Addressing Challenges

As a DOE Office of Science User Facility dedicated to open science, any researcher with a question that requires large-scale computing systems can submit a proposal for time on ALCF computing resources.

Researchers gain access to ALCF resources, typically with awards of millions of core-hours, through the competitive, peer-reviewed allocation programs described below.

For details on how to get an allocation at the ALCF, visit our user guide.

Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment Program (INCITE)

The INCITE program provides allocations to computationally intensive, large-scale research projects that aim to address “grand challenges” in science and engineering. The program conducts a two-part review of all proposals: a peer review by an international panel of experts and a computational-readiness review. The annual call for proposals is issued in April and the allocations are awarded in millions of core-hours for one to three years.

ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC)

The ALCC program allocates resources to projects with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations in areas directly related to the DOE mission and for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources. The DOE conducts a peer review of all proposals based on scientific and technical merit of the project; appropriateness of the proposed method or approach; competency and adequacy of personnel and proposed resources; and the reasonableness and appropriateness of the proposed allocation request. The yearlong allocation cycle runs from July 1 to June 30.

Director's Discretionary (DD)

The ALCF’s DD program provides “start up” awards to researchers working toward an INCITE or ALCC allocation to help them achieve computational readiness. Projects must demonstrate a need for leadership-class resources. Awards may be made year-round to industry, academia, laboratories, and others, and are usually between three and six months in duration. The size of the award varies based on the application and its readiness/ability to scale; awards are generally from the low hundreds of thousands to the low millions of hours.

Early Science Program (ESP)

As part of the process of bringing a new supercomputer into production, the ALCF also hosts Early Science Programs (ESP) to ensure its next-generation systems are ready to hit the ground running. The intent of the ESP is to use the critical pre-production time period to prepare key applications for the architecture and scale of a new supercomputer, and to solidify libraries and infrastructure to pave the way for other production applications to run on the system. In addition to fostering application readiness, the ESP also allows researchers to pursue innovative computational science projects not possible on today’s leadership-class supercomputers.