Small Development Grants

The Small Development Grants program is a NumFOCUS microgrant program benefitting our Sponsored and Affiliated projects.

The program helps projects fund important work that they might not otherwise be able to do like improving usability, growing project communities, and speeding up the time to major releases. Below you can view a list of work that has been funded under the program.

Interested in supporting Small Development Grants?

Small Development Grants Committee

The Small Development Grants Committee is a volunteer committee established by the NumFOCUS Board of Directors to help facilitate the Small Development Grants program. You can read more about the committee’s role and responsibilities in the charter.

The Members of the 2024 Committee:

Bryan Weber, Co-chair

David Pérez-Suárez, Co-chair

Brian Skinn

Mridul Seth

Pamphile Roy

Pramod Misra

Jelena Milosevic

Magdelena Wiercioch

Robert Coup

Ashley Pace

Sarah Kaiser

Kalyan Prasad

Sophia Yang

Lilith Hafner

Nizam Uddin Syed

Smit Lunagariya

Past Committee Members :

Larry Gray

Tim Hoffmann

Alejandro Oliva

Bradly Alicea

Marcel Haas

Paige Bailey

Luke Canavan

How to Join

If you are interested in serving on the committee you should subscribe to the NumFOCUS newsletter. Requests for applications are sent out each January via the newsletter.

2024 Funding Rounds

2024 Funding Rounds


Round 1

  • Call for Proposals Announcement: February 2, 2024
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Committee Selection Deadline: March 22, 2024
  • Notification to Applicants Deadline: April 12, 2024

Round 2

  • Call for Proposals Announcement: May 3, 2024
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024
  • Committee Selection Deadline: June 14, 2024
  • Notification to Applicants Deadline: July 12, 2024

Round 3

  • Call for Proposals Announcement: August 02, 2024
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: August 30, 2024
  • Committee Selection Deadline: September 13, 2024
  • Notification to Applicants Deadline: October 11, 2024

Any NumFOCUS Fiscally Sponsored or Affiliated project is eligible to submit 1 proposal per grant cycle. Each project may receive a maximum of 2 grants per calendar year.

If a project would like to solicit proposals from its internal community, leaders must organize their own review process to select the proposal submitted on behalf of the project. Proposals may be submitted by residents of any country and work can be performed at any university, institution, or company worldwide (U.S. export laws and sanctions permitting).

Projects will be notified via the NumFOCUS internal project mailing lists that the call for proposals has opened. Applicants will be notified of proposal acceptance or rejection via the email address provided on the application on or before the notification deadline.

Usage of Funds

Grant funds can be used for: 

  • Code development 
  • Documentation 
  • Website updates 
  • Workshops and sprints
  • Educational, sustainability, and diversity initiatives 
  • Any work that directly benefits the project and/or its community
  • Travel for community members & developers to project events and conferences

Proposed work must be achievable within one year.

Proposal Guidelines

Applications should be submitted via the Small Development Grants Proposal Submission Form. A doc with the application questions can be downloaded here

Available Funding

Available program funding is determined and approved annually by the NumFOCUS Board of Directors. A portion of the total funding may be allocated for Off-cycle Grants with the remainder divided equally between the three grant cycles. Up to $10,000 can be awarded for each proposal.

Objectives and Deliverables

Each proposal should include clear and concise objectives and deliverables. Whenever possible specific timelines should be included. The impact of the proposed work on the project and/or overall scientific computing community should be clearly illustrated.


Each proposal must include a detailed budget justification stating how grant funding will be allocated. As applicable, the following should be included:

  • Hourly rates and number of work hours for contractors
  • Equipment and/or supply costs if applicable
  • Cost of any services
  • Travel costs
Proposal Length

Suggested guidelines for word count can be found in the proposal application. Enough detail should be provided to give reviewers a clear understanding of the proposal’s objective but should not be so lengthy that it puts an undue burden on the evaluation process.

Proposal Evaluation Guidelines

Proposals will be evaluated and ranked from most impactful to least impactful. If possible, the maximum allocation of funding for each round will be awarded. 

