NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2014 Call for Proposals to use NERSC Resources

NOTE: This is historical content. It may include references to programs, people, and research no longer active at Berkeley Lab. It may also link to web pages that no longer exist or refer to documents no longer available. It is provided as-is.

The Office of Science of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) solicits proposals for 2014 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 13, 2013.

All current 2013 NERSC projects (including startup, education, ALCC, NISE ) must be renewed for 2014 in order to continue using NERSC.

The deadline for submitting 2014 NERSC proposals (both renewed and new) is Sunday, September 22, 2013, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Award decisions for requests submitted before this deadline will be emailed to Principal Investigators and PI Proxies on December 13, 2013. Production requests made after September 22 will be reviewed in January 2014. New requests awarded after September 22 may be renewed for 2014 after the deadline.

2014 allocations are for the period January 14, 2014, through January 12, 2015.

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

In addition, requests to use the NERSC's Parallel Distributed Systems Facility (PDSF) and to renew PDSF projects are part of the ERCAP Form. PDSF allocations, however, are handled separately from ERCAP. Use of the PDSF is restricted to researchers in the high energy physics and nuclear science communities and must be pre-approved.  Please do not answer the questions on the PDSF tab if you are not a PDSF PI.

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.

What's New for 2014?

  1. MPP hours allocated:
    3 billion MPP hours will be allocated in allocation year 2014. 80% of the allocation will be allocated by the six DOE offices of science; the remaining time is for ALCC (ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge) allocations and for the NERSC Director's reserve. The following MPP resources are included in this allocation:
    • Edison, our Cray XC30 system with 124,800 computational cores and a machine charge factor of 2
    • Hopper, our Cray XE6 system with 153,216 computational cores and a machine charge factor of 1
    • Carver, our IBM iDataPlex system with 5,472 computational cores (allocated as MPP hours) and a machine charge factor of 1.5
  2. The project use questions in "DOE Questions" have been replaced by these new ones:
    1. Does this project intend to make use of any information (software or data) subject to the following legal controls on use?
      • Classified or controlled military or defense information
      • Export controlled or ITAR information
      • Personally identifiable information
      • Protected health information
      • Proprietary information
    2. Is the project intended for any military or defense end-use or application?
  3. The icons on the ERCAP request list have been replaced by words:
    • When you select "My ERCAP Requests" from your My Stuff menu you will see links to "renew", "edit" and "Download PDF" next to your request titles. These replace the icons that were used previously.
  4. You can enter special latin characters for Project Description:
    • Special latin characters (the Unicode character set), like accents and umlauts, can be used within any of the character text boxes. They cannot yet be used in other parts of NIM, like people's names.
  5. The sectional tabs have been slightly changed:
    • The "Project Description" tab now comes before "Resources Requested".
    • "Submit Request" is now a separate tab.
  6. You no longer have to certify your users' citizenships:
    • The citizenship column has been removed from "Validate Current User List".


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 Computer User Agreement 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 contact the Account  Support Office at

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 2014 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.