Prepare requests: overview

We've organized your options for requesting access to advanced research computing resources into a set of tiered opportunities designed to support needs ranging from new or entry-level exploration to the largest-scale computational experiments. We welcome you to find the opportunity that aligns with your best estimate of your resource needs. And don't worry about starting too small. As you clarify your needs, you can upgrade to a larger-scale opportunity when you're ready.

There are four opportunities, which are described below and compared side-by-side in this table:

Except for Maximize ACCESS projects, allocations are awarded in ACCESS Credits, which you will exchange for resource-specific allocations after your project is created. Resource providers may approve, modify, or decline an exchange based on the appropriateness of the resource for the proposed work as well as its availability. Use this calculator to determine the exchange rates on the various resources.

ACCESS Credits and Thresholds

Researchers have opportunities to request ACCESS allocations at four levels, which are described at the links in the table.

Allocation Credit Threshold
Explore ACCESS 400,000
Discover ACCESS 1,500,000
Accelerate ACCESS 3,000,000
Maximize ACCESS Not awarded in credits.

Explore ACCESS

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. Graduate students can conduct thesis or dissertation work.

These allocations can be requested at any time. They are available for the duration of your supporting grant or for 12 months without a grant (with possible extensions up to five years). Multiple requests are allowed if you have more than one supporting grant or need to keep your classroom or other non-research activity separate from your research efforts.

See Preparing Your Explore ACCESS Request for details.

Discover ACCESS

Discover ACCESS projects are intended to fill the needs of many small-scale research activities or other resource needs. The goal of this opportunity is to allow many researchers, Campus Champions, and Gateways to request allocations with a minimum amount of effort so they can complete their work.

These allocations can be requested at any time. They are available for the duration of your supporting grant or for 12 months without a grant (with possible extensions up to five years). Multiple requests are allowed if you have more than one supporting grant or need to keep your classroom or other non-research activity separate from your research efforts.

To submit a request, you will need to provide a one-page description of the project that addresses how you plan to use ACCESS resources. You can also ask for an advisory review from the community to guide you to appropriate resources.

See Preparing Your Discover ACCESS Request for details and how to submit your request.

Accelerate ACCESS

Accelerate ACCESS allocations support activities that require more substantial, mid-scale resource amounts to pursue their research objectives. These include activities such as consolidating multi-grant programs, collaborative projects, preparing for Maximize ACCESS requests, and supporting gateways with growing communities.

These allocations can be requested at any time. They are available for the duration of your supporting grant or for 12 months without a grant (with possible extensions up to five years). Multiple requests are allowed if you have more than one supporting grant or need to keep your classroom or other non-research activity separate from your research efforts.

Researchers are expected to have reasonably well defined plans for their resource use and to submit a three-page project description for merit review. Reviewers will look more closely at how your resource usage plan addresses the review criteria.

See Preparing Your Accelerate ACCESS Request for details and how to submit your request.

Maximize ACCESS

For projects with resource needs beyond those provided by an Accelerate ACCESS project, a Maximize ACCESS request is required. ACCESS does not place an upper limit on the size of allocations that can be requested or awarded at this level, but resource providers may have limits on allocation amounts for specific resources. The review process is similar to the XSEDE process for large allocations.

See Preparing Your Maximize ACCESS Request for details and how to submit your request.

Comparison Table

Opportunity Explore Discover Accelerate Maximize
Purpose Resource evaluation, grad student projects, small classes and training events, benchmarking, code development and porting, similar small-scale uses. Grants with modest resource needs, Campus Champions, large classes and training events, NSF graduate fellowships, benchmarking and code testing at scale, gateway development. Mid-scale resource needs, consolidating multi-grant programs, collaborative projects, preparation for Maximize ACCESS requests, gateways with growing communities. Large-scale research projects.
Allocation credit threshold Small Medium Large No upper limit
Allocation duration Supporting grant duration or 12 months Supporting grant duration or 12 months Supporting grant duration or 12 months 12 months
Requests accepted Continuously Continuously Continuously Every 6 months
Multiple requests allowed Multiple requests allowed Multiple requests allowed 1 allowed (some exceptions)
Requirements and review process Overview 1-page proposal 3-page proposal (max. length) 10-page proposal (max. length)
Confirmation of eligibility and suitability of requested resources Confirmation of eligibility and suitability of requested resources Panel merit review Panel merit review