Academic Access

UK academic researchers can usually apply for access within a grant application. Some facilities also offer different methods of access that do not require applicants to prepare full grant applications.

Many facilities have restrictions on remit for free access depending on which research council has funded the facility. For example, EPSRC and NERC remit can gain free access to ARCHER; STFC remit can gain free access to DiRAC; and EPSRC remit can also gain free access to the various national Tier-2 HPC facilities.

Currently Open Calls

Note: The calls listed below are only those that are specifically for HPC service access. Many facilities also allow access to be requested in a funding application or by paying for access. Please see the individual facility pages for more information.

Call (link) Closing Date Notes
RAP: Open Access to Tier-2 30 October 2019 EPSRC Remit Only, all Tier-2 resources except MMM Hub
ARCHER Instant Access Always Open EPSRC Remit Only
Cirrus Instant Access Always Open
CSD3 Pump Priming Access Always Open Applications for pump-priming access can be made by email to: resources@csd3.cam.ac.u

Simple Access Methods

Instant Access or Seedcorn access is usually a lightweight process to get a small amount of resource to assess the suitability of a facility for the proposed research. It is also often used to gather benchmarking data to support an application for larger-scale resources.

ARCHER Instant Access Academic researchers whose work falls into the EPSRC remit can apply for up to 1200 kAU for 6 months as part of an ARCHER Instant Access application.

Cirrus Instant Access Academic researchers whose work falls into the EPSRC remit can apply for up to 20,000 core-h for 6 months as part of a Cirrus Instant Access application.

Other methods that give access to small amounts of resource for testing/evaluation purposes:

ARCHER Driving Test UK academic researchers can gain free access to 1200 kAU for up to 12 months on completion of the online ARCHER Driving Test.

CSD3 offers "pump-priming" access to, for example, simply test whether a programme compiles and runs, benchmark the performance of an application on the system, gather the data needed to complete the Technical Assessment required for Open Access applications for resources on CSD3, gather supporting data for applying for CSD3 resources on EPSRC grants. This will grant a relatively small allocation of resources for a limited period of time (up to six months). Applications for pump-priming access can be made by email to resources@csd3.cam.ac.uk.


Grant Access

Researchers can often ask for large amounts of resource to accompany grant applications.

ARCHER Access ARCHER has specific processes for researchers applying for access through grants from EPSRC and NERC. There is also advice for how to proceed if requesting access through other academic funding bodies.

Cirrus Access Cirrus has specific processes for researchers applying for access through grants from EPSRC. There is also advice for how to proceed if requesting access through other academic funding bodies.


Other Access Routes

Some facilities also provide different ways of accessing large amounts of resource that are not tied to applications to funding bodies.

EPSRC RAP: Tier-2 Open Access Academic researchers whose work falls into the EPSRC remit can apply for Tier-2 resource for up to 12 months via the EPSRC Resource Allocation Panel (RAP). The following systems can be accessed through this call: Cirrus@EPCC, GW4, CSD3, HPC Midlands +, JADE, and Isambard, GW4.

EPSRC RAP: ARCHER Access Academic researchers whose work falls into the EPSRC remit can apply for large amounts of ARCHER resource for up to 12 months via the EPSRC Resource Allocation Panel (RAP). Calls are usually opened three times a year.

DiRAC RAC Academic researchers whose work falls into the STFC remit can apply for access to DiRAC facilities as short or long projects through the DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee (RAC). Calls are usually opened once a year.