The Committee on Proposal Evaluation for Allocation of Supercomputing Time for the Study of Molecular Dynamics evaluated submissions received in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Biomolecular Simulation Time on Anton, a supercomputer specially designed and built by D.E. Shaw Research (DESRES) that allows for dramatically increased molecular dynamics simulations compared to other currently available resources. Over the past year (October 1, 2010 -- September 30, 2011), DESRES has made available to the non-commercial research community 3,000,000 node-hours on an Anton system housed at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), based on the advice of a previous National Research Council committee convened in the fall of 2010.
The goal of the second RFP for Biomolecular Simulation Time on Anton has been to continue to facilitate breakthrough research in the study of biomolecular systems by providing a massively parallel system specially designed for molecular dynamics simulations. These special capabilities allow multi-microsecond to millisecond simulation timescales, which previously had been 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, Justification for Requested Time Allocation, and Investigator Qualifications and Past Accomplishments.