Research PortalResource Allocation Competitions

French

Each fall, the Compute Canada Federation (CCF) 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 the 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 Technical Glossary

Key dates 

Event Date
Fast Track Submissions *by invitation onlySeptember 23 to October 27, 2021
Resources for Research Groups (RRG) CompetitionSeptember 23 to November 4, 2021
Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) CompetitionSeptember 23 to November 4, 2021
Q & A Sessions – Everybody welcomeSeptember 29, 2021 (English)View Slides & Watch Recording
October 1, 2021 (French) Consultez les diapositives et visionnez l’enregistrement
RPP 2021 Progress Report submissionsNovember 9 to December 9, 2021
Announcement of RAC 2022 resultsLate March 2022
Implementation of RAC 2022 allocationsEarly April 2022

Eligibility

To be eligible to submit an application to any of the Resource Allocation Competitions, Principal Investigators (PI) and co-PIs must: 

  1. be a faculty member at a Canadian academic institution, and
  2. have an active Compute Canada account with an Academic Principal Investigator role (Faculty, Adjunct Faculty or Librarian).

Important: 

  • You must apply with your primary, most up-to-date position. If you recently moved to a different institution and have not yet applied for a new faculty role in the Compute Canada Database (CCDB), please do so before submitting your RAC application.
  • If you have more than one active faculty role on the CCDB, please make sure that your most up-to-date position is set as your primary role. On the CCDB, go to the Home  page to see which of your roles is currently set as primary and, if needed, click on the  Make this role primary button next to the new role that you want to set as primary.

Failing to do any of the above could create problems if your application is successful. If you have questions or concerns about any of the items above, please contact rac@computecanada.ca.

Questions about the 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 Technical Glossary

Competition Guides

For RAC 2022, researchers can apply to the following resource allocation competitions:

  1. Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition

    Opens September 23, 2021, and closes November 4, 2021, 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.

  2. Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition

Opens September 23, 2021, and closes November 4, 2021, 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 focused solely on scientific gateways. RPP allocations can be awarded for a maximum of 3 years. 

Note: 

  • Resources provided by the CCF 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.

Pre-Submission Consultations

If you are applying for the first time to the RAC, we strongly encourage you to consult with us prior to submitting your application.  Consultations should happen prior to October 31, 2021, to allow adequate time for support by CCF technical staff. 

The goal of the consultation is to:

  1. Determine whether the resources needed for your project justify submitting a RAC application;
  2. Verify the project’s eligibility to the right program (RPP vs RRG);
  3. Provide technical assistance with the calculation of the resources needed.

To schedule a consultation with technical staff, please send an email to rac@computecanada.ca or contact your regional support team.

Assessment Process

We established our annual Resource Allocation Competitions (RAC) in response to the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) requirement to award advanced research computing (ARC) resources based on the scientific merits of the research proposed. In addition to this, we must evaluate the technical requirements of all applications. To meet these two requirements, RAC involves two review processes each year:

  • a scientific review, which is a peer-review process involving experts from Canadian academic institutions in 10  discipline-specific committees. These volunteers assess and rate the merits of the computational research projects submitted. The scientific review results in a single score that provides a critical and objective measure to guide allocation decisions; and, 
  • a technical review that is undertaken by Compute Canada Federation (CCF) staff who are responsible for verifying the accuracy of the computational resources needed for each project based on the technical requirements outlined in the application and for making recommendations about the national system to which the resources should be allocated to meet the project’s needs.

The overall process is overseen by the Resource Access Program Administrative Committee, which includes representatives from each of the national system host sites.

Scientific Review Committees

Committee

Chair

Institution

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Natasha Ivanova

University of Alberta

Bioinformatics

Robert Beiko

Dalhousie University

Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics

Stacey Wetmore

University of Lethbridge

Computer Sciences and Mathematics

Katarina Grolinger

Western University

Engineering

Siva Nadarajah

McGill University

Environmental and Earth Sciences

Laxmi Sushama

McGill University

Humanities and Social Sciences

Raymond Siemens

University of Victoria

Nano, Materials and Condensed Matter

Tom Woo

University of Ottawa

Neurosciences, Medical Imaging and Medical Physics

Anne Martel

University of Toronto

Subatomic and Space Physics

Isabel Trigger

TRIUMF

Guiding principals 

RAC is guided by the following principles:

  • All applications are given fair consideration through both a scientific and technical review process.
  • Resources are awarded based on the merits of the computational research project presented, rather than the merits of the overall research program.
  • There is no direct correlation between the amount of computational resources needed and the quality (excellence) of the research outcomes of a project. Important research can be done with a small amount of computational resources.
  • The challenges arising from the shortage of resources and other constraints within the system are shared among all applicants.

To schedule a consultation with technical staff, please send an email to rac@computecanada.ca.

Resource scaling

Resources provided by the CCF are limited; therefore, applications are scaled based on supply and demand. 

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 RAC allocations in a context of insufficient capacity can be made. 

For the RAC 2021, this function was set so that only applications with a science score of 3.0 or higher received an allocation. Visit the 2021 Resource Allocations Competition Results page for more details about the scaling function and other RAC stats.

Past Competitions

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

Top