Apply for an XSEDE Startup Allocation

Bridges-2 is allocated through the NSF-funded XSEDE (eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program.  Allocations for nonproprietary research are free.

An easy way to get your first Bridges-2 allocation is to apply for a startup grant through XSEDE.  Startup grants are designed for benchmarking, evaluation, and experimentation, to allow you to determine if Bridges is a good fit for your research. The application process is short and requires only minimal documentation.

Note that once you are logged in to the XSEDE user portal and have begun a startup request in the XSEDE Resource Allocation System (XRAS), you can complete the  screens in any order, and you can save your submission to come back to at a later time.

Create account screen

1. Login to the XSEDE portal

Navigate to If you already have a portal account, log in.

Otherwise, follow these instructions to create a portal account.

Everyone must have their own portal account; it is against policy for multiple persons to share an account.

Navigate to and click Sign In in the top right of the screen. 

  1. Click Create Account  
  2. Complete the form on the next screen to create an account. All fields are required, including creating a registration key. Remember your registration key; you will need it to validate your account.You will receive email which contains a verification code.
  3. Paste the verification code into the portal page and enter the registration key you created in step b above.
  4. Choose a username and password.
  5. Log in to the portal.
XRAS log in screen

2. Enter XRAS

The XSEDE Resource Allocation System (XRAS) handles all allocation requests as well as other actions associated with allocations: renewals, transfers, extensions, supplements, adding users to a grant, etc.

To enter XRAS, choose the Allocations tab and then click Submit/Review Request.

3. Select the Startup Opportunity

XSEDE offers a variety of allocation types for different needs.

  • Startup grants are designed for benchmarking, evaluation, and experimentation, to allow you to determine if Bridges is a good fit for you research.
  • Educational allocations are to be used in a classroom setting, to give students access to a HPC resource.
  • Campus Champions are select representatives at a university who assist their local researchers in learning about HPC and using HPC resources.
  • Research allocations support projects that have progressed beyond the startup phase and are performing production-level investigations in pursuit of their research objectives. Research allocation applications are open four times per year.

Click Start a New Submission under the Startup heading to begin your grant application.

4. Create the Startup Request

The next screen displays a list of the required information to complete a startup request. Click the green Begin Guided Submission button to start.

The startup application consists of six sections. You can complete them in any order, and you can move among them using the navigation bar in the submission screens.

You can also save an incomplete application to finish later, by choosing Save for Later in the Submit screen.


In the section you will add a PI and optionally, co-PI(s) and an allocations manager. 

All people to be added to the application must have an XSEDE portal account. You must use their portal usernames to add them to your application.

  • PI: You are required to add a PI to the application. Each application can have only one PI. Graduate students who will serve as PIs must have an NSF Graduate Resarch Fellowship Program award letter or honorable mention.
  • Allocation managers have similar privileges to PI/co-PIs and are able to submit renewal proposals and requests for supplements or extensions, etc.
  • Users can be added to the grant during the submission process or afterwards. After the proposal is submitted, the PI, co-PI, or allocation manager can use the “Add User” function in the portal to do this.


In this section you will provide basic information about your research.

You must provide a title, abstract, keywords and the field of science for your application.

The abstract should detail the science as well as the codes, software, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed work.

The allocation end date is optional. If you do not enter one, the allocation defaults to one calendar year.


In this section you will:

  • list other compute resources that you have access to
  • select the XSEDE resources that you want

List other compute resources

While listing other compute resources is not a requirement for a startup application, you are encouraged to enter information about your local computing environment, as well as allocations with other funding agencies.

Select the XSEDE resources you want

Select the Bridges-2 resource(s) that you want. You can request up to the following amounts:

  • Bridges-2 Regular Memory (regular memory nodes): 50,000 
  • Bridges-2 GPU: 2,500 
  • Bridges-2 GPU Artificial Intelligence: 1,500 
  • Bridges-2 Extreme Memory: 1,000 

Information on how usage is defined for all types of Bridges-2 resources can be found in the Account Administration section of the Bridges-2 User Guide.

For the GPU Artifical Intelligence resource, you must include a short justification for how your proposed work may benefit from the use of the GPU AI resource.

Storage resource

No matter what computing resource(s) you select, always select Bridges-2 Ocean for storage: 500 GB is the default, but you can request more if you need it.

More detail on Bridges-2’s system configuration can be found System configuration section of the Bridges-2 User Guide.


In this section you should upload any documents that will support your request. 

The only supporting document that is required for a startup submission is a CV for the PI and each co-PI.

  • Only PDF files are accepted.
  • CVs are limited to two pages.
  • Choose “PI CV” or “CoPI CV” as the “Type”.
  • Bibliographies can be uploaded as separate documents.

You can also upload any additional documentation that you wish which supports your application.


In this section, add information about other grants which will support this allocation request.  This is optional.

A supporting grant is NOT required for an allocation on XSEDE resources. However, supporting grant information will assist in the review process, especially if the project evolves to a research allocation request. In the case of a research allocation, a supporting grant ensures that the reviewers cannot critique the science to be done, as it has already been reviewed by a funding agency.

If you are adding a supporting grant to your application, choose “Yes” for “Is this project supported by grants?” and then click Add a Supporting Grant.

  • In the pop-up window that opens, all fields except “Comments” are required.
  • Note that the “Percentage Support” field is asking for what percentage of the supporting grant will be “applied” to the work carried out on PSC/XSEDE resources (for research staff salaries, as an example).


In this section, enter any publications you have that resulted from work on an XSEDE resource.

When you are requesting a startup allocation, it’s not likely that  you will already have such publications, but it’s possible if you had access to XSEDE resources through another allocation. If so, please add any such publications to the application.

Publications must first be added to your profile in the XSEDE portal before they can be added to an allocation request.

To add a publication to your portal profile, click on your name in the upper right of a portal screen. You will be taken to your profile page. Click Add a new publication.

Once publications have been added to your portal profile, you can add them to your startup request.

5. Submit

The final page of the submission process will check for missing information and notify you if changes are needed.

After submission, you will receive an email confirming that the submission was successful.

The approximate turn-around time is two weeks, but startup submissions are sometimes approved more quickly. A separate approval email will be sent once the startup is approved.