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[protege-discussion] A special request: Letter of support for Protege renewal grant

James Geller james.geller at
Mon Dec 13 05:54:38 PST 2010

Dear Mark,

We are working on a letter for you.
I am just worrying that it's already two
weeks since your message.

And with final exams now...

Is there a "due date" for the letters?



On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 10:58 PM, Mark Musen <musen at> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> I apologize for the cross-postings, but this message is very important.
>  This message is about the future of the Protégé system.
> As most of you know, Stanford is able to make Protégé available as a freely
> downloadable, supported, open-source platform only because we receive a
> generous grant from the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).
> The NIH funding supports bug fixes and feature enhancements requested by the
> community. Each new release of the Protégé system is a direct result of our
> NIH funding.
> We have received ongoing funding for the Protégé resource since 2003, and
> it is now time to prepare our next grant application so that we can continue
> to evolve the software (the rich client, WebProtégé, and a wide range of
> plug-ins), to answer questions posted to our mailing lists, and to offer our
> recurring Protégé conferences.  For those of you who have benefitted from
> the availability of Protégé over the years, we would be extremely grateful
> if you could join with us to help us secure the next round of funding so
> that you can continue to receive these benefits.
> *I am asking for something very simple:  A letter of support that we can
> include in our grant application.*
> When our request for grant funding will be reviewed by the NIH, the
> testimonials that we receive from our user community will have a major role
> in determining whether we will receive future funding and, if so, whether we
> will be funded at the level that we request in our proposal.  Letters from
> people who rely on Protégé technology will go a long way in ensuring
> uninterrupted user support and many exciting new features in the years
> ahead.  Your letter will make an enormous difference to ensure that Protégé
> doesn't go away.
> It would be best if you could send me a signed letter on letterhead (either
> a hardcopy or, preferably, a PDF) that I can include in the grant
> application.  Sending me plain e-mail is fine, but a letter on formal
> letterhead with a real signature will have maximum impact on the reviewers.
> Every letter should provide a brief description of the project or projects
> for which you are using Protégé or have used Protégé.  *If a project is
> the result of federally sponsored research, please include a reference to
> the agency that is funding the work and the corresponding grant or contract
> number.*  Grant numbers are particularly important to the National
> Institutes of Health.
> Although there is no required format for your letter—and indeed it should
> not appear that your letter is following a specific template—it would be
> wonderful if you could comment on the following kinds of things:
> * How are you using Protégé?  Please describe the project or projects with
> which you are using the system.
> * How have you benefitted from the Protégé resource?  Have you or your team
> used our mailing lists?  Have you communicated with the Protégé development
> group directly?  Have you attended any of our conferences?
> * If the availability of an open-source product such as Protégé is
> important to you, you might comment on why this is the case.
> * There are now several commercial tools on the market that allow users to
> create and edit ontologies and knowledge bases.  If you believe
> that Protégé, its plug-ins, or the Protégé user community offer advantages
> that are important to you that are not associated with these commercial
> products, you might want to comment on why you are using Protégé.  Do you
> see a tangible advantage to the development and enhancement of a tool such
> as Protégé by a research group such as ours?  Simply put, the government
> will want to know why it should continue to invest in the Protégé system and
> in its ongoing evolution.
> * In sum, how has the availability of the Protégé resource made a
> difference to you and your work?
> Formal letters are best, but, if it is impractical to write a letter, a
> brief e-mail message will be greatly appreciated.  Fundamentally, the
> continued existence of the Protégé resource depends on our ability
> to demonstrate the importance of our work to the community of users whom we
> support.  Without your enthusiastic letters, NIH will not see evidence for
> continuing to fund us.
> I know that this request imposes on your time.  The entire Protégé team
> will be grateful for any statement of support that we can include in our
> grant application.  One of the most exciting aspects of the Protégé project
> has been the ability to serve and support a user community that believes in
> our work and in what we are trying to do.  All of us who work on the Protégé
> system are grateful to all of you who have contributed your support, your
> suggestions, and your code to the Protégé project.
> Please send your letters to me at the address below.  If you know of others
> who might be able to help us out, then please forward this message directly
> to them.
> Many thanks for your support and for your contributions to our user
> community,
> Mark Musen
> Principal Investigator, the Protégé project
>  -----------------------------------------------
> Mark A. Musen, M.D., Ph.D.
> Professor of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics Research) and of Computer
> Science
> Director, Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research
> Stanford University
> 251 Campus Drive, X-215
> Stanford, CA  94305  USA
> Phone: +1 (650) 725-3390
> Fax: +1 (650) 725-7944
> musen at Stanford.EDU
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