unobtainable. The program seeks to continue to support research that addresses important and high impact questions demonstrating a clear need for Anton’s special capabilities.

The Anton RFP described the three criteria against which the committee was asked to evaluate proposals:

  • Scientific Merit, including the potential to advance understanding on an important problem or question in the field; potential for breakthrough science resulting in new discoveries and understanding; the impact that successful completion of the proposed research would have on knowledge, methods, and current barriers in the field; and a scientifically and technologically feasible project with clear, well-developed, and appropriate goals, objectives, and approach to proposed studies.
  • Justification for Requested Time Allocation, including a clear and well-justified need for multi-microsecond simulation timescales and a clear and convincing justification that the length and number of proposed simulation runs and node-hours requested are necessary and sufficient to achieve the scientific objectives.
  • Investigator Qualifications and Past Accomplishments, including the appropriate experience and training to successfully conduct the proposed studies, evidence of knowledge and prior experience in molecular simulations, and past publications.

Proposals from investigators who had previously received an allocation of time on Anton were required to include brief progress reports. Following guidance provided by DESRES and PSC, the committee drew on these progress reports as supplemental material in its consideration of proposals. As explained in the RFP, staff at PSC conducted an initial assessment of all proposal submissions for completeness to determine whether they were technically feasible for simulation on Anton. A member of the PSC staff was also present as an observer throughout the review committee’s discussions to address technical specification questions that arose.

The committee was asked to identify proposals that best met the selection criteria. As in the previous two rounds of time allocations for Anton, 100,000 node-hours was the maximum amount of time available to a proposal. Principal investigators could also request a lesser time allocation. The committee was further asked to try to allocate approximately 25% of the time to principal investigators who had not previously received an Anton allocation. The judgments of the committee are based on which proposals best met the selection criteria described above and on the estimates of required simulation time provided by the applicants. The committee was also permitted to consider a modified time allocation if it concluded that the proposed research required a greater or lesser number of node-hours than initially requested by an applicant.

Initial reviews of the proposals were provided by the 15 committee members. Each proposal was assigned a minimum of two primary reviewers who were asked to evaluate the proposal based on the RFP and guidelines described above. Review assignments were made so that no proposal was evaluated by a reviewer from the applicant’s same institution or who had a collaborative relationship with an applicant.

The NRC committee held its meeting in Washington, D.C. on September 7, 2012. At the meeting, members undertook a detailed discussion of the proposals. The two primary reviewers were asked to summarize their review for the committee, which was followed by discussion of the proposed research. As described in detail above, committee members considered the scientific merit, justification of the requested time and the qualifications of the principal investigator. The committee then considered the slate of proposals as a whole, came to a

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