You are here

RAC 2018

Each fall, Compute Canada invites researchers to apply to its annual Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) and request storage and compute resources. Applications submitted to these competitions are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence. These competitions are open to all researchers based at Canadian academic institutions who are eligible to apply for funding to the federal granting agencies.

Questions about Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competitions are welcome at any time by emailing For complete details on the competitions, please refer to the 2018 Competition page on the Compute Canada website or visit Compute Canada's RAC - Frequently Asked Questions page.

2018 Competition Information

The 2018 RAC will host two competitions:

  • Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition
    The RRG Competition is targeted at applications from individuals or small groups of researchers in need of compute or storage resources beyond what can be obtained via the Rapid Access Service. Allocations are awarded based on the quality of the science, quality of the research team, and development of highly qualified personnel (HQP).
    • * New for 2018 * -- Applicants who have already been Fast Tracked twice can still apply to be Fast Tracked again this year (typically allocations via Fast Track are limited to two years in a row). Please read the Fast Track Eligibility Criteria for further details.

  • Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition
    The RPP Competition is targeted specifically at applications that create new or support existing research platforms or portals. Allocations in this competition are awarded over multiple years, up to a maximum of three years.
    • * New for 2018 * -- Applicants are no longer required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) prior to submitting a full application. 

Schedule for 2018

Process Opens Due
Fast Track application (by invitation only) Early October Nov 2, 2017
Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) application Early October Nov 16, 2017, 10:00 pm EST
Resources for Research Groups (RRG) application Early October Nov 16, 2017, 10:00 pm EST
RAC 2018 allocation letters sent to all applicants late March 2018
Public Announcement & Implementation of Awards mid-April 2018


WestGrid Office Hours: RAC 2018 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 
12:00 - 12:30 pm Pacific
Click here to RSVP (Optional - RSVP'ing will ensure you are sent a reminder of the session.)

Have questions about the RAC process or how to apply? WestGrid Support Staff will host an online Office Hours to answer all questions, including:

  • Should I apply to the RAC or can I use the Rapid Access Service?
  • Which competition should I apply to?
  • What kinds of resources are available to request?
  • I had a RAC allocation last year, do I need to re-apply?
  • How can I make my application stronger / more successful?

At the time of the session, join the videoconference by clicking this link:

If you have trouble connecting to the videoconference, you can view a webstream of the session at: (Note: webstream viewers will need to email their questions to


Other Resources & Links for RAC 2018

Ask a question:
Find an answer:
Best Practices Guides:


Compute Canada Webinar: RAC 2018 Q&A Session

On October 11, 2017 Compute Canada hosted an information webinar and Q&A Session on the 2018 RAC Competitions.:


WestGrid October 2017 Town Hall: RAC 2018 & New Systems

On October 13, 2017 WestGrid hosted a Town Hall which included updates on RAC 2018 and highlights from our Tips & Best Practices to help researchers write better applications and increase their chances of receiving a larger allocation. 

Click here to view the slides and watch the archive recording.


WestGrid Webinar: RPPs for Humanities & Social Science Researchers

On Sept 21, 2017 WestGrid hosted a webinar that explained how Compute Canada's RPP Competition can support research projects in the Humanities and Social Sciences. RPPs are often used by groups who:

  • provide a public platform serving a large community of users (individuals and/or small groups)
  • engage in international agreements to provide multi-year computing or storage solutions based in Canada
  • provide shared data sets accessible using a third party (non-Compute Canada) interface
  • are recipients of the Major Science Initiative from the Canada Foundation for Innovation

Click here to view the slides and watch the archive recording.


Out-of-Round Allocations

Compute Canada will only consider requests outside of the 2018 Competition time frame under very special circumstances. Two such examples include:

  • a sudden chance for a major breakthrough
  • a new faculty member who just moved to Canada

In these special situations a researcher can submit an “Out-of-Round” application at any time of year. Compute Canada staff will review the project’s requirements and if the researcher qualifies, he/she will be granted access to complete an Out-of-Round application through a link administered through the Compute Canada DataBase (CCDB).

Out-of-Round requests are reviewed based on the quality of the science outlined in the proposal, the qualifications of the principal investigators, and the technical justification for the requested resources. Following submission, the resource requirements and justification documents will undergo a review process and the user will be notified of next steps. For more information, or to request an Out-of-Round Application, please contact