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Researchers should be aware that other computational resources may be available. These resources may be applied for in addition to Pawsey resources, e.g. many researchers have allocations at both Pawsey and NCI. The following sections provide a brief overview of what opportunities are available at the national and international levels. Some of these avenues are open to all researchers, while others may be restricted to those in a particular field.


Compute services

The main national scheme for Australian researchers is the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS). This offers time at a number of different facilities, which includes The Pawsey Centre. The NCMAS web site discusses eligibility, assessment criteria, closing dates, and so on. It also provides access to the NCMAS application portal.

The institutions which contribute to NCMAS offer different types of resource. Follow the links to the individual institutions to see what resources are currently available under NCMAS, and other local schemes.

  • The National Compute Infrastructure (NCI) is a national research facility based in Canberra and offers NCMAS allocations, partner shares, and an NCI flagship allocation scheme. See the NCI web site for further details
  • The Research Computing Centre (RCC) at The University of Queensland offers a flagship service "FlashLite", a portion of which will be available under NCMAS, and is aimed at data-intensive work such as bioinformatics and machine learning. See the RCC web site for further details
  • MASSIVE (Multi-model Australian Sciences Imaging and Visualisation) specialising in imaging and visualisation, together with microscopy and other material characterisation methods. MASSIVE offer time under NCMAS allocations, for partners, and under a number of local initiatives. See the MASSIVE web site for further details.

Cloud services

Pawsey operates a cloud service, Nimbus.  This has a lighter weight application process than Pawsey supercomputers.

The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy funds a research cloud service NeCTAR, which has nodes in some states. This may be suitable for certain tasks which fit the cloud model, such as long-running serial jobs, work requiring external network access, and so on.


Computational resources can also be obtained from a variety of overseas sources, usually requiring some level of relevant international collaboration. We suggest interested Pawsey users contact the Pawsey Helpdesk Service in the first instance for advice on how to approach applications.

Notable schemes include:

  • INCITE. The United States Department of Energy INCITE programme (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) targets leadership class machines and high risk, high reward projects at the limits of what is possible. Anyone can apply, but applications need to be of the highest quality to gain approval. Preparatory access is available under the Director's Discretionary Programme to allow testing and benchmarking with the aim of submitting an full application. For further details see the Department of Energy's leadership computing site at
  • PRACE. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe funded by the European Union. A range of resources is available at various locations for which you will probably need to find a collaborator at a European academic institution. For further details see the PRACE web site Again, preparatory access is available to assess the suitability of given platforms/codes for a full application.


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