National Science Foundation: Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
The Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (CyberTraining) program seeks to prepare, nurture, and grow the national scientific research workforce for creating, utilizing, and supporting advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) to enable and potentially transform fundamental science and engineering research and contribute to the nation’s overall economic competitiveness and security. The goals are: (i) ensure broad adoption of CI tools, methods, and resources by the research community to catalyze major research advances and to enhance researchers’ abilities to lead the development of new CI; and (ii) integrate core literacy and discipline-appropriate advanced skills in advanced CI as well as computational and data-driven science and engineering into the nation’s educational curriculum/instructional material fabric spanning undergraduate and graduate courses for advancing fundamental research. Advanced CI is broadly defined as the set of resources, tools, methods, and services for advanced computation, large-scale data handling and analytics, and networking and security for large-scale systems that collectively enable potentially transformative fundamental research.
The CyberTraining program calls for developing innovative, scalable training and education programs to address the emerging needs and unresolved bottlenecks in scientific and engineering research workforce development, from the postsecondary level to active researchers. As part of this investment, this solicitation seeks to broaden CI access and adoption by:
- Increasing or deepening accessibility of methods and resources of advanced CI and of computational and data-driven science and engineering by a wide range of scientific disciplines and institutions with lower levels of CI adoption to date
- Harnessing the capabilities of larger segments of diverse underrepresented groups
The CyberTraining program focuses on three scientific communities, and projects should target one or more of these communities:
- CI Professionals (CIP): This is the community of research CI and professional staff who deploy, manage, and support effective use of research CI. A CIP-specific project is for technical and research CI professional skills development of future CI professionals, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists, and for skills refinement and career development of current CI professionals.
- CI Contributors (CIC): This is the community of computational, data, and domain scientists and engineers who research and develop new CI capabilities, approaches, and methods. A CIC-specific project is for contributor-level CI skills and advanced domain skills development; the target population spans graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers who are current and future CI Contributors.
- CI Users (CIU): This is the community of domain scientists and engineers who effectively exploit advanced CI capabilities and methods for research. A CIU-specific project is for user-level core literacy in advanced CI as well as computational and data-driven science and engineering skills; the target population spans undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers who are current and future CI Users.
Proposals must be consistent with one of the project classes defined below.
- Pilot Projects: Exploratory activities that may lead to Implementation projects.
- Implementation projects: These projects can be either small (total budgets of up to $500,000) or medium (total budgets of up to $1,000,000). Implementation projects make CI training and educational activities or curriculum/instructional materials broadly accessible to a significant portion of a community for one or more disciplines. These projects collaborate with other CyberTraining awards and with other appropriate NSF-funded projects. Medium Implementation projects also foster a community to catalyze the adoption of advanced CI methods or incorporate training resources and materials into the curriculum.
- Large-scale Project Conceptualization projects: Planning grants for potential future large-scale (at the level of institutes) CyberTraining projects. These projects will be capable of serving the training, educational, and curricular needs and emerging challenges of well-defined communities. These projects will provide a long-term community network and information hub; enhance collaboration among CyberTraining projects and serve as repositories for NSF-funded CI educational and curricular resources in the discipline(s); support and guide the CyberTraining and other projects; and spur community adoption of advanced CI tools and resources and inform curriculum standards.
Amount: A total of $6,000,000 is available to fund 12-18 awards that range from $300,000-$1,000,000 per award and range up to 3 years in duration. Project classes are:
- Pilot Projects: Up to $300,000 total budget with durations up to two years
- Implementation Projects: Small (with total budgets of up to $500,000) or Medium (with total budgets of up to $1,000,000) for durations of up to four years
- Large-scale Project Conceptualization Projects: Up to $500,000 total budgets with durations up to 2 years
Eligibility: Universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; for-profit organizations; and state and local governments. At least one Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI must have expertise relevant to the targeted research discipline. All proposals shall include at least one PI/co-PI with expertise relevant to NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC).
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