  • Preference should be given to projects that did not receive funding in previous rounds. 
  • Preference should be given to proposals that have broader effects i.e. benefit the scientific computing community as a whole.
  • Projects may resubmit the same proposal if it was not funded or was partially funded in a previous round and resubmissions are given preference.
Funding Distribution

Funding will be dispersed by the finance team directly following the notification to applicants according to established financial procedures and guidelines:

  • For fiscally sponsored projects only, NumFOCUS will deposit the grant funding directly into the project’s account. The project will then submit invoices through the normal channels (i.e. Open Collective) to pay for grant expenses.
    • Funding dispersement requests must be submitted  through the applicable project’s financial request page.  Links to request pages can be found here.
  • Anyone invoicing for work done in excess of $600.00 for a ALL projects must sign an independent contractor agreement with NumFOCUS before billing. Contracts can be initiated by submitting via our independent contractor registration form.
  • NumFOCUS can award the money as a grant or subcontract to a student or postdoc at a university as required (depending on the rules of the university).
  • NumFOCUS can directly pay for expenses associated with the grant as required (e.g. booking flights on behalf of project leaders to attend a workshop, per diems for travel days)

Projects to whom grants have been awarded will be required to submit a report to NumFOCUS describing the work that was performed under the grant and detailing any grant deliverables and outcomes. Reports will be due no later than three months after the close of the one-year period following the award of funds. Reports must be submitted on the Small Development Grants Report Back Form.

Off-Cycle Grants

Off-cycle Grants may be awarded to projects outside the established grant cycles if:

  • There is a time-sensitive aspect to the proposal which precludes it from being submitted and/or awarded during one of the established grant cycles
  • The project has not already received the maximum amount of grant funding allowed per project within the calendar year

