Research PortalResource Allocation Competitions


Each fall, Compute Canada hosts a Call for Proposals process for allocations of compute or storage resources that are either greater than the default usage level on any system or are required in order to support a platform or portal. Applications submitted to these competitions are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence.

View the competition information for 2016

For 2016, Compute Canada received a total of 324 applications for its Resource Allocation Competition (209 RAC and 115 Fast Track) and 30 applications for the 2016 Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition. Also, 12 RPP projects that received multi-year allocations in the 2015 RAC process were awarded an allocation for their second year. The total requests amounted to 222,217 core-years in computation power and 28 PB of storage. Compared to 2015, the applications on average requested 16% more computing resources, 34% more storage, and 123% more GPU computing resources (which use graphics processing units (GPUs) for much faster processing times than conventional computing resources). With all systems running at maximum capacity, Compute Canada was able to allocate 127,000 core-years and 15.5 PB of disk storage. This growing demand for resources is reflective of the global trends for data-intensive research. Learn more about Compute Canada’s plans to refresh and expand its national platform.

View past competitions


Any individual who is eligible to apply to national granting councils for funding is eligible to apply for an allocation. Typically, this means that regular faculty are eligible to apply while postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are not. Individuals who have adjunct status may apply for an allocation if the project for which the allocation is requested is eligible for funding from CFI or the granting councils. A lead PI cannot submit more than one individual application, but can be a participant in other submissions. A lead PI may simultaneously hold an individual RAC allocation and an RPP allocation.

Size of Requests

Applications requesting less than the default usage level will not be reviewed unless large bursts of usage are expected during the year (in which case planning with Compute Canada is necessary). PIs who are not sure if their request requires a RAC allocation should contact prior to submitting a request.

Out-of-Round Requests

We recognize that the schedule for a project may not always align with the schedule of our annual fall competition or a faculty member may be appointed following the closure of a competition. In those types of cases, users can submit an “Out-of-Round” RAC application at any time. Compute Canada staff will review the requirements and if the researcher qualifies, he/she will be granted special permission to complete the Out-of-Round Allocation Form through a link administered through the CCDB. Following submission, the resource requirements and justification will undergo a review process and the user will be notified of next steps. For more information, or to request an Out-of-Round RAC Application, please contact