NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2020 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NOTE: This is historical content. It may include references to programs, people, and research no longer active at Berkeley Lab.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.

Overview and Schedule

The Office of Science of the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) solicits proposals for 2020 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 September 13, 2019.

All current projects (including Exploratory, Education, and Director's Reserve, but excluding ALCC) must be renewed for 2020 if you wish to continue using NERSC. New project requests may be submitted as well (to start in 2020).

The deadline for submitting AY 2020 NERSC proposals (both renewed and new) is October 7, 2019, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Award decisions for requests submitted before this deadline will be emailed to Principal Investigators and Project Managers around December 13, 2019. Production requests made after October 7 will be reviewed in late January 2020. New requests awarded after September 2019 may be renewed for 2020 after the October 7 deadline.

2020 allocations will be for the period January 14, 2020, through January 11, 2021.

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 Help Desk system at See Help for the ERCAP Allocations Request Form.

Most projects fall under the "Project Class" of "DOE Mission Science." Unless you know otherwise, you should select this project class 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 was made to incorporate the KNL nodes available in Cori 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:

  • Cori Haswell processors: 140 NERSC Hours per hour per node used
  • Cori KNL processors: 80 NERSC Hours per hour per node used


If you need help with your 2020 allocation request please submit a help request through or send email to [email protected]

We will be holding ERCAP Office Hours to provide one-on-one assistance. The office hours will be provided through open Zoom sessions on Friday September 20th and 27th, Wednesday October 2nd, Friday October 4th and Monday October 7th from 08:00 AM PDT to 05:00 PM PDT. 


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. Once this is done the Account Support group will notify the new PI of their login name and password to be used to access  See Applying for your First NERSC Allocation.

Accessing the ERCAP Allocations Request Form

The ERCAP request form is accessed from the NERSC Help Desk at You log in using your NERSC login name and password. If you have forgotten your NERSC password you can get a new password by following the link on the Iris login page: - Reset your password?
Otherwise, since we do not send passwords via email, you will need to contact the Account  Support Office by sending an email to [email protected]

You will also be required to sign in using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If you have not already set up MFA for your account, you can find our online instructions here:

After you have logged into, and you do not end up on the ERCAP Requests homepage, select Request a NERSC Allocation from the Can we Help You? menu.  If you want to keep your current repository in 2020 make sure that you Click on the green Request a Project Renewal for 2020 button rather than start a request for a new project.

See ERCAP Allocation Request Form.

Designating Authorized Preparers to fill out the Request Form

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