Previously Funded Programs

Proposal Title
ArviZ Dashboard-assisted exploratory analysis of Bayesian models $10,000.00 2023 3
Bokeh Empowering Aspiring Data Scientists and Encouraging Open Source Contribution in Nigeria through Bokeh Data Visualization Workshops $7,500.00 2023 3
GeoPandas Development and integration of the Spherely library within the Python geospatial ecosystem for processing geographic spatial data $10,000.00 2023 3
HoloViz Revitalizing the HoloViz Website for Enhanced Learning and Community Engagement $10,000.00 2023 3
Julia Harnessing GPU Power for Quantum Leap in Computational Chemistry: Scaling Electronic Structure Methods with Julia Language $10,000.00 2023 3
mlpack Ensuring Compatibility of the mlpack Neural Network Codebase with Bandicoot $5,000.00 2023 3
NumPy Laying the groundwork for a NumPy-Financial 2.0 release $6,120.00 2023 3
PyTorch-Ignite Library improvements and a new machine learning templates written with PyTorch-Ignite $2,500.00 2023 3
rOpenSci A Dashboard Interface for Software Peer-Review $9,962.00 2023 3
SciML SciML: Implementing Methods for Exact Model Reduction. $8,400.00 2023 3
Spyder Internationalization and Spanish Translation of Spyder’s Documentation $6,300.00 2023 3
Stan Non-English versions of Stan user guide and language reference $10,000.00 2023 3
pyhf pyhf Users and Developers Workshop 2023 $10,000.00 2023 2
mlpack Completely revamp mlpack documentation $10,000.00 2023 2
equadratures Auto-Differentiable Equadratures $10,000.00 2023 2
pandas Nonvisual Data Science Curriculum and Workshop Series $7,345.00 2023 2
MDAnalysis Unified and comprehensive documentation and learning resources for MDAnalysis $10,000.00 2023 2
Blosc Lossy codecs for images in Blosc2 $9,750.00 2023 2
Mesa Python Front End $5,400.00 2023 2
Julia Improving the first-time experience of Julia users with Pluto.jl $10,000.00 2023 2
pvlib Expansion of solar irradiance processing capabilities for pvlib-python (resubmission) $10,000.00 2023 2
Spyder Improving external completion plugins development support in Spyder $8,190.00 2023 1
conda-forge Access control improvements for opt-in CI (Continuous Integration) services $10,000.00 2023 1
Bokeh Rendering LaTeX equations in TARDIS plasma graphs using Bokeh $10,000.00 2023 1
PyTables PyTables to leverage the HDF5 enhanced direct chunk capabilities $9,500.00 2023 1
LFortran Compiling SciPy’s Fortran packages with LFortran $10,000.00 2023 1
GeoPandas Create a more consistent geometry API through the feature parity between low-level (Shapely) and high-level (GeoPandas) packages $8,000.00 2023 1
NetworkX Adopting property-based testing in NetworkX $3,550.00 2023 1
SciPy Streamlined Special Function Development in SciPy $10,000.00 2023 1
conda A fast, modern and memory safe solver for mamba & conda! $8,000.00 2023 1
poliastro Enhancing the visualization capabilities of poliastro $4,500.00 2023 1
Stan Commumity building through StanCon 2023 $10,000.00 2023 1
sktime Coverage of expeditures for 2022 developer days – core developers and mentees were invited to travel to London $5,000 2022 3
SunPy Scoping the future of timeseries data in sunpy $5,250 2022 3
Julia Enabling Seamless Geospatial Computing in Julia with GeoInterface $10,000 2022 3
ArviZ Abstract plotting backend interface $10,000 2022 3
PyMC3 Jax SMC samplers for PyMC $10,000 2022 3
Spyder Improving Spyder IDE UX/UI $8,190 2022 3
pvlib pvlib python jupyterhub tutorial $250 2022 3
Blosc Enable the C-Blosc2 plugin support for python-blosc2 $6,250 2022 3
pyiron Helping users build workflows with ontological typing $6,000 2022 3
PALISADE Integrating BGV Functionality into OpenFHE $10,000 2022 3
rOpenSci Publishing multilingual resources to increase diversity on open source projects $10,000 2022 3
TARDIS Support for TARDIS Con 2022 $2,300 2022 2
napari Add advanced transparency support in napari by adding two-pass rendering to VisPy $4,600 2022 2
Cantera Redesigning and Improving Cantera’s Website $4,600 2022 2
conda-forge Adding pyproject.toml support to grayskull $2,700 2022 2
MDAnalysis Improving the organization and content of MDAnalysis teaching materials $4,600 2022 2
SciPy Faster Random Variate Sampling from SciPy Statistical Distributions $4,100 2022 2
PyTables PyTables to leverage the HDF5 enhanced direct chunk capabilities $4,300 2022 2
SymPy Merging of the new SymPy plotting module and further usability improvements $2,300 2022 2
LFortran Compiling SciPy with LFortran $4,600 2022 2
Blosc Make python-blosc2 to leverage most of the new capabilities in C-Blosc2 $4,100 2022 2
Julia Advancing Julia Outreach and Community Efforts (Re-applying from last round, updated per committee feedback) $4,600 2022 2
PALISADE Integrating BGV Functionality into PALISADE $4,600 2022 2
QuTiP QuTiP 5 Sprint $2,700 2022 2
Taskflow Developer Training Programs for Taskflow $4,600 2022 2
CVXPY Modernize the CVXPY web documentation and make it interactive $4,000 2022 2
