Technical Assessment Forms and Notes

There are different Technical Assessment (TA) forms. Please ensure you use the correct one for the access route you are using.

Instant Access TA Form (docx) (blue form) Use for all Instant Access applications.
Grant/RAP Access TA Form (docx) (purple form) Use for all grant applications (from any funder), RAP applications, and Leadership applications.

Notes on Completing the TA Forms

Allocation Periods

The total number of kAU (CPUh) requested must be 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 must be split into two 6 month periods).

If your application is successful then these period allocations will be 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

Scaling Evidence

The guidelines below apply to all grant and RAP applications. If Instant Access is being used to investigate/demonstrate scaling then the scaling performance does not need to be justified in this way.

  • The number of kAU (CPUh) requested and the job sizes must be backed up by quantitative evidence that the code scales efficiently for the problems to be treated to the job sizes requested. The evidence must include:
    • A graph or table of the speedup for a similar problem using the code on ARCHER or another HPC system. The speedup should be provided relative to the smallest number of cores that can be used feasibly (see example table and graph below for an idea of what is required).
  • If the application is developing new algorithms for which scaling data is not yet available then the proposed scaling should be justified with appropriate references and descriptions.

If you require help in evaluating the scaling of a code on a particular problem then please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk.

Example speedup evidence table and graph

The table and graph below give an idea of the type of evidence that is required for Grant/RAP TA forms.

Runtime / s
Cores Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Mean Speedup
96 625.7 613.4 634.6 624.6 1.00
192 318.5 312.5 323.1 318.0 1.96
384 159.7 161.2 157.4 159.4 3.92
768 81.2 81.4 81.1 81.2 7.69
1536 45.4 45.0 46.1 45.5 13.73

Data Management and Transfer

The guidelines below apply to all applications.

As part of the technical assessment you are required to provide details of how you will manage your data on the system (both input to calculations and output from calculations). This is to ensure that the work you plan in the project is technically feasible for the system.

Additional help on answering the questions can be found by consulting the ARCHER Data Management Guide at:

This document contains information on the different file systems available on ARCHER and how to transfer data between them. It also provides information on best practice for archiving files for reuse and analysis at a later date as well as a description of the methods available for trasferring data off ARCHER to external sites.

If you need advice on data management and transfer, please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk and we will be happy to assist.