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For assistance in completing your merit allocation application, please contact the Pawsey Helpdesk Service.

Allocation Schemes 


Project proposals are invited via a number of schemes which are targeted at different research communities, fields, and levels of computational experience.

At the time of writing, compute-time allocations on Setonix may be obtained through the following Merit Allocation Schemes:

  • The National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS) – the scheme operates annual allocation calls, which are open to the whole Australian research community and which provide substantial amounts of compute time for meritorious, computational-research projects.
  • The Pawsey Partner Merit Allocation Scheme – calls are open to researchers in Pawsey Partner institutions and provide significant amounts of compute time for meritorious, computational research projects. The Partner institutions are CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. This scheme operates annual calls, with an out-of-session application process for newly eligible project leaders.

The merit-allocation schemes are summarized in the following table.

Scheme Key Eligibility Criteria Call Frequency Award size and duration
NCMAS
  • Projects must be research-focused.
  • Principal Investigator must be employed at an Australian university or research institution
  • Annual call in September/October each year 
Large, 12-month allocations, budgeted quarterly
Pawsey Partner Merit Allocation Scheme
  • Project must be research-focused
  • Principal Investigator must be employed at a Pawsey Partner institution
  • Annual call in September/October each year 
  • Responsive-mode in exceptional cases, available most of the year 
Large, 12-month allocations, budgeted quarterly

Allocation Process


Each project proposal for use of Pawsey supercomputers is assessed as to:

  • its compliance with the eligibility of the scheme to which it is submitted;
  • its technical feasibility – in terms of appropriateness for the resources requested;
  • its scientific merit.

Only a project proposal that fulfills the constraints of the particular scheme and that is deemed to be technically feasible is eligible to receive a compute-time allocation on a Pawsey supercomputer. Within meritorious schemes, such as the Pawsey Partner Merit Allocation Scheme or the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, the process is conducted by an independent panel of computational researchers who prioritise and award compute time to eligible projects according to their scientific merit.

Allocations under the NCMAS and Pawsey Partner schemes are all based on competitive merit.  The scientific research and computational methodology assessment criteria are nearly identical between the schemes.  Although how these criteria are scored and contribute to rankings between the schemes may differ, it is essential that you address all the criteria in the most appropriate way for your background and project.

Completing an application


To ensure Pawsey has the information needed to properly assess a proposal, a researcher should ensure they:

  • meet the criteria of the call to which they are applying;
  • read the call text carefully and aim to address all points of consideration;
  • provide clear and complete information.

Refer to the individual scheme pages for application details:  NCMAS and Pawsey Partner.  Note that NCMAS uses a different form and application portal to the Pawsey Partner scheme.

Researchers are encouraged to contact the Pawsey Helpdesk should they have any questions or comments regarding compute-time award schemes or allocations.

Allocation of compute time on Pawsey resources remains the discretion of the Pawsey Executive Director: their decision regarding the assessment of a proposal or the allocation of compute time is final.

Results and Project Creation


The results of applications for Pawsey supercomputer allocations are sent to the Principal Investigator named on the application.  It is up to the PI to communicate the results to their team.

For the the NCMAS and Pawsey Partner schemes, the Principal Investigator is notified in approximately mid-December.  (The allocation committees typically meet in late November to early December).  If no notification is received before the end of year, please check your spam folder in case the bulk-sent emails have been incorrectly categorised as spam.

For annual allocations from the competitive merit process, new allocations and new projects are created in mid January after the system maintenance period.

In the case of new projects, the following workflow occurs:

  1. Principal Investigator receives an invitation via email to accept the allocation and responsibility for the project.  The Principal Investigator must click the link, either login with an existing account or create a new account, before the next step can occur.
  2. The allocation is created on the system, and project participants listed on the application are sent an invitation to join the project.  Each participant must click the link, either login with an existing account or create a new account, before the next step can occur for that participant.
  3. After each participant completes the above step, they are added to the project group and added to SLURM.

In the case of continuing projects, the above workflow starts at step 2.

If a project member has not heard from Pawsey about an application, please check with the Principal Investigator in the first instance as to whether the application was successful and whether they completed their step of the above workflow.


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