Google Exacycle Grant Program

What is the Google Exacycle for Visiting Faculty Grant Program?

Status: The window for proposal submissions closed on June 1st, 2011. We no longer accept applications at this time. Awardees have been selected and are currently working on their research projects. We will post progress and program updates on the Google Research blog as they develop.

Award Information

Google awarded a total of approximately one billion core-hours to distinguished researchers and postdoctoral scholars worldwide. We looked for projects that were able to consume at least 100 million core-hours. All grantees, including those outside of the U.S., were invited to work on-site at specific Google offices in the U.S. or abroad. The exact office location was determined at the time of project selection.


Google Exacycle for Visiting Faculty was open to all academic researchers who required unusually large computer time allocations in their pursuit of transformational advances in science and engineering. The intent of the program was to support computationally intensive projects that are enabled through the availability of massive computation capability. Both U.S. and international researchers were eligible to apply. Please note that travel requirements, such as passport and visa, as well as expenses related to relocation, travel and cost of living were the grant recipient’s responsibility.

Usage Agreement

Awardees participated through Google’s Visiting Faculty Program; faculty members were required to have full-time status at an academic institution; postdoctoral scholars were required to have an academic appointment confirmed by a university. Awardees signed a (limited) employee agreement with Google. Program participants were urged to review the application details and guidelines and consult with their appropriate institutional representatives if they received an award under this solicitation.

Awardees worked on a flexible schedule (part-time, full-time or semester-based) for up to one year.

Technical Specifications and Requirements

Proposals included, but were not limited to, research projects like Folding@HomeRosetta@Home, variousBOINC projects, and grid parameter sweeps. Other examples included large-scale genomic search and alignment, protein family modeling and sky survey image analysis.

The best projects had a very high number of independent work units, a high CPU to I/O ratio, and no inter-process communication (commonly described as Embarrassingly or Pleasantly Parallel). The higher the CPU to I/O rate, the better the match with the system. Programs were required to be developed in C/C++ and compiled via Native Client. Awardees were able to consult an on-site engineering team.

Preference was given to projects that were fairly high-risk/high-reward with the potential to drastically transform the scientific landscape. Even projects that yield negative results can still provide public data that the community can continue to analyze. At completion of the project, we recommended, but did not require, that all the researcher's data be made freely available to the academic community.