GeomScale Linear algebra kernel for volesti $4,600 2022 2
FluxML Make Julia's deep learning ecosystem interoperable with Python models $4,400 2022 2
Orange Utilities for internationalization of f-strings $3,700 2022 2
SciPy Introducing Users to Powerful New Features of SciPy $5,000 2022 1
JuMP Adding complex number support to JuMP $8,600 2022 1
Spyder Improving the Spyder IDE installation experience $7,800 2022 1
FluxML Make WGLMakie a first-class Makie backend $10,000 2022 1
TARDIS Interactive documentation for TARDIS $3,000 2022 1
GeoPandas Leveraging the S2 library for processing geographic spatial data in Python $10,000 2022 1
pomegranate Backend switch to PyTorch $10,000 2022 1
Cantera Developing accessible training modules for new and intermediate Canter users $2,231 2021 1
GeomScale A set of Jupyter notebooks for metabolic network analysis $5,000 2021 1
conda-forge Updating conda-forge compiler infrastructure $5,000 2021 1
MathJax Converting MathJax's speech solution to Typescript $4,400 2021 1
SciPy Add PROPACK Sparse SVD to SciPy $3,550 2021 1
TARDIS Interactive documentation for TARDIS $2,500 2021 1
Blosc A new plugin system for Blosc2 $5,000 2021 1
Orange Data Science Textbook $3,000 2021 1
Taskflow Taskflow-San: Sanitizing Erroneous Control Flow in Taskflow Graphs $5,000 2021 1
TARDIS Atomic data infrastructure for TARDIS $5,000 2021 2
rOpenSci Sustained Community Engagement and Automated Metrics for Community Health Analytics $5,000 2021 2
GeoPandas Scaling GeoPandas with Dask: improved IO for supporting large geospatial data $5,000 2021 2
LFortran Improving LFortran to compile stdlib and fpm $2,400 2021 2
GeomScale Add parallel implementations in volesti using several C++ methods for parallelism $5,000 2021 2
Stan Update $4,800 2021 2
PyTorch-Ignite Library improvements and Semi-Supervised Learning toolkit development. $5,000 2021 2
Taskflow Standard GPU Algorithms with Task Graph Parallelism $5,000 2021 2
NumPy, Scipy,
Pandas, Matplotlib, Bokeh, Project Jupyter, NetworkX, scikit-image
Streamlining, modernizing, and improving accessibility for the PyData Sphinx Theme. $25,000 2021 2
ITK Insight Journal $3,520 2021 2
PyMC3 Fine tuning the Bayesian Additive Regression Trees implementation in PyMC3 $5,000 2021 2
SciML Add Scientific Machine Learning-Based Image Processing Tools and Tutorials to the SciML Organization in Julia $4,250 2021 2
SymPy Improving SymPy plotting capabilities $5,000 2021 2
LFortran Improving LFortran to Generate Optimized Code $5,000 2021 3
GeomScale The first release of software package dingo $5,000 2021 3
Julia Machine Learning documentation improvements for Julia $5,000 2021 3
poliastro Array types for scaling poliastro $5,000 2021 3
mlpack mlpack – ensmallen – Initial GPU support via Bandicoot $4,765 2021 3
Bokeh Rewrite and expand Bokeh’s tutorial notebooks with a focus on readability $5,000 2021 3
SciPy A Mixed Integer Programming Solver for SciPy $4,985 2021 3
Blosc Support for zfp, a lossy codec for floating point data in Blosc2/Caterva $5,000 2021 3
GNU Radio GNU Radio Tutorials Revamp $4,800 2021 3
pvlib PV ❤️ Storage (adding storage support to pvlib) $5,000 2021 3
Jupyter/IPython IPython maintenance and future proofing $4,800 2021 3
MDAnalysis Periodic boundary handling and on the fly transformations $5,000 2020 1
PALISADE Student Project Integration In Support of PALISADE $5,000 2020 1
Effective Quadratures Web presence funding $800 2020 1
Julia Improving documentation generation for Julia and its packages $5,000 2020 1
GeoPandas Building a better base for the geospatial Python stack: vectorized geometric operations & Shapely 2.0 $5,000 2020 1
pandas Improved Performance Benchmarking for pandas $5,000 2020 1
nteract Improving accessibility and usability for nteract desktop app $5,000 2020 1
PyMC3 Improving and expanding the implementation of Approximate Bayesian Computation $5,000 2020 1
Shogun Hyperparameter tuning with Shogun $4,200 2020 1
Open Journals Docker images for the Open Journals processing pipeline $4,000 2020 1
ArviZ Extend InferenceData capabilities $1,000 2020 1
Julia Distributed scheduling with MLJ $5,000 2020 2
SciPy Improving boundary handling and data type support in scipy.ndimage $5,000 2020 2
Orange Text Add-on Video Tutorials $4,000 2020 2
Solcore Improve the sustainability and modularity of Solcore $5,000 2020 2
mlpack mlpack – Interactive Machine Learning Notebooks And Documentation $5,000 2020 2
GeoPandas Improvement and modernization of GeoPandas documentation $5,000 2020 2
rOpenSci Making rOpenSci Community Engagement More Sustainable $5,000 2020 2
SymPy Upgrading SymPy Gamma’s infrastructure to support Python 3 and latest SymPy $3,000 2020 2
Chainer Chinese documentation $3,000 2020 2
Shogun Improving Shogun’s build script generator $5,000 2020 2
TARDIS TARDIS Continuous Integration reference data improvements $2,000 2020 3
QuantEcon Theme improvements for Jupyter Book $4,975 2020 3
SunPy Adding first class support to SunPy for co-aligning images $5,000 2020 3
