(CLOSED) Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research: Category I

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The intent of this solicitation is to request proposals from organizations who are willing to serve as resource providers within the NSF Advanced Computing Systems and Services (ACSS) program. Resource providers would (1) provide advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) resources in production operations to support the full range of computational- and data-intensive research across all of science and engineering (S&E), and (2) ensure democratized and equitable access to the proposed resources. The current solicitation is intended to complement previous NSF investments in advanced computational infrastructure by provisioning resources, broadly defined in this solicitation to include systems and/or services, in two categories:

  • Category I, Capacity Resources: production computational resources maximizing the capacity provided to support the broad range of computation and data analytics needs in S&E research; and
  • Category II, Innovative Prototypes/Testbeds: innovative forward-looking capabilities deploying novel technologies, architectures, usage modes, etc., and exploring new target applications, methods, and paradigms for S&E discoveries.

Only Category I proposals are accepted at the February 21, 2023 deadline. A limited submission for Category II proposals will be held in Spring of 2023 for the October NSF deadline.

Resource Providers supported via this solicitation will be incorporated into NSF’s ACSS program portfolio. This program complements investments in leadership-class computing and funds a federation of nationally available HPC resources that are technically diverse and intended to enable discoveries at a computational scale beyond the research of individual or regional academic institutions. NSF anticipates that at least 90% of the provisioned resource will be available to the S&E community through an open peer-reviewed national allocation process and have resource users be supported by community and other support services. Such allocation and support services are expected to be coordinated through the NSF-funded “Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support” (ACCESS) suite of services, or an NSF-approved alternative as may emerge. If this is not feasible for the proposed resource, proposers must clearly explain in detail why this is the case and how they intend to make the proposed resource available to the national S&E community.

The ACSS Program especially seeks broad representation of PIs (including women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with disabilities) and institutions (including those that have not historically provided nationally allocatable cyberinfrastructure) in both the community of resource awardees and resources users to continue growing the scale and diversity of the S&E community.

Category I – Capacity Resources

Resources proposed in this category are intended to be operational deployments of production computational resources that will provide maximum capacity and throughput to support the broad range of computation and data analytics needs in S&E research. The deployments are expected to adhere to a vision of an advanced computing ecosystem as a federated set of resources and services that are heterogeneous in architecture, resource type, and usage mode to collectively meet the Nation’s foundational needs for world-leading computing capabilities.

The proposed resource must be clearly motivated by the current and future demand for computational and data analytics capacity in the broad and diverse S&E research community. This category particularly targets capabilities and/or services for small- to mid-scale jobs (from one to a few thousand cores per job) across broad areas of S&E, including support for “long-tail science” applications, as well as new classes of applications, such as artificial intelligence/machine learning/deep learning applications.

Proposers are encouraged to explore novel models for future dynamic national cyberinfrastructure federation (such as those enabled by the PATh facility), including in compute resources, software, data, technical expertise, stakeholders, on-demand allocations, and resource provisioning mechanisms. The latter mechanisms can govern regional and/or campus supported resources, and/or commercial cloud services, enabling comprehensive and effective science-based response to a potential future national and/or international urgent need; or be available to fuel AI research and development opening opportunities for the next breakthroughs in science, engineering, and technology.

Competitive proposals in Category I must address the following requirements in the Project Description:

  • A clear plan for provisioning a resource that addresses the current and future demand for computation and data analytics capacity in the broad S&E computational research community;
  • A forward-looking plan for engagement with other NSF supported efforts in advanced CI where possible, such as domain-specific centers housing software, sensors, or instrument data that will enable new advances in S&E research;
  • A persuasive articulation as to how the resource will support less traditional and/or underrepresented computational S&E communities if appropriate and how models of engagement with campus-supported CI will be explored;
  • A description of how the resource will support S&E research communities that require a national-scale, on-demand, compute and data-analytics resource with a flexible and user-friendly software environment;
  • A clear plan of operations for the project duration with a clear set of operational and science impact metrics to ensure the resource will be an asset for the nation’s S&E research community;
  • A detailed risk-mitigated deployment plan to ensure that the proposed resource will be in production operations and available for allocation to the open S&E research community no later than 12 months from the time of award; and
  • A comprehensive set of system-level performance and reliability metrics that will be used by NSF for acceptance of the resource or service.

Relevant parameters contributing to the comprehensive technical description of the proposed system may vary with the nature of the resource. However, all description of the proposed resource must closely adhere to the guidelines provided in section V.A. Proposal Preparation Instructions.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Feb 21, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

nterested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF23-518_2023) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations. References may be included on an additional page.

3. Estimated Budget (1 page, including cost share details, if applicable)

4. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

No Applicants, Now first come, first served - Contact LimitedSubs@psu.edu if you wish to apply