We will be running calls for access to UK HPC at around 6 month intervals, please see below for the current call status.

Applications are currently open! 

Application form: HPC-CONEXS Application Template
Applications can be sent to Tom Penfold.

We will publicise the status of calls as they open on the HPC-CONEXS mailing list and on the HPC-CONEXS Twitter account. If you have any questions or queries please contact Sydnee O'Brien. If you would like access to Tier2 machines, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

FAQ for Applications

The Consortium must be Acknowledged

You must acknowledge EPSRC and HPC-CONEXS in any outputs arising from any project awards granted, you can do this by using the following text:

‘We acknowledge computational resources from ARCHER2 UK National Computing Service which was granted via HPC-CONEXS, the UK High-End Computing Consortium (EPSRC grant no. EP/X035514/1).' 

Research Themes

We are collecting information as to whether a given project aligns against our current research themes. We would encourage applicants to indicate the correct theme/s for their project proposal, projects that align against these themes may be looked on as more desireable. Our current research themes are:

  1. First-Principles Quantum-Mechanical Simulations.
  2. Experiment-Theory Collaborations.
  3. Data Driven Approaches. 

Allocation Periods

The following allocation period dates are the date ranges in which you will be able to get physical access to different HPC facilities via HPC-CONEXS to make use of your resource allocation awarded. Note, that these dates are different to the panel deadline dates in which you should have made your application, the call to the panel will normally open 1 month prior to the allocation window starting.


Current Allocation: 01/01/2024 until 01/07/2024.

Next Allocation: 01/07/2024 until 01/01/2025

Advice for Application Justification Document

This advice is aimed to help improve the quality of applications and help to level the playing field between more established groups and those that are new to our community. These guidelines aim to show some of the characteristics that all strong applications have in common whilst addressing some of the common questions we are asked. The justification document should be made up of two main parts, with the science case forming the bulk of it and the technical case to show a breakdown of how the resources are to be used.

Scientific Case

You should explain the science behind the study for which you are applying for HPC time. This should include a brief overview of the aims of the project, what you will be studying and what the expected impact of this study would be, we would encourage you to use imagery and to summarise any preliminary work to help justify your case. If you are working in very sensitive areas, and cannot for various reasons include some details in your application, this does not mean you are excluded from applying but we would ask you to get in touch so that we can advise on how best to approach this document.

Technical Case

In order to stand a good chance of success, we strongly require that you detail the simulations you are doing. This should include information on the software package and methods you are aiming to use in your simulations. The best and clearest way of detailing simulations is to tabulate them by simulated system size (number of atoms) and provide information on simulation time and any number of repeat runs. This is important because the panel will use this information to place your project on the optimum HPC platform, and to calculate the size of allocation required to do your project.

Can PhD students/PDRAs apply as a PI?

No. The PI must be a permanent member of academic staff or an independent fellowship holder (e.g. RS URF, EPSRC fellowship) who are affiliated to a UK institution. Proposals sent by PhD students or post doctoral researchers will be rejected.

Can researchers overseas be listed as a project user?

Yes, but the PI must be working/studying at a UK institution.

Can purely industrial projects apply for time?

We are unable to offer time directly to industrial projects, nor can we sell access or act as a commercial service provider. We do however welcome applications from collaborative projects between academic and industrial parties, often such projects will be ranked highly due to having an industrial collaborator. These collaborations are highly encouraged, do not require financial contribution from the industrial partner and can be quite broad in scope (methods development, test applications, studentships, code development, to try out ideas, etc).

How long can a project last?

A project must be renewed every 6 months, but can last longer than 1 allocation period. 

Why was my application rejected based on a previous project containing unused resource allocation?

New project applications from applicants that have had previously successful applications and then subsequently went on to under use their allocation by 50% and upwards at the time the project closed will be reviewed. Project applications that fall into this category will likely be heavily penalised during the panel review.

What are my options if my application is rejected?

Unfortunately due to the limited amount of compute time at each HPC-CONEXS panel, it may not always be possible to accept every single application. If your application is rejected then your options include but are not limited to:

  • Submit another application to HPC-CONEXS for the next decision panel (it will be subject to the same review process).
  • You can apply for various types of access to ARCHER2 directly from the ARCHER2 website.
  • If your institution is a partner on one of the Tier2 facilities then you could apply through your local contact if they have capacity to offer this.

What are these funny units of compute (the CU)?

On ARCHER2 the units you will see in your safe account are the CU (Compute Unit), this compute unit simply refers to the use of 1 compute node for 1 hour of compute. So you simply multiply the number of nodes and the number of hours of use to get the total CU for a simulation. Details can be found here.