Resource Allocation Committee

DiRAC makes an annual Call for Proposals and the Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) was established by the STFC to oversee time allocation.  The RAC has two sub-panels, one for Particle Physics & Nuclear Physics and one for Astronomy and Cosmology, each of which consider the proposals within their respective remits.

A RAC meeting with representatives from both sub-panels then determines the overall allocation of DiRAC time across the whole portfolio of proposals.

Table 1: Astronomy/Cosmology Sub-Panel at current Call (10th):

Title Name Host Institute
Dr James Bolton (Chair) Nottingham
Dr Robert Crain Liverpool John Moores
Dr Andrew Pontzen University College London
Dr Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar Dundee
Dr Rowan Smith Manchester
Dr Heather Ratcliffe Warwick
Dr Celine Guervilly Newcastle
Dr Ingo Mueller-Wodarg Imperial College London


Table 2: Particle Physics/Nuclear Theory Sub-Panel at current Call (10th):

Title Name Host Institute
Dr Andreas Jeuttner (Chair) Southampton
Dr Antonio Rago Plymouth
Professor David Colling Imperial College
Professor Jon Butterworth University College Longon
Dr Christopher Bouchard Glasgow
Professor Jacek Dobaczewski York


The STFC Resource Allocation Committee 10th Call Meeting (26th February 2018)

For more information on the RAC please email the Project Office



Project Allocations

DiRAC serves more than 35 projects with over 400 active users.  Our community is diverse and encompasses Particle Physics, Astrophysics, cosmology, solar system science and Nuclear Physics. Together their research addresses all the STFC Science Challenges. The featured photo in the header above shows the CSD3 Peta4 CPU/KNL cluster which provides our Data Intensive@Cambridge Service.

The Current Call for Proposals (10th) Closed on 14th November 2017, and the allocations started on the 1st May 2018. The awards from the 10th Call are available here.

The Next Call (11th) will open in June 2018, Close on 1st October 2018 and Allocations awarded will begin on 1st May 2019.

Call Results: Compute Time and Storage Allocated

After each  Call has been concluded, we publish the compute time allocated to each project, in terms of CPU-Mhours on the DiRAC Resource on which the calculations are to be run, as well as the Storage Space [TB] allocated. In DiRAC we have three compute services and due to the different architectures on each Service, the CPU-Mhours awarded to projects using different services may not be directly comprable.



DiRAC is recognised as the primary provider of HPC resources to the STFC Particle Physics, astroparticle physics, Astrophysics, cosmology, solar system & Planetary Science and Nuclear physics (PPAN: STFC Frontier Science) theory community.  It provides the modelling, simulation, data analysis and data storage capability that underpins the STFC Science Challenges and our researcher’s world-leading science outcomes.

On this page you can find information on:

DiRAC Projects:

Accessing DiRAC:

Acknowledge DiRAC:

Each year we publish a selection of Science Highlights and a full list of publications from all our projects.

If you cant find what you need on these pages, please email the Project Office

DiRAC Projects

DiRAC serves over 35 projects, with more than 400 active users. Our community is diverse and encompasses Particle Physics, Astrophysics, cosmology, Nuclear Physics. Together their research addresses all the STFC Science Challenges.

Open Projects

A list of our Open projects, their Principal Investigator, and Project Start and End Dates can be found on our Open Projects page.

Closed Projects

We also maintain a list of our closed projects on the Closed Projects page.

Project Allocations

After each  Call has been concluded, we publish the compute time allocated to each project, in terms of CPU-Mhours on the DiRAC service on which their calculations are to be run, as well as the Storage Space w[TB] allocated. In DiRAC we have three compute services and due to the different architectures on each service, the CPU-Mhours awarded to each project may not be directly comparable.

User Accounts

Projects and accounts on DiRAC resources are administered through the DiRAC SAFE. SAFE stands for Service Administration From EPCC. It is a large web-based application, provided by EPCC for DiRAC. The same software is used by the Archer UK national supercomputing service and for other facilities at EPCC.

Every DiRAC user has an account on SAFE. You can use your SAFE account to check your use of CPU time and disk space now and in the past, to apply to join other projects and create service machine accounts, to change passwords, to keep your personal details up to date, to check the progress of the helpdesk queries you have submitted, and so on. PIs and project managers can do many other things. such as viewing usage by each member of their project team.

The DiRAC team also uses SAFE to administer the system and to generate reports. The helpdesk software is also part of SAFE. If you are a PI or project manager you can manage your project via SAFE.

You can find all the information you need on SAFE here. For any other information please email DiRAC Support.

Accessing DiRAC

STFC Resource Allocation Committee (RAC)

The Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) is responsible for overseeing the allocation process for all on DiRAC Resources, including compute time, storage and Research Engineering effort.

