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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 Magnus may be obtained through the following schemes:

  • The National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS) – 35% of the compute time available on Magnus is allocated through this scheme, along with compute-time allocations from other Australian centres including NCI, VLSCI, and MASSIVE. 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 Energy & Resources Merit Allocation Scheme – 20% of the compute time available on Magnus is allocated through this scheme. Open to the Australian energy and resources research community, providing significant amounts of compute time for meritorious research projects in the domain. See the Australian Government Science Priorities for guidance on what qualifies as Energy and Resources. Energy examples include generation, storage and distribution. Resources examples include exploration, minerals extraction and processing, groundwater, and waste management. This scheme operates annual calls, with an out-of-session application process for newly eligible project leaders.
  • The Pawsey Partner Merit Allocation Scheme – 40% of the compute time available on Magnus is allocated through this 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 Pawsey Director’s Allocation Scheme – 5% of the compute time available on Magnus may be allocated to short-term projects requiring modest amounts of compute time. The scheme is open to all Australian researchers and is intended to support researchers with less experience of supercomputer-scale computational research (start-up grant) and to support speculative investigations designed to assess the potential of supercomputing for an application.  This scheme is also used for commercial access.

There are also allocations to support Radio Astronomy, which are determined by the Pawsey Radio Astronomy Committee. The allocations apply to 100% of Galaxy (25% of Pawsey resources), supporting ASKAP and MWA.

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 (100,000,000 core hours on Magnus)
Large, 12-month allocations, budgeted quarterly
Energy & Resources Merit Allocation Scheme
  • Project must be research-focused
  • Project must be in energy or resources domains
  • Principal Investigator must be employed at an Australian university or research institution
  • Annual call in September/October each year (55,500,000 core hours on Magnus)
  • Responsive-mode in exceptional cases, available most of the year (2,500,000 core hours on Magnus)
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 (110,000,000 core hours on Magnus)
  • Responsive-mode in exceptional cases, available most of the year (5,000,000 core hours on Magnus)
Large, 12-month allocations, budgeted quarterly
Pawsey Director’s Allocation Scheme
  • Principal Investigator must be employed at an Australian university, research institution, or business
  • Responsive-mode, available most of the year (13,433,280 core hours on Magnus)

Small (<0.1% of available resource time), 3-month allocations

For commercial access, size and duration are negotiable

Allocation Schemes across the Resources


MagnusGalaxyZeus
  • Magnus - Access to Magnus is primarily through competitive merit, via the Energy & Resources, NCMAS or Pawsey Partner schemes.  Access may also be obtained via a Director's Share application.
  • Galaxy - Galaxy is restricted to the ASKAP and MWA projects.
  • Zeus - All users of Magnus and Galaxy have access to Zeus.  Access to only Zeus may be obtained by completing a Director's Share application.

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 fulfils the constraints of the particular scheme and that is deemed to be technically feasible is eligible to receive a compute-time allocation on an 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 Energy & Resources, 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.  Energy & Resources, NCMAS, Pawsey Partner and Director's Share.  Note that NCMAS uses a different form and application portal to the other schemes.

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.
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