Research PortalResources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition

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Competition Opens Submission Deadline
September 27, 2018 November 8, 2018, 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
Extension of this deadline is not possible.

The Resources for Research Groups (RRG) Competition is a peer-reviewed competition created to enable 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.

Please read this year’s guide carefully.  If you have questions, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If you have questions about the terminology, please consult the Compute Canada Technical Glossary.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at rac@computecanada.ca.

Table of Contents

Eligibility
Submission Procedures & Deadlines
Application Form
Allocation Process
Questions & Additional Information
Appendix A: Scientific Evaluation Criteria
Appendix B: Scoring Criteria
Appendix C: Privacy Policy

Eligibility

This competition is open to researchers from all disciplines based at Canadian academic institutions who are eligible to apply for funding from the federal granting agencies.

Fast Track

A Fast Track process is available (by invitation only) for users with existing RRG allocations who meet specific criteria. You can find more information on the eligibility criteria, here.

Only eligible PIs will receive an invitation by email to Fast Track. This email will be sent September 11, 2018.

If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, yet did not receive an invitation to Fast Track, please email rac@computecanada.ca

Co-PIs and Collaborators

In the context of this competition, Co-PIs are any co-lead investigators in your project with a Compute Canada account. Note that both the PI and any Co-PI listed in an application must upload an updated CCV with their application (see CCV Requirement section.) International investigators or colleagues without a Compute Canada account can be listed as “collaborators” at the discretion of the PI.

Minimum Request

Only applications needing more than the amounts listed below will be accepted:

  • Compute >= 50* Core Year, OR
  • Storage >= 10 TBs, OR
  • GPUs >= 10 GPU years, OR
  • Cloud Compute >= 80 VCPUs, OR
  • Persistent Cloud >= 10 VCPUs, OR
  • Cloud storage >= 1 TB

*If you require <50 core years but high memory per core, please use the following formula to calculate the Core Equivalent to know whether you should submit an application or use Rapid Access Service for your compute needs.

Core Equivalent =MAX(cores, mem requested / 4GB)
Mem requested = CY* mem per core requested

For more information about compute allocations, core equivalent and scheduling prioritization, please visit this page.

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

If your resource needs are less than the limits mentioned above, you should use Compute Canada’s Rapid Access Service and do not need to submit an RRG application.

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Submission Procedures & Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted electronically through the CCDB no later than November 8, 2018 at 11:59 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 2019.

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Pre-submission Consultations

Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Compute Canada technical staff prior to submitting a proposal by emailing rac@computecanada.ca.

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

Consultations must happen prior to October 31, 2018, to allow adequate time for support by Compute Canada technical staff.

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Online Application Form

All applications to the RRG Competition are submitted online via the CCDB (Compute Canada Database). Users must log in using an existing Compute Canada account or register for a new account.

CCV Requirement

The Canadian Common CV (CCV) is required for the scientific review process of all RAC applications and is also important for Compute Canada’s reporting to our funders. Please consult the CCV Submission Guide for further instructions.

The PI and all co-PIs are required to:

  • Upload an up-to-date CCV with any RAC application.
  • Report publications enabled by your use of Compute Canada resources.

Important:

  • If a CCV on file is less than 1 year old, uploading a new one is optional.
  • If a CCV on file is older than one year, a new CCV must be upload.

The PI will be able to view in the online form the date in which any CCV linked to the application was last uploaded and whether any action is required.

Please plan ahead to avoid delays or the risk of missing the submission deadline due to this requirement.

Requesting Resources

Remember to fill-in the online application form with all of your requests. There should be no discrepancies between what you request in the Technical Justification document attached to your application and what you request in the online form. In case of discrepancy, the online form will prevail.

Please visit the Available Resources page to see the list of systems available for this competition and to know how resources must be requested in the online form.

Technical Justification

Please use the following template for the required Technical Justification document that must be submitted with your online application. The Technical Justification document MUST be submitted in .pdf format.

Download Template (Word) Download Template (LaTeX)

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Allocation Process

The overall allocation process follows these stages:

  1. Compute Canada Technical staff review each proposal.
  2. An Expert Review Committee evaluates each proposal, and each proposal receives multiple independent scientific reviews.
  3. Expert Review Committees meet to discuss the applications and gives a final science score on a 5-point scale.
  4. The Chairs of the Expert Review Committees endorse a scaling function based on the science score. That scaling function is applied to all compute requests.
Technical Review

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;
  • evaluate application efficiency and scalability;
  • identify groups that may need help with application and workflow optimization;
  • identify discrepancies between the online request and the complete description of the project;
  • identify special software requirements;
  • provide a technical opinion on the reasonability of the request.