nteract Funding for improving nteract documentation $5,000 2020 3
conda-forge Add messaging functionality to conda and conda-build $5,000 2020 3
ITK ITK Python Documentation Expansion $3,500 2020 3
poliastro New validation framework for poliastro $3,000 2020 3
Cython Advancing the state of Cython 3.0 $5,000 2020 3
rOpenSci Building Engagement through a new Community Call – Virtual Hackathon Model $5,000 2020 3
PyTorch-Ignite Visibility and communications improvements $5,000 2020 3
Gensim Modernize Gensim Website $3,500 2020 Off-cycle
mlpack mlpack for the Internet of Things and embedded devices $5,000 2020 Off-cycle
Matplotlib Hosted mac-mini for testing OSX-specific bugs $3,000 2020 Off-cycle
FEniCS Travel grants to support researchers and contributors to attend FEniCS Conference 2020 $2,400 2020 Off-cycle
ArviZ Create educational material and give workshops related to exploratory analysis of Bayesian models with ArviZ $2,500 2019 1
pandas Improving and modernizing the introductory “Getting Started” pages of the pandas documentation $5,000 2019 1
Julia JuliaImages developer meeting $4,000 2019 1
Gensim Organize Gensim Documentation & Improve Discovery $5,000 2019 1
SciPy SciPy Development Documentation Overhaul $4,274 2019 1
Cantera The 4th Annual Kinetics Code Conference $4,000 2019 1
Cantera Cantera Packaging and CI Infrastructure Upgrades $2,500 2019 2
SciPy Complete the SciPy special functions documentation $2,500 2019 2
Spyder Creating the ultimate terminal experience in Spyder with Spyder-terminal $4,800 2019 2
Astropy Developing Spectroscopic Reduction Tools $5,000 2019 2
Blosc Document Blosc2 frame format and freeze API $5,000 2019 2
SymPy Expanding ODE Module $3,000 2019 2
Bokeh Websocket Optimization for Tornado (for Bokeh) $2,500 2019 2
Spyder Content and design improvements to the Spyder documentation $1,820 2019 3
rOpenSci Create an open online rOpenSci Community Contributing Guide $3,000 2019 3
pandas Encourage contributors from minority groups to lead efforts in improving pandas documentation $3,000 2019 3
SciPy Enhanced LAPACK Support in SciPy $4,978 2019 3
MathJax Improved Dyslexia Support via Fine Grained Synchronized Highlighting $4,688 2019 3
Matplotlib Matplotlib Cheatsheets $5,000 2019 3
conda-forge Unified Recipe Regenerator $3,750 2019 3
Shogun Shogun Developer Meeting, Berlin $4,000 2019 Off-cycle
Shogun Fully integrate new parameter framework, unify API/interfaces, and release Shogun 7.0. $1,500 2018 1
Orange Data Mining Girls go Data Mining $3,000 2018 1
SunPy Improving the Usability of SunPy’s Data Downloader $3,000 2018 1
Gensim Modern user-friendly documentation $3,000 2018 1
Cantera Modernize, Reorganize, and Update Cantera’s Documentation $3,000 2018 1
Spyder Spyder 4: Making the Scientific Python Development Environment even better $3,000 2018 1
Julia (Sheehan Olver) BlockBandedMatrices.jl: add support for general array backends (GPU) $3,000 2018 2
Bokeh Bokeh Docs Modernization $3,000 2018 2
Pomegranate Improving Documentation, Examples, and Tutorials $3,000 2018 2
SciPy Maturing a sparse array implementation for SciPy $3,000 2018 2
MDAnalysis MDAnalysis tutorial and hackathon $2,500 2018 2
Statsmodels Probability Plots and Generalized Additive Models (finish stalled pull requests) $3,000 2018 2
Shogun Shogun website and UX redesign $2,500 2018 2
pomegranate Adding compatibility with user-defined Python models $3,000 2018 3
SciPy An Efficient, High-Level Implementation of Linear Programming $2,000 2018 3
PyTables Better support for native HDF5 files $3,000 2018 3
conda-forge conda-forge sprint at SciPy 2019 $3,000 2018 3
Gensim FastText tutorials $3,000 2018 3
SymPy MatchPy C++ code generator for SymPy/symengine. $3,000 2018 3
Julia Multi-Dimensional Bisection Method for finding the roots of non-linear implicit equation systems $3,000 2018 3
Open Journals Open Journals website update $2,800 2018 3
Cantera The 3rd Annual Kinetics Code Conference: Charting near- and long-term directions for Cantera software development $3,000 2018 3
FEniCS Travel grants to FEniCS Conference 2017 to encourage the transition from user to regular contributor $2,400 2017 1
PyTables h5py backend for PyTables $3,000 2017 1
NumExpr NumExpr-3.0 Beta $3,000 2017 1
SymPy SymPy 1.1 Release Support $3,000 2017 1
Orange Text Analytics Introductory Course for Social Scientists $1,750 2017 1
MDAnalysis Widening platform availability for MDAnalysis: Full Python 3 Support $1,500 2017 1
AMS Organization AMS Short Course on Open Source Radar Software $1,000 2017 1

NumFOCUS Sponsored Projects

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Julia logo
Astropy logo
Econ-ARK logo
Cantera logo
Dask logo
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Zarr Logo



pandas logo
Julia logo
Econ-ARK logo
Astropy logo
Cantera logo
Dask logo
mlpack logo
Zarr Logo




pandas logo
Julia logo
Astropy logo
Econ-ARK logo
Cantera logo
Dask logo
mlpack logo
Zarr Logo