Getting Access to ARCHER

There are specific allocation mechanisms for requesting ARCHER time via the ARCHER partner research councils EPSRC and NERC as detailed below. For researchers in other areas, please get in touch with your research council if you would like to use ARCHER. PIs who wish to move resources from HECToR to ARCHER should contact the Helpdesk.

Open ARCHER Calls

A list of any currently open calls through which you can apply for access to ARCHER.

Note: access via standard grant applications is always open via standard research council routes and is not listed in this table. Please see below for more information on these routes.

Call (Web Link) Closing Date TA Receipt Deadline Notes TA Form Link
RAP: Access to ARCHER 7 Jan 2015 14 Dec 2014 EPSRC Remit only, read call guidelines carefully Grant/RAP TA Form
RAP: Top-up Access to ARCHER 7 Jan 2015 14 Dec 2014 EPSRC Remit only, read call guidelines carefully Grant/RAP TA Form
Instant Access Always Open Always Open EPSRC Remit only, 1.2 MAU, 6 months maximum Instant Access TA Form

ARCHER Access Routes

There are multiple access routes to ARCHER:

  • ARCHER Access Through EPSRC Grants
  • ARCHER Access Through NERC Grants
  • ARCHER Instant Access
  • ARCHER Access Through the Resource Allocation Panel
  • ARCHER Access Through Grants with Other Funding Bodies

Access Through EPSRC Grants

Access can be requested by choosing ARCHER as a facility from the drop down menu in Je-S for a standard EPSRC grant application. Please add the requested resource in kAU as "unit" and the notional cost in £ as "cost". Reasonable ARCHER allocations are awarded for a 2 year period in the first instance, after which the applicant can apply for a top-up resource via the Resource Allocation Panel (RAP). A completed Grant/RAP Technical Assessment (TA) must be uploaded as one pdf through Je-S, selecting the document type "technical assessment".

EPSRC operate a 6-monthly alloction period policy for access on ARCHER. The total number of kAU awarded is broken down into 6-month periods that span the length of access to ARCHER that has been requested (e.g. if you have requested 1 year of access in total then the kAUs will be split into two 6 month periods). Applicants specify the period profile on the TA form when they apply for access.

EPSRC period allocations are enforced on ARCHER in the following way:

  • Any unused allocation at the end of a period is lost
  • You cannot move kAU between different allocation periods

Access Through NERC Grants

NERC applicants should also add ARCHER as a facility in the standard application, contact the relevant NERC consortia leader and check the current NERC policy on access. Full details are on the NERC website. If more than 100,000 kAU are required in any one year, the NERC HPC 'New' Form should be submitted with the standard JeS application.

Applicants in the NERC remit wishing to access ARCHER via the NERC route must contact the relevant consortia leader for advice.

EPSRC Instant Access

As a pump priming opportunity for new HPC users, EPSRC offer instant access to ARCHER for a limited number of AUs 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 Resource Allocation Panel. An extension will only be granted in exceptional cases.

Apply for Instant Access...

Access via EPSRC Resource Allocation Panel (RAP)

Access to ARCHER can also be requested through calls for proposals to the RAP. Meetings are held three times a year. The RAP also approves requests for top ups to resource allocations as part of standard EPSRC grants.

Calls for applications via the resource allocation panels are published three times a year and provide access to ARCHER for 1 year maximum. There is no limit on the number of AUs that can be applied for through RAP access. However, applicants should note that there will be up to a maximum number of AUs available to award at each panel, subject to the quality of the proposals. You may also apply for storage capacity at the Research Data Facility. Applications through the RAP are for compute and storage only. Applicants must make sure that any related expenses such as staff time are covered by other means.

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How to Apply For Top Up Resource via The EPSRC RAP

Access to the national high performance computing resource can be allocated as part of EPSRC grants at the time of award. Initially only 2 years of resource are granted at which point, grant holders are invited to apply for a top-up to meet the objectives of their EPSRC grant.

Applicants to this call can request ARCHER compute resource only to facilitate the remainder of their existing EPSRC grant. The number of Allocation Units (AUs) requested must be fully justified in the application and reasonable in view of the original allocation and remaining duration of the project. The maximum eligible time period is two years. For longer grants, multiple top-ups are possible. Please note that the panel may recommend a reduced allocation if a request appears to be unfeasible or unjustified.

Applications will not be considered where the previous resource allocated to the applicant has been exhausted due to mismanagement or to undertake any work outside the scope of the original grant.

As with all applications to the RAP, only ARCHER computing resource can be applied for. This does not include staff time and other resources, which should be covered by the existing grant.

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Access Through Grants with Other Funding Bodies

If eligible, access costs for ARCHER should be included in the grant application on basis of the rate for non-partner organisations. For any questions, please contact EPSRC and/or the funding body of your choice before applying.