Call for Proposals

The RAC makes an annual Call for Proposals for requesting time on our Resources. The 11th Call (current) opened on the 9th July 2018 and will close on the 1st October 2018. The Call Announcement, Guidance Notes and Application Forms are available on our Call for Proposals page.

Acknowledge DiRAC

If you have used the new DiRAC Resources which have been available since the 1st May 2018 for your publication 2018, the new acknowledgement statements for each machine can be found here.

If you have used the DiRAC Resources prior to 30th April 2018 for your publication, please use the statements found here.


Call for Proposals

Access to DiRAC is co-ordinated by The STFC’s DiRAC Resource Allocation Committee, which puts out an annual Call for Full Proposals to request time and operates a Seedcorn Time programme for small requests.

Director’s Discretionary Proposals

The DiRAC Director invites the UK theory and modelling communities in Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Nuclear Physics to apply for Director’s Discretionary Proposals for computational resources on the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility. 

More information can be found here.

Seedcorn Time

More information on our Seedcorn Time programme can be found here.

Full Call for Proposals

For each Full Call for Proposals the RAC produces a set of documentation that includes a number of forms that every applicant must complete. They also provide a comprehensive set of guidance notes.

11th Call for Full Applications (current call)

The 11th Call opened on the 9th July 2018. The Call will close on the 1st October 2018 and allocations will begin on 1st April 2019. Key dates for the STFC’s internal processing of applications will be posted here later in the summer.

The RAC publishes a new set of documentation for each Call and the Announcement, Forms and Guidance Notes for the 11th Call are below.

Please note that the submission address for the Technical Assessment Form has changed since the forms were first posted on the 9th of July. The submission address is now:

The submission address for all other documentation, including the Call Application Form & RSE Request Form, has not changed and remains:

The Key Changes implemented in the 11th Call include:

  • Applicants must have submitted and discussed a technical assessment (per proposal) with the DiRAC TWG;
  • Applicants will only be considered if this has been initiated a month before the closing date of 1st October 2018 (i.e. the technical assessment must be submitted by 1st September 2018).
  • No single application can request more than 80% of the availability of a DiRAC machine within a given year;
  • Currently existing Thematic proposals can submit proposals with the following options;
    • Applications with scientific themes distinct from the existing award can be submitted as a separate proposal.
    • Applications building on the same scientific theme as an existing award should apply as a new project, this new award would then replace any existing compute award. Applications in this category are expected to be observed if significant new resources become available which would greatly effect a project, or if significant scientific developments warrant a project update. PI’s requesting for a revised or updated long project must justify this request fully; the RAC will take into account all currently active projects which hold a comparable science case. This method cannot be used to top-up an existing project award if there is no change in the science case.
    • The application and scoring matrix has been updated to include a strong emphasis on Project Management and Data Management Plans;
    • Research Software Engingeering Request Forms should be submitted with the Call Application Form, on or before the Call Closing date of 1st October.
  • The above changes and a number of smaller changes have been implemented and can be seen in the revised RAC 11th Call Guidance Notes.

10th Call Application Documentation (closed)

The 10th Call for Proposals closed on 14th November 2017 and the allocations started on the 1st May 2018. The awards from the 10th Call are available here.

The forms and guidance from the 10th Call for Proposals (closed) are below. The RAC publishes a new set of documentation for each call.

For help with application queries please contact the DiRAC Director: Dr Mark Wilkinson and/or the DiRAC Technical Director: Professor Peter Boyle.

For all other enquiries please contact our Project Office



8th Annual DiRAC Science Day
12th September 2018
Swansea University

On September 12th, Swansea University will host the 8th Annual DiRAC Science Day. The day provides an opportunity to meet others from the DiRAC HPC community, learn about what is being done by all the different consortia, present and view posters on recent research achievements and discuss training and support needs for DiRAC. DiRAC users will also have the chance to meet members of the technical support teams in person as well as interact with the industry vendors who supplied the hardware we are now exploiting.

All attendees are encouraged to bring a poster to present (subject to space availability). There will be two prizes awarded to the posters by students or PDRAs judged to be ‘the best’.

Registration for DiRAC Day is via Swansea University’s dedicated DiRAC Day website, where you can also find a link to Accommodation Booking on the Swansea University campus.

This year there are three other interesting events being held at Swansea University which co-incide with DiRAC Day….

Co-located Events
NVidia Hackathon
9th, 10th & 11th September

DiRAC is pleased to announce that Nvidia have generously agreed to sponsor a 3-day GPU hackathon in Swansea prior to DiRAC Day 2018. This event will provide the DiRAC community with the opportunity to explore the potential for GPUs in supporting their science.

