Research PortalAccessing Resources


Compute Canada is dedicated to providing an Advanced Research Computing (ARC) platform that meets the needs of our diverse user community. In addition to existing support for large-scale research projects, Canada’s national ARC platform is capable of sustaining robust research for mid- and smaller-scale data-intensive projects, in any discipline.

Each year, Compute Canada allocates on average 80% of our compute and storage resources through the Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) and leaves roughly 20% for non-competitive requests. Users can access these non-competitive resources via our Rapid Access Service. (These percentages may change according to the demand.)

Please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary if you have questions about any of the terminology below. General questions can be emailed to

How to access Compute Canada resources

1. Create an account: To access any of our ARC resources, you must first obtain a Compute Canada account.

  • Access to cloud resources, via RAS or RAC, also requires access to a cloud project.  For more details on gaining access to a cloud project, see the cloud documentation on our technical wiki.

2. Default access: All users get access to a basic amount of resources upon the activation of their Compute Canada account. This allows users to experiment and start working right away.

  • Storage: see default storage quotas available.
  • Compute: CPU and GPU resources are available for opportunistic use (no priority).

3. Rapid Access Service (RAS): Principal Investigators can request additional storage and cloud resources without having to apply to the Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC), but compute priority can only be increased through RAC.

Many research groups can meet their needs through RAS alone. For more information, please visit our Rapid Access Service page.

4. Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC): These are peer-reviewed competitions for projects that need resources beyond what is available via RAS. There are two main competitions:

  • Resources for Research Groups (RRG): Intended for individual faculty members from all disciplines, and their sponsored users. The normal application round opens every fall, and there is also an out-of-round application process for special cases (see below). There is also a Fast Track application process for those that have an active allocation and meet the Fast Track eligibility criteria.
  • Research Platforms and Portals (RPP): Resources for the development of scientific gateways built primarily using Compute Canada Cloud Services. For more details, see the user documentation on our technical wiki. The normal application round opens every fall. Note that there is no out-of-round application process available for this competition.

For more information about these annual competitions, please visit our Resource Allocation Competitions page.

RRG Out-of-Round Application Process

An out-of-round application process to the Resources for Research Groups competition is available for special cases, and applications are accepted up to July 31st of any year.

A PI may submit an out-of-round application to the RRG competition for the following reasons:

  • PI is a new faculty member who started a position at a Canadian academic institution during or just after the previous competition round;


  • PI has a special opportunity to make a significant scientific breakthrough that could not have anticipated within the application period for the previous round. In this case, a description of the breakthrough of no more than one page is required.

Out-of-round applications follow the same review process as the applications submitted to the regular round. The resulting allocations start when awarded but have the same expiry date as the ongoing RRG program. This means, for example, that an out-of-round allocation received in June 2018 will expire at the end of the current allocation period, usually on March 31 of the following year (i.e. March 31, 2019).

The annual allocation process reserves only a small proportion of resources for opportunistic and out-of-round usage. Therefore, there are very limited resources available for out-of-round requests, which means large asks may be denied.

Successful applications submitted through the out-of-round process may be allowed to use the Fast Track application process in the next application round when they meet the Fast Track eligibility criteria. (For more information, please see this page on the Fast Track criteria.

For more information, or to request an Out-of-Round RAC Application, please contact