Guidelines for applications

Guidelines for applicants

These guidelines are provided to help you fill in the online form. Most of the information on the form is self-explanatory, however, we thought that you may need a bit more help with some of the sections. You will find the step-by-step instructions below.

We use secure connections and the information provided will be handled in strictest confidence and only used within the HPC-Europa Programme framework (see privacy statement for more details).

Section 1. Personal data

This is really just to obtain contact details for you and some other information, like gender (sex) and date of birth. This information is only used for statistical purposes (as required by the EC). Make sure the information you provide is correct and up-to-date, especially your email address and phone number.

Section 2. Your organisation

This information is required by the EC to monitor access to the HPC-Europa programme by different research groups across Europe. These statistics will allow us to monitor the effectiveness of our marketing and outreach activities and ensure that European researchers benefit from an even and fair access to the HPC-Europa visitor programme.

Note that the section on “your research group leader” refers to the person in charge of your research group in your own home department.

Section 3. Your Visit

Please indicate your preferred date to start your visit, and its estimated duration. However, it should be noted that the SUSP may recommend extending your visit or changing your dates. Should your application be successful, you will be contacted by one of the HPC-Europa visit co-ordinators who will discuss with you the most appropriate dates, considering your own requirements as well as the availability of your host, and logistical matters such as accommodation and office space. We generally recommend to have the visit not earlier than 2 months and not later than 6 months after the receipt of the acceptance letter.

In this section, you are also asked to indicate which HPC centre you would like to visit.  You can select an alternative choice in case the primary one cannot be satisfied.  

Transnational Access Regional programme

One of the new objectives of HPC-Europa3 project is the extension of the geographic coverage of the Transitional Access programme. In this context, HPC-Europa3 visitors from the Baltic and the South East European (including Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership) countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

Moreover, a new opportunity for researchers from these countries with less experience in HPC has been implemented through the so called Regional Access sub-programme.

There are three main differences between the Transitional Access programme and the Regional Access sub-programme:

  1. Only users from the Baltic and the South East European countries are allowed to apply to the Regional Access sub-programme.
  2. The HPC centres that will be hosting the Regional Access sub-programme visitors are KTH-PDC (Sweden) for the visitors from the Baltic countries and GRNET (Greece) for the visitors from the South East European countries.
  3. Only applicants from the Baltic and the South East European countries that have "no" or "little" experience in HPC will be allowed to apply for the Regional Access sub-programme.

Other than these three points, there aren't any differences between the Transnational Access programme and the Regional Access sub-programme.

So, summarizing, if you are an applicant from one of the Baltic or Western Balkan countries and have "no" or "a little" experience in using HPC systems, you should apply to Swedish and Greek centres respectively. A warning will appear you if the correspondence between your country and the selected host centre location is not fulfilling this requirement.

Host Department 

All visitors are hosted in local research departments associated with one of the nine HPC-Europa Transnational Access sites. They work on their own research project, in collaboration with a local host researcher sharing similar research interests. In our experience, HPC-Europa visits are most successful when there is a close match between the research interests of the visitor and the host. 

So, before you submit your application, we would like to ask you to identify at least one host researcher in one of our associated organisations.  You can name one or more hosts, up to three in total. These should be the people that work in your field and have similar research interests. To assist you in this task, we maintain a list of associated host institutions with their URLs. We expect you to identify the best prospective host(s) for your visit, as you are the best person to judge the match in research interests. If the person and the institution by which you would like to be hosted, are not on our list, please provide us with their name and contact details as required on the specific “Add new host” form. We would be equally happy to register this person and organisation as our associated host.

You can find the list of the currently available hosts here

Finally, please fill in the “Host collaboration description” section; we urge you to consider this stage of your application very carefully indeed, as it often determines the outcome of your application. It is important to note that one of the main criteria for the selection of HPC-Europa applications is the level of support granted by the proposed host(s), as well as the match of research interests. In this section, you will be asked to justify your choice of host(s) and indicate what you expect to gain from this collaboration.

Section 4. Your proposed project

Please provide us with any relevant information about the project on which you will be working. Many of the questions refer to the code and are therefore self-explanatory. If you require to use a package rather than run a code, leave these fields as ‘Not applicable’ and let us know which package you intend to use (and make clear if whether you rely on a particular version number).

Your motivation for a visit

This is quite straightforward. We ask for this information to get a better understanding of your requirements. Generally, the more information we have on what your priorities are, the more likely it is that your visit will be successful and beneficial to all those involved.

Your programming experience

Please assess the level of your experience in different systems and programming languages, trying to be as objective as possible.  Again, this is necessary for overall evaluation of your requirements (level of technical support required).

Your typical production runs

HPC-Europa offers its visitors a wide range of HPC systems. Visitors are normally expected to use systems from the HPC-Europa site at which they will undertake their visit. It is therefore important for us to understand your requirements in terms of machine time and memory use. Please provide a justification for your selection of compatible architectures if you can. If unsure, simply state ‘Don’t know’ in this field.  Please consider also that the consortium might need to ask you reductions in the requested resources with a consequent revision of the workplan; in this case, you will be contacted by the project to discuss a possible solution. 

Your Project Proposal is the most important part of the application! This document should be between 1000 and 3000 words in length and may include as many figures and tables as required. 

The project proposal should follow the following structure: 

  • Background information: this section will describe the current status of your research activities, the objectives you set at the start of this project and more generally, how your work will contribute to developments in your research field. This section should represent no more than half of the proposal. 
  • Case for HPC-EUROPA funding: in this section, applicants must provide a justification for access to the programme's large-scale infrastructure. For instance, applicants should demonstrate how their research would benefit from accessing HPC-Europa HPC systems or interacting with their local scientific host. Note that such justifications usually benefit from actual evidence, e.g., if you wish to simulate larger systems than you currently are you should 1. justify the necessity to simulate larger systems for the problem being studied; and 2. demonstrate that the resources to which you currently have access are inadequate for this purpose. Other important aspects which should be discussed include your expectations from a visit, objectives and work plan. 

Section 5. Attachments

Here you will be required to attach your CV, and List of Publications. All the documents should be in English, as up-to-date as possible, and preferably in PDF format. We also accept Microsoft Word and Postscript.

  • Curriculum vitae should contain a summary of your education, experience, and skills.
  • Curriculum vitae (attachment) you might upload a complete CV as pdf file.
  • Your list of publications: A list of your most recent publications is also required at the time of the application. Those with no prior publications may include a list of posters or abstracts presented at conferences. If you have none of the above, simply include an empty list of publications with a statement such as ‘I have not published any results in a refereed publication’.

Section 6. Marketing HPC-Europa

Please let us know how you heard about HPC-Europa3, and give us any feedback and suggestions that you may have. It is always useful to know what people think! Your help and ideas on how to improve marketing of HPC-Europa are very much appreciated.