Applying to the ADACS Merit Allocation Program

 

Support Types

Two types of support are available through the ADACS Merit Allocation Program:

 

1)  Training Support

Members of the Australian astronomy community are invited to apply for personalised/bespoke face-to-face or online ADACS training. This can include requests to re-run, re-fine, or expand existing ADACS training material/workshops.

 

2) Software Support

Members of the Australian astronomy community can obtain access to the time and expertise of the ADACS team to start new software initiatives or to optimise/extend the capabilities of established ones.

Training can also be incorporated into these projects as well.  For new capabilities developed through an ADACS Software Support Project, examples of appropriate training include:

 

  • proper use of new tools/optimisations, etc. in HPC environments;
  • training in the use of technologies leveraged in the development cycle of the project (e.g. to enable science teams to conduct ongoing support, add further features, etc.)

 

How does the program work?

The allocation of all resources will be based on impact and scientific merit, with the final evaluation performed by the Astronomy Data and Computing Services Time Allocation Committee (see here).

To ensure effective and program-appropriate proposals, there will be a three stage application process:

  1. In the first instance all researchers are asked to submit – at any time – an expression of interest (EoI).  We strongly encourage both successful and unsuccessful applicants from previous rounds to consider reapplying.
  2. An ADACS staff member will then be in touch to organise a formative discussion.  This will be processed as soon as possible upon receipt.
  3. Resources have been allocated for short codebase/project audits during this EoI phase, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. These resources are limited, so we strongly advise submitting your EoI as soon as possible.
  4. Following their EoI consultation with ADACS staff, applicants will then be able to make a formal application to be assessed by the ADACS TAC.  Calls are announced in April (for B-semester projects starting early-July) and September (for A-semester projects starting early-January) with final proposal deadlines occurring roughly 5 weeks afterwards.

Announcements of the opening of new calls for the program will still be made well in advance of final deadlines, in time for meaningful EoI engagement to be organised, but the hope is that projects which seek earlier EoI engagement will naturally be in a better position to secure significant resources on shorter timescales.

When considering applications for this process, please consider that all ADACS development will be open-source and as such, made publicly available. In addition, resources generated for training projects will be kept inclusive, open and available to the broader community.

Note that all applicants must participate in the EoI process in order for a final submission to be accepted.

 

EoI submission requirements

EoI submissions should be informative but not more than one page and should provide a concise description of the intended project and its goals. The EoI should provide sufficient information to form a basis for subsequent discussions with ADACS.

Important areas to consider during the EoI process include:

 

  • feasibility of the project;
  • scope and limitations (i.e. what exactly will be part of this project? what will not?);
  • expected outputs and outcomes;
  • implementation and ongoing requirements (post ADACS support period); and
  • topics for training projects should fall within the ADACS remit of teaching coding and computational best practices.

The format of EoI submissions should be as follows:

 

  • please submit as a one-page pdf document
  • please state which program you are expressing interest in: “Training Support” or “Software Support”
  • please include the following sections:
    • Project Background
      • A one-paragraph description of the scientific background to the project
    • Project Goals
      • Give a description – as you understand it – of the work that you are seeking ADACS to perform
  • text must be black type using a highly legible 12pt font such as Arial or Times New Roman, and single column on white A4 size paper with at least 0.5 cm margins on all sides.

EoI applications or enquiries (of any kind) regarding the ADACS Merit Allocation Program should be submitted via email to map@adacs.org.au.

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ADACS is delivered jointly by Swinburne University of Technology and Curtin University. ADACS is funded under Astronomy National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Program via Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL).