Use credits: overview

Once you've got a project and some ACCESS Credits to spend, you need to exchange those credits for allocations on a specific resource or resources. This is a relatively straightforward step—decide which resource you want to use and submit an exchange request from the Manage My Projects page.

For eligible projects, the Exchange action is available in the Choose New Action menu. To start the exchange process, select a resource from the list and click Add Resource. Then enter the amount of the exchange in resource units or ACCESS Credits. Your remaining ACCESS Credits Available will update as you make changes. When you are finished, use the Submit button to send your exchange request for approval.


The objectives of the Allocations Marketplace are to align the proposal-writing effort with the level of resource needed, adjust the review panel effort in anticipation of increasing volumes, and ensure allocations staff can keep up with the steady stream of requests.

The marketplace will empower researchers while also allowing resource providers (RPs) to approve which projects are granted access to their resources and modify their exchange rates for ACCESS credits. It enables all to benefit from diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the community, and to make more types of resources available through the allocations process.

ACCESS Credits and Thresholds

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


Credit Threshold

Explore ACCESS


Discover ACCESS


Accelerate ACCESS


Maximize ACCESS

Not awarded in credits.

Allocations for the first three levels are awarded in ACCESS Credits, which researchers with allocations exchange for resource-specific allocations after your project is created. Credits are issued in two increments, half initially and half following the recipient's submission of a progress report.

Maximize ACCESS allocations are requested and awarded in resource-specific units.

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, allowing researchers to “shop” for resources. You can use this calculator to determine the exchange rates on the various resources.