Research PortalResources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition


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.

Applications are technically reviewed by Compute Canada staff and scientifically reviewed and scored by a peer review panel based on the merit of the proposal. Final decisions on allocations will be based on science merit (score) of the application and the availability of resources.

We understand that some applicants may have already undergone an evaluation through the various granting councils. However, the Resource Allocation Competitions’ evaluation ensures the most effective use of Compute Canada resources requested to achieve scientific goals, as well as ensuring fairness, as not all applicants receive funding through only the tri-councils. Read more about the Evaluation Process. 

2018 Application Guide Table of Contents

Competition Eligibility
Submission Procedures & Deadlines
Guidelines for Completing an Application
Request Streams
Resource Justification ~ downloadable templates
Evaluation Process
Questions & Additional Information

Please read this year’s guide carefully. If you have questions about the terminology, please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at

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 2018. 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.

Submission Procedures & Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted electronically through the CCDB no later than November 16, 2017 at 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete, with all additional documentation uploaded, and that there is no discrepancy between the technical justification document and the online form.

Following the review process, applicants will be informed regarding the status of their applications via e-mail in Spring 2018.

Guidelines for Completing a Resources for Research Groups Application


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

Note: If you are applying for the first time to this competition, we strongly encourage you to consult with Compute Canada prior to submitting your application. It 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.

Online Form

You must submit an application through CCDB, following the instructions given in the online 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.

Note: Please make sure that ALL the resources requested in the technical justification pdf attached to your application are correctly reflected in the Resource Request section of the online form. Failing to do so may negatively impact successful awards.

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.

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 <50 core years but high memory per core, please use the following formula to calculate the Core Year Equivalent to know whether you should submit an application or use RAS for your compute needs.

  • Core Year Equivalent =Max(Core Year,Core Year Equivalent in memory)]
[Core Year Equivalent in memory =  CY* mem per core requested/ 4 GB mem per core]

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 dividing applications into two streams 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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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.

Note: The Resource Justification document MUST be submitted in .pdf format. No other format will be accepted.

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Evaluation Process

Applications submitted to the RAC are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence.

The overall allocation process follows these stages:

  1. Compute Canada Technical staff review each proposal.
  2. A peer review panel evaluates each proposal.
  3. Each proposal receives multiple independent scientific reviews.
  4. Scientific committees meet to discuss the applications.
  5. The peer review panel may or may not recommend specific cuts for an application.
  6. The peer review panel gives a final science score on a 5-point scale.
  7. The Chairs of the Expert Review Committee (ERC) endorse a scaling function based on science score. That scaling function is applied to all compute requests.

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

Note: 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 are expected to 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 peer review process. 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.
  • 40% for the quality of the team.

Please find details about the scientific Evaluation Criteria within the Appendices, click on the “+” sign beside “Evaluation Criteria.”

Applications will be scored by a peer review panel 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 (final score) of the proposals and the availability of resources

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Questions & Additional Information

For any questions or for more information on the RAC, please contact us at

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


Calcul Québec:

Compute Ontario:





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Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

Confidentiality of Information

Compute Canada safeguards the information it receives from applicants. All reviewers are required to sign a Nondisclosure Agreement and Compute Canada’s Conflict of Interest policy, and they are instructed to keep all proposal information confidential and to use it only for review purposes. All proposals are available for review by all Compute Canada reviewers and the RAC Administrative Committee.

Use of Personal Information

Any personal information collected by Compute Canada is used only to review applications. Such information may be shared with relevant officials in the relevant consortium and/or with their research institution.

Public Information

Compute Canada will post the following information on its website for allocations provided:

Applicant(s) Name(s)
Project Title

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria

The research evaluation criteria are divided into two categories: Quality of the Science and Quality of the Applicant(s). Considerations in each area are as follows:

Quality of the Science (60%)

  • originality and innovation
  • significance and expected contributions to research
  • clarity and scope of objectives
  • clarity and appropriateness of methodology
  • feasibility
  • discussion of relevant issues
  • impact of the research
  • HQP Training
    • number of HQP directly engaged in the project across academic levels (e.g. Undergraduate, Masters, PhD, PostDoc, etc.)
    • quality of HQP contributions
    • impact of participation on HQP
    • unique training opportunities for HQP
    • potential cross pollination between disciplines of HQP

Quality of the Applicant(s) (40%)

  • knowledge, expertise, and experience
  • quality of contributions to, and impact on, the proposed and other areas of research
  • importance of contributions
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