Campus Cyberinfrastructure

Understanding the NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure CC* Program

The Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) program invests in coordinated campus-level networking improvements, innovation, integration, and engineering for science applications and distributed research projects. Learning and workforce development (LWD) in cyberinfrastructure is explicitly addressed in the program. Science-driven requirements are the primary motivation for any proposed activity.

2018 CC* awards will be supported in four program areas:

(1) Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years;

(2) Network Design and Implementation for Small Institutions awards will be supported at up to $750,000 total for up to 2 years;

(3) Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years; and

(4) Network Performance Engineering and Outreach awards will be supported at up to $3,500,000 total for up to 4 years.

Campus Cyberinfrastructure FAQ

NB. This FAQ is not from the NSF but was created by KINBER staff and meant to guide preparation of a proposal. Always refer to NSF documentation for final clarification and/or contact the NSF CC* Program Officer with your questions about the program.

Q. What is a science-driven requirement?

A. CC* projects are reviewed with an eye to the proposal’s stated science drivers, or the needed capability required by science, engineering, and education. Science-driven requirements are the primary motivation for any proposed activity.

Q. How do we determine what our campus science-driven requirements might be?

A. There are many ways to approach this but you might consider the following:
First, consider the “low hanging fruit” such as:
1. XSEDE use and allocations
2. Does your institution have faculty or staff that participate currently in regional, national or international collaborations? Such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, iPLANT, NEON, Galaxy, LSST, DOE Labs (NERSC), NCAR, etc.
3. Are you currently or planning to use/require Internet2  services?
4. Do your researchers still use “sneaker-net” i.e., are they FedEx’ing drives somewhere?

Q. What is a Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CI) plan?

A. Any proposal to the NSF CC* solicitation must include a Campus Cyberinfrastructure plan. A strong CI plan will successfully articulate how the proposed CI improvements are conceived, designed, and implemented in the context of a coherent campus-wide strategy and approach to CI that is integrated horizontally intra-campus and vertically with regional and national CI investments and best practices. You can find examples of other Campus Cyberinfrastructure plans, including KINBER’s on the ESnet FasterData Knowledge page.

Q. What is a Data Management (DMP) Plan?

A. A Data Management Plan describes plans for retaining and sharing data. All proposals must include a data management plan (DMP). NSF will not evaluate any proposal that is lacking a DMP. Even if no research data are to be produced (e.g., the proposed activity entails conducting a workshop), a DMP is required. In such cases, the DMP is expected to discuss the management of the data that may be generated as part of the proposed activity (e.g., participant lists, exit surveys, community reports, etc.). The DMP should be no more than two pages and must be submitted as a supplementary document. Read more about NSF data guidance and management.

Q. What are the possible award areas?

A. 2018 CC* awards will be made in the following seven areas:

(1) Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years;

(2) Network Design and Implementation for Small Institutions awards will be supported at up to $750,000 total for up to 2 years;

(3) Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years; and

(4) Network Performance Engineering and Outreach awards will be supported at up to $3,500,000 total for up to 4 years.

Q. How can I determine appropriate interest/support from faculty/researchers on my campus?

A. Before you start any writing on a proposal you will likely want to first identify projects and researchers that already use existing infrastructure (network, storage, computation) and may be experiencing pain points. Are there researchers on campus who are still using “sneaker-net” i.e., are they walking drives to another building or shipping them to another institution via FedEx??

Q. What do you advise to help get us started if we are new to writing NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure proposals?

A. First, we suggest you focus on identifying key projects. Start with 3-6 of the most compelling projects or research/education activity areas based on discussions with faculty/staff on your campus. Then, figure out what you are going to ask for in the proposal. Do you need to enhance the cyberinfrastructure with a network upgrade to a full 10Gbps, multi 10Gbps connection, 40Gbps or 100Gbps? Will you establish a Science DMZ? Do you need this in a specific location or building(s) on campus? Successful and competitive proposals will be able to marry the science-driven need(s) on campus with the request for enhanced campus cyberinfrastructure.

Q. Can I submit proposals in more than one area?

A. Yes. There are no limits to the number of proposals an institution can submit.

Q. Can KINBER be a lead institution?

A. Yes. KINBER has verified with the NSF that KINBER is eligible to be a lead institution under Area 2 Small Campus Network Design.

Q. What has been funded through the CC* program so far? 

A. View an interactive map of awards across the US here. Or, search abstracts by state or type here.

Resources

KINBER Webinar – Preparing Your Campus Cyberinfrastructure Proposal Part 3 (Jan. 10, 2018)

KINBER Webinar – Preparing Your Campus Cyberinfrastructure Proposal Part 2 (Dec. 11, 2017)

KINBER Webinar – Preparing Your NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure Proposal Part 1 (Nov. 20, 2017)

NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure Program Half-Day Workshop at KINBERCON 2016 presented by Wendy Huntoon, President and CEO KINBER and Nili Tannenbaum, Director, Sponsored Research Administration, Internet2 Archived slides (April 13, 2016)

KINBER Community Campus Cyberinfrastructure Awards in Pennsylvania

KINBER CC*IIE Region: Accelerating the Adoption of Campus Cyberinfrastructure Technologies in Pennsylvania (Award #1440699) $150,000 abstract
Franklin & Marshall College – CC*DNI Campus Design: Building a State of the Art Research Network at Franklin and Marshall College (Award #1541307) $350,00 abstract
Bucks County Community College – CC* DNI Energizing the Future of STEM at Bucks (Award #1541343) abstract
Harrisburg Area Community College – CC* DNI Campus Design: Midtown WAN Redesign for GIS and CIS Research (Award #1541376) $208,946 abstract
Bucknell University – CC* Network Design: The Bucknell Science DMZ Network Design and Implementation (Award #1659397) $399,200 abstract