Allocations Through ACCESS: What You Need to Know Now
A diverse community of researchers will soon be able to review new research computing opportunities available through the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS). Allocations will be made via the Resource Allocations Marketplace and Platform Services (RAMPS) team. While the new ACCESS presence is being developed, researchers, instructors and others who are interested are welcome to provide feedback on the basic information provided here and consider how they might participate.
Steady the Course (Mostly)
If you have a current project and allocations awarded via XSEDE, you should notice no changes to your resource access after August. ACCESS and the Service Providers have agreed to honor all XSEDE-awarded allocations until they expire. This includes projects awarded at the upcoming August XRAC meeting with a start date of October 1. If you have sufficient resources to meet your needs for a while, we recommend you continue with your current projects. The ACCESS projects are just getting underway, and you can expect continued improvements in rapid succession as we ramp up our efforts.
If you have an XSEDE-awarded research project that expires on December 31, you should continue to plan for a proposal submission window of September 15 - October 15, under the existing XRAC guidelines. ACCESS is supporting this "bridge" meeting to make sure no project falls through the cracks. However, if you find your needs at the smaller end of the scale, you should definitely check out the ACCESS Allocations Marketplace tiers (below) before starting your proposal – you may find easier routes to getting the resources you need.
Project allocation tiers
The four ACCESS allocation tiers will accommodate projects ranging from a modest amount to the largest research computing needs. The level of request detail and review criteria increase as the resource requirements increase.
Explore ACCESS allocations are intended for purposes that require small resource amounts. Researchers can try out resources or run benchmarks; instructors can provide access for small-scale classroom activities; research software engineers can develop or port codes; and so on.
Discover ACCESS allocations are intended to fill the needs of many modest-scale research activities or other resource needs. The goal of this tier is to allow many researchers to request allocations with a minimum amount of effort so they can complete the work associated with funded research.
Accelerate ACCESS allocations support activities that require more substantial resource amounts to pursue research objectives on ACCESS-allocated resources. Researchers are expected to define plans for their resource use and to submit a project description for merit review. Reviewers may recommend all or some of a request or recommend a Discover ACCESS award.
For projects with resource needs beyond those provided by the Accelerate ACCESS tier, a Maximize ACCESS request is required. ACCESS does not place an upper limit on the size of allocations that can be requested or awarded, but resource providers may have limits on allocation amounts for specific resources. The review process will be similar to the XSEDE process for large allocations.
Join the AARC!
The ACCESS Allocation Review Committee (AARC) is a panel of volunteer experts from the faculty and staff of U.S. universities, laboratories, and other non-profit and commercial research organizations. All members have expertise in at least one area of computational science or engineering and serve a term of approximately three years, with the possibility of a one-time renewal. PI and co-PIs of ACCESS allocation awards may serve on the AARC. The AARC will review requests for the Maximize Tier as well as the Accelerate Tier through a separate subcommittee.
Why Should You Join?
Serving as an AARC member is a great opportunity to provide a valuable service to ACCESS, the NSF, and the national research community. You will participate in merit reviews of ACCESS allocation requests that meet the highest thresholds. In the process, you will broaden and deepen your network by interacting with colleagues, ACCESS staff, and staff from the various resource providers. You'll gain insight into the allocations process and how to craft your own successful requests. Plus, if chosen as a reviewer, you will receive an honorarium for your participation!
How Does It Work?
Each member will receive up to 10 allocation requests for each biannual review in advance of the remote meetings. The time commitment would include review and preparation time plus approximately 6 hours per review meeting. AARC members agree to attend at least two meetings per year. As an AARC member, you can submit your own allocation requests but not participate when those requests are reviewed. Honorariums are available to all reviewers to ensure we have the broadest participation of reviewers from a diverse range of R1 and non-R1 institutions, including MSIs, HSIs, TCUs, and HBCUs.
Communicate with Allocations
We welcome and encourage feedback! If you have any questions, comments, or would like to join the AARC, please use this form to let us know.
Allocations PEARC22 Slidedeck
The ACCESS Allocations team will load all of their final slides, so you can find them here.