The Hackathon is open to all DiRAC HPC users and we expect to be able to offer places to 5 or 6 teams of between 3 and 5 people each. Over the three days, we hope that several major DiRAC science codes will be ported to GPUs and that the teams who attend will gain the skills to assist other DiRAC researchers to port additional codes in the future.

More information, including the application form can be found here.

Hands-on Introduction to Data Visualisation
13th & 14th September

Swansea University are hosting a stand-alone training course on Data Visualisation to run on the 13th and 14th September. The event will provide delegates with a concise introduction to the art and science of applied data visualisation.

More information on this course can be found here.

SuperComputing Wales Research Symposium 2018
13th September

The Swansea Academy of Advanced Computing are bringing together the Supercomputing Wales community to give users a forum to showcase their research to the wider HPC community and network with other supercomputing specialists.

The event will include research talks, a poster session, and opportunities for discussion about the Supercomputing Wales project and SUNBIRD machine.

More information on this event can be found here.

(Featured Image Credit: Swansea University, UK)



DiRAC caters for a significant portion of STFC’s science, providing simulation and data modelling resources for the UK Frontier Science theory communities in Particlar Physics, astroparticle physics, Astrophysics, cosmology, solar system science and Nuclear physics (PPAN; collectively, STFC Frontier Science). Each year we published a selection of our science highlights and these can be found below.

For information on how our Science maps onto our Services, check out our Resources page.

2016 Highlights

In February the LIGO collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of binary black holes, and the DiRAC Data Centric System COSMA5 was used Read more…

The HPQCD Group also continued their research into Lattice QCD with the team using DiRAC to develop a new method for measuring the hadronic vacuum polariation (HVP). They were able to determine Read more…

2015 Highlights

Our HPQCD group members continue the search for new physics in the magnetic moment of the muon. They used DiRAC simulations to develop a new method of determining  Read more…

Colleagues from the HORIZON UK-Consortium furthered their quest to improve the interpretation of future imaging surveys from the Euclid satellite and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. These surveys aim to Read more…

2014 Highlights

Our UKMHD Consortium members have been looking at the Origins of Magnetism in the Quiet Sun and used DiRAC to run computationally challenging massively parallel simulations of convective  Read more…

The ViRGO Consortium continued with its flagship EAGLE simulation project, which is opening a window on the role and physics of baryons in the universe by creating hi-fidelity hydrodynamic simulations  Read more…

2013 Highlights

Our HOT QCD members have been investigating the Quark-Gluon Plasma phase that is created when quarks become free. Looking specifically at how the plasma expands and flows as a bulk material Read more…

The ECOGAL users have performed large-scale numerical simulations that can resolve the dense regions where stars form, and hence directly study the physics that drives star formation. These complex simulations Read more…


DiRAC Training All Levels

The DiRAC Training Program
At DiRAC, we believe one of the facility’s most important responsibilities is to offer its user-base comprehensive training.  A well-trained user-base increases the volume and complexity of research that can be carried out and means we can use systems that are closer to the edge of technology, which in turn means that more and better research can be carried out.  

The DiRAC training program has been designed to guide users along a path from very little knowledge to a really good understanding of HPC code development. We recognise that our users predominantly fall into two categories: those who run existing codes, and those that develop and enhance codes, so we have broken up the training into 5 levels of increasingly advanced content.

We do not expect all users to complete the whole program but we do require all new users with less than 2 year’s experience to complete Level 1: Essentials, and the accompanying on-line test by the end of their first year. The program as a whole has been designed so that all new users of HPC systems would benefit from the first three levels, with researchers involved in code development progressing beyond Level 3 as an when the content becomes useful to their Research.

Each level has a corresponding body of material associated with it and currently these resources are sourced from academic institutions and the general IT community. We are still in the process of populating Levels 2 – 5 but we expect these to come on-line as the year progresses

  1. DiRAC – Essentials: An introduction to the key skills needed when using the UK National DiRAC HPC Service and a building block for the further levels.

  2. DiRAC – Researcher: This level will give users the skills to run codes on any DiRAC system.

  3. DiRAC – Advanced Researcher: This level tackles the challenges of replicating another code or advancing your own.

  4. DiRAC – HPC Developer: This level provides the skills needed to start creating robust, well structured and efficient code.

  5. DiRAC – Expert Practitioner: This will enable users to use these codes as efficiently as possible.


Industrial Engagement

Working with Industry

DiRAC has a long track record of collaborating with Industry on bleeding-edge technology and we are recognised as a global pioneer of scientific software and computing hardware co-design. We specialise in the design, deployment, management and utilisation of HPC for simulation and large-scale data analytics and we work closely with our industrial partners on the challenges of data intensive science, machine learning and artificial intelligence that are increasingly important in the modern world.

