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Call for Applications for Test Projects with JSC Supercomputing and Support Resources

An easy way to get started on our HPC systems and receive extended support

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, application codes 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) or the more complex compute systems in general.

To further strengthen the ongoing efforts to meet this challenge and to encourage computational scientists to port their models to state-of-the-art HPC machines in order to open up new perspectives for their research, JSC invites potential new users of the supercomputers in Jülich to apply for test projects on the JURECA or JUWELS cluster and booster systems.

Analogously to similar schemes previously introduced within PRACE, the JSC Test or Preparatory Access projects aim 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. Test projects can also be used to individually test application codes on our systems. Successful applications will receive a computing time budget on the HPC resource, optionally supplemented by expert assistance from one of the JSC Simulation and Data Labs (SDLs) for a period of up to four months. The goal is to verify and improve the performance of their application codes and prepare a full computing-time proposal by the next call deadline (February or August).

All test projects have entry level support

Test projects grant access to an HPC resource with a certain number of core-hours in order to prepare a regular project application. The projects will test, port, and tune their application code on their own with entry level support via SC-support.

The support will cover all general problems (starting, e.g. from login problems and questions with respect to our toolchains) and will provide pointers to more extended documentation. It does, however, not involve an extensive cooperation between the project and JSC.

Test projects with extended support by an SDL

Test projects can in addition ask to be accompanied by support from JSC’s Simulation and Data Laboratories (SDLs). During this preparatory pilot phase, available SDL support is expected to be around 2 person-weeks per project with a corresponding effort on the applicants' side.

Expertise offered by SDL staff includes:

● Porting and tuning of codes for the JURECA/JUWELS cluster and booster systems
● Performance analysis and scaling improvement of codes/applications
● (Re)design of computational methods needed to exploit highly parallel architectures
● Guidance for writing a computing-time proposal
● Close cooperation with JSC's Cross-sectional teams

Application process

In general, applications for test projects with or without extended support may be filed by applicants who are employed at a university or research facility in Germany (irrespective of the applicant's nationality). They undergo a technical evaluation by JSC staff, who will assess the potential of the application code in terms of benefit from HPC adaptation and tuning as well as possible support needs. Optionally, and as far as possible, successful proposals will be matched to an SDL corresponding to or related to their scientific discipline.

Applicants should fill out and submit the application forms outlining the scientific and computational background and motivation of the team and code, as well as the expected plan, outcomes, and benefits of the test project. Please focus on the computational problems or HPC system aspects for the test project.

If prospective applicants have questions about the process or the suitability of a project, they are encouraged to first discuss their project informally prior to an application. Depending on your planned support option, either contact sc@fz-juelich.de, get in touch with one of the SDLs and the respective contact persons, or send an e-mail to SDLs@fz-juelich.de.

Application for scientific test projects within RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich

Please apply for a test project via JARA/VSR. Machines currently available in this channel include JURECA-DC Cluster and Booster.

Application for scientific test projects within GCS/NIC

Applicants who are employed at universities or research facilities in Germany, please apply via GCS/NIC. Machines currently available in this channel include JUWELS Cluster and Booster and JURECA Booster.

Non-scientific / commercial / industrial applications

If you are interested in computing time, please contact the Industrial Releations Team at JSC.

Deadlines for applications

Applications for test projects on JSC resources may be submitted throughout the year. However, depending on the number of active extended support requests, we may limit acceptance of extended support. Please also consider the start of the computing-time periods on November 1st and May 1st when applying to allow enough time for your tests.