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Applying for UKAFF time

UKAFF's service ended on 31st December 2007.
No further applications can be accepted.

Getting access to the UKAFF supercomputer

There are two ways to get access to the UKAFF supercomputer:
  1. Apply for production time (if you already have a parallel code which has beeen tested on UKAFF)
  2. Apply for development time (if you don't have a parallel code, or your parallel code hasn't been tested on UKAFF)

Applying for production time

Use of the facility for scientific work is through competitive proposals, and is open to any scientist working in a UK institution, including graduate students.

Proposals to use the facility are considered by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC), who will have access to technical advice. Proposals are judged on: the relevance of the scientific case to the aims of UKAFF; the quality of the proposed science; demonstration by the applicants that they require the use of UKAFF; and demonstration by the applicants that they are able to make efficient use of the Facility. The TAC provides recommendations to the Directors, whose decisions as to time allocation are final.

Membership of the TAC is as follows:

  • Prof Matthew Bate (University of Exeter) (Chairman)
  • Prof Anthony Whitworth (University of Wales, Cardiff)
  • Dr Avery Meiksin (Royal Observatory Edinburgh)
The Facility Manager and Parallel Programming Advisor will also provide technical input.

Time on UKAFF is allocated at quarterly intervals starting 1 Jan, 1 April, 1 July and 1 Oct, with application deadlines 2 months before those dates (1 Nov, 1 Feb, 1 May, 1 Aug). Decisions will be communicated to applicants approximately one month before the relevant quarter. Applications can cover periods of up to six months, but the time will be allocated by quarters and cannot be carried over to later quarters.

Applications should be made using, or following the structure of, the LaTeX template form given here (also available as PostScript). Applications should not exceed six sides of A4.

UKAFF's current support funding expires on 31st December 2007. Time allocations have now been made up to this date. An application has been made to STFC for funding to extend this support and provide a major upgrade to the facility. No further applications for computing time will be accepted until the outcome of this application is known.

Guidelines for Applicants

  • Type of Science - UKAFF is a national facility dedicated to the support of theoretical research into astrophysics.

  • Quality of science - The applicant needs to satisfy the TAC that the science goals are at the forefront of current scientific endeavour.

  • Technical feasibility - The applicant needs to satisfy the TAC that the proposal is technically feasible, in terms of access to and experience with a working code, in terms of the resources requested, and in terms of ability to analyse and interpret the results. This includes a requirement to demonstrate that codes make efficient use of the requested resources.

  • Need for UKAFF - The applicant needs to satisfy the TAC that use of UKAFF is essential to the success of the project.

    Applying for development time

    Potential users of UKAFF with access to a working code (meeting the science area and quality criteria outlined above) which is not well parallelised should not normally apply for time through the TAC, rather they should apply for access on a developmental basis. This will include:
    • access to the UKAFF machine
    • a limited allocation of machine time
    • advice and assistance in the area of parallelisation of existing codes
    Applications for development time can be made at any time, awards will be made at the discretion of the UKAFF directors.

    Please contact the Parallel Programming Advisor (Dr Richard West, to discuss requirements.