Applying to use high performance computing services - NERC

We welcome new applicants to the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) high performance computing (HPC) facilities.

HPC Deadlines (these are the same each year):

  • 28 February: all those expecting to use NERC’s HPC from April of the current year to March of the following year should submit a form
  • 30 September: for new projects funded after the February deadline only

Projects funded between theses dates requiring urgent access will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What to do once you have been awarded NERC funding

Once your application has been approved for funding, and following receipt of your award letter, you will need to submit an application via the HPC application portal.

Please note that the main allocations for HPC are made at a steering committee meeting in spring (typically March) of each year, with allocations awarded from April to March of the following year.

For each subsequent year of usage, users must update their request by submitting a continuation request via the portal for each grant utilising HPC. These requests are also reviewed at the annual spring meeting of the HPC steering committee. Any applications received outside of the spring timeframe will be assessed at an autumn steering committee meeting.

It is essential that applicants indicate that use of research council facilities will be required on their grant application in the ‘Facilities’ section, otherwise NERC cannot guarantee access to HPC. Those who have stated a need for research council facilities will have priority of access to HPC. Costs are not required. Please also refer to the current policy on access to HPC.

HPC allocation for Doctoral Training Partnership students within the same institution should be requested on one single application wherever possible, particularly where students have the same supervisor. This application should include the DTP reference number.

Consortia leaders

Before applying, all applicants must contact the relevant consortium leader.

Atmospheric and Polar Sciences Consortium

Dr Grenville Lister

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)
Department of Meteorology
University of Reading

Mineral and Geophysics Consortium

Professor John Brodholt

Department of Earth Sciences
University College London (UCL)

Oceanography and Shelf Seas Consortium

Dr Andrew Coward

Ocean Modelling & Forecasting Group
National Oceanography Centre (NOC) Southampton

If you are unsure which of the three consortia is most appropriate for your application, please contact Dr Andrew Coward in the first instance.

HPC applications

From September 2023 onwards, applications for HPC Facilities must be made via the application portal.

HPC application portal

HPC acknowledgements

Applications for large amounts of HPC

Before applying please refer to the guidelines and the research grants and fellowships handbook. Applications for grants involving large amounts of HPC must:

  • be discussed with the relevant consortium leader
  • state an estimate of the total HPC use in allocation units
  • be accompanied by an HPC portal application when more than 500 thousand compute units (500 kCU) are required in any one year, if you experience any difficulties with this application please contact

Applying for embedded CSE

Information about embedded CSE support is available on the ARCHER2 website.


General NERC HPC enquiries

Dr Jess Phillips


Service enquiries

ARCHER2 helpdesk


Telephone: +44 (0)131 650 5000

Last updated: 1 March 2024

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