Get Your First Project

Getting a project is the first step toward accomplishing your research, development, or instructional goals. Follow these steps to get your first project and use resources in the ACCESS ecosystem.

To get started, you need to create an ACCESS account, if you don’t have one already.  You’ll need to log in with your ACCESS account to complete this process.

If you had an XSEDE account, it’s now your ACCESS account. Please don’t create a new account for ACCESS.

Why an ACCESS account? You’ll also need your ACCESS account to submit Support tickets and use the Support portal. And fill out your profile when you have a chance and link your ORCID ID. With a linked ORCID ID, your allocated projects will get posted to your ORCID profile!

We have four types of projects to choose from, based on the scale of your resource needs. ACCESS supports almost any kind of open science work, no matter how (or if) the work is funded, and we always welcome instructors using ACCESS resources for classroom activities.

Not sure how your needs translate into resource units? Then get started with an Explore ACCESS project. You can try out different resources, and you can always upgrade later to a larger project once you understand how your work corresponds to resource usage.

Want to learn more? The Allocations Policies page has more about what we do and the terminology we use. And if you’re experienced in cyberinfrastructure use, check out the different project types to see which is best for your planned work.

If you’re new to ACCESS, your most difficult choice will probably be choosing the resource or resources where you’ll conduct your work. There are quite a few, designed to serve many different computational and other resource needs.

Browse our Resource Catalog to find one or more resources that suit your needs. The catalog has a basic description of each resource and its recommended uses. 

We can’t really recommend one resource in particular because we love them all.

Need more help? Check out the ACCESS Support site. There you can find resource documentation, community groups, and other options to learn more about the ACCESS portfolio of resources.

Spoiler alert! For an Explore ACCESS request, you’ll usually hear about the outcome by the next business day, so watch your email for important instructions. And see the Exchange Credits section below for what you need to do next. 

You’ll need the following items (along with a few other bits and pieces) to complete an Explore ACCESS request:

  • Project Title and brief overview (abstract). Your overview should touch on your project’s goals, how you plan to use ACCESS resources, and any software you know you need. Covering these topics helps us ensure you get connected with appropriate resources for your work.

  • Supporting grant information. If you have a funding award associated with the work you plan to pursue, have the details handy. We use this to show funding agencies the value of ACCESS to the researchers they support.

  • Documents. All requests need a CV or resume (max 3 pages) for the project lead (PI) and any co-leads (Co-PIs). For classroom activities, have a course syllabus available. If the project lead is a graduate student, we need a signed letter from their advisor affirming the advisor’s awareness of and support for the project. PDF files only.

  • ACCESS Credits: Check the box and we’ll hook you up.

Once you’re ready, login, choose Explore ACCESS, fill out the form, and hit Submit. The form will check for any errors, and you’ll get an email that we’ve received your request. 

Need a larger project? Check out our How-To pages for details on the other project types, the required information for each, and example requests.

Important! To begin working, you need to exchange some or all of the ACCESS Credits you’ve been awarded for time on the resources you want. Be sure to login first!

When you have an awarded project, your default page of the ACCESS Allocations site will show your brand new project in the My Projects area. It will display as having “No active resources.” You need active resources!

Click on the project number to go to your project’s management page, and you can select “Exchange” in the Allocations section. 

Credits can be exchanged for resource units, and each resource has its own exchange rate. The Exchange request form will help you move some or all of your Credits to one or more resources. Then, your Exchange request will be reviewed by resource representatives to make sure the resource is appropriate for your work. 

Allow up to a week for this approval. You’ll get an email notice, and the project info will update on the Allocations site.

Curious about Credits? If you want a head start, the Exchange Calculator can help you understand how Credits apply on different resources.

Now you can log into your approved resources and begin work. Your project’s management page will show your local user account for each resource. The page also has links to each resource’s documentation.

As a project lead, you can add other individuals as users on your resource allocations. You will need to know their ACCESS IDs. Add them to the appropriate resources under the Activity section of your project’s management page. 

New user accounts may take a few days to get set up. But once you’ve made the request, those individuals will see this project on their My Projects screen and can check on the status of their account requests—and their resource usernames.

VERY IMPORTANT! Your username on different resources is probably not the same as your ACCESS ID. Check the My Projects screen at the Allocations website to see your resource username(s).

If you need help, the ACCESS Support knowledge base has resource documentation and other support options related to using each resource. 

What’s next? Check out our How-To pages to read about upgrading to a larger project, getting more Credits, and making other changes.