The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is supported by $160 million funding as part of the Australian Government’s measures to support national research infrastructure under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and related programs through the Department of Education. Australia's National Innovation Roadmap explicitly states that "access focuses on the merit of the research to be undertaken as the primary determinant for access".
There are three two main access mechanisms, driven by the Access Principles of the National Innovation Roadmap:
- Merit: The bulk of supercomputer access at Pawsey is through competitive merit.
- National Interest: At Pawsey, some infrastructure is reserved for the precursor telescopes of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, and the two precursor telescopes ASKAP and MWA.Commercial: Businesses may purchase access to Pawsey infrastructure and staff at commercial rates.
Proposals for competitive merit projects may be submitted through one of a number of schemes that Pawsey operates or participates in. Through these merit allocation schemes, Pawsey strives to: