Apply for AWS Cloud Credits for Research

Please note: the AWS Cloud Computing Credits program has reached its current limit of applicatioins and is no longer taking accepting new proposals.

CRC is partnering in collaboration with Pitt IT and Amazon Web Services (AWS) a program that offers up to $5,000 funding to allow investigators to explore the application of AWS cloud computing to their research projects. Postdocs and graduate students with endorsements from their supervisors and legitimate research projects that meet the specified criteria may also apply.

Cloud computing offers great benefits for researchers – virtually unlimited resources, no queues, cutting-edge applications, no hardware to buy or manage and the freedom to compute from any device, anywhere.

But researchers wanting to use cloud computing typically run up against barriers of funding, training, and support. In a joint effort to remove those barriers and help ease Pitt researchers seamlessly into the cloud ecosystem, Pitt Research, Pitt IT and AWS are partnering on a program that offers $5,000 funding for AWS cloud credits for appropriate research projects. AWS offers: 

  • Consultation and technical support from domain experts 
  • On-site training and virtual workshops 
  • Secure collaborative data environments supporting compliance requirements 
  • Engagement with other researchers leveraging AWS  

The Pitt/AWS program aims to create a sustainable relationship where researchers can build a robust cloud architecture for their own work that augments existing research workflows. 

“This new program represents an opportunity both for Pitt researchers and for AWS,” said Rob A. Rutenbar, Pitt senior vice chancellor for research. “Pitt researchers will have access to great new tools, while AWS expands academic research within their cloud ecosystem. Pitt Research is delighted that we could help make this possible together with Pitt IT, CRC and AWS.” 

Interested faculty should submit a proposal describing a project that could benefit from access to the cloud. Postdocs and graduate students with endorsements from their supervisors and legitimate research projects that meet the specified criteria may also apply. Both NSF and NIH have initiatives to support projects that will use and expand knowledge-domain-specific use of cloud computing as part of the NSF CloudBank program and the NIH STRIDES program.  

Please note that the pricing formula for AWS credits varies depending on compute and storage needs. AWS can provide price estimate consultation during preparation of proposals. Proposals should be as specific as possible, but a concise maximum of two pages. The intent is to understand how access to cloud computing could enhance substantial and innovative projects, not to gather documentation. The submission form asks for:

  • Investigator name and title of project
  • E-mail address
  • Department
  • Project Description, inlcuding anticipated project infrastructure requirements such as TB of storage and number of CPUs (no more than 1,000 words)
  • How the project would benefit from cloud computing (no more than 1,000 words)
  • Anticipated project infrastructure requirements such as TB of Storage and number of CPUs


Q: How much time does it take from proposal submission to funding, typically?
A: We don't have a specific timeframe, but approved proposals will be funded in fairly short order, weeks in most cases.

Q: How high is the bar for funding?
A: The baseline requirements are legitimate research that will continue to use cloud computing beyond the $5k seed funding. We are very open to funding varying project types.  

Q: Does the project have to be NSF or NIH funded? 
A: No  

Q: Does the project need to have publications or preliminary data? 
A: It is not necessary but may help in some cases. 

Q: Is it okay to ask for funding for a project that is just getting started? 
A: Yes