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How to Apply for Computing Time at GCS

GCS offers access to its computer systems to researchers performing leading, ground-breaking projects which should deal with complex, demanding, innovative simulations that would not be possible without the GCS infrastructure, and which can benefit from the exceptional resources, services and support provided by GCS.

GCS provides two types of computing time allocations - large-scale and regular projects. Allocations are granted based on scientific criteria through independent reviewers in a peer-review process. Eligible are applications from German universities and publicly funded German research institutions, e.g., Max-Planck Society and Helmholtz Association.

GCS large-scale projects

Large-scale projects are characterised by large computing time requirements, not only for short time frames, but often for longer time periods. Projects are classified as "large-scale" if they require a total of at least 35 million core-hours per year on the GCS member centres' high-end systems Hazel Hen/Hawk, JUWELS, and SuperMUC-NG.

For these large-scale projects a competitive review and resource allocation process has been established by the GCS. A "Call for Large-Scale Projects" is published by the Gauss Centre twice a year. Dates for closure of calls are usually at the end of winter and at the end of summer of each year.

GCS regular projects

Proposals requesting less than 35 million core-hours per year are called GCS Regular Projects. The peer-review process is implemented at national level, carried out by the steering committees or allocation committees of the three GCS centres HLRS, JSC and LRZ respectively.

Applications for GCS regular projects on Hazel Hen/Hawk and SuperMUC-NG can be submitted at any time (so-called rolling calls), applications for GCS regular projects on JUWELS can be submitted twice a year at the same time as GCS large-scale projects.

Criteria for decision

Applications for compute resources are evaluated only according to their scientific excellence.

  • The proposed scientific tasks must be scientifically challenging, and their treatment must be of substantial interest.
  • Clear scientific goals and verifiable milestones on the way to reach these goals must be specified.
  • The implementation of the project must be technically feasible on the available computing systems, and must be in reasonable proportion to the performance characteristics of these systems.
  • The Principal Investigator must have a proven scientific record, and she/he must be able to successfully accomplish the proposed tasks. In particular, applicants must possess the necessary specialized know-how for the effective use of high-end computing systems. This has to be proven in the application for compute resources, e.g. by presenting work done on smaller computing system, scaling studies etc.
  • The specific features of the high-end computers should be optimally exploited by the program implementations. This will be checked regularly during the course of the project.

Call opening

Applications for GCS regular projects on Hazel Hen/Hawk and SuperMUC-NG can be submitted at any time (so-called rolling calls), applications for GCS regular projects on JUWELS can be submitted twice a year at the same time as GCS large-scale projects (so-called cut-off calls).

The next call for GCS large-scale computing time proposals on SuperMUC-NG, JUWELS and Hazel Hen / Hawk as well as for GCS Regular proposals on JUWELS will cover the period 1 November 2019 to 31 October 2020. The call will open on 8 July 2019 and close on 5 August 2019, 17:00 CEST.

The application and reporting procedures slightly differ for the different supercomputers and locations sites. Therefore, it is assumed that the further important notices as given via the following links are carefully read:

Important Notice on How to Apply for Computing Time on Hazel Hen
Important Notice on How to Apply for Computing Time on JUWELS
Important Notice on How to Apply for Computing Time on SuperMUC-NG

Apply here

Guidelines for project applications

Applications should be submitted in English.

Please structure the project application in the following way:

Detailed description of the project

  • Outline of the scientific problem and your approach towards its solution (with references)
  • Description of previous work in this field, exploratory studies including the experience and results obtained (with references)
  • Statement of the scientific goals of the research project
  • Description of the physical and mathematical methods employed in the project, including numerical algorithms
  • Detailed schedule of the project, in the case of an extension of the project, please give details about any changes of your plans.
  • Preliminary studies that show good scaling behaviour of the programs under production conditions (i.e. typical parameter sets and problem sizes of the planned project, including I/O).
  • A detailed description of the I/O behaviour of the application (amount and size of files generated during typical runs, I/O strategy used (MPI I/O, netCDF, HDF5, SIONlib, etc.) and an estimate of the storage requirements during the project (scratch diskspace needed, amount of data which needs to be transferred during the project to and from the system).
  • In case this is a continuation of a previous project, we ask you to describe mainly the changes in the project from the previous year's application and to upload the previous application as supplementary material.
  • Please follow the Template for a Project Description with respect to form, content and size.

 Template for Project Proposal for Tier 0/Tier1 HPC Access at GCS (PDF, 300 kB)
 Template for Project Proposal for Tier 0/Tier1 HPC Access at GCS (docx, 239 kB)
 Template for Project Proposal for Tier 0/Tier1 HPC Access at GCS as a TeX file (FileTypex-tar, 408 kB)

The project description has to be uploaded via the application link as PDF file. Please do not include any supporting material in the project description. If you wish to add supplemental material to the project description, please collect that in a separate PDF file.

Please make sure that your data are complete and check them. For projects in the cut-off call (GCS large-scale projects on Hazel Hen/Hawk, SuperMUC-NG or JUWELS and GCS regular projects on JUWELS), please sign the forms and send them to the GCS-Coordination Office for the Allocation of Computing Time located at JSC (address see below). Application forms for GCS regular projects on Hazel Hen/Hawk and SuperMUC-NG (HLRS and LRZ regular projects) answering the rolling call neither need to be signed nor do they need to be send to the GCS-Coordination Office.

Reporting obligations

Status report

This report must be submitted after twelve months counting from the start date of the last allocation period of the project in case the project applies for a continuation or extension. The status report should not exceed a maximum of 10 pages and must be uploaded together with the application for a project extension/continuation as a separate file and should cover the last twelve months of the project.

Final report

The final report is due three months after the end of the GCS lage-scale project and one month after the end of the GCS regular project, respectively. The report must not exceed a maximum of 18 pages. It should focus on the scientific and technical outcome. Moreover, it should explain, how the granted computing time was spend within the project.

Both reports should include the following:

  • The concrete results which were obtained in the last computing period.
  • Statements about the use of the computer in your project with respect to performance, scaling behaviour, main storage requirements and disk storage requirements.
  • The publications which were published in peer reviewed journals in this time (no conference contributions or posters).
  • Ph.D. theses which were completed within the project (please give name of the author and the title of the thesis).
  • Attractive colour pictures which were created in your project to present your results, which can be interesting for a general public. We would ask your permission to use these pictures in publications about JSC or GCS.
  • Please follow the template for the status/final report with respect to form, content and size.

 Template for the Status/Final Report (PDF, 55 kB)
 Template for the Status/Final Report (docx, 25 kB)
 Template for the Status/Final Report as a Tex file (FileTypex-tar, 26 kB)

The final report has to be uploaded here.

Report for publication on the GCS website 

For all GCS computing time projects, a report for publication on the GCS website has to be submitted within three months of conclusion of the project. For on-going projects running more than two years an interim project report needs to be submitted within three months after the second project year. It should describe briefly the scientific and technical goals/challenges and results of the project achieved so far. This report for the GCS website aims at introducing the science and research activities to the general audience without a scientific background. For details about form and content see Project report for publication on GCS website - instructions for authors (PDF, 636 kB) .

Computing time allocation via PRACE

Computing time allocations are dispersed based on scientific criteria through independent reviewers in a peer-review process on the European level through the PRACE regular calls for projects. Interested researchers from abroad (within Europe) are invited to apply via these PRACE calls. All three GCS supercomputers are listed as a Tier-0 resource at PRACE.

Address of the GCS-Coordination Office

GCS-Coordination Office
Jülich Supercomputing Centre
Forschungszentrum Jülich
52425 Jülich