Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center 

Advancing the state-of-the-art in high-performance computing,
communications and data analytics.

Allocation and Affiliation Information

PSC welcomes resource requests for allocations of supercomputing time from qualified scientists, engineers, and science educators, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to participate fully in its research and research-related programs.

PSC provides free allocations for non-proprietary research in several categories. Users conducting proprietary research who are interested in using PSC systems can do so by establishing an affiliation through the center's Corporate Affiliates Program.

The policies documented here are evaluated regularly to assure adequate and responsible administration of PSC systems for users. As such, they are subject to change at any time.

There are several tools you can use to track your account usage data. User accounting data is available with the xbanner command. Account information including the initial SU allocation for a grant, the number of unused SUs remaining for a grant and the date of the last job that charged to a grant are displayed.

Accounting information is available at the Web-based PSC Grant Management System. You will need your PSC Kerberos password to access this system. This system provides more detailed information than xbanner, although some of the information is only available to PIs, co-PIS and individuals designated by the PI to see accounting data. The system has extensive internal documentation.

You can use the xdusage command on blacklight to see your blacklight accounting data. You can also use the -r option to xdusage to check your accounting data on other XSEDE resources. A man page is available for xdusage as well as online documentation.

Finally, the Portal login dashboard displays your accounting data for all your XSEDE resources.

Types of allocations

Proprietary research

PSC contracts with U.S. and foreign institutions for the direct purchase of supercomputing time for proprietary research. Please contact the PSC Corporate Affiliates Program to inquire.

Non-proprietary research

Funding from the NSF and the NIH enables PSC to provide allocations of free supercomputing time to researchers and educators affiliated with academic and non-profit research institutions in the United States. Projects must be nonproprietary and awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their research project activities and preparing results for publication.

PSC welcomes resource requests for allocations of supercomputing time from qualified scientists, engineers, and science educators, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to participate fully in its research and research-related programs.

To apply, you must be a researcher or educator at a Pennsylvania or US academic or non-profit research institution. A principal investigator (PI) may not be a high school, undergraduate or graduate student; a qualified advisor must serve in this capacity. Postdocs are eligible to serve as PI.

If you are eligible to apply for an allocation under both the Pennsylvania and the NSF Cyberinfrastructure programs, we recommend that you apply under the NSF program.

NSF Program

Researchers or educators affiliated with academic or non-profit research institutions in the United States may apply to use PSC resources through the NSF's XSEDE program.

Allocations are given in three categories: Start-up allocations, which explore the use of high-performance computing in research; Research allocations; and Coursework allocations, which  supplement undergraduate courses that benefit from the use of high-performance computing.

See the Coursework section below for information on Coursework allocations.

Start-up or Research allocations are managed through the XSEDE program. Apply through the XSEDE portal. You will need an XSEDE portal account to request an allocation. If you do not have an account, you can create one on the XSEDE portal site.

Resource requests are reviewed and allocations awarded on regular intervals throughout the year. For specific deadlines and additional information, see the XSEDE web site.

Biomedical research

Research that is biomedical in nature is supported by the Biomedical Appliations Group at PSC.  Application materials can be found  on the PSC grant application site.

Coursework grants

A primary mission of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is to train students, including undergraduates, on the proper use of supercomputers. To this end, PSC offers Coursework allocations which are grants of free supercomputing time to supplement other teaching tools.

Typically, Coursework allocations have been used in heavily quantitative courses, such as numerical methods, computational fluid dynamics, and computational chemistry. But we encourage faculty members from all fields, including the social sciences and humanities, to take advantage of Coursework allocations.

Requests for biomedical Coursework accounts should be made through the PSC grant application site

Requests for non-biomedical Coursework accounts should be made through XSEDE.

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