This funding opportunity has been developed following feedback from representatives from each research council, the ExCALIBUR Steering Committee and the BBSRC-MRC Supercomputing Taskforce.
This opportunity will fund up to 5 ‘emerging requirements convenors’ to deliver the aims of the emerging requirements tranche within the ExCALIBUR programme. Conveners are expected to achieve the following aims:
- identify and assess requirements for scientific codes at exascale in a community that will pioneer the uptake of this technology
- champion the potential of exascale software and algorithms within your community
- drive the importance of training and skills to prepare for faster and powerful supercomputers of the mid-20s and demonstrate the community’s needs
- translate the developments of ExCALIBUR projects in a community appropriate way to inform engagement
- lead 2-way knowledge exchange between ExCALIBUR projects and your chosen community, sharing the developments within the programme and the requirements for future codes
The purpose of this opportunity is to provide support and a means for communities to prepare themselves for developments in exascale software and algorithms beyond those disciplines currently participating in the ExCALIBUR programme. See the additional information section for activities currently funded.
Specifically, broadening awareness of current and potential users of scientific codes bases to the potential that exascale software and algorithms will have on science and research in the UK. These areas include computational biomedicine, climate and earth sciences to digital humanities and social sciences or computational biology. See the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Science case for Supercomputing for examples of these areas.
Applicants to this opportunity can select one of the following predetermined disciplines or propose a discipline not listed that has a community seeking to prepare for the developments taking place in scientific code:
- biomolecular and biophysical simulation
- data-intensive bioscience
- genomics or genetics
- large scale data management representatives
- medical imaging
- multi-scale biology
- structural biology
- systems biology
Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary proposals and project teams are encouraged to apply to this opportunity. A letter of support from a representative or group from the chosen community should show their support of your approach and willingness to participate in proposed activities.
To ensure training and skills are considered across the entire programme, ExCALIBUR projects must consider how training and upskilling of researchers, research software engineers or industry will be supported to prepare for faster software and architecture. This is a route for applicants to this opportunity to make connections with existing projects.
Applicants must engage with 1 or more of the funded ExCALIBUR projects as part of their proposal and a letter of support must be provided by the group to evidence this:
Find out more about these activities on the ExCALIBUR website and under additional information.
If access is required to the ExCALIBUR testbeds, contact should be made via the Hardware and Enabling Software Group.
Knowledge exchange is a vital component of achieving the objectives of the ExCALIBUR programme. It will ensure integration across the programme activities where researchers are developing software and algorithms in preparation for future exascale systems.
Additionally, connections are required with potential beneficiaries in academia, public sector research establishments (PSREs) and industry to allow their contributions and participation in disseminating the output and outcomes beyond the programme members.
The ExCALIBUR programme has a network of knowledge exchange coordinators that represent each project. This network meets monthly to share progress made, provide updates on project level activities as well as developing and designing activities that can be delivered on behalf of the programme.
Your project should identify a member of the investigator team as the knowledge exchange coordinator who will attend and contribute to this network. This role can be shared by the principal investigator, a co-investigator or research co-investigator or held by an investigator solely. Applicants should decide how this role would be best resourced for their project.
Flexible funds can be requested to contribute to programme level knowledge exchange and to respond to opportunities for knowledge exchange over the duration of the grant. These funds should be managed and administered by the principal investigator and knowledge exchange coordinator.
Expectations for this role include, but are not limited to:
- identify opportunities for knowledge exchange within their project, with other ExCALIBUR programme projects, and with other relevant national and international groups
- identify opportunities for knowledge exchange to develop and maintain a 2-way flow of engagement and dissemination with industry and relevant national and international research communities
- develop a plan to increase the awareness of the proposed project and the ExCALIBUR programme. The plan should include a rationale for the flexible funds requested to support this and timescales to accomplish this
- collaborate with other ExCALIBUR knowledge exchange coordinator’s as a network to deliver the programme level activities or events
These expectations were given to all ExCALIBUR knowledge exchange coordinators. It is an opportunity for emerging requirements conveners and their teams to establish connections with these projects as you gather the requirements of your community and initiate knowledge exchange.
