Please see the NSF Proposal FAQ page for proposal related information.

1. Who are the target users for CloudBank?

CloudBank was created by NSF to support computer science researchers and educators using public clouds. NSF controls which programs/projects will receive allocations via CloudBank.

2. What resources, services does CloudBank provide?

CloudBank provides information, education, training, and allocations for public clouds -- currently, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Information, education, and training resources are available to anyone in the research community. Allocation of cloud resources is provided to projects that belong to NSF programs that specify the use of CloudBank in the NSF solicitations. Projects that receive their cloud allocations via CloudBank will also receive additional services, as described below. 

3. How do I gain access to CloudBank?

Please see our Get Access page.

4. What NSF solicitations are eligible for CloudBank?

Please see Eligible NSF Solicitations for CloudBank.

5. Can I get access to other exploratory funds?

The following credit opportunities are also available to researches:

Google Cloud:
Microsoft Azure:  Reach out to

6. How can I stay up-to-date with CloudBank progress and activities?

Subscribe to the CloudBank email list on our news page.  

7. Who are the partners in the CloudBank project?

CloudBank is established via an NSF Cooperative Agreement with the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Information Technology Services Division at UC San Diego, the University of Washington eScience Institute, and UC Berkeley Division of Data Science and Information.

8. Which cloud providers will be available?

Currently, CloudBank provides access to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure. Others may become available over time.

9. Will cloud resources acquired through CloudBank bear indirect costs?

No. Cloud allocations made and received via CloudBank do not bear indirect cost overheads. While some universities charge indirect cost overheads for cloud resources line items in project budgets, projects that are awarded cloud resources via CloudBank are covered under the terms of the NSF cooperative agreement, which does not permit indirect costs. Furthermore, UCSD was one of the first campuses in the nation, along with University of Washington, to implement a policy of not assessing indirect costs on public cloud resources.

10. What information, education, and training resources and services does CloudBank provide?

Please see our Training page.

11. What cloud allocation resources and services does CloudBank provide?

Allocations on public clouds will only be provided to projects that belong to NSF programs that have specified the use of CloudBank, and where NSF has allocated funds to the respective projects for use of cloud resources. 

12. I am preparing a proposal to one of the NSF programs and wish to budget for cloud computing resources. How I can estimate the associated cloud computing costs?

CloudBank recommends using the following calculators that the cloud computing providers have made available:

13. How will I access these services?

The CloudBank user portal is the single point of access for users, giving them an on-ramp to cloud providers and access to materials and tools to support their research and education outcomes.  It provides access to help desk support, training and documentation, a catalog that summarizes important cloud provider features, allocation processing and management, and cost monitoring and accounting.

14. How do I cite CloudBank?

To cite CloudBank in publications, please use:

Michael Norman, Vince Kellen, Shava Smallen, Brian DeMeulle, Shawn Strande, Ed Lazowska, Naomi Alterman, Rob Fatland, Sarah Stone, Amanda Tan, Katherine Yelick, Eric Van Dusen, and James Mitchell. 2021. CloudBank: Managed Services to Simplify Cloud Access for Computer Science Research and Education. In Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 45, 1–4.

15. Startup package for new faculty: My institution has money for public cloud spend that we want to put into a startup package for new faculty.  This may sometimes include matching credits from a public cloud vendor.  Can my institution use CloudBank to manage the money and credits for our new faculty?  

Yes, please submit a request here to get started.