NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2017 Call for Proposals to use NERSC Resources

Overview and Schedule

The Office of Science of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) solicits proposals for 2017 allocations of high performance computing resources at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Proposals must support the mission of the DOE Office of Science, and can be submitted starting August 9, 2016.

All current projects (including startup, education, and Director's Reserve) must be renewed for 2017 if you wish to continue using NERSC. New project requests may be submitted as well (to start in 2017).

The deadline for submitting AY 2017 NERSC proposals (both renewed and new) is September 19, 2016, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Award decisions for requests submitted before this deadline will be emailed to Principal Investigators and PI Proxies on December 9, 2016. Production requests made after September 19 will be reviewed in late January 2017. New requests awarded after August 2016 may be renewed for 2017 after the September 19 deadline.

2017 allocations will be for the period January 10, 2017, through January 8, 2018.

Submitting Your Request

Requests to use NERSC resources are submitted via a web form known as the ERCAP (Energy Research Computing Allocations Process) Request Form. ERCAP is accessed through the NERSC Information Management (NIM) system at See Help for the ERCAP Allocations Request Form.

Most projects fall under the "allocation type" of "DOE Production." Unless you know otherwise, you should select this allocation type on the ERCAP form. 

The currency at NERSC is the "NERSC Hour," which is equivalent to the "MPP Hour" used in previous years. The change in nomenclature is being made in preparation for Cori Phase 2 and follow-on systems that may not have a clear relationship to the "MPP Hour," which was based on a multiple of a core-hour on the retired Hopper system. The following charges apply for parallel jobs

  • Edison: 48 NERSC Hours per hour per node used
  • Cori Phase 1: 80 NERSC Hours per hour per node used
  • Cori Phase 2: TBD based on measure application performance (all Cori Phase 2 time will be allocated in the spring of 2017 for use in the second half of allocation year 2017.)

Projects that use PDSF and Genepool

Requests to renew NERSC's PDSF (Parallel Distributed Systems Facility) and Joint Genome Institute Genepool projects are part of the ERCAP form as well. These allocations, however, are handled separately from NERSC DOE allocations. PDSF is used by researchers in the high energy physics and nuclear science communities and access must be approved by the PDSF Steering Committee. Please do not answer the questions on the PDSF tab if you are not a PDSF user. If you would like information about joining PDSF please see Likewise, JGI Genepool projects must be pre-approved. Please do not request a Genepool "GPSHARE" unless you are a Genepool user.

Validating Your User List

If you are renewing your project you must also validate your user list: review and if necessary correct contact and other information for each active user.  Delete users who have left your project (the deletion process will start immediately - see User Deletion Process under Managing Your Allocation.)


If you need help with your 2016 allocation request please contact

 If you have forgotten your NERSC password and if you have already set up the answers to your Security Questions, you can get a new password by following the link on the NIM login page: - Forgot your NIM password?

Otherwise, since we do not send passwords via email, you will need to call the Account Support Office at 1-800-66-NERSC menu option 2, or 1-510-486-8612. You can call us at any time, 24 x 7, and somebody will be here to assist you.

What's New for 2017?

  • DOE Funding tab, Question 10
    • If you have funding from other than the DOE Office of Science, we ask you to include information on all of your sources of funding.
  • Resources Requested tab, question 18.1 - Use of Experimental or Observational data
    • We are asking you to identify if the primary role of this project is to:

           ◼ Analyze data from experiments or observational facilities?

           ◼ Create tools or algorithms for analyzing experimental/observational data?

           ◼ Combine models and simulations with experimental/observational data?

  • Code Descriptions, question 20
    • The requested information has been reduced.
  • Data & Analytics, questions 21 & 22
    • This tab and included questions have been removed.


NERSC supports research that reflects the mission of DOE's Office of Science. All Principal Investigators funded by the Office of Science may apply for an allocation of NERSC resources. In addition, researchers who aren't directly funded by DOE SC but with projects that are relevant to its mission may also apply to use NERSC resources. If you are not funded by the DOE Office of Science you should explain how your research falls within the DOE mission. See Eligibility.

New Principal Investigators

New PIs (who do not have a NERSC login name) must fill out the ERCAP Access Request web form. They must also fill out and submit NERSC's online Appropriate Use Policy form. Once this is done the Account Support group will notify the new PI of their NIM login name and password.  See Applying for your First NERSC Allocation.

Accessing the ERCAP Allocations Request Form

The ERCAP request form is accessed from NIM at You log into NIM using your NERSC login name and password. If you have forgotten your NERSC password and if you have already set up the answers to your Security Questions, you can get a new password by following the link on the NIM login page: - Forgot your NIM password?
Otherwise, since we do not send passwords via email, you will need to call the Account  Support Office at 1-800-66-NERSC menu option 2, or 1-510-486-8612..

After you have logged into NIM select My ERCAP Requests from the My Stuff pull-down menu.  If you want to keep your current repository in 2016 make sure that you Click to Renew (green recycle icon) rather than start a new request.

The questions on the request form are divided into several sections. Each section is grouped under a tab. When you first renew a previous year's request, or when you first create a new request, you will be in the first tab, called Project Overview. The other tabs are not clickable until you have saved the Project Overview; after which you can click on any tab in any order.

You MUST click the "Save" button located at both the top and bottom of each section in order to save your work in that section before selecting another tab.  If you move to another tab without saving your changes will be lost.

See ERCAP Allocation Request Form.

Designating Proxies to fill out the Request Form

Principal Investigators can designate one or more "PI Proxies" who write the request form for the PI (or in conjunction with the PI). See Overview and Eligibility.