Note: During the technical review process, 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.

Science Review

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

  1. Obtain expert opinion about the overall scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed research project(s);
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of the requested 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.

Please refer to the Appendix at the end of this Guide for the RRG Evaluation Criteria.

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 2018, this function was set so that only applications with a science score of 2.0 or higher received an allocation, with a maximum of 83% of their total allocation request being met for those with a score of 5. Visit the 2018 Resource Allocations Competition Results page for more details about the scaling function and other RAC stats.

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 to the same degree as the granting agencies.

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Questions & Additional Information

For any questions on the RRG Competition, please contact us at rac@computecanada.ca.

You may also wish to consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or the Compute Canada Technical Glossary.

For more information about other Compute Canada Resource Allocation Competitions, please see our main Resource Allocation Competitions page

Feel free to  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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APPENDIX A: Scientific Evaluation Criteria

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

Merit of the Proposal (60%)

Considerations include:

  • 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
  • training opportunities for HQP

Quality of the Applicant(s) (40%)

Considerations include (for PI and all co-PIs):

  • 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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APPENDIX B: Scoring criteria

Merit of the Proposal
Descriptor Score Definition
Exceptional 5 Proposed research program is ambitious and feasible, is clearly presented, is extremely original and innovative, and is likely to have impact by leading to groundbreaking advances in the area and/or leading to a technology or policy that addresses socio-economic or environmental needs. Long-term vision, short-term objectives, timescales, and expected impact are clearly defined and justified. The methodology is novel, clearly described, and appropriate.
Outstanding 4 Proposed research program is clearly presented, is highly original and innovative, and is likely to have impact by contributing to substantial advances in the area and/or leading to a technology or policy that addresses socio-economic or environmental needs. Long-term goals, short-term objectives, timescales, and expected impact are well described and justified. The methodology is clearly defined and appropriate.
Very Strong 3 Proposed research program is clearly presented, is original and innovative, and is likely to have impact by leading to advancements and/or addressing socio-economic or environmental needs. Long-term goals are defined, short-term objectives are planned, and timescales and expected impact are well defined. The methodology is clearly described and appropriate.
Strong 2 Proposed research program is clearly presented, is original and innovative, and is likely to have impact and/or address socio-economic or environmental needs. Long-term goals and short-term objectives are described. The methodology is described and appropriate.
Moderate 1 Proposed research program is reasonably well presented, has original and innovative aspects, and may have impact on and/or address socio-economic or environmental needs. Long-term and short-term objectives are described. The methodology is partially described and/or appropriate.
Insufficient 0 Proposed research program as presented lacks clarity, is of limited originality and innovation, and/or does not clearly address socio-economic or environmental challenges. Objectives are not properly described and/or likely not attainable. Methodology is not clearly defined and/or appropriate.
Quality of the Applicant(s)
Descriptor Score Definition
Exceptional 5 Acknowledged as leader who has continued, over the last five years, to make influential accomplishments at the highest level of quality, impact, and/or importance to a broad community.
Outstanding 4 The accomplishments presented in the application were deemed to be far superior in quality, impact, and/or importance to a broad community.
Very Strong 3 The accomplishments presented in the application were deemed to be of superior quality, impact, and/or importance.
Strong 2 The accomplishments presented in the application were deemed to be solid in their quality, impact, and/or importance.
Moderate 1 The accomplishments presented in the application were deemed to be of reasonable quality, impact, and/or importance.
Insufficient 0 The accomplishments presented in the application were deemed to be below an acceptable level of quality, impact, and/or importance.

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APPENDIX C: Privacy Policy

Confidentiality of Information

Compute Canada safeguards the information it receives from applicants. All proposals are available for review by all Compute Canada reviewers and the RAC Administrative Committee. All reviewers are required to sign a non-disclosure 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.  

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

If approved for an allocation, Compute Canada will post the following project information on our website:

Full name of the PI

Department/Institution/Organization

Project Title

Project Summary

Allocation
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