SNIC Guideline for Applicants and Administrators

SNIC provides a set of resources to meet the needs of researchers from all areas of science. The resources are made available through open application procedures such that the best Swedish research is supported.

Available computing and storage resources

Nomenclature and definitions

Principal Investigator
A Principal Investigator is denoted as PI or applicant below. A PI is an individual primarily responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research.

Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator
Co-PIs/Co-Is are key personnel who have responsibilities similar to that of a PI on research projects. While the PI has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of a research project, the Co-PI/Co-I is also obligated to ensure the project is conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research.

Member
A member of a project is a Co-Investigator by another name.

Proxy
The duties of the PI can be carried out by a proxy on behalf of the PI responsible.

SNIC User
All researchers using SNIC resources are denoted as SNIC users.

SNAC and SNAC wg
The SNIC National Allocation Committee, SNAC, is a body within SNIC that independently is responsible for the scientific evaluation of proposals for access to SNIC resources and for assigning allocations for SNIC LARGE.
SNAC is assisted by a group of technical experts, the SNAC Working Group, which is responsible for the evaluation of the technical feasibility of proposals and assists in the administration of projects.

SUPR
SNIC User and Project Repository, an online application database.

Project storage
Project storage is storage capacity allocated for projects where data is in the custody of and administrated by a PI. Project storage is separate from the users’ personal storage regarding bookkeeping, allocation, or similar.

Scratch storage
Scratch storage is ephemeral storage used during a compute job, which is erased between compute jobs. This is not considered project storage.

Personal storage
All users of SNIC compute resources have a small personal storage space, where the user can store configuration files et cetera. Personal storage is not considered project storage.

Core Hour
CPU-based compute resource allocations typically comprise core hours, i.e. the use of one CPU core during one hour. Core hours are typically abbreviated ch, or more often kch for a thousand core hours.

GPU Hour
GPU-based compute resource allocations comprise GPU hours, i.e. the use of one GPU during one hour. To make different types of GPUs commensurable from an allocation perspective, they are typically asserted a cost where the use of an inexpensive GPU may actually correspond to one GPU hour per allocated GPU hour, while more capable GPUs may cost more than one allocation GPU hour per wall clock hour of usage.

GiB, TiB, and GiB/TiB Hour
Storage resource allocations comprise an amount of storage expressed in Gibibytes or Tebibytes. LUMI uses a system of TB hours, similar to GPU hours above. More capable storage partitions may cost more than one allocation TB hour per wall clock hour of usage, while less capable storage may cost less.

Coins
A billing unit for SSC allocations that can be used towards compute time and/or storage.

SNIC Rounds

SNIC resources are made available via SNIC Rounds. The quantity of resources made available via the SNIC Rounds is decided through dialogue between the SNIC Director and SNIC resource providers annually, or when new SNIC resources are commissioned. Information about the resources and their limits is provided via SUPR. Members of the SNIC consortium providing information about SNIC Rounds via their websites are obliged to ensure that the information is up to date.
All rounds referred to in this document may not be available at all times. You may find rounds in SUPR that are not available to the general SNIC user, e.g. for resources dedicated to a certain e-infrastructure.

SNIC Small Compute/Storage, SENS Small, and SSC

These are annual SNIC Rounds through which resources are made available continuously in SUPR.

Allocation period

The allocation period is limited to one year.

Review

Proposals are subject to technical review performed by a SNAC wg representative. Review instructions are available via the SNIC Scientific and Technical review guide (SNIC 2018/34).
Reviews are being made continuously.

SNIC Medium Compute/Storage and SENS Medium

These are annual SNIC Rounds through which resources are made available continuously in SUPR.
The total size of all Medium allocations granted to you can at most amount to 150% of Medium resource limits. For example, 80% of the maximum size of a Medium allocation of one resource and 70% of the maximum size of a Medium allocation of another resource.

Allocation period

The allocation period is limited to one year.

Review

Proposals are subject to technical review by a SNAC wg representative. Review instructions are made available via the SNIC Scientific and Technical review guide (SNIC 2018/34).
Proposals may list several SNIC resources located at more than one SNIC resource provider.
It is not allowed for SNIC users to simultaneously be allocated SNIC resources within the SNIC Rounds SNIC Medium Compute and SNIC Large Compute, or SNIC Medium Storage and SNIC Large Storage. Any Medium Compute allocations will be terminated for users receiving a Large Compute allocation, and correspondingly for Medium Storage/Large Storage.1
Reviews are typically conducted once a month but may vary between resources.

SNIC Large Compute/Storage and SENS Large

SNIC resources are being made available biannually via these SNIC Rounds in SUPR. The allocation rounds are open for proposals for a limited time.

Allocation period

The allocation period is typically limited to one year, or shorter in certain cases2.

Review

Proposals are subject to scientific and technical review. Scientific review is performed by SNAC and external evaluators. Technical review is performed by SNAC wg. Review instructions are made available via the SNIC Scientific and Technical review guide (SNIC 2018/34).
Proposals may include several SNIC resources located at more than one SNIC resource provider.
It is not allowed for users to simultaneously be allocated SNIC resources within the SNIC Rounds SNIC Medium Compute and SNIC Large Compute, or SNIC Medium Storage and SNIC Large Storage. Any Medium Compute allocations will be terminated for users receiving a Large Compute allocation, and correspondingly for Medium Storage/Large Storage.
After the allocations round is closed for proposals, the review process commences. The procedure is described in the review guide.

LUMI Sweden

The Swedish share of LUMI is made available biannually via this SNIC Round in SUPR. The allocation rounds are open for proposals for a limited time.

These allocations use the LUMI project type Regular Access.

Allocation period

The allocation period is typically limited to one year, or shorter in certain cases.

Review

Proposals are subject to scientific and technical review. Scientific review is performed by SNAC and external evaluators. Technical review is performed by SNAC wg. Review instructions are made available via the SNIC Scientific and Technical review guide (SNIC 2018/34).
Users may simultaneously be allocated resources in this round and national SNIC resources within other SNIC rounds.

Ethical guidelines

It is the responsibility of the SNIC user to ensure that research conducted at SNIC resources adheres to Swedish legislation, as demanded by the SNIC User Agreement (Dnr: SNIC 2018/25).

Ethical issues might have been raised by the research project. It is the responsibility of the PI to address these issues, and have a justification for why the research should be carried out. Some research may only be conducted if it has passed an ethical review. Research involving humans needs a permit from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority to protect human beings–physically and mentally–and their integrity. Research involving animals needs a permit from an animal ethics committee. Depending on the type of research, other permits may be needed. When you apply for SNIC resources, you are responsible for ensuring that you have the permits and approvals required for that research.

When you conduct research, you must ensure at all times that the project follows good research practice.

Eligible grant administrating organisations

The Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SNIC, is a national research infrastructure that makes available large-scale high-performance computing resources, storage capacity, and national user support for researchers affiliated with Swedish Higher Educational Institutions, HEI:s. Universities, university colleges, and other Swedish authorities with research assignments are included in the HEI concept.

Other public organisations may also be eligible, e.g. by governmental decision. Some basic requirements on organisations are that they must:

  • Be a legal entity with a Swedish corporate registration number (there might be rare exceptions due to governing documents or agreements)

  • Perform research, which means carrying out documented research activities and fulfil the general conditions for research grants

  • Guarantee academic freedom within the assignment

  • Ensure that the results are openly accessible to other researchers, companies and the general public

  • Not conduct any economic activity.

In order to apply for SNIC resources, researchers affiliated with organisations approved by the Swedish Research Council, and marked as such in Prisma (the application and case management system provided by the Swedish Research Council), are eligible.

Commercial interests

SNIC users may not have known commercial connections conflicting with the requirements of objectivity, independence, and openness. If any commercial connections in lieu of SNIC terms and conditions are at hand, the user, or the grant administrator, should inform SNIC immediately.

SNIC users are liable to declare in writing commercial interests or connections that may influence project proposals or approved projects in entirety or part. This is required to enable review and assessment of the compatibility of the aforementioned interests with the requirements regarding objectivity, independence, and openness. Such review and assessment are performed by the SNIC director.

Public access

Proposals for SNIC projects and approved SNIC projects are public documents. SNIC users intending to apply for patents should note that it is not possible to keep SNIC proposals confidential. Information about approved projects is made available via the SNIC website. Sensitive personal information is not published. Research results obtained by using SNIC resources should be made publicly available. SNIC users are liable for following SNIC demands on objectivity, independence, and openness, as specified above.

