Research PortalResource Allocation Competitions

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Each fall, Compute Canada invites researchers to apply to our annual Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) and request storage and compute resources beyond what can be obtained via the Rapid Access Service.

Questions about Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competitions are welcome at any time by emailing rac@computecanada.ca.

You may also find it helpful to consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If you have questions about the terminology, please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary.

Key Dates

Event Date
Fast Track Submissions *by invitation only September 24 – October 24, 2019
Resources for Research Groups (RRG) September 24-November 7, 2019
Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) September 24 – November 7, 2019
Q & A Sessions – Everybody Welcome October 8, 2019 (English) – Slides & Recording

October 9, 2019 (French) – Slides & Recording

RPP 2019 Progress Report submissions November 14 to December 20, 2019
All RAC 2020 applicants notified of results Late March 2020
RAC 2020 allocations implemented Early April 2020

Competition Guides

For RAC 2020, researchers can apply to the following resource allocation competitions:

Opens September 24, 2019, and closes November 7, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. (Extension of this deadline is not possible.)

This competition is aimed at applications from individuals or small groups of researchers in need of compute, storage or cloud resources at a scale beyond that available from local institutional or provincial resources. It is intended for faculty members from all disciplines and their sponsored users. Allocations are awarded typically for 1 year.

A Fast Track application process is available (by invitation only) for users with existing RRG allocations who meet specific criteria.

Opens September 24, 2019, and closes November 7, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. (Extension of this deadline is not possible.)

This competition enables communities to develop research projects that improve access to shared datasets, enhance existing online research tools and facilities, or advance national or international research collaborations. The RPP Competition is focussed solely on scientific gateways. RPP allocations can be awarded for a maximum of 3 years.

Note:

  • Compute Canada resources are limited; therefore, applications are scaled based on supply and demand.
  • Refer to each Guide (either RRG or RPP) for the evaluation criteria specific to that competition.

Eligibility

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 the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) or the granting councils.

For the RRG Competition, a Principal Investigator (PI) cannot apply as a lead submitter for more than one RRG application but can be involved in multiple RRG submissions as a participant.

There are fewer restrictions in the RPP competition; a PI may submit multiple RPP applications as a lead. Overall, a PI may simultaneously hold lead positions on both an RRG allocation and an RPP allocation.

Scientific Review

Applications submitted to the Resource Allocation Competitions are peer-reviewed and scored. Please note that the main purpose of this review process is to:

  1. Get expert opinion about the overall merit and feasibility of the proposed research project(s) for which ARC resources are needed;
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of the requested ARC resources for the research project(s);
  3. Provide feedback to the applicants.

The main outcome of this process is an overall score for each application. These scores are used to scale and determine the final allocations to ensure fairness and effective use of Compute Canada resources in a context of insufficient capacity.

A scaling function, endorsed by the Chairs of the Expert Review Committees is applied to compute requests to provide a means by which decisions on resource allocation can be made. For the RAC 2019, this function was set so that only applications with an overall score of 2.3 or higher received an allocation. Visit the 2019 Resource Allocation Competition Results page for more details.

We understand that some applicants may have already undergone an evaluation through the various granting councils. It is not the goal of this review process to evaluate and score a PI’s complete research program as an overlap to what the granting agencies have done. Rather, the goal is to determine how to accommodate such projects as best as possible given the limited resources available.

Expert Review Committees

Committee Chair
Astronomy and Subatomic Physics Natasha Ivanova
Bioinformatics, Neuroscience and Medical Imaging Connie Lovejoy
Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics Stacey Wetmore
Engineering, Mathematical and Computer Sciences Siva Nadarajah
Environmental and Earth Sciences Paul Myers
Humanities and Social Sciences Lisa Goddard
Nano, Materials and Condensed Matter Tom Woo

Past Competitions

To view the results of past Resource Allocation Competitions, please click here.


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