Orange Book


APPENDIX 9a: Guidelines for the ISPRS Scientific Initiative

Version May 2024


1. Introduction

In accordance with the statutory mission and activities of ISPRS, the Society shall provide funds to support scientific initiatives, which will further improve its international status in the field of the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences, and will therefore benefit all ISPRS members. These include initiatives to strengthen the Society's scientific activities undertaken by the Technical Commissions and/or related structures and organisations. These activities shall be funded on a project basis, with demonstrated aims and outcomes within the scope of these directives.

2. Funding

Funding shall be on an annual basis, and dependent on the budgetary restrictions at the time of the call for proposals. The maximum funding granted to any one project shall be CHF 10,000 per annum. The typical duration of any one project shall be 12 months, the maximum duration shall be two years, or the end of the current quadrennial period, whichever is shorter. Projects of a duration of more than one year are subject to annual review before subsequent funding will be released. Proposals with third-party financial support are particularly welcomed. If appropriate, funds from the Scientific Initiative Call can be considered as seed money to attract additional funds from other donors.

Travel expenses can be requested for a maximum of 10% of the requested project cost. Author processing charges will not be paid, instead a waiver might be arranged for publication in one of the ISPRS open access journals. Institutional overhead costs will not be paid.

3. Topics

The following topics, which will aim to enhance the common good of all ISPRS members, are indicative of what may be considered for support under this scheme:

  • database generation of images, test material for research, global databases;
  • evaluation of new data sources, theories or methods;
  • compilation of global indicators and statistics to support international programmes;
  • development of standards;
  • ISPRS activities associated with other international organisations such the members of the UN-GGIM GS, and also including UN, ISC, CIPA, ISO, and OGC;
  • other projects that will enhance the international standing and recognition of ISPRS will also be considered, depending on the availability of funding.

Wherever possible, open source software should be employed in the project, and all used data sets should be accessible without any restrictions, fees etc. to all interested parties, also beyond the project.

ISPRS encourages community participation on all projects, preferably with multi-national investigator involvement.


4. Procedure for applications

Working Group Officers shall be invited to submit proposals to the relevant Commission President, with copy to the ISPRS Treasurer, for projects under this scheme when Council agrees to invite applications. Such a call for applications will nominally be made in the autumn of even years of each ISPRS quadrennial period, so that projects are carried out in odd years. The relevant Commission President shall review all proposals received for adequacy and completeness, and will then forward compliant proposals to the ISPRS Treasurer, together with a recommendation, by the advertised deadline. ISPRS Council will make the final decision on approval/rejection. Evaluation criteria are based on overall excellence of the submitted projects, taking into account recommendation of all Commission Presidents. The ISPRS Treasurer will notify the relevant principal investigator (PI) and Commission President of the outcome shortly after decisions have been taken. All PIs and Commission Presidents will receive a short explanation of the result.

Proposals should consist of a case for support in the English language, comprising: (a) title; (b) names, addresses, e-mail addresses, CVs of the PI and all co-investigators (Co-Is); (c) a brief abstract relating to the purposes of the funding that can be used on the ISPRS website to promote the project (500 words); (d) full project outline, including aims, objectives and proposed methodology (max. 2,000 words); (e) the expected outcomes, specifying those which will be shared by ISPRS Members and benefit to ISPRS goals and aims (500 words); (f) project mile stones and schedule (Gantt chart or similar); and (g) a detailed budget of anticipated expenditure. Requests for travel funds in support of the proposal should not exceed 10% of the overall financial support requested from ISPRS. Overhead costs will not normally be considered, but if requested should be fully justified.

5. Reporting

On completion of the project, two reports must be submitted. A financial report which includes details of expenditure, invoices and receipts must be submitted to the Treasurer. A report (2,000 words) on the outcomes of the project must be submitted to the Secretary General. This report shall be published on the ISPRS Web site, and may be distributed to all Members, as instructed by Council. The report should begin with a 200-word abstract (in layman’s language) explaining the project and its outcomes that can be used on the ISPRS website to promote the project results.

PIs of projects of a duration longer than one year will be required to submit a brief annual report (1,000 words plus expenditure details) on progress made before subsequent funding will be released. Based on the results of these reports and on a submitted request, Council may grant a continuation of the project.

In addition, project investigators are asked to consider publishing project outcomes in the ISPRS Archives, Annals or in a suitable peer reviewed journal. In any publication or output resulting from the project/initiative supported by the ISPRS grant, support from ISPRS must be adequately acknowledged.




The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

Our Contact

Leibniz University Hannover
Institute of Photogrammetry and GeoInformation
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D-30167 Hannover