Support for UC-HiPACC comes from the office of the University of California Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Steven V. S. Beckwith, through the Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) competition. Related new MRPI programs are on Dark Matter Search Initiatives: Synergistic Opportunities (led by UC Berkeley Prof. Bernard Sadoulet) and Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution (led by UC Irvine Prof. James Bullock).
Working groups are the heart of UC-HiPACC. These groups typically consist of two to a dozen people, in practice mostly students and postdocs, who travel to another campus or laboratory to collaborate. Periods would typically range from a few days to a few weeks. This is a career-shaping opportunity for students in which they learn from other leading faculty members, master skills not taught on their own campus, line up writers for crucial letters of recommendation, and form other contacts and alliances that can powerfully shape their future careers.
Some meetings also bring together senior astrophysicists with computer scientists and engineers to extend the state of the art in computation and data analysis. Many of these meetings will last only a few days and involve only a few scientists, but some will be longer, especially for longer-term stays by students.
UC-HiPACC is completely open to novel ideas such as renting "astrohouses" to facilitate longer visits. To keep bureaucracy to a minimum, we award small grants on a first-come-first-served basis although we do track the success of such efforts.