Applying for VLSCI resources in 2017

All Australian life science researchers may submit a ‘light-touch’ application at any time of the year, detailing their project and evidence of project merit.

For information about the hardware itself, click here.


What is new in 2017?

In 2016 we introduced a new Resource Application process and a ‘fairshare’ compute resource scheduling system.  They have been very successful and we trust they have simplified your access and use of VLSCI compute resources.
Based on this experience, we have now changed the application process so that:
  • existing projects do not need to reapply
  • new projects can apply any time
  • you do not need to estimate your resource requirements
  • any project which has been ‘inactive’ for 6 months will be closed
As announced, after extensive discussions with our funding organisations and major compute project leads, our supercomputer, the IBM BlueGene/Q ‘Avoca’ will be retired at the end of this year.
We will work with Avoca-based projects in the new year to help with data migration.
We will monitor and modify projects' resource allocations and compute job scheduling to ensure all projects have reasonable resources and responsive scheduling. This may involve limiting large jobs.

Project management and reporting

  • Applicants allocate personnel to various roles on an application for resources.
  • Project Managers are responsible for keeping records of account holders on the systems up to date.
  • Project Supervisors are required to submit one annual report on research outcomes (in February of the year following the year when systems were used).


VLSCI has limited data storage capacity. VLSCI data storage is intended only for current work, not long term archive. Data storage and backup capacity is becoming a serious problem and we need your assistance. By regularly removing your completed data from the system you make the system more responsive, minimise backups, and help us from running out of storage space.  Could you please ensure all project members remove any data not needed for their immediate compute needs.

User terms and conditions.

Costs of Access

There will be no charge for use of computational resources. Usage of data storage beyond that granted for a project may incur a charge.

There is some budget to instal application software and data sets that are commonly used by the life sciences research community. Commercial software required by only one project may be purchased at the Facility Manager's discretion.

Users are expected to access the Facility via AARNet and charges are covered but users must pay for any communications charges billed directly to them from AARNet and any other data communications organisations that they may use.

Principles Governing Resource Access 

The governing principles of the new application and allocation processes are informed by the requirements and priorities of VLSCI member institutes and our observations of how researchers use our systems. In summary, we are:

  • simplifying the application and reporting processes to reduce the burden on researchers
  • implementing flexible application submission and evaluation timelines that recognise the often unpredictable and intermittent demands for research-driven computing
  • introducing a more flexible allocation process for the majority of our users
  • maximising productivity of our systems by finding cloud and local cluster solutions for smaller jobs, if appropriate, and continuing to offer support and training to ensure jobs run efficiently
  • prioritising resource requests from VLSCI member institutions