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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological, Physical and Social Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:September 24, 2020
Subject:NSF Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research NSF 20-606


Deadline for Internal Review:October 27, 2020

Project Description

The intent of this solicitation is to request proposals from organizations willing to serve as service providers (SPs) within the NSF Innovative High-Performance Computing (HPC) program to provide advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) capabilities and/or services in production operations to support the full range of computational- and data-intensive research across all of science and engineering (S&E). The Advanced Computing Systems & Services program is intended to complement previous NSF investments in advanced computational infrastructure by provisioning resources, broadly defined to include systems and/or services, in two categories:

  • Category I, Capacity Systems: 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.

This solicitation welcomes only Category II proposals.

Resources supported through awards from this solicitation will be incorporated into and allocated as part of NSF’s Innovative HPC program. 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 institutions of higher education. NSF anticipates that at least 90% of the provisioned system or services will be available to the S&E community through an open peer-reviewed national allocation process and be supported by community and other support services [such as those currently supported through eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) 2.0 project-managed allocations recommended by the XSEDE Resource Allocation Committee (XRAC), and other activities intended to foster efficient coordination across resources], or an NSF-approved alternative that may emerge. If this is not feasible for the proposed system/services, proposers must clearly explain in detail why this is the case and how they intend to make the proposed system/services available to the national S&E community.

Please refer to the Program Solicitation for a Detailed Project Description

Amount: $5,000,000 per award. A total of $10,000,000 is available for this solicitation, subject to the availability of funds. It is anticipated that 1-2 awards will be made at up to$5,000,000 per award for up to five years.

Duration of Award:
The length of the award may vary depending on the type of resource funded. However, in most cases, it is expected to be up to 5 years. The details are described in the section entitled Program Requirements and should be carefully considered.

Number of Awards:   2


An individual may be the PI or co-PI on no more than one proposal that responds to this solicitation. There is no limit on the number of proposals with which an individual may be associated in other capacities, such as senior personnel.

UW-Madison may submit 1 proposal.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:

Please include the following information:

  • Cover Sheet – Project Title, Name and Department of PI (1 page)
  • CV
  • Research project summary of no more than 4 pages of how the proposed project meets the goals of the solicitation

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to NSF by December 03, 2020.