NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2015 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NOTE: This is historical content. It may include references to programs, people, and research no longer active at Berkeley Lab.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 2015 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, 2014.

All current projects (including startup, education, Director Reserve, and ALCC projects) must be renewed for 2015 if you wish to continue using NERSC. New project requests may be submitted as well (for either the remainder of 2014 or to start in 2015).

The deadline for submitting 2015 NERSC proposals (both renewed and new) is September 22, 2014, 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Award decisions for requests submitted before this deadline will be emailed to Principal Investigators and PI Proxies on December 12. Production requests made after September 22 will be reviewed in late January 2015. New requests awarded after August 2014 may be renewed for 2015 after the September 22 deadline.

2015 allocations will be for the period January 13, 2015, through January 11, 2016.

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

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.

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 2015 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 2015?

  1. The Project URL has moved from the Project Description to the Project Overview section.  We hope that all projects will answer this question, since project URLS can be very useful in obtaining additional information about a project (e.g. when responding to queries for information).
  2. The Project Description questions have been consolidated into two questions: a project summary, and an area to upload a PDF if needed to describe the project in greater detail and to include parallel scaling and performance information for your codes - which is recommended if you are requesting 5 million or more hours.
  3. Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Genepool shares and NGF project directories have been added to the Resources Requested section.
    • JGI Genepool shares should only be requested for pre-approved JGI projects (so the majority of requestors will leave this line blank). Existing Genepool shares are renewed for 2015 by clicking the checkbox next to their name; after a Save they will be renewed.
    • Disk space for project directories will not be formally allocated in 2015, but we are preparing for possible NGF space allocations in the future.  For 2015 we are collecting information on desired space amounts, and comparing this to the space we have available.  NGF project directories are renewed for 2015 by entering the GiBs Requested 2015 amounts; after a Save they will be renewed.
  4. An HPSS SRU calculator is available to compute your 2015 HPSS Storage Resource Units.
  5. The Data/Networking section has been replaced by Data/Anaytics. New questions in this section are:
  • Briefly describe your Data Management Plan and what resources you need from NERSC.
  • Do you need to share data or access NERSC compute resources over the web?
  • Do you need any special workflow software?
  • Which database platforms and data processing frameworks do you use or intend to use at NERSC?
  • Validate Current User List: A new column (Next Year Status) has been added for whether your project users should be continued in 2015.  The status has been pre-filled to Keep if they have been active and to Delete next AY if they haven't been active in the past 12 months.  You may change theses statuses if you wish.


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 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 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.