Frequently Asked Questions - Co-Design

Exascale Co-Design Center FAQ

This web page is intended to supply answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Exascale Co-Design Center solicitation.

Q: Are partnerships with universities or industry allowed?

A: It is up to the laboratories to assemble appropriate teams in order to address the research challenges outlined in the solicitation. If university or industry partnerships are desired, such partnerships are to be effected through the award of subcontracts, existing consulting agreements, CRADAs, or any other existing mechanism - but we cannot accept separate applications from university or industry for this call.

Q: What kind of interactions may I have with vendors?

A: Proposers may propose any interactions with vendors that advance the goals of their proposals. All vendor interactions will require corresponding letters of support from the vendors.

Q: The call says there is $8M available in FY10 but requests proposals for $5 to $10M. Are you anticipating outyear increases?

A: Yes.

Q: Are there any companion calls?

A: No.

Q: Is there an advantage to addressing several applications?

A: No. The FOA specifically asks for one overreaching application for each co-design center.

Q: How many centers do you expect to fund with this call?

A: Depending on the size of the projects, we may fund up to three co-design centers with this call.

Q: Are you serious about the 25-page limit for the project narrative? Even for collaborative proposals involving several laboratories?

A: Yes to both questions, including the specification of margins and font size. Proposals exceeding these bounds will be returned without review. Note, however, that this limit applies only to the project narrative. Pages for the bibliography, bio sketches, current/pending support, etc. do not count toward the 25-page limit.

Q: How should I submit the proposal? Do you want hard copies or CDs?

A: Please submit the proposal through the Laboratory's standard Field Work Proposal (FWP) process. In the past we have requested CDs and paper copies; please do not send CDs or paper for this call.

Q: How do I arrange the proposal?

A: Please see the FOA for the order of the various sections of the proposal. Please include the announcement title and number on the proposal cover sheet.

Q: What is the B&R code?

A: Please use KJ0403

Q: What start date should we use?

A: Please use September 1, 2010

Q: Can you tell me more about what future architectures will look like?

A: Please see the following presentations:

Q: Do all non-lead institutions need to submit the FULL proposal or just their own individual section of the FULL proposal?

A: It is sufficient for the lead Lab to submit the full proposal and for the participating Labs to submit only their respective budget pages. To help us put it all together, we would like to ask that (1) all participating labs please use the exact same proposal title as the lead Lab and (2) the lead Lab to give us a table showing all participating laboratories and their respective budget requests.

Q: Concerning the budget pages, you want a budget page for the lead and every partner
for each year (so 5 pages for 5 years) plus a one- page roll-up budget and a one-page
budget justification?

A: Yes, Correct. Please use these dates:

9/1/2010 – 8/31/2011 (FY10) full year funding
9/1/2011 – 8/31/2012 (FY11) full year funding
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013 (FY12) full year funding
9/1/2013 – 8/31/2014 (FY13) full year funding
9/1/2014 – 8/31/2015 (FY14) full year funding

Q: Is it recommended to adjust for escalation in the out years by some percentage or just to keep flat?

A: It is recommended that the PIs make whatever outyear plans that make sense for the technical work being proposed -- thus, if flat budget works for them that's fine, and if they need budget escalation, that's fine too. In any event, be assured that the selected project(s) will undergo annual reviews and possible budget adjustments for the duration of the project(s).

Q: Rumor has it that it is "good" to have co-funding or matching support for the proposal from the office that supports your application -- and this should be new in-kind support. But we have also heard from others that there is nothing about that in the FOA, and it is not an advantage/necessary. Is there an advantage to show new "in-kind" or matching funds from a program?

A: This is an ASCR FOA. There is absolutely nothing in the FOA on co-funding or partnering with other offices! We would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the following from the FOA, now located at 10-07.pdf:

"It is anticipated that up to a total $8M of ASCR funds will be available for award in FY2010, contingent on the availability of appropriated funds. Proposals may request project support up to five years with the possibility for renewing for an additional five years. Multi-lab and/or multi-institutional proposals are expected and should request between $5M and $10M funding per year. Out-year support is contingent on the availability of funds and on the progress of research and programmatic needs."

Q: For our co-design proposal, is it required that we seek assurances from the leadership compute facilities that our co-design project will get time on ALCF, OLCF, and/or NERSC, should it be selected for an award?

A: Proposers should estimate their resource requirements and put that estimate in the proposal.