Qualifications requirements

In general, the applicant must fulfil the following qualification requirements in order to be eligible for allocations within each respective SNIC Round.

In line with the practice used by the Swedish Research Council, applicants from artistic fields need only possess a high level of scientific expertise, and must not necessarily have obtained a doctorate to qualify.

Large Compute/Storage, SENS Large

The applicant must be at least an assistant professor at an eligible institution to qualify for
allocation. Additionally, the applicant must have experience from using SNIC resources at least
at the Medium level, or corresponding experience from abroad.

Medium Compute/Storage and SENS Medium

The applicant must be at least an assistant professor at an eligible institution to qualify for
allocation.

Small Compute/Storage, SENS Small, and SSC

The applicant must be at least a doctoral student at an eligible institution to qualify for
allocation.

LUMI Sweden

The applicant must be at least an assistant professor at an eligible institution to qualify for
allocation. Additionally, the applicant must have experience from using SNIC resources at least
at the LARGE level, PRACE, or similar.

How to apply for access

SNIC uses an online application database, SUPR - SNIC User and Project Repository for applications for compute time, storage capacity, or dedicated user support. The proposal should be filled out electronically via supr.snic.se/

An allocation comprises CPU hours (processor-core hours) per calendar month or project period, Tebibyte (TiB) of storage, TB-hours, coins (a kind of billing unit), and/or hours of dedicated user support.

Due to differences between CPUs, one hour of computation may achieve more or less
depending on which resource is being used. However, the differences are relatively minor, and
from an allocation point of view are usually disregarded.

The situation for GPUs is different, where the capacity span is significant. To reflect the very
different capabilities, GPU hours for different GPU models within a resource are charged as
multiples of the hourly rate. The rate reflects the approximate cost ratio.

For LUMI, Flash storage, LUMI-F, is accounted at ten times the TB-hour rate, i.e. use of 1TB
of Flash storage for one hour costs 10TB hours. Lustre storage, LUMI-P, is accounted at the
TB-hour rate. CEPH storage, LUMI-C, is accounted at ½ the TB-hour rate, i.e. use of 1TB of
CEPH storage for one hour costs 0,5TB hours. You may combine the three types of storage at
your own discretion, as long as you stay within the amount granted to your project and do not
exceed the quota for any of the storage types at any time. To make the costs of different LUMI
partitions commensurable, 1TB-hour is asserted the cost of 1, 1 core hour is asserted the cost of 2, and 1 GPU hour is asserted the cost of 238.

Apply for a project allocation on one or more SNIC resource

It is important that your application includes intended usage and the characteristics of the storage or compute resources and application programmes that will be used. In case of doubt, consult SNIC Support or the SNIC office to get assistance in choosing the correct resources.

Your applications will be evaluated by SNAC.

The proposal should be filled out electronically via https://supr.snic.se/.

The applicant should provide the mandatory information below. Additionally the applicant may provide non-mandatory information using the proposal form.

For storage projects, the SNIC Policy for Project Storage (SNIC 2018/39) applies, as does the Guidelines for Deletion of Project Storage within SNIC (Dnr SNIC 2018/33).

At the discretion of the resource owner, a default project storage may be provided to compute allocations as a convenience. Please check the call text for details.

For recurring proposals, do not forget the activity report below.

Principal investigator information

The PI shall provide the mandatory information regarding the following items.

  1. Name
  2. Email
  3. Position
  4. Gender
  5. Department
  6. Organisation

Basic information

The applicant is required to submit information as stated at https://supr.snic.se/.

  1. Project title Title of the proposed project.
  2. Abstract A project abstract in English (max 500 words).

Resource usage

  1. Specify and describe the programmes that will be used. Unless it is centre provided, specify how it is parallelised, and how well and to what extent it scales for the problem sizes that will be studied.
  2. Motivate answers to the system-specific questions asked per resource. That is, motivate your estimate of typical and maximal number of cores per job, the memory requirements, per core, per node, or aggregated as adequate for the particular resource and parallelisation scheme. Also, specify the amount and type of storage requested, i.e. fast temporary storage during job execution, short-term storage, and long-term/archival storage. Also, describe the intended data flow to use the different types of storage efficiently.
  3. Other specific programme and hardware requirements.

