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Executive Summary of Meeting 

Tuesday, June 23 (11am-12pm EDT) (10CT/9MT/8PT)

Location

Remote via Zoom (coordinates sent out via Outlook)

Attendees

NAME
PRESENT (tick)/(error)
XAB Members 
Lisa Arafune (Chair)(tick)
Leah Bendavid(tick)
Ken Bloom(error) 
Randy Bryant

(tick) 

Thomas Cheatham(tick) 
Elizabeth Cherry(tick)
Toni Collis (error)
Peter Couvares(tick)
Rudi Eigenmann(tick) 
Ani Ural(tick)
Service Provider Forum 

Ruth Marinshaw

(tick)

Jonathon Anderson

 (tick)
David Hancock(tick) 
User Advisory Committee
(tick) 
XSEDE Staff
(tick) 
(tick) 
(tick)
 (error)
 (error)
(tick)
(tick)
Victor Hazlewood(tick)
(error)
(tick)
Linda Akli(tick)
 (tick)
(tick)

Agenda


Time

Topic Lead
5 min

Welcome and approval of April meeting summary

  • Rudi, Emre: Move to approve April summary. Approved.
Lisa
50 min

Recap of NSF review

  • Have not received panel report from the review yet.
  • Talked with Bob Chadduck last Thursday. Expect report to be positive. Had a strong, positive review.
  • Bob plans to recommend year 5 funding for current award and will recommend that 12 mo extension be awarded to take project through Aug. 2022. Will need to go through NSF process.
  • Bob made a statement that XSEDE should hold itself to higher standard when comparing to other organizations.
    • Emre: in response to survey results since XSEDE uniformly receives higher ratings than most other orgs.
    • JT: should have something in the report related to this that we can respond to
  • Really good review. Well prepared and great job by the team.
  • Remote review made it a bit odd but we kept panelists engaged. Only 5 reviewers, which was a small panel compared to previous years.
  • Expect to be granted the one-year extension, but it will come through normal channels from NSF. Should see it come through as formally approved in July/Aug timeframe.
  • In anticipating one-year extension, NSF will have another year to go through process of developing solicitation for follow-on award. John asked Amy Freelander about this. She was making contact with large award PIs. She assured John that this has been an actively discussed topic at NSF and they are making preparations. No timeline yet. They will need a solicitation out late this year or early next to have enough time to get through the full process before the end of the XSEDE award. No indication if this will be a single or multi- award. Hopeful that it takes a form similar to the original solicitation for XSEDE 1, which allowed people to apply for one or more elements. John expressed concern about smooth transition for the research community.

Jonathon: did you get any insider feeling on what is driving the timeline and why it's taking so long?

  • Blueprint docs that were issued last year include coordinated service doc that is clearly the draft of a solicitation for follow on to XSEDE. In early February XSEDE submitted an extensive response to that doc and called out some glaring shortcomings. It looked like a very CS perspective. Points we made in response are being taken to heart. We don't know who else submitted responses to it. Blueprint had no program/coordination office. Nothing related to ECSS. Removed all workforce development activities, as they expected this to move to other programs within OAC. Not clear where they were in terms of development /writing of actual solicitation. About a year to develop a solicitation, and not sure how far along they are.

Rudi: value of bridging grant?

  • $21.8M–just under the 20% cap. When you ask for a supplement to NSF award, if you exceed 20% of original award it will require additional review. Purposefully came in under that limit. At the level we submitted, it came under approval from our panel review. Understand that NSF would like to get authorization to spend for year 5 and 6 prior to October to avoid any snags with government spending in the fall. Bob has been good about making sure we can continue to spend & operate despite government shutdowns.

JT: Can re-circulate comments XSEDE submitted in response to blueprint if the group would like.

Rudi: XAB can help with ideas/brainstorming of what comes next. Can XAB help more than we have so far with ideas/thoughts re. what services of the future will look like and how XSEDE can address these needs in its proposal.

  • JT: given that the blueprint responses were not public, it is hard to figure out what we should do next. One point in XSEDE feedback that was comprehensive & constructive feedback, but XSEDE no feedback to the response provided. Don't know if they can ask questions & we need to tell them things without being asked.
    • Rudi: NSF tries to get input from community, manage that in some form, use it to write solicitation. Our thinking about these services is very important.
    • JT: They received feedback from XSEDE and also held workshops. A formal RFI process was missing. General RFI about NSF 2030 and what folks feel is important, and this overlaps with next XSEDE award. A lot that is relevant in that.
    • Rudi: how can XAB help XSEDE to write the proposal? Do we need to wait for solicitation to come out?
    • JT: planning to begin thinking about blueprint as a solicitation & get team together to think about how we respond to it in that form. Solicitation will look different, but this is all we have right now. In preparing what we can now, will be better prepared when solicitation comes out. We may not get it until late and have a short timeframe to respond. Expect we'll be doing some of this relatively soon. Welcome feedback/input from panel. Have to be careful about not using project funds to develop proposal. Need to plan for transition so appropriate to talk about end of award.

Jonathon: Would it be feasible to try to assemble a set of responses from other institutions that might be willing to voluntarily collaborate, given the ongoing delays at NSF? Maybe no-one would be willing to share their feedback to NSF from before; but maybe they would?

  • Good idea but would have to go ask people. If you know people who submitted responses please share. Would've thought NSF would have a planning grant given scope/complexity. Late in life of Tera Grid there were competing awards funded to allow for more planning. Didn't see that this time. XSEDE has not made response public, as that could expose things that would be included in XSEDE's proposal. Could share with folks who are willing to share with XSEDE what they submitted.

Once we get the report, the team will draft detailed responses to all recommendations/comments. Might be some items that the team would like XAB feedback on. Will see what we get and then determine whether we need to get additional XAB feedback. Regardless the report will be shared with the XAB once it is received.

XAB member terms: if we get a one-year extension will offer opportunity to cycle some members off. Anyone who wishes to step down should let John know. Will then do a public call for new members.

John

Close meeting

Next meeting: Friday, August 28; 2-3pm ET (1CT/12MT/11PT)


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