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NAIRR Pilot Resource Requests to Advance AI Research

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In the NAIRR Pilot, the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and numerous private and non-profit sector partners are providing an opportunity for the research community to request access to a set of computing, model, platform and educational resources for projects related to advancing AI research. This call for proposals will be open from May 6, 2024, until the end of the NAIRR Pilot program or until all resources have been committed to projects.

Proposals will be reviewed on an ongoing monthly cycle. Requests submitted by the 15th of the month will be reviewed and have their outcome decided by the end of the month. Projects will be awarded for twelve (12) months duration.

Eligibility

This call is open to meritorious proposals by US-based researchers and educators from US-based institutions including academic institutions, non-profits, federal agencies or federally funded R&D centers, state, local, or tribal agencies, startups and small businesses with federal grants. However, the individual resources available via this call may have differing eligibility rules. Assignment of supported proposals will be guided by these constraints.

Note that the email address you provide must be your institutional email. Requests providing personal email addresses such as “.gmail.com” addresses will not be considered.

Focus Areas

This call for allocation proposals encompasses projects covering any of the cross-cutting or domain focus areas for the NAIRR Pilot.

Cross-cutting focus areas:

  • Advancing AI methods that enable scientific discovery.
  • Creating open-source foundation models for specific applications.
  • Using large-scale models to explore complex datasets interactively.
  • Advancing approaches for integrating simulations and AI.
  • Using experimental data from sensors, detectors, or other edge instruments.
  • Empowering use of scientific data by other stakeholders and the public.
  • Training and educating a cohort of scholars in AI technologies and their responsible use.
  • Probe key AI challenges using sensitive data including privacy-preserving methods.

Domain specific focus areas:

  • Accelerating societally-relevant research on AI safety, reliability, security, and privacy.
  • Empowering advances in cancer treatment and individual health outcomes.
  • Supporting resilience and optimization of agricultural, water, and grid infrastructure.
  • Improving design, control, and quality of advanced manufacturing systems.
  • Addressing earth, environmental, and climate challenges via integration of diverse data and models.

Other projects that align with the broader objectives of the NAIRR Pilot, as well as projects in other areas of AI research and applications, may secondarily be considered for allocation.

Available Resources

The set of resources available through the NAIRR Pilot has been expanded to include additional resources funded by federal agencies as well as resources contributed by private and non-profit sector partners. Over time, we expect new resources will be added to the NAIRR Pilot, and some resources may be removed from the pilot as their available contributions are committed to projects.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to review the most up-to-date list of resources, which will always be available via the NAIRR Pilot Resource Catalog.

 

Note that some resources contributed to the NAIRR Pilot, such as pre-trained models, datasets, and relevant platforms, may be accessible to researchers and educators without the need for a proposal. For details, see this full list of pilot resources.

Expectations of Projects

All persons submitting proposals should note the following parameters and expectations:

  • Because of the strong public component of the NAIRR, all project results must be open and publishable. Teams who receive NAIRR Pilot access are expected to publish their results in the open scientific literature or otherwise disseminate publically, and to make all project products publically available, to the extent possible. The NAIRR Pilot wishes to catalyze open, pre-competitive results that can impact the future of the NAIRR.
  • If a PI believes that a project will result in commercializable intellectual property (IP), the PI should discuss directly with the assigned resource provider to determine if commercialized IP requirements can be accommodated.
  • NAIRR Pilot projects are intended to be completed within twelve (12) months. Projects with longer-term timelines should contact help@allocations.nairrpilot.org to be referred to existing proposal and allocation opportunities.
  • All supported projects will have the name of the principal investigator (PI), their affiliation, the project title, and project abstract posted on the NAIRR Pilot website.
  • All project PIs will be added to a NAIRR Pilot mailing list to foster a community of NAIRR Pilot researchers.
  • Project PIs are expected to provide brief (2–3 paragraphs) project updates 1 month and 6 months into the project, and a final report (three pages) upon project completion.
  • For reporting purposes, the NAIRR Pilot collects information about how all participants use NAIRR Pilot-allocated resources. Usage information is collected initially by individual Resource Providers, which in turn share it centrally with the NAIRR Pilot. The NAIRR Pilot may share this usage information, typically in aggregate form but potentially unfiltered, with funding agencies and researchers.

Proposal Instructions

Proposals require completing a form and uploading a three-page PDF proposal. See proposal preparation instructions and expectations.

As part of the process of completing the form, researchers should include information about funding grants directly supporting,related, or adjacent to the proposed research. Proposals for research activities without merit-reviewed support will be accepted, but will be subject to additional review regarding the scientific merit of the work.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals will be accepted starting May 6, 2024, through the end of the NAIRR Pilot program or until all available resources have been committed to projects.

All proposals will be evaluated by independent peer reviewers for scientific and technical appropriateness and feasibility. Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the NAIRR Pilot focus areas;
  • Project readiness and potential for near-term progress;
  • Feasibility of the technical approach;
  • Need for the computing, support, or other resources available in the NAIRR Pilot;
  • Knowledge and experience of the proposing team related to the proposed work; and
  • Estimated resource requirements and justification

After completion of the independent review process, proposals will be matched to the appropriate resource through matching committees. All partners, including non-governmental partners will have a representative on a relevant matching committee to assure the proposal is a strong match for their contributed resource and will be able to see reviews of proposals in their resource category. All reviewers and members of matching committees will be subject to a confidentiality agreement that prohibits sharing review and/or proposal content. Note, if a researcher does not wish their proposal to be viewed by a non-governmental partner, they should choose only government agency resources and check the box indicating they do not wish their submission to be viewed by non-government resource providers.  Note that this could limit the ability to match a proposal to resources. 

Proposal Submission and Review

All proposals must be submitted electronically via the NAIRR Pilot submission site.

Proposals will be reviewed on an ongoing monthly cycle. Typically, requests submitted by the 15th of the month will be reviewed and have their outcome decided by the end of the following month. Projects will be awarded for twelve (12) months duration.

Questions and Help

Questions about this call and allocations can be directed to: help@allocations.nairrpilot.org.

Already have an allocation and need help? Submit a ticket.