RPP (2018) Draft

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 rac@computecanada.ca.

2018 Application Guide Table of Contents

Competition Eligibility
Guidelines for Completing an Application
Pre-Submission Consultations
Online Application Form
Request Streams
Co-PIs and Collaborators
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 Resource Requests for Groups (RRG) competition.

If you have any questions about whether your resource needs fit within the RPP Competition, please contact us at rac@computecanada.ca 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.

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Guidelines for Completing an RPP Application

Applications to the RPP undergo a two-stage evaluation. Both stages of the competition are mandatory and must be completed by the identified deadline dates:

Accepting Submission 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 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.

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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 rac@computecanada.ca. 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.

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Online Application Form

All applications to the RPP 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. 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 its funders. Please consult the CCV Submission Guide for further instructions.

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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.

Note: If your needs for resources can be satisfied with a Rapid Access Service quota but you want assurances of an allocation, then you should submit an RPP application.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Questions & Additional Information

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

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






CAC: cac.help@queensu.ca  

SciNet: support@scinet.utoronto.ca

SHARCNET: help@sharcnet.ca

WestGrid: rac@westgrid.ca

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Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

Confidentiality of Information

Compute Canada will safeguard the information it receives from applicants. It will instruct proposal reviewers to keep all information confidential and to use it only for review purposes. All proposals will be 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

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

Applicant’s Name


Platform or Portal Title



Evaluation Criteria for Strategic Plan
Scientific Evaluation Criteria
  1. Goal and Alignment (5 points)
  • The project goal is clearly stated and aligns with the goals of Compute Canada.
  • The scientific area of focus is of importance to Canada and will generate positive benefits.
  1. Use and Development of a Platform/Portal (5 points)
  • The applicant has clearly explained the added value from the creation of the proposed platform or portal for the identified communities.
  • Creation of the research platform/portal is being driven by the research community targeted.
  • If Applicable – The application details the level of interaction between Canadian and international research groups.
  • The approach to sharing data sets across the platform/portal is well detailed and the application addresses any potential accessibility issues.
  1. Expected Impacts (5 points)
  • The expected impacts have been clearly articulated over the entire duration of the requested allocation and have indicated the means by which they will be measured.
  • The application presents a clear timeline for the delivery of the anticipated outcomes.
  • The outcomes presented are of relevance and importance, and will benefit the partners and the research community.
  1. Management and Operation of the Platform/Portal (5 points)
  • The proposed management of the resources is well defined and will provide broad access to the research communities.
  • The process for resource access is well defined and the application identifies a credible plan to maintain or increase the population accessing resources.
  • If applicable, the scientific evaluation of selecting projects will result in supporting excellent research with the resources available.
  • The reporting framework presented will ensure information collected on the users of the portal will provide the ability to track impacts (scientific, HQP, social, etc.) and the participants are maximizing the benefits of the resources to meet the expected outcomes of the application.
  • The team assembled to deliver on the platform/portal have the right combination of skills to execute the strategic plan (where positions are not yet filled, a description of the position has been included).
  1. Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) (5 points)
  • The application will generate significant benefits to HQP and has outlined these benefits in the application.
  • The anticipated number of HQP participating in the platform/portal have been clearly delineated across academic levels.
  • The platform/portal will create unique training opportunities for the participating HQP.
  • The application identifies strong examples of cross-pollination between HQP disciplines resulting from the platform/portal.

Appropriateness of Resources Requested (5 points)

  • The applicant has a good understanding of the resources required and has provided a justified request for resources.
  • The resources requested are acceptable for the level of activities and anticipated deliverables.
  • The resources are well justified over the entire duration of the request.
  • The distribution of resources over the entire duration of the request is well defined and includes any periods of high demand.
  • If applicable – The locations of the resources requested are appropriate given the capacity of the Compute Canada systems.
  • If applicable – The storage requested has been appropriately categorized as long-term/archival storage or a rapid accessibility storage solution.
  • For applications involving international participation, the application has indicated the domestic proportion of resources for use across Canada compared to the international proportion and distribution.
  • The applicant has provided a clear indication of the impacts of scaling down the resource allocation and has tied these impacts to the expected outcomes.

Important note about the RPP scientific score: RPP applications are scored based on a 25-point system. However, the final score is converted to a 5-point system to harmonize it with one used to evaluate applications to the Resources for Research Group (RRG) competition. This means that if your application is successful, the score that will be included in your award letter and recorded on CCDB is based on a 5-point scale.