Affiliation

  1. Name of university, institute, or similar.

Classification

  1. Classify the project according to VR classification codes.

Large Compute/Storage, and SENS Large

The following information is required, in addition to the information common for all rounds:

  1. CV of the Principal Investigator, PI. Maximum 2 pages.
  2. Publication list of the principal investigator.

Specifically for Large compute/SENS Large rounds the following information mustbe provided by the applicant:

SNIC Project Description. Maximum 5 pages.

  1. Overview (½ page)
    Provide an abstract of the proposed research and computations.
  2. Resource usage, codes,and performance (1½ pages)
    Describe how your applications can make efficient use of the requested resources. Give numbers and/or indicate measures of scalability and performance (for example a graph of execution time versus the number of cores). Include records of usage if you have been granted time for this or a similar projectin previous allocation rounds. If the requested time differs significantly from earlier allocations and/or used time, please explain the difference. Also motivate if specific resources (such as large memory, GPUs, etc.) are requested.
  3. Scientific challenges (2 pages)
    Describe how the proposed project relates to the state of the art of the scientific area, has the potential to increase the knowledge within its scientific area, and how the proposed project uses adequate computational methods to address scientific questions. Include a justification for the need of large-scale data/HPC.
  4. Research group and management (½ page)
    Describe the complete research group that will be working on the proposed project: name of members, HPC experience, position, and roles. Indicate how the allocated time will be managed within the group.
  5. References (½ page)
    Include a list of references for the project description.

Specifically for Large storage rounds the following information must be provided by the applicant.

SNIC Project Description. Maximum 5 pages.

  1. Overview (½ page)
    Provide an abstract of the proposed research, data origin and planned analysis. If relevant mention what compute projects are generating the data (SNIC projects, PRACE, etc.)
  2. Data management plan (1½ pages)
    Describe how your applications can make efficient use of the requested resources. Motivate and provide explicit numbers related to size, generation rate, number of files et cetera. Describe how data will be generated (codes, data type, etc.), transferred into and out of the system. Describe how data will be managed on the system, for example using scratch/permanent storage. Describe how your project can efficiently balance the use of high-performance storage and lower-cost storage, and how your data flow will be set up to accommodate for that.
    Include records of usage only if this project is not a direct continuation of a previous one, or if you have not been granted time for a similar project in previous allocation rounds.
    Motivate if specific resources (for example at a specific centre) are requested.
    If applicable, describe how data will be made publicly available following the end of the project.
  3. Scientific challenges (2 pages)
    Describe how the proposed project relates to the state of the art in the scientific area, has the potential to increase the knowledge within its scientific area, and how the proposed project uses adequate computational methods to address scientific questions. Include a justification for the need for large-scale data/HPC.
    If this proposal is linked to a SNIC Large Compute proposal applied for at the same time, just write See compute proposal.
  4. Research group and management (½ page)
    Describe the complete research group that will be working on the proposed project: name of members, HPC experience, position, and roles. Indicate how the allocated time will be managed within the group.
    If this proposal is linked to a SNIC Large Compute proposal applied for at the same time, just write See compute proposal.
  5. References (½ page)
    Include a list of references for the project description.

Medium Compute/Storage, SENS/SSC Medium, and SNIC AI

The following information is required, in addition to the information common for all rounds:

Specifically for SNIC AI

  1. It should be clear to the reviewer that this research does indeed use AI techniques.
  2. A list of data sets to be used, if any, should be included together with a description on how data will be used during the project and a plan for how data produced during the project will be moved from the resource afterwards.

Small Compute/Storage and SENS/SSC Small

No further information is required in addition to the information common for all rounds.

LUMI Sweden

The following information is required, in addition to the information common for all rounds:

  1. CV of the Principal Investigator, PI. Maximum 2 pages.
  2. A publication list of the principal investigator.
  3. A SNIC Project Description. Maximum 5 pages.
    As for SNIC Large Compute above.
    If you apply for storage resources as well, the Project Description should be amended by a Data Management Plan (1½ pages), as for SNIC Large storage above.

Please notice that LUMI handles the allocation of GPU hours differently.

Decision

The decision regarding the application should be communicated with the PI and documented in SUPR.

For storage rounds, SNAC may prematurely terminate, extend, or change the allocation within the limits of the round. For Small and Medium rounds this is administrated by SNAC wg after consultation with the PI. Such decisions shall be communicated with the PI and documented in SUPR.

