Acknowledging the Consortium
Brief Outline of Project Types

Grand Challenge Themes
Pump-priming & Standard Project Application Guide
Grand Challenge Project Application Guide
Panel Deadlines
Allocation Periods


Acknowledging the Consortium

You must acknowledge EPSRC and HECBioSim in any publications arising from any project awards granted, you can do this by using the following text:

This project made use of time on ARCHER granted via the UK High-End Computing Consortium for Biomolecular Simulation, HECBioSim (, supported by EPSRC (grant no. EP/R029407/1)


Brief Outline of Project Types

There are different types of project allocation for HECBioSim time (HECtime) on ARCHER, here are the broad descriptions of the kinds of projects that you can apply for: 

Pump priming - Pump priming projects are those designed to assist a number of activities and applicants can ask for up to 1,200 kAU of resource. These types of projects are for; testing of new codes to show that the code can perform well on ARCHER and show that the code can show good scaling. To show that the simulations you are performing scale well against the number AU's you might ask for in a larger application, or to get preliminary data to support an application for a larger project. It is anticipated that these types of applications will be decided throughout the allocation period rather than waiting for the panel to sit.

Standard - The standard project is probably the most common and is covered in the 1,000 - 20,000 kAU range (10,000+ kAU is considered the larger end and will be reserved for only the most exceptional applications).

Grand Challenge - Grand challenge projects are typically projects that are 20,000 - 50,000 kAU range, these are generally large collaborative projects that would involve collaboration on a national scale. Due to the nature of the allocation size being requested this type of application requires special consideration.

Once you have determined which type of project yours falls under then follow the relevant guide below before filling out the online form.


Grand Challenge Themes

In addition to our grand challenge project type, as part of our standard and pump-priming project applications we are collecting information as to whether a given project aligns against a number of our current grand challenge themes. We would encourage applicants to indicate the correct theme/s for their project proposal, projects that align against these themes may be looked on as more desireable. Our current grand challenge themes are:

  1. Antimicrobial Resistance.
  2. Biomolecular design for synthetic biology, future health care and industry.
  3. Simulation for drug discovery.
  4. Understanding the molecular origins of disease.
  5. Pushing the boundaries of biomolecular simulation.
  6. Multiscale modelling of biomolecular systems.
  7. Directed and self-assembly


Pump-priming & Standard Project Application Guide

In order to apply for HECtime on ARCHER for a standard project from the HECBioSim consortium, please use the following step by step procedure.

  1. Determine whether you will need to complete an ARCHER technical assessment - if yes continue to step 2, if no go to step 3.

    Some programs are well known by the HEC consortium to scale well on ARCHER, below is a list of programs that we know scale well and thus will not require a technical assessment when applying for HECtime.


    If there is an instance of software missing from the above list that you feel should be on there please get in contact and we will review whether it is a suitable candidate.

  2. Complete the ARCHER technical assessment (if answer to 1 was yes start here).

    For the pump-priming projects use the blue form here
    For the standard projects use the purple form here

    This must be completed and handed to the ARCHER team to be signed off before proceeding with your application with us, once signed off set aside and include it on the form in step 4.

    Please note: It is possible if you are using already tested code(s) that you can apply for HECtime through HECBioSim using a previously accepted technical assessment. There are also other access routes available directly from ARCHER for new users see the instant access (pump priming) section detailed here.

  3. Provide a 2 page scientific case (if answer to 1 was no start here).

    The case should include scientific justification for the project in the application. It should then be submitted using the form in step 4.

  4. Complete the HECBioSim application.

    Get the form here

    Please note:

    New applications where previous allocations closed with unused resource allocation of 50% and higher will be heavily penalised during review.

    It is also recommended that users check their kAU figures with our calculator, you can find it here

    The PI on the application must be a permanent member of academic staff based within the UK (industrial collaborations are welcome), applications made where PDRA's or PhD students are listed as the PI will not be accepted.

    Under the section listing user details, users can be of any nationality but must be working/studying in a UK institution.

  5. Submit your application and wait for decision from panel.

    Your project will be submitted to the next consortium panel for review. Wait for a response from the consortium panel which will detail further instructions on setting up your account. Please note that the decision may take up to one month after the date of the corresponding deadline this is to allow the panel to review all applications.

Grand Challenge Project Application Guide

Grand challenge applications are a little more complex than the other project types, to save time the online application form is to provide a point of contact for a large group that are considering a grand challenge.

Get the form here

Once the form is submitted, we will then make contact with you and arrange to take things further (this will likely include a meeting with the panel).


Panel Deadline Dates

The following deadlines are the deadline dates by which we should have received your application for time on ARCHER:

Next Application Deadline: 23/10/2020


Allocation Periods

The following allocation periods are the date ranges in which you will be able to get physical access to ARCHER and make use of your resource allocation awarded. Note, that these dates are different to the panel deadline dates in which you should have made your application.

Current Allocation Period: 01/05/2020 - 31/10/2020

Next Allocation Period: 01/11/2020 - 30/04/2021

If you have queries of a non-technical nature regarding the application process please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details. Should you have a query that is of a technical nature please see our contact page to see what option best fits your situation.