NSF Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support

NSF Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support - Coordination Office (ACCESS-ACO)

Please see the full solicitations for complete information about the funding opportunities. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

The national research cyberinfrastructure (CI) ecosystem is essential to computational- and data-intensive research across all of 21st-century science and engineering (S&E), driven by rapid advances in a wide range of technologies; increasing volumes of highly heterogeneous data; and escalating demand by the research community. Research CI is a key catalyst for discovery and innovation and plays a critical role in ensuring US leadership in S&E, economic competitiveness, and national security, consistent with NSF's mission. NSF, through the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), has published a vision that calls for the broad availability and innovative use of an agile, integrated, robust, trustworthy and sustainable CI ecosystem that can drive new thinking and transformative discoveries in all areas of S&E research and education. In support of this vision, NSF is releasing two solicitations in parallel: this solicitation, Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS), and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support - Coordination Office (ACCESS-ACO). This solicitation (ACCESS) aims to establish a suite of CI coordination services - meant to support a broad and diverse set of requirements, users, and usage modes from all areas of S&E research and education - and calls for proposals for five independently-managed yet tightly-cooperative service tracks (see Figure 1 in the solicitation). The second solicitation (ACCESS-ACO) focuses on the creation of a coordination office to support the collective and coordinated operation of the ACCESS service tracks.

This solicitation expects to fund five awards for five independently-managed yet tightly-coordinated services defined in the following five tracks: (1) Allocation Services; (2) End User Support Services; (3) Operations & Integration Services; (4) Monitoring & Measurement Services; and (5) Technology Translation Services. Together, these services are expected to provide a seamless experience for an increasing breadth of research users across a highly performing innovative array of national computational computing resources.

  • Allocation Services (Track 1) will be responsible for providing equitable access to NSF-funded CI resources for the Nation's S&E research and education community with the goal of enabling discoveries at scales beyond the reach of an individual or regional academic institution. The Allocation Services track comprises three defined activities: Allocation Services; Innovative Pilots; and a Service Model.
  • End User Support Services (Track 2) will be responsible for coordinated activities that ensure a high-quality productive experience for prospective and current users when engaging with the NSF-funded CI resource providers at any stage. The End User Support Services track comprises four defined activities: General User Assistance; Allocation and Utilization Assistance; End User Training; and a Computational Science Support Network.
  • Operations and Integration Services (Track 3) will be responsible for providing coordinating functions across the computational resource providers to enable the different elements of the NSF-funded national CI ecosystem to work together effectively and securely. The Operations and Integration Services track comprises three defined activities: Operational Support; Data and Networking Support; and Cybersecurity Support.
  • Monitoring & Measurement Services (Track 4) will be responsible for providing an integrated and open data collection and analytics platform to ensure optimal performance, robustness, and usage of NSF-funded resources (including compute, storage, networking, software/data services, etc.) as well as to facilitate timely decision making for a broad range of stakeholders. The Monitoring & Measurement Services track comprises three elements: Monitoring & Measurement Operations; Service Model; and Data Analytics Framework.
  • Technology Translation Services (Track 5) will be responsible for the development and establishment of technical and programmatic mechanisms to translate and integrate innovative cyberinfrastructure technologies and capabilities supported by OAC programs into robust production operations within NSF-funded CI resource providers. The Technology Translation Service track comprises two defined activities: Operations, including both Pilot/Development Phase Operations and Production Phase Operations; and Technology Translation Pipeline, including processes for selection and deployment.

NSF expects that these services, when funded, will come online with minimal disruption to the S&E research community.

Please note that each of the five service tracks has an associated set of requirements detailed in the body of this solicitation, including defined roles and responsibilities for the services, and specific requirements to interface operationally with one or more other defined ACCESS service tracks and with a coordination function to be supported by NSF through the separate ACCESS Coordination Office (ACCESS-ACO) solicitation. Proposers are advised to carefully read this solicitation for these requirements and for guidance regarding eligibility and overall strategy.

Deadlines

CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MT March 15, 2021

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MT June 16, 2021

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • NSF Program: Identify which opportunity is being pursued:
    • NSF ACCESS
    • NSF ACCESS Coordination Office
  • Track (if pursuing NSF ACCESS): Identify which track is being pursued: 
    • Track 1: Allocation Services
    • Track 2: End User Support Services
    • Track 3: Operations and Integration Services
    • Track 4: Monitoring and Measurement Services
    • Track 5: Technology Translation Services
  • Project Description (3 pages maximum):
    • If pursuing NSF ACCESS, the project description should include elements of the particular track being pursued as outlined in the NSF solicitation.
    • If pursuing NSF ACCESS Coordination Office, provide the following:
      • ACCESS Executive Council Plan: describe the near-term plan to establish the ACCESS Executive Council, including incorporation of PIs into the Council once they are identified, and the initial charter creation.
      • ACCESS External Advisory Board Plan: describe the initial plans of the ACCESS External advisory board, including an initial charter, along with mechanisms to allow for modifications at the request of the ACCESS Executive Council.
      • ACCESS Communications & Outreach Plan: describe plans for communications & outreach activities, specifically initial mechanisms in which the project would collect and disseminate communications from each ACCESS track.
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6580/home

Eligibility

An individual may be the PI on no more than one proposal that responds to this solicitation. An individual may also serve as a co-PI or senior personnel on proposals to tracks other than the track to which they have submitted a proposal as the PI.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual exceeds these limits, the proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission. No exceptions will be made.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may submit only one proposal as a lead. An organization may also be a subawardee on proposals to tracks other than the track to which it has submitted a proposal as the lead organization.

Collaborative projects may only be submitted as a single proposal in which a single award is being requested (PAPPG Chapter II.D.3.a). The involvement of partner organizations should be supported through subawards administered by the submitting organization.

Award Information

$7,500,000 to $20,000,000 per award, dependent on award track. Up to one (1) award is estimated to be made for each award track. A total of $57,500,000 is available for this solicitation, subject to the availability of funds.

Review Criteria

Please note that each of the five service tracks has an associated set of requirements detailed in the body of the solicitation, including defined roles and responsibilities for the services, and specific requirements to interface operationally with one or more other defined ACCESS services and with a coordination function to be organized by NSF separately from this solicitation.

Reviewers will be asked to assess the quality and viability of the track-specific plans required in the Project Description (these are described in Section V.A. Proposal Preparation Instructions above):

Track 1: Allocation Services

  • Allocation Services Plan
  • Innovative Pilots Plan
  • Service Model

Track 2: End User Support Services

  • General User Assistance Plan
  • Allocation and Utilization Assistance Plan
  • End User Training Plan
  • Computational Science Support Network Development Plan

Track 3: Operations and Integration Services

  • Operational Support Plan
  • Data and Networking Support Plan
  • Cybersecurity Plan

Track 4: Monitoring and Measurement Services

  • M&M Operations Plan
  • Service Model
  • Data Analytics Framework

Track 5: Technology Translation Services

  • Operations Plan
  • Technology Translation Pipeline