to Acknowledge Us

If your projects use CIG resources, let everyone know by acknowledging us in your repository and relevant publications and reports. Properly acknowledging CIG helps us to document our impact and to continue to provide our service in the future. 


Q.  If CIG  is included in a proposal as described in "Including CIG in proposals", is a letter needed? 

No, but we appreciate the notice so we can anticipate your needs and assess whether additional funding is needed.

Q.  Can I contact you anyway to discuss my proposal and CIG's role in it with you?

Yes, please do.

Q. Does CIG's mission include developing software methods/components for my project?

No, CIG does not develop software components for specific projects as part of its core mission. This is a common misconception during proposal reviews. Your proposal should clearly state that CIG supports infrastructure and communities, not software development. Software development by CIG for specific projects must be funded by proposals that include support for CIG; see Extended Support for more information.
last updated June 23, 2023