Access routes to HPC facilities

ARCHER driving test

The ARCHER Driving Test is an online assessment tool which allows those new to ARCHER to demonstrate that they are sufficiently familiar with the machine and HPC to start using it. On successful completion of the Driving Test, you will be invited to apply for an account on ARCHER and awarded 1200 kAUs / 80,000 ARCHER core hours over a period of twelve months.

For more information, please visit the ARCHER Driving Test website.

ARCHER instant access

As a pump priming opportunity for new HPC users, we offer instant access to ARCHER for a limited number of Allocation Units (1200 kAUs or 80,000 ARCHER core-hours) over a six-month period.

This mode of access should give new users the opportunity to test ARCHER for their purposes and work towards a fully peer reviewed application either via a standard grant or via the RAP. An extension will only be granted in exceptional cases.

Peer Review

The Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) support provider will evaluate the technical feasibility of the project, while EPSRC will ensure that the work lies within its remit

Evaluation

These short projects are not evaluated further, unless an extension is required.

ARCHER access through EPSRC grants

Access to ARCHER can be requested by adding it as a facility in a standard EPSRC grant application. Reasonable ARCHER allocations are awarded for a two year period in the first instance, after which the applicant can apply for top-up resource via the Resource Allocation Panel (RAP).

ARCHER access as part of a standard grant should enable applicants to achieve the objectives of their proposal through access to our National High Performance Computing Service.

Peer review

Peer review is carried out according to EPSRC’s standard peer review process.

Evaluation

Outputs are captured via the Researchfish system.

ARCHER access through grants with other funding bodies

If eligible, access costs for ARCHER should be included in the grant application on the basis of the rate for non-partner organisation. Prior to applying for the grant, a completed Grant/RAP Technical Assessment (TA) (MS Word) must be submitted to the ARCHER helpdesk (support@archer.ac.uk) to ensure the project is technically suitable to run on ARCHER and to confirm the resources required to include in the grant application. Once the TA review is completed it will be sent by the ARCHER Helpdesk to EPSRC for approval.

For any questions, please contact EPSRC, the ARCHER Helpdesk and/or the funding body of your choice before applying.

ARCHER access through the RAP

Access to ARCHER can also be requested through calls for proposals to the RAP. Meetings are held three times a year. A reasonable number of AUs should be requested for a maximum time of one year.

The aim of these calls is to provide access to the National High Performance Computing Service for proposals of high scientific quality that would benefit from ARCHER independently from its feasibility for a standard grant application. A non-exclusive list of eligible types of project includes: short computational projects, collaborative projects, work in preparation for a grant or fellowship, or joint applications from students and their principal investigator (PI) after a successfully completed instant access project.

Peer Review

RAP consists of a cross section of HPC users within the Engineering and Physical Sciences community. The RAP will assess the scientific quality of the proposals taking into account the assessment criteria published in the call. It will also make recommendations regarding the requested level of computing resource. There is no postal refereeing of proposals submitted under this mechanism. The decision of the cut-off point on the rank ordered list rests with the ARCHER Service Manager.

Evaluation

Successful applicants are required to write a final report after the end of their project, which will be evaluated by the RAP.

ARCHER access through the Leadership Call

Leadership calls are published on the EPSRC Calls webpage approximately every 9 months. The aim of these calls is to provide access to ARCHER for computationally intensive individual projects of high potential impact. Applicants from academic and non-academic research groups can apply for >100,000 kAU or 6666667 core-hours on ARCHER for a maximum of 24 months. The resource is for pre-competitive research only and the research area must lie within the remit of either the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) or the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Applicants must demonstrate substantial high performance computing expertise within their team in order to be considered for funding.

Peer Review

The Resource Allocation Panel (RAP) will assess the proposals taking into account the assessment criteria published in the call. It will also make recommendations regarding the requested level of computing resource. There is no postal refereeing of proposals submitted under this mechanism. The decision of the cut-off point on the rank ordered list rests with the ARCHER Service Manager.

Evaluation

Successful applicants are required to write a final report after the end of their project, which will be evaluated by the RAP. Any projects that last for more than 12 months will also be asked for an interim progress report after the first year.