Greetings from the Spectrum-ShaRC Contest Organizers! This home page will be your main source of information so please bookmark this page and reference it often. We have made some changes this year based on the surveys and reviews from our experience last year at the 2016 Spectrum-ShaRC Challenge. New this year are less rounds (3 this year versus 4 last year). We are also moving the final round of competition up to April to avoid conflicts wtih students who have either graduated or who have summer jobs and internships. As we move forward we will continue to modify and improve the challenge to make it more efficient, more fun, more challenging and more rewarding. Registration is limited to the first 15 US based teams and 3 international teams. You must also be a student in good standing on April 8, 2017 in order to participate in the challenge. A letter from your advisor or department stating that you are a student in good standing is REQUIRED and must be submitted as part of the application package. Your registration will not be considered complete without the letter of good standing from your advisor/department.
The application package will be available on September 1, 2016 if not before. Applications will be accepted starting September 6, 2016 and applications are due September 20, 2016. Phase 1 will be due November 11, 2016 and Phase 2 is due February 20, 2017. The final competition will be a one day event on April 7, 2017.
REQUIRED!!!! Please read the Rules and Regulations here, you will find a linked pdf that you will download and submit for your team stipulating that you have read all of the Rules and Regulations and agree to all terms and conditions. Your team advisor will be the one to submit this completed form to Joyce Donathan, one form for the whole team, with all of the team members and the advisor signatures. **Note that the Video/Image Release Form and the Hold Harmless/Indemnify Form is now included in the Rules and Regulations.
The Registration Form located at Qualtrics has to be filled out by each person on your team! I need that information to enter you into the system for payment of reimbursements for travel and for prize money payments. Each person needs to fill out the registration form and attach their resume's and submit the form.
Each team will fill out ONE Rules and Regulations form, which this year combines the Video/Image Release, Code Release and Hold Harmless/Indemnify Waiver, there is a back page to the downloadable form which has a table on it. Each person on the team and their advisor, will print their names, sign their names, and have their advisor send that to me at email@example.com.
To recap: Each person fills out the registration form. If you have 10 people on your team, that would be one per person, 10 forms total.
Each TEAM fills out the rules and regulations form, one form per team, each team member signs the back page and I have one form with 10 signatures on that one page.
1st place: $5,000 and a trophy.
2nd place: $3,000 and a plaque.
3rd place: $1,500 and a plaque.
4th place: Ettus Research state of the art software defined radio front end, (a $750 value) and a plaque. Details on the Ettus Research model USRP B200-mini-i are available here.
This year's challenge is three phases. Phase 1 is PHY/MAC competitive. Your radios will be scored depending on their stand alone quality. That is, they will not be judged by how they interact with other radios. Phase 2 wil be PHY/MAC co-existence. In this phase they will be judged by how well they perform with other radios that exist in the same band without interfering with those radios.
Also new this year is our Facebook page!
One of the chief obstacles last year was the paperwork, so this year we are going to get that out of the way early. We will need along with the registration package your resumes. Last year it was optional but this year it is required as part of your registration package. That is due in large part to the required Export Compliance Review for any international student which can take up to a month to complete. The Export Compliance Review requires your resume. In your resume please let me know if you are an international student who is attending a college/university in the United States, an international student who has US tax residence status, an international student who is enrolled in a college/university from another country, or a US citizen/permanent resident. This is important - if you are an international student at a college/univeristy from another country, you will have to be cleared to travel to the United States for the final round of competition if you are a finalist. The second reason for your resume is that it will help our tax specialist determine if you are subject to the 30% tax rate for non-US residents. More on that below!
Prize money and travel reimbursements are considered taxable income. In the case of US citizens or permanent residents or foreign nationals who are US residents for tax purposes, you will fill out a form W-9. You will receive a Form-1099 in the mail to file with your taxes and your taxes will not be deducted from your prize money or travel reimbursements. HOWEVER - if you are a foreign national your tax rate is 30%. That 30% will be deducted from any prize money or travel reimbursement BEFORE your check is mailed to you. So if we allow $1000 travel reimbursement and you are a foreign national attending a US college/university, or you are an international competitor from a college/university from another country, you will receive a check for $700. $1000 - $300 (30%) = $700. If your receipts do not total $1000, you will receive the total of your receipts minus 30% of whatever your receipts do total.
Again, prize money is considered income. If you win one of the cash prize awards, your share of the prize money is taxed at 30% if your are an international student. So if there are 4 people on your team, and you win first place, the prize money is divided up by 4, which is $1250. Out of that $1250, 30% or $375, is deducted for taxes leaving you with a $875 total for your share of prize money. If you are a US citizen, permanent resident or US resident for tax purposes, you will receive the entire $1250, and will receive a form 1099 in January of 2018 to file with your taxes.
For those of you who are international, you need to be thinking about your Visas. You will apply for a B1 (Visitor for Business) or B2 (Visa for Tourism). In addition you will need your passport, Foreign National Data Form (attached), an I-94 (arrival and departure form located here) and a W-8BEN (attached). If you are an international student who is already here in the United Sates attending a university, then you are required to submit your passport, US Visa, 1-94 document and either your F-1 with an I-20 or J-1 Visa along with a DS-2019, your Foreign National Data form and W8BEN.
Travel reimbursements are done through a system called TEM. Reimbursements go through several layers of certification before they are issued, and the process can take up to 8 weeks!! Patience is appreciated!