A separate plan for knowledge exchange is not required as the role is compliments the purpose of this funding opportunity, instead your proposal should embed these expectations into your plans.
Project deliverables and outputs
Applicants to this opportunity, will be funded to act as conveners within their communities and to support development of connections between the chosen community and the breakthroughs of other ExCALIBUR funded projects.
Your proposal should demonstrate understanding of your community’s readiness to engage with exascale software and algorithms. You should provide a tailored engagement plan and rationale for engagement that considers the current and future needs of your community moving towards large scale computing and software. This includes recognising the range of requirements for software and training within your community.
Your proposal should demonstrate how you intend to foster connections with a minimum of 1 ExCALIBUR project initially that has relevance to your intended engagement plan and community. This connection could include but is not limited to participation in an event, activity, co-design of an engagement activity, being part of the investigator team or involvement in benchmarking of software.
The application should include time for the team to familiarise themselves with the progress underway in ExCALIBUR and demonstrate your approach to translate this within the chosen community and gain community buy-in. As an example, this could result in, an agreed set of terminology to ease communication between the different areas of expertise or principles to be used for multi and interdisciplinary working, so as not to alienate users, researchers across communities.
Conveners and their team should consider the good practice, they wish to implement to ensure an inclusive environment for those participating in the project directly or indirectly, for example, attendance at an event or ease of access to resources respectively.
At the completion of the grant, the following outputs must be submitted to the ExCALIBUR programme team contacts and made available on the ExCALIBUR programme website with a digital object identifier:
- a community report, that is the result of engagement activities that have taken place. This should define the potential use cases, describe challenges and the expected benefit exascale software and algorithms will bring to these disciplines
- a complimentary roadmap that identifies current and potential users of exascale software and algorithms in the chosen field, the milestones required to prepare them for utilising this technology and training needs. The roadmap should also highlight opportunities or quick wins to advance readiness for impending software and algorithm improvements
The authors of these outputs should consider that audience will not be solely academic and will include new and existing users of software within industry, UKRI, PSREs and government departments. As such, inclusion of an executive summary, a glossary would be beneficial, and the document should be uploaded to a repository such as Zenodo.
The ExCALIBUR programme anticipates the following outcomes for this activity:
- increased representation of disciplines within UKRI remit that are contributing to ExCALIBUR which will provide direction for future software developments that will enable science capability within the UK
- communities who are informed and engaged with the developments underway within exascale software and algorithms in the UK and understand their requirements for software and training
- ExCALIBUR Use Cases, Cross-cutting Research, Hardware and Enabling Software group and RSE Knowledge Integration projects and software development have been influenced and by their engagement with the conveners and domain communities
£2.5 million is available to fund up to 5 projects for a duration of 18 months at 80% full economic cost. Applicants can request up to £500,000 (including indexation), costs can include:
- investigator time
- staff time
- science writer
Up to 5% of the total funds requested for the project can be costed as flexible funds to support knowledge exchange and knowledge integration activities.
Funding must be spent within the financial years identified in the grant profile. If the grant holder anticipates underspend, they must inform the EPSRC project officer as soon as possible.
Equipment over £10,000 in value (including VAT) is not available through this opportunity. Smaller items of equipment (individually under £10,000) should be in the ‘directly incurred – other costs’ heading.
Find out more about equipment funding.
EPSRC is fully committed to develop and promote responsible innovation. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge, and value, but also unintended consequences, questions, ethical dilemmas and, at times, unexpected social transformations.
We recognise that we have a duty of care to promote approaches to responsible innovation that will initiate ongoing reflection about the potential ethical and societal implications of the research that we sponsor and to encourage our research community to do likewise. Therefore applicants are expected to work within the EPSRC framework for responsible innovation.
Applicants planning to include international collaborators on their proposal should visit Trusted Research for information and advice on how to get the most out of international collaboration while protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information.