New NSF-OCI Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) solicitation

On Thursday, November 19, the NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI) announced a new Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) solicitation, with a full proposal deadline of February 28, 2010. It expects to make 25 to 30 awards totaling $15,000,000 over three years. The program synopsis reads as follows.

"The purpose of the Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program is to develop, deploy, and sustain a set of reusable and expandable software components and systems that benefit a broad set of science and engineering applications. SDCI is a continuation of the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) in an expanded context appropriate to the current expanded vision of cyberinfrastructure.

"This program supports software development across five major software areas: system software and tools for High Performance Computing (HPC) environments; software promoting NSF's strategic vision for digital data; network software to support distributed software, software in the form of middleware capabilities and services, and cybersecurity. SDCI funds software activities for enhancing scientific productivity and for facilitating research and education collaborations through sharing of data, instruments, and computing and storage resources. The program requires open source software development."

Of the five software areas to be supported by this program, Software for Digital Data is perhaps the one in which computational linguists may be able to make a contribution. The solicitation lists four specific focus areas of interest:

  • Documentation/Metadata,
  • Security/Protection,
  • Data transport/management, and
  • Data analytics and visualization.

For the Documentation/Metadata focus area, the solicitation lists the following development areas of interest:

"Tools for automated/facilitated metadata creation/acquisition, including linking data and metadata to assist in curation efforts; tools to enable the creation and application of ontologies, semantic discovery, assessment, comparison, and integration of new composite ontologies."

Such tools, however, should be designed "to support multiple application domains and large-scale end use communities." In addition, proposals will be evaluated for their ability to deal with one or more of following cross-cutting software issues:

  • sustainability,
  • self-manageability, and
  • power/energy efficiency

as described in the solicitation at the beginning of Section II.

Proposals must also be categorized as either New Development or Improvement and Support. Budgets for New Development must not exceed $500,000 per year, and those for Improvement and Support must not exceed $1,000,000 per year. All SDCI proposals should satisfy eleven "common requirements", some of which have been described above; these are listed at the end of Section II.


more info on SDCI and STCI (no kidding!) solicitations from NSF

At the recently concluded workshop for SDCI and STCI PIs, Jennifer Schopf, the OCI Program Director in charge of these programs, presented two sets of slides Part 1 and Part 2 describing them. You may find them interesting and helpful. I've provided information specifically about the Strategic Technology for CI (STCI) program in a separate funding opportunities post.

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