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OLCF User Assistance Center

Can't find the information you need below? Need advice from a real person? We're here to help.

OLCF support consultants are available to respond to your emails and phone calls from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, exclusive of holidays. Emails received outside of regular support hours will be addressed the next business day.

Getting Started


Allocation and Account Requests

Access to OLCF resources is limited to approved users and allocations. Gaining access to OLCF resources is a two step process. Projects are allocated time on systems, users are then given access to projects. This page provides more information about each step.

  1. Request Project Allocation
  2. Join an Allocation (Request a User Account)

Step 1. Project Allocation Request

The resources of the Oak Ridge Leadership Facility (OLCF) are allocated via projects. The type of project request (listed below) will determine the application and review procedure. Approved projects will be granted a project allocation of core-hours for a period of time on one or more OLCF systems.

Each user account must be associated with at least one project allocation. Once a project allocation has been approved, users can apply for user accounts on the project to run jobs. If you would like to join an already existing project allocation, you can skip the rest of this section and go directly to the section on Account Requests.

If you have any questions about project types or the procedures for applying for a project allocation and are not answered here, feel free to contact the OLCF Accounts Team at accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

INCITE Director’s Discretion ALCC
Allocations Large Small Large
Call for Proposals Once per year At any time Once per year
Closeout Report
Duration 1 year 1 year 1year
Priority High Medium High
Quarterly Reports
Apply for INCITE Apply for DD Apply for ALCC

What are the detailed differences between project types at the OLCF?

INCITE – The Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program invites proposals for large-scale, computationally intensive research projects to run at the OLCF. The INCITE program awards sizeable allocations (typically, millions of processor-hours per project) on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to address grand challenges in science and engineering. There is an annual call for INCITE proposals and awards are made on an annual basis. For more information please visit  http://www.doeleadershipcomputing.org or to submit a proposal visit https://proposals.doeleadershipcomputing.org/allocations/calls/incite2016

ALCC – The ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) is open to scientists from the research community in national laboratories, academia and industry. The ALCC program allocates computational resources at the OLCF for special situations of interest to the Department with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations in areas directly related to the Department’s energy mission in areas such as advancing the clean energy agenda and understanding the Earth’s climate, for national emergencies, or for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources. For more information or to submit a proposal, please visit http://science.energy.gov/ascr/facilities/accessing-ascr-facilities/alcc

DD – Director’s Discretion (DD) projects are dedicated to leadership computing preparation, INCITE and ALCC scaling, and application performance to maximize scientific application efficiency and productivity on leadership computing platforms. The OLCF Resource Utilization Council, as well as independent referees, review and approve all DD requests. Applications are accepted year round via http://www.olcf.ornl.gov/support/getting-started/olcf-director-discretion-project-application/.

Vendor – OLCF resources are also available to ORNL vendors. Applications may be submitted year round via https://www.olcf.ornl.gov/support/getting-started/olcf-vendor-project-application/.

What Happens After my Project Request is Approved?

Once a project is approved, an OLCF Accounts Manager will notify the PI, outlining the steps (listed below) necessary to create the project. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our Knowledge Base at (link to KB) or contact the OLCF Accounts Team at accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

Steps for Activating a Project Once the Allocation is Approved

  1. A signed Principal Investigator’s PI Agreement must be submitted with the project application.
  2. Export Control: The project request will be reviewed by ORNL Export Control to determine whether sensitive or proprietary data will be generated or used. The results of this review will be forwarded to the PI. If the project request is deemed sensitive and/or proprietary, the OLCF Security Team will schedule a conference call with the PI to discuss the data protection needs.
  3. ORNL Personnel Access System (PAS): All PI’s are required to be entered into the ORNL PAS system. An OLCF Accounts Manager will send the PI a PAS invitation to submit all the pertinent information. Please note that processing a PAS request may take 15 or more days.
  4. User Agreement/Appendix A or Subcontract: A User Agreement/Appendix A or Subcontract must be executed between UT-Battelle and the PI’s institution. If our records indicate this requirement has not been met, all necessary documents will be provided to the applicant by an OLCF Accounts Manager.

Upon completion of the above steps, the PI will be notified that the project has been created and provided with the Project ID and system allocation. At this time, project participants may apply for an account via http://www.olcf.ornl.gov/support/getting-started/olcf-user-account-application/.

Step 2. User Account Request

Once a project allocation has been approved and processed, users can apply for an account on the project using the Account Request Form . There are several steps involved in applying for an account, and we’re here to help you through the process. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact the OLCF Accounts Team at accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

software-form OLCF User Account Application
Use this form to join an existing allocation.

What are all the steps involved in obtaining an account on a project?

    1. Apply for an account using the Account Request Form.
    2. The principal investigator (PI) of the project must approve your account and system access. The Accounts Team will contact the PI for this approval.
    3. If you have or will receive a RSA SecurID from our facility, additional paperwork will be sent to you via email to complete for identity proofing.
    4. Foreign national participants will be sent an Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) Personnel Access System (PAS) request specific for the facility and cyber-only access. After receiving your response, it takes between 15-35 days for approval.
    5. Fully-executed User Agreements with each institution having participants are required. If our records indicate your institution needs to sign either a User Agreement and/or Appendix A, the form(s) along with instructions will be sent via email.
    6. If you are processing sensitive or proprietary data, additional paperwork is required and will be sent to you.

Your account will be created and you will be notified via email when all of the following steps are complete:

* Account application form completed;
* Account approved by the project’s PI;
* Identity proofing for participants with a RSA SecurID issued by our facility;
* PAS request approved for foreign nationals;
* Fully-executed User Agreement and/or Appendix A; and
* If a proprietary/sensitive project, additional paperwork completed

Using OLCF Resources

Once your account has been approved and created, this site provides documentation to help guide you through using the OLCF resources allocated to your project.