High Performance Computing System Acquisition: Continuing the Building of a More Inclusive Computing Environment for Science and Engineering

National Science Foundation


Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M University faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements. Texas A&M and The Texas A&M University System agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.

Institutional Eligibility: An organization may submit only one proposal but may be a sub-awardee on other proposals responding to this solicitation. The restriction to no more than one submitted proposal as lead institution is to help ensure that there is appropriate institutional commitment necessary for responsible oversight, by the potential awardee institution, of a national resource.

PI Eligibility: 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.

The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).

Proposal Limit: 1

Summary: The intent of this solicitation is to request proposals from organizations willing to serve as Resource Providers within the NSF eXtreme Digital (XD) program.  The current solicitation is intended to complement previous NSF investments in advanced computational infrastructure by exploring new and creative approaches to delivering innovative computational resources to an increasingly diverse community and portfolio of scientific research and education.

NSF's vision for Advanced Computing Infrastructure, which supports Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21), focuses specifically on ensuring that the science and engineering community has ready access to the advanced computational and data-driven capabilities required to tackle the most complex problems and issues facing today's scientific and educational communities.  To accomplish these goals requires advanced computational capabilities within  the context of a multilevel comprehensive and innovative infrastructure that benefits all fields of science and engineering.  Previous solicitations have concentrated on enabling petascale capability through the deployment and support of a world-class High Performance Computing (HPC) environment.  In the past decade NSF has provided the open science and engineering community with a number of state-of-the art HPC assets ranging from loosely coupled clusters to large-scale instruments with many thousands of computing cores communicating via fast interconnects, and more recently with diverse heterogeneous architectures.  Recent developments in computational science have begun to focus on complex, dynamic and diverse workflows, which integrate computation into all areas of the scientific process.  Some of these involve applications that are extremely data intensive and may not be dominated by floating point operation speed.  While a number of the earlier acquisitions have addressed a subset of these issues, the previous solicitation NSF 13-528 and the current solicitation emphasize these aspects even further.

Currently NSF operates, through Blue Waters and the eXtreme Digital (XD) program, a two-tiered comprehensive distributed Cyberinfrastructure (CI), which is one of the largest and most powerful in the world.  Through these and related projects the open science and engineering community is currently capable of tackling many of the most challenging scientific problems across multiple science and engineering domains.  Both of these tiers are explicitly designed to address needs beyond the campus level.  With this solicitation, NSF intends to continue this model to broaden the CI capabilities above the campus level, while promoting deeper campus engagement.  

The resources supported under this solicitation will be incorporated into and allocated as part of the XD tier of national shared resources.  The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) integrates resources from the XD tier and will provide shared services for this resource in the form of:  allocations, user support, training education and outreach services, an XSEDE-wide file system, which connects all the resources, and campus bridging.  Additional XD shared services provided include the following: the Technical Inspection Service (TIS), dedicated to the evaluation of software and providing recommendations to XSEDE on the use of that software  and the Technical Audit Service (TAS), dedicated to providing metrics for the systems supported within XD and also to the evaluation of applications on the XD systems.  The TAS operates XDMoD, a publically available and easily usable tool to extract a broad array of information concerning the way the XD resources are providing services to the open science community.

The current solicitation is intended to complement previous NSF investments in advanced computational infrastructure by exploring new and creative approaches to delivering computational resources to the scientific community.  Consistent with the Advanced Computing Infrastructure: Vision and Strategic Plan ( February 2012), the current solicitation is focused on expanding the use of high-end resources to a much larger and more diverse community.  To quote from that strategic plan, the goal is to "... position and support the entire spectrum of NSF-funded communities ... and to promote a more comprehensive and balanced portfolio .... to support multidisciplinary computational and data-enabled science and engineering that in turn supports the entire scientific, engineering and educational community."  Thus, while continuing to provide essential and needed resources to the more traditional users of HPC, this solicitation expands the horizon to include research communities that are not users of traditional HPC systems, but who would benefit from advanced computational capabilities at the national level.  Building, testing, and deploying these resources within the collaborative ecosystem that encompasses national, regional and campus resources continues to remain a high priority for NSF and one of increasing importance to the science and engineering community.


March 14, 2014: Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project.

Send email of intent to limitedsubmissions@tamu.edu

March 18, 2014: Deadline to submit an internal proposal.

All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.

Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a one-three page research plan summary, two-page bio-sketch, and preliminary budget.

The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.

If you have any questions, please contact:  shelly.martin@tamu.edu or 979.862.2233.

April 1, 2014: Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

May 14, 2014: Sponsor deadline for the full application (due by 5:00 p.m. proposer’s local time).  

Internal Selection Procedures:
Texas A&M has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions. Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.