Research PortalResources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition

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The Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition was created to enable individual faculty members, and their sponsored research groups, to access compute and storage resources beyond what can be obtained via the Rapid Access Service. For more information about Compute Canada’s Resource Allocation Competitions, please click here.

Process Changes for 2017

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 includes a new competition schedule and the creation of several streams in each competition. Please read this year’s guide carefully, and visit the Compute Canada website to learn more about these important changes.

2017 Application Guide Table of Contents

Competition Eligibility
Guidelines for Completing an Application
Request Streams
Submission Procedures & Deadlines
Questions & Additional Information
Appendices

Competition Eligibility

The RRG competition is open to projects from all disciplines and allocations are awarded based on scientific merit, quality of the research team, and development of highly-qualified personnel (HQP). This competition is peer-reviewed and the allocations are available for one (1) year starting in early April 2017. While all users have access to our team of Compute Canada technical experts, we do not allocate dedicated support (ie. programmers, developers) as a part of this resource competition.

To learn more about the RRG and the resources available at Compute Canada, please refer to the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on our website.

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Guidelines for Completing a Resources for Research Groups Application

Consultation

All applicants are encouraged to consult with the Compute Canada technical staff responsible for the systems they intend to use before completing their proposal. If you do not know the appropriate technical staff, please email rac@computecanada.ca. It is within 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 15, 2016, to allow adequate time for support by Compute Canada technical staff.

Online Application Form

You must submit an online form through CCDB, following the instructions given in the form. This form includes specification of the resources requested in the proposal. Users must register for an account or log in using an existing account to create a new application.

Canadian Common CV (CCV)

In the online form, you are asked to provide an up-to-date CCV and to identify which of your publications were enabled by your use of Compute Canada resources. This is useful for your review committee and is important for the future funding of Compute Canada. Please consult the Compute Canada CCV Submission Guide for further instructions.

Resource Justification

All applications must include a resource justification document. This document should be uploaded as part of the online application process. Separate templates are provided for Regular and Large applications.

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Request Streams

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

  • Regular:
    • Compute between 50-1999 Core Years
    • Storage between 10-999 TBs
    • GPUs between 10-199 GPU years
    • Cloud Compute between 80-499 VCPUs
    • Persistent Cloud between 10-99 VCPUs
  • Large: exceeds at least one of the resource limits for Regular as defined above

If you require resources which are less than the lower bound on the Regular Stream, you should make use of Compute Canada’s Rapid Access Service (RAS) and do not need to submit an RRG request.

The purpose of streaming is to reduce the documentation required and the complexity of the corresponding evaluation process for the Regular Stream relative to the Large Stream. Differences in the required documentation are outlined in the request templates described later in this document. Differences in the evaluation process are described in the table below:

Stream Evaluation
Regular – At least 2 peer review and 1 tech review.
– Discussed in disciplinary committee to determine final science score.
Large – At least 3 peer reviews and 1 tech review. One of the peer reviews may be external/international.
– Discussed in disciplinary committee to determine final science score.
– Discussed at the multidisciplinary face-to-face meeting of RAC chairs to determine final allocation.

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Evaluation Process

Applications submitted to the RAC are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence. The technical review is conducted by Compute Canada staff who will:

  • ensure the appropriate system is requested by the PI and the required software is available
  • ensure the code is efficient (and scales well when applicable)
  • identify groups that may need help with code and workflow optimization
  • identify discrepancies between the online request and the complete description of the project
  • provide a technical opinion on the reasonability of the request

During the Technical Review, staff may require additional information from applicants and will engage them directly. In order to ensure an application can progress beyond the Technical Review, applicants should respond to requests from the Compute Canada technical team within 48 hours of the request.

Following the Technical Review, the application will undergo a Scientific Review by a Compute Canada Expert Review Committee. The Expert Review Committees are composed of researchers within a respective field and are populated annually based on the number of submissions in a given area.

Each Expert Review Committee will evaluate proposals based on the quality of the science and the quality of the team. The research evaluation criteria are weighted as follows: 60% for the quality of the science and 40% for the quality of the team. The specific review considerations can be found below in the Evaluation Criteria section.

Applications will be scored by an Expert Review Committee based on the merit of the proposal and may be further discussed by a committee comprised of the chairs for each Expert Review Committee and representatives from Compute Canada. Final decisions on allocations will be based on science merit of the proposals and the availability of resources.

We understand that some applicants may have already undergone an evaluation through the various granting councils previously; however, the RRG evaluation ensures the most effective use of the computing resources to achieve scientific goals and ensures fairness, as not all applicants receive funding through only the tri-councils.
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Submission Procedures & Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted electronically through the CCDB no later than November 24, 2016 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is complete with all additional documentation uploaded. Incomplete applications or applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Following the review process, applicants will be informed regarding the status of their applications via e-mail in February 2017.

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Questions & Additional Information

For any questions or for more information on the RAC, please contact us at rac@computecanada.ca.

For server-specific questions, you may also contact your regional support team:

ACENET:

support@ace-net.ca

Calcul Québec:

support@calculquebec.ca

Compute Ontario:

CAC: cac.help@queensu.ca

SciNet: support@scinet.utoronto.ca

SHARCNET: help@sharcnet.ca

WestGrid:

rac@westgrid.ca

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Appendices

Privacy Policy
Evaluation Criteria
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