Research PortalResearch Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition


The Research Platforms and Portals (RPP) Competition was created to enable communities to develop projects that improve access to shared datasets, enhance existing online research tools and facilities, or advance national or international research collaborations. For more information about other Compute Canada Resource Allocation Competitions, please see our main Resource Allocation Competitions page.

Process Changes for 2018

In response to feedback received from the research community and in an attempt to improve the application process, we have made some important changes to our resource allocation process, which include:

  • this year, the submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) is not a prerequisite for applying to the RPP competition;
  • consequently, PIs can submit their application at any time between the start and end date of the competition (see dates in the Guidelines for Completing an RPP Application section below);

Please read this year’s guide carefully to learn more about these important changes. If you have questions about the terminology, please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at

2018 Application Guide Table of Contents

Competition Eligibility
Guidelines for Completing an Application
Pre-Submission Consultations
Online Application Form
Co-PIs and Collaborators
Request Streams
Evaluation Process
Resource Justification and Strategic Plan ~ downloadable template
Questions and Additional Information

Competition Eligibility

Groups are encouraged to use the RPP competition if their application falls within any of the following categories:

  • Resources requested on behalf of a large community of users that will be reallocated to individuals and small groups following the award.
  • Applications that provide a public platform that will make use of Compute Canada computing or storage.
  • Groups engaging in international agreements to provide multi-year computing or storage solutions based in Canada.
  • Groups that are providing shared data sets accessible using a third party (non-Compute Canada) interface.

If your project does not fall into any of the categories above, you are encouraged to access Compute Canada resources through other means:

  1. All Compute Canada users have access to modest quantities of resources without scientific review through a new Rapid Access Service (RAS). (Note: RAS replaces what was formerly known as a default allocation.)
  2. If you need more resources than can be obtained through Rapid Access but do not meet the RPP criteria above, please apply to the Resources for Research Groups (RRG) competition.

If you have any questions about whether your resource needs fit within the RPP Competition, please contact us at to discuss.

Allocations in this competition may be awarded over multiple years (maximum of three years). Multi-year allocations are subject to an annual review prior to the start of subsequent years and to the availability of resources.

Individual applicants wishing to create more than one Research Platform or Portal may submit multiple applications (ie. one per portal) or may choose to combine their related platforms or portals into a single application. In addition, there is no restriction prohibiting an applicant from simultaneously holding an RPP and an RRG award.

Please note that Compute Canada resources are limited and thus applications may be scaled based on need and availability. Please refer to the Appendix at the end of this Guide for the RPP Evaluation Criteria.

Guidelines for Completing an RPP Application

Accepting Submissions Submission Deadline Description
Early October November 16, 2017, at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

Extension of this deadline is not possible.

The Full Application stage includes details about the requested resources, availability of the resources to the platform or portal, operation and management of the platform, and expected impacts and opportunities resulting from the resource allocation.

Pre-Submission Consultations

Before completing a proposal for the competition, applicants are encouraged to consult with the Compute Canada technical staff responsible for the systems they intend to use. If you do not know the appropriate technical staff, please email Consultation is in the best interest of the applicants and ensures the technical aspects of the proposals are appropriately matched with the requested systems.

RAC consultations must happen prior to November 1, 2017, to allow adequate time for support by Compute Canada technical staff.

Return to Table of Contents

Online Application Form

All applications to the RPP Competition are submitted online via the CCDB (Compute Canada Database). Users must log in to the CCDB using an existing account or register for a new account. To create an RPP application, go to the Resource Applications page.

In the online form, you will be asked to provide an up-to-date Canadian Common CV (CCV) and to identify which of your publications were enabled by your use of Compute Canada resources. This is useful information for the RPP review committee members and is also important for use in Compute Canada’s reporting to our funders. Please consult the CCV Submission Guide for further instructions.

Return to Table of Contents

Request Streams

Depending on your request, your RPP application will fall into one of the two streams below:

  • Service Portal: Compute Canada hosts many research web portals which serve datasets or tools to a broad research community. These portals generally do not require large computing or storage resources, but may require support effort by the Compute Canada technical team. Groups applying for a service portal often use the Compute Canada Cloud, generally require a static IP address, and may (or may not) have more stringent up-time requirements than most research projects. This option is shown as “Portal” in the online form.
  • Compute and Storage Platform: Compute Canada hosts several platforms which serve significant compute and storage resources to a community of users. This may include a user-friendly front-end that submits traditional batch jobs on the back-end. Please note: Any proposal requiring at least 50 core years (or 50 VCPUs in the cloud) OR at least 50 TB of storage is considered to be a Compute and Storage Platform. This option is shown as “Platform” in the online form.

Co-PIs and Collaborators

In the context of the RPP competition, Co-PIs are any co-leading investigators in your project with a Compute Canada account. Note that both the PI and any Co-PI listed in an RPP application MUST have an existing CCV in the CCDB or create a new one.  International investigators or colleagues without a Compute Canada account can be listed as “collaborators” at the discretion of the PI.

Return to Table of Contents

Evaluation Process

Generally speaking, Compute and Storage Platforms consume much larger physical and support resources than Service Portals. As such, they will be subjected to more rigorous review.

Stream Evaluation
Service Portal – At least 1 peer review and 1 technical review.

– May be awarded without further panel discussion if reviews are positive.

Compute and Storage Platform – At least 2 peer reviews and 1 technical review.

– Mandatory scoring discussion at the RPP committee meeting.

– Potential science impact review from a disciplinary panel.

– Potentially discussed at the multidisciplinary face-to-face meeting of RAC committee chairs to determine final allocation.

Return to Table of Contents

Resource Justification and Strategic Plan

Please use the following template as a guideline for the required Resource Justification and Strategic Plan documents that must be submitted with your application.

Download template in Word format

Download template in LaTeX format

Return to Table of Contents

Questions & Additional Information

For any questions or for more information on the RPP Competition please contact us at

For questions related to specific technology deployments, please also feel free to contact your regional support team:








Return to Table of Contents


Privacy Policy
Evaluation Criteria