SNIC reserves the right to grant a project allocation that differs from the request in the application. Requested allocations may be reduced in size or be assigned to another resource. Requested allocations may also be altered if it appears to be too large and/or the size of the allocation is not sufficiently motivated. A request may also be merged with another request or existing allocation in case the research activities (and/or groups) are the same or very similar.

Decisions by SNAC are final, and cannot be appealed to e.g., the SNIC Director.

An Application that attains a positive evaluation receives a project allocation

Once an application has been approved, a project will be established on the resources on which allocations are granted. The applicant will be responsible (PI) for this project and must keep an overview of the usage of the allocation(s). The PI must specify and approve which users are allowed to use the project allocation. Those users are referred to as members or co-investigators. The PI must ensure that the allocation(s) is (are) used only for the activities that are specified in the application that was approved. The project allocation is shared by all users that are connected to the project.

Use of SNIC resources is subject to the SNIC User Agreement (SNIC 2018/25). For certain
resources, additional terms and conditions might apply. At the time of writing, this includes
Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and LUMI.

The PI is kindly asked to inform the allocation body if there is a change of affiliation.

Applying for an account on the resource(s) you are going to use

Once you know what allocation you will belong to, you are ready to apply for an account. The account request happens entirely in the SUPR Portal. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Sign up or log in to SUPR, https://supr.snic.se
  2. The following personal information must be entered in SUPR in order for an account to be created:
    1. Name
    2. E-mail
    3. Citizenship
    4. Preferably Work Address
      1. Postal address
      2. Postal code
      3. City
      4. Country
  3. Become a member/PI of an active project.
  4. Goto Accounts and select Request an account at [the location of your resource]
    If that option is not available for the account at [the location of your resource] you have to request membership for a project at [the location of your resource].
    1. Fill in one or several preferred usernames
    2. Fill in Swedish personal number or date of birth
    3. Select Request account
  5. Information regarding account creation will be sent to the e-mail address provided.
  6. Account information regarding username and password will be sent to you by paper-based mail.

Changes in SUPR are automatically applied to resources overnight.

LUMI User Registration

Please refer to the LUMI User Guide for more information.

Reporting back to SNIC

Activity report

Please note that providing an activity report is a mandatory requirement for all rounds. The report should be written in a maximum of 8 A4 pages set in 11pt or larger with a line spacing of at least 1.15 or similar. The disposition should follow the major topics listed here.

If you are applying for compute and storage at the same time, you may upload the same activity report for both proposals.

The activity report does not necessarily have to use the maximum number of pages allowed, and especially for small allocations it is typically expected to be significantly shorter.

  1. Summary
    The report must include an account of the major scientific achievements emanating from the use of the allocated SNIC resources, or comparable resource outside of Sweden (unlike the publications list, the time span is not limited here), in relation to the project description. If this is your first application for SNIC resources, but you have previously been using comparable resources abroad, please also provide allocation and usage statistics of those resources in the activity report.

  2. Publication list
    The activity report must include a list of publications from the last two years of all publications that acknowledge the use of SNIC resources. You may include forthcoming/in-press publications.

Please note that publications that do not acknowledge the use of SNIC resources shall not be included in the activity report.

  1. Academic achievements
    The activity report must include achievements such as theses defended and graduate degrees completed.

  2. E-infrastructure related developments
    The activity report must include any developments related to programming, code optimisation, visualisation, data optimisation et cetera.

  3. Grants and patents
    The activity report must include granted financial support and/or patents.

Acknowledgement for the use of SNIC resources

The number of published research articles is a common way to assess the impact and success of scientific work. It is also an important end-point when taking decisions regarding e.g. funding. SNIC therefore explicitly requests the acknowledgement of SNIC in scientific publications that required the use of SNIC resources, services or expertise.
Papers, presentations and other publications that feature work that relied on SNIC should include an acknowledgement.

SNIC should be acknowledged as follows:

"The computations/data handling/[SIMILAR] were/was enabled by resources provided by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), partially funded by the Swedish Research Council through grant agreement no. 2018-05973"

If applicable, also add an acknowledgement for application support:

"We thank [NAME] at SNIC for [his/her] assistance with [describe tasks such as porting, optimisation, etc. or more generally technical and implementation aspects], which was made possible through application support provided by SNIC."

Last modified: 2021-10-15