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Resource Allocations

Rapid Access Service

Any Compute Canada user can access modest quantities of compute, storage and cloud resources as soon as they register with the Compute Canada DataBase (CCDB). This Rapid Access Service allows users to start working right away. Many research groups can meet their all their resource request needs through using the Rapid Access method. Users requiring larger resource quantities can apply to one of Compute Canada's annual Resource Allocation Competitions.

Does this apply to you?
Any individual who is eligible to apply to national granting councils for funding is eligible to register in the CCDB. Typically, this means the user is a faculty member at a Canadian institution. As Principal Investigators, once the faculty member has registered in the CCDB, he/she can then sponsor additional group members to access his/her account. Group members may include Graduate Students, Non-Research Staff, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants, Researchers, Undergraduate Students, Visiting Faculty, and External Collaborators. More information on how to register in the CCDB and access Compute Canada resources can be found on the Compute Canada website.

Annual Competitions

Each fall, Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) host a Call for Proposals process for allocations of compute or storage 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.

  • Research Platforms & Portals (RPP) Competition - targeted specifically at applications that create new or support existing research platforms or portals.
  • Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition - 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. .

For more information on these competitions, please refer to the Resource Allocation Competitions page on the Compute Canada website.

Does this apply to you?
You should only consider applying to a resource competition if you have registered with the CCDB, have begun using resources, and then encountered one of the following situations:

  • you have difficulty obtaining sufficient computing or storage resources to meet your current usage needs 
  • you anticipate a significant increase in your usage for the coming year which you expect will result in difficulty obtaining sufficient computing or storage resources 
  • you have consistently experienced longer than usual scheduling wait times that are preventing you from completing your work 

If you haven’t participated in a Resource Allocation Competition before, we strongly recommend you first consult with a member of Compute Canada's technical team to determine whether your resource request matches the competition criteria. In some cases, requests may be handled outside of the formal competition process or by using the Rapid Access Service.

Past Competition Results:
To better understand the types of projects and size of allocations granted in the Resource Allocation Competitions, we invite you to view the lastest round of successful recipients:

Allocation Timeframe

The Resource Allocation Competitions have particular timeframes associated with their allocations:

  • Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition: Valid for one year, April-March (NOTE: this is a new timeline as of 2017; however due to delays in launching the new national systems the allocation period for RAC 2017 will run from June 2017-March 2018). 
  • Research Platforms & Portals (RPP) Competition: Valid for up to three years, beginning in April (NOTE: this is a new timeline as of 2017; however due to delays in launching the new national systems the allocation period for RAC 2017 will run from June 2017-March 2018). Multi-year allocations are subject to an annual review prior to the start of subsequent years and to the availability of resources.

Out-of-Round RAC Allocations

Compute Canada announces formal RAC Calls for Submissions in the fall each year with final submissions usually due in November of that year. Compute Canada will only consider requests outside of this 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