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Call for Applications for Preparatory Access to JSC Supercomputing and Support Resources

Computational science today is tackling problems of increasing complexity and scale. To fulfil the requirements of computationally intensive simulations and analyses of large data sets, applications suitable for High Performance Computing (HPC) systems need to be newly developed or adapted from algorithms originally designed for PCs and small clusters. Besides scalability issues arising from distributed memory, users are additionally confronted with adapting their applications to various hybrid programming models including accelerators (such as GPU and Intel MIC).

To further strengthen the ongoing efforts to meet this challenge and encourage computational scientists to port their models to state-of-the-art HPC machines, JSC invites potential new users of the supercomputers in Jülich to apply for Preparatory Access to the JURECA cluster or booster systems, accompanied by support from the JSC’s Simulation Laboratories.

Analogously to similar schemes previously introduced within PRACE, the JSC Preparatory Access aims to facilitate access to the Jülich supercomputers for researchers with computationally intensive scientific problems, but codes that still need to be made fit for HPC prior to a full NIC/GCS or JARA-HPC/VSR proposal. Successful applications will receive a computing time budget (of the order 5000 core-hours on the JURECA cluster or 50 000 core-hours on the booster) supplemented by expert assistance from one of the JSC SimLabs for a period of up to four months, to verify and improve the performance of their application and prepare a full computing-time proposal. In this pilot phase, available SimLab support is expected to be around 2 person-weeks per project with a corresponding effort on the applicants' side. The goal of each approved action is to prepare the code for a full computing time proposal by the next call deadline (February or August).

Expertise offered by SimLab staff includes:

  • Porting and tuning of codes for the JURECA cluster and booster systems
  • Performance analysis and scaling improvement of codes/applications
  • (Re)design of computational methods needed to exploit highly parallel architectures

Application process:

Applications for Preparatory Access have to be filed in general by applicants, who are employed at universities or research facilities in Germany (irrespective of nationality). They undergo a technical evaluation by JSC staff, who will assess the potential of the application to benefit from HPC adaptation and tuning. As far as possible, successful proposals will be matched to a SimLab corresponding to or related to their scientific discipline.

Applicants should fill out and submit one of the application forms (JURECA) outlining the scientific and computational background and motivation of the team and code, as well as expected outcomes and benefits of the preparatory access.

If prospective applicants have questions about the process or the suitability of a project, they are encouraged to first discuss their project informally with one of the SimLabs and the respective contact persons or send an e-mail to

Deadlines for applications:

Applications for Preparatory Access to JSC resources may be submitted throughout the year. However, depending on the number of active Preparatory Access projects we may limit review and acceptance of new projects to twice a year, synchronised with the start of the computing-time periods on November 1st and May 1st, respectively.

Next strict deadline: 30 April 2018