The National Science Foundation is soliciting proposals for research time on the Blue Waters
petascale computing system. This system, which is being constructed
by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at
the University of Illinois, will be the most powerful supercomputer
in the world when it comes online in 2011. Details of the
capabilities and architecture of the Blue Waters computing system
are available at http://ncsa.uiuc.edu/BlueWaters .
Each year, NSF expects to allocate computing time to 10-12
projects that simply cannot be performed on any other available
computing resources, including the existing TeraGrid. The awards
include an allocation of computing time ranging from a few weeks to
six months spread out over two or three years (according to need)
and provide access to NCSA staff consultants, system emulators and
up to $40,000 in travel funds to facilitate the development of
applications. The receipt date for applications is March 17, 2010,
and annually thereafter.
To encourage the use of the supercomputer for research relevant
to the NIGMS mission, we are facilitating the assembly of
investigators to develop several high-impact, community-based
proposals. The goal of the proposals is to engage many NIGMS
grantees or potential grantees in solving problems that can only be
explored with this new, powerful computing resource.
Scientific areas of interest include, but are not limited
- Protein structure prediction from sequence
- Prediction of protein-ligand and protein-protein
- Modeling of macromolecular complex structures by combinations
of experimental methods
- Simulation of enzymatic mechanisms and their coupling to
- Analysis and simulation of biological systems of material and
- Genetics of genes, proteins, organisms and populations, and
their evolutionary pathways
- Patterns of infectious disease communication and development of
To help develop these proposals, we will host a videocast workshop. See below for more details.
Videocast: Virtual Workshop and Applicant Briefing
NIGMS-NSF Briefing on Blue Waters
High-Performance Computing Opportunities
Thursday, December 17, 2009
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Drs. Jeremy Berg (Director, NIGMS), Stephan Meacham (Program
Director, NSF), Eric Jakobsson (University of Illinois), Thom
Dunning (University of Illinois) and John Moult (University of
Maryland) will lead a virtual workshop to discuss opportunities for
scientists to access resources of the NSF-funded Blue Waters
petascale computing system.
The virtual workshop will:
- Inform NIGMS grantees and potential applicants about the Blue
Waters computer system;
- Alert them to the NSF call for proposals to receive computing
time on the system;
- Identify areas of science within the NIGMS mission that may
benefit from access to these computing resources; and
- Assist interested scientists in forming collaborations and
Because of NIGMS’ substantial investment in protein
folding—through both its basic program of
investigator-initiated R01 grants and the Protein Structure
Initiative—the videocast initially will discuss opportunities
to use Blue Waters for protein structure prediction from sequence,
and then turn to other areas.
If you would like to submit other ideas or topics for the live
discussion before or during the videocast, e-mail Peter Preusch. You also may
submit questions and comments during the videocast by sending an
e-mail through the "Question and Comment" link next to the
videocast link on the NIH videocast page. To remain anonymous,
include the word "ANONYMOUS" in the subject line of your
View the briefing presentation slides from Thom Dunning (PDF, 10MB).