ACCESS Community Working Groups – Terms of Reference

ACCESS-NRI is funded by NCRIS to develop and maintain Australia’s Earth system model capability in support of climate, weather and Earth system science research. ACCESS-NRI is managed by a Director, who reports to the Board. The Director and Board are advised by an expert Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on key matters such as the prioritisation of resources, and the scope of the ACCESS platform being supported by the ACCESS-NRI.

Community Working Groups will provide scientific leadership on a specific ACCESS component, configuration or research community, to guide development priorities and to provide advice on the optimal allocation of available ACCESS-NRI computational resources. Each Working Group will have a Chair, or Co-Chairs, sourced from the scientific or research community, as well as an ACCESS-NRI Liaison (based at ACCESS-NRI).

The Chair(s) will provide scientific leadership and coordination across the community and will report and provide advice to the SAC. The ACCESS-NRI Liaison will support the operation of the Working Group and will act as a facilitator for the two-way flow of information between each Working Group and ACCESS-NRI developers.

Terms of Reference

The role of the ACCESS-NRI Community Working Groups is to:

1. Advise the SAC on near-term and long-term developments of the ACCESS framework.

2. Manage and oversee the computational resources allocated to the Working Group (both storage and compute hours).

3. Design and scope specific model experiments using ACCESS.

4. Recommend key datasets that are needed for model inputs and observations required for model evaluation, and reference model output datasets.

5. Share information and experiences about model configurations within the research community served by the Working Group.

6. Improve engagement and potential alignment between ACCESS-NRI and international research organisations working on climate and weather models and simulators.


The role of Working Group Chair(s) is to:

1. Plan and lead Working Group meetings and workshops.

2. Contribute to the ACCESS-NRI annual report.

3. Act as ACCESS community leaders, especially in workshops and public forums.


The role of the ACCESS-NRI Liaison is to:

1. Assist the Chair to run Working Group meetings and events.

2. Monitor and coordinate resource usage.



The ACCESS-NRI Scientific Advisory Committee advertises for expressions of interest in the position of Working Group Chair/Co-Chairs, and appoints suitable candidates for a 2-year term.

ACCESS-NRI Liaisons will be appointed by the ACCESS-NRI Director.

Membership of the Working Group is otherwise open, with the structure to be determined by the Chair(s) and Liaison to facilitate community input and broad participation.

Principles of Formation

Working Groups will be assembled around a specific research application, or a scientific community. The principle of Working Group formations is that they will be focussed on:

• One or more supported ACCESS configuration(s);

• A current or future component of the ACCESS modelling framework; or

• Another product released by ACCESS-NRI.

The number and formation of Working Groups is determined by the ACCESS-NRI Director on advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee.


Each Working Group will be invited to set their own meeting structure to best suit their community, but there is a general expectation that Working Groups will have a combination of semi-regular video meetings for sharing information and 1-2 in-person/hybrid workshops per year.


Diversity, and fostering a culture of inclusiveness, will be key contributors to the excellence of ACCESSNRI. The SAC, in overseeing the Working Groups, will endeavour to broadly ensure that there is an acceptable level of gender and cultural diversity amongst the Chairs, and that Working Groups operate in an inclusive fashion.