We can also provide easy access to the combined strength of the Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh and Leicester in hardware, software and know-how in HPC and data management, as well offering as access to one of the largest HPC infrastructures in the UK public sector and the opportunity to consult with academic expertise from a pool of more than 20 Universities. This capability is unique in its scale, depth and breadth of knowledge and, most importantly, in its business-ready environment which allows organisations to accelerate their research and build real competitive advantage.


Closed projects

DiRAC Facility Closed Projects as at 1st April 2018.

For more information on any of these projects, please email the Project Office

SAFE ID Project Title Principal Investigator
dp001 Stellar Coronae and Winds Dr Aline Viddotto
dp003 ISM Dr Jeremy Yates
dp011 Planet Prof Richard Nelson
dp013 Nuclear Physics Prof Neils Walet
dp017 Hadron Dr Uta Klein
dp018 Meiksin Prof Avery Meiksin
dp020 EXOMOL Prof. Jonathon Tennyson
dp021 Karl Dr Simon Karl
dp022 Accretion Discs Mr Matthew Young
dp023 Wakefield Acceleration Mprof. Matthew Wing
dp024 R-matrix calculations Dr Cathy Ramsbottom
dp026 Cactus Dr Ian Hawke
dp027 Hadronic Corrections Dr Craig McNeile
dp028 Protostellar Discs and HII Regions Dr Thomas Haworth
dp029 Energetic Particles Dr Timo Laitinen
dp030 Moist Convection Prof. Peter Read
dp032 Precision LHC Phenomenology Dr Andrea Banfi
dp037 MULTINEST Mr Conrad Vilela
dp038 PLINY Mr Richard Rollins
dp039 Lancaster Small Project Lancaster Particle Physics
dp041 Spectral Modelling of Type 1b/c Supernovae Dr Anders Jerkstrand
dp042 Probing Re-inonization Miss Laura Keating
dp043 Simulating the DESurvey for Cosmology Dr Mark Manera
dp044 Simulations of Galaxy Clusters Dr Ewald Puchwein
dp045 Probing Solar Type III Radio Bursts Dr Hamish Reid
dp048 Convection in Stars Dr Isabelle Baraffe
dp049 Masers in Discs and Outflows Dr Malcolm Gray
dp050 Simulating gravitational instabilities that drive vertical structure formation in quiescent prominences Dr Andrew Hillier
dp052 NLOMC4LHC Dr Keith Hamilton
dp054 Full-Stokes Inversions of the Chromosphere by a Sunspot Dr Vasco Henriques
dp055 Controlled SImulations of Growing Galactic Discs Dr Michael Aumer
dp056 Atmospheric Circulation of Transiting Hot Jupiters Dr Tiffany Kataria
dp057 Testing Code on the BG/Q Dr Jane Pratt
dp059 3D Explosions of Ultra-Stripped Supernovae Dr Bernhard Mueller
dp062 Simulating whistler-mode wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere Dr Heather Ratcliffe
dp063 Simulating whistler-mode wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere Dr Daisuke Kawata
dp063 Galactic Archaeology in the Gaia era Dr Daisuke Kawata
dp070 Non-ideal plasma effects and thir observational signatures in the solar chromosphere Dr Sergiy Shelyag
dp070 Non-ideal Plasma effects and their observational signatures in the solar chromosphere Dr Sergiy Shelyag
dp071 Simulation of active galaxtic nuclei jet feedback in galaxy clusters Dr Martin Bourne
dp072 Supermassive black hole seeding in cosmological hydrodynamical simulations Dr Colin De Graf
dp073 Full MHD empirical models of the chromosphere of sunspots at the highest resolution: dynamics and accessibility Dr Vasco Henriques
dp074 Explaining the onset of explosive magnetic reconnection n the solar corona and its links to the generation of solar energetic particles Dr Peter Wyper
dp075 Uncovering the nature of dark matter with tidal stellar streams Dr Denis Erkal
dp076 Uncovering the nature of dark matter with tidal stellar streams Dr Bernhard Mueller
dp077 Feedback and Turbulent ISM in Star-Forming Galaxies Dr Taysun Kimm
dp077 Origin of Strong outflows in star-forming galaxies Dr Taysun Kimm
dp081 External photoevaporation of protoplanetary discs Dr Thomas Haworth
dp082 Encounter-Driven fragmentation of self-gravitating disks Dr Farzana Meru
dp088 Diagnosing the high redshift growth of supermassive blac-holes from local super-critical accretion flows Dr Matthew Middleton