To support researchers, PRACE offers the opportunity to test and optimise their applications on the envisaged Tier-0 system prior to applying for a regular production project. This is the purpose of the Preparatory Access Call. The Preparatory Access Call allows for submission of proposals at any time.
Depending on the Preparatory Access scheme, the review of these proposals takes place directly after the submission of the proposal (Type A and B) or at a fixed date every three months (Type C and D). This procedure is also referred to as cut-off. It is possible to choose between four different types of access:
- Type A is meant for code scalability tests, the outcome of which is to be included in the proposal in a future PRACE call. Users receive a limited number of core hours; the allocation period is two months.
- Type B is intended for code development and optimisation by the user. Users get also a small number of core hours; the allocation period is six months. Applicants requesting computing time on Piz Daint, at ETH Zurich/CSCS, will be asked to provide additional information on development milestones.
- Type C is also designed for code development and optimisation with the core hours and the allocation period being the same as for Type B. The important difference is that Type C projects receive special assistance by PRACE experts from the PRACE-IP project to support the optimisation. As well as access to the Tier-0 systems, the applicants also apply for one to six person months (PMs) of supporting work to be performed by PRACE experts.
- Type D allows PRACE users to start a code adaptation and optimisation process on a PRACE Tier-1 system. PRACE experts help in the system selection process. In addition to Tier-1 computing time, the PRACE user will also receive Tier-0 computing time towards the end of the project in the form of a Preparatory Access Type A project to test the scalability improvements. The work is supported by PRACE experts similar to Type C. The maximum duration of Type D projects is twelve months.
The Call for Proposals for PRACE Preparatory Access Type A and Type B schemes is a continuously open call, with a maximum time-to-resources-access (start-date) of two weeks after the date of submission.
Requests for Type C and D scheme are evaluated and granted on a quarterly schedule, with cut-offs for evaluations to be set at 11:00 AM CEST / CET of the first working day of March, June, September and December. Awarded proposals for Type C will have a maximum time-to-resources-access (start date) of two months after the relevant cut-off date.
Various systems are available in each cut-off for the different Preparatory Access types and details of these are available in Open Cut-offs page.
The Preparatory Access Call allows for submission of proposals at any time via the Peer-Review Tool.
Criteria for assessment
Proposals for Preparatory Access Types B and C must provide a detailed description of the issues hindering the scalability of the code to higher computing performances, so as to facilitate the technical assessment. In addition to this, a clear plan for code development must be proposed and the available human resources and expertise (available and/or required) to execute this planning must be quantified.
Proposals for Preparatory Access Type D must provide information about the system(s) used so far and a short description of scalability issues already discovered (if known). In addition, similar to Type B and C, a clear work plan for code development must be proposed and the available human resources and expertise (available and/or required) must be specified.
Please refer to the Terms of Reference of each cut-off before submitting.
Eligibility for Preparatory Access
Proposals can be submitted by researchers from both public and private institutions. Only proposals with a civilian purpose will be eligible to participate in PRACE calls for proposals. PRACE Hosting Members may have further restrictions on who is eligible to access their own systems. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they are eligible to access the system(s) they have applied for.
Experienced researchers from public research organisations are eligible to apply as long as the project leader has an employment contract with her/his institution valid for at least 3 months after the end of the allocation period.
Researchers from private companies are eligible to apply when the following criteria are fulfilled:
- The company has its head office or substantial R&D activity in Europe.
- The project leader has an employment contract with the organisation valid for at least 3 months after the end of the allocation period.
- Resources awarded are devoted solely for open R&D research purposes.