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How to Become a User?
How to Apply for Resources?

— Accounts and Projects: Application and Administration —


Quicklinks - If you already know what you are looking for:


Using the HLRN system for a scientific project usually happens in two phases:

  • During the preparation phase of a project you work with a user account that has limited resources and lifetime (a so-called Schnupperkennung; see also section User Account).

  • You apply for more resources by sending in a project proposal ("Großprojektantrag", see section Compute Projects) for review by the Scientific Council. This requires more "paperwork".

The allocation unit for resources on the HLRN system, mainly cpu time, is an NPL (Norddeutsche Parallelrechner-Leistungseinheit). Details about the cpu-time equivalent of an NPL on the different nodes as well as about resource allocation and accounting are given in the topic on accounting. In the future other resources like memory or I/O may be included. More information about fees and regulations can be found in the Fees and Regulations document "Entgeltordnung des HLRN" (in German only).

User Account

As a prerequisite for a project proposal a valid HLRN user account is required. This account must be from the same State (Bundesland) and the same scientific area (Fachgebiet) as the proposed project. User accounts can be applied for at any time via a web form . Accounts get a limited allocation of 2,500 NPL per quarter for the current and the two following quarters. After that the account expires if it has not been added to an existing project, see also our Accounting topic. Access to the account's data is granted for an additional quarter after the expiry, then the account is deleted.

In reasonable exceptional cases the allocation can be increased within certain limits for a limited time, and the life time of the account can be extended for a limited period on request. Contact your HLRN consultant with your reasons. For options and HLRN policies regarding user accounts please see our web page on Options and Policies regarding the Service Portal.

National and international regulations restrict access to the HLRN system for citizens of certain countries. Details can be found in a paper by the German Ministry of Education and Research titled "Supercomputer und Exportkontrolle" (in German only) as well as in our application form.

In case of questions concerning the application procedure please contact your local HLRN support people.

Compute Projects

Computing Time And Allocations

Projects that need more than 10,000 NPL per quarter have to submit a project proposal ("Großprojektantrag") for review to the Scientific Council ("Wissenschaftlicher Ausschuss") of HLRN. HLRN allocates about 130 million core hours per quarter (equivalent to about 42 million NPL each year) to successful proposals.

Application Procedure and Deadlines

Resources for projects are allocated for one year on a quarterly basis after successfull review of the project proposal. Working on the project can start at the beginning of a quarter.

Deadline for project proposals is the 28th of the first month of the quarter before the intended start of the project, hence one of the following dates:   28.1.,  28.4.,  28.7.,  28.10.   The time window for applications (i.e. "call for proposals") and the opening of the project database usually lies at the beginning of the previous quarter, roughly 3 weeks before the application deadline. This is announced by email and in the HLRN NewsCenter. The review process ends about two weeks before the end of the quarter, when the decisions of the Scientific Council are sent out.

Example for a project that starts on April 1st:


Proposal Documents

Project proposals need to follow a web-based procedure. As a prerequisite for a project proposal a valid HLRN user account is required.

This procedure asks for several details about the project that should be gathered in advance. In the web form a number of formal questions have to be answered. An overview can be found on a separate web page.

An abstract of the project must be uploaded for publication on the HLRN webserver.

The project description (resp. status or progress report) also has to be uploaded. Both must meet certain requirements.

Required documents for a project application (initial, continuation, extension)

For a project application, please use

  • the online form of the Scientific Council ("Wissenschaftlicher Ausschusses") on the HLRN Service Portal.

Upon successful completion of the web form, an email consisting of two parts is sent to the principal investigator. The second part is to be printed, signed and stamped, and sent to the Office of the Scientific Council ("Geschäftsstelle des Wissenschaftlichen Ausschusses"), latest until about one week after the deadline. The first part contains information about the documents to be sent (uploaded electronically in pdf form):

  • An abstract of the project (to be updated with continuation proposal and project end)
    The appropriate HLRN LaTeX template can be downloaded from the HLRN web server.
    The abstract will be published on the HLRN webserver.
  • For an initial application (new proposal): the project description
  • For a continuation or extension proposal: the status report (progress report)
  • Possibly attachments like publications (preprints) or others

The project description / status report / progress report should clearly describe the scientific purpose and goal as well as the methodology of the project. The requested resources should be comprehensibly justified.

The project description (for new proposal) or status report/progress report (for continuation or extension proposal) should comprise the following:

  • Outline of the problem, aim and scope of the project and its subject-specific significance
  • Outline of the mathematical and information technology aspects
  • Outline of the applied or planned algorithmic, mathematical, and numerical methods and solution procedures
  • Statements about the particular suitability of parallel computers for working on the problem
  • Statements about the degree of parallelism and expected scalability behaviour (performance increase with increasing number of processors)
  • Description and results of preparatory work (new proposal) or status report/progress report on the work accomplished in the previous project period (continuation or extension proposal); references and preprints (continuation proposal)
  • Sound and comprehensible estimate of the requested resources (computing time, memory, temporary and permanent storage space) that should be supported through experiences or test computations on the HLRN or other comparable computer systems; the intended use of resources may be given in a monthly or quarterly table.
  • NEW Projects with extended data storage requirements should give a detailed description of the I/O behaviour of the application (data management, amount and size of files generated during typical runs, I/O strategy used (global or task-local I/O, MPI I/O, netCDF, HDF5, etc.)). An estimate of the storage requirements should be made for scratch diskspace and tape storage for backup. Further, estimates for data transfer volume to tape and to the compute system should be given.
  • Estimated duration of the project

The proposal should not exceed 10 pages. It can be submitted in English or German. A commented overview with examples can be found in the appplication workflow (PDF, in German only).

In case of questions regarding the required documents please contact your HLRN consultant .

Last modification: WolfgangBaumann - 20 Jun 2018 12:14 / 1 year, 4 months, 5 days ago. (Version: 32)

It is strongly recommended to contact your HLRN consultant before und during preparation of your proposal.

User accounts in projects

After the successfull review the project administrator must formally add user accounts to it. The administrator can

  1. add existing user accounts, or
  2. apply for new user accounts.

An account is valid as long as it is member of at least one project. After that it becomes a simple user account ("Schnupperkennung") again, see sect. 3). For further information, options and HLRN policies regarding projects and project accounts please see our web page on Options and Policies regarding the Service Portal.

Tools for organisational tasks

All tasks for the application and administration of accounts and projects use web-based tools on the HLRN Service Portal. A brief overview can be found on the Quicklinks page. Please also note the Options and Policies regarding the Service Portal.

Attachments for project proposals have to be in the PDF format.

How To Acknowledge HLRN

Please acknowledge in your papers or presentations at a workshop or conference the funding by computing time at HLRN and the role HLRN facilities, resources and service played in this research. For publications in english you may add the detailed description "North-German Supercomputing Alliance" (for german: "Norddeutscher Verbund für Hoch- und Höchstleistungsrechnen") to the label "HLRN".

If applicable, you should also add an acknowledgement if you received assistance concerning technical and implementation aspects [OR SIMILAR] in making your code and workflow run on the HLRN resources.

Sample acknowledgements:

"The authors acknowledge the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN) for providing HPC resources that have contributed to the research results reported in this paper."


"The computations/simulations/[OR SIMILAR] were performed with resources provided by the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN)."

and (if applicable):

"The support of [name of person/people] from [ORGANISATION NAME] concerning technical and implementation aspects [OR SIMILAR] in making the code run on [the] HLRN resources [OR SIMILAR] is gratefully acknowledged."

Last modification: StefanWollny - 15 Mar 2018 18:10 / 1 year, 7 months, 1 week ago. (Version: 78)

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