New to the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility?

Welcome! The information below introduces how we structure user accounts, projects, and system allocations. It’s all you need to know about getting to work. In general, OLCF resources are granted to projects in allocations, and are made available to the users associated with each project.


Request a New Allocation

Access to OLCF resources is limited to approved projects and their users. The type of project (INCITE, ALCC, or Director’s Discretion) will determine the application and review procedures. *Quarterly reports are required from industrial Director’s Discretion projects only.


Director’s Discretion






Call for Proposals

Once per year

At any time

Once per year


1 year

Up to 12 months

1 year





Closeout Report




Quarterly Reports




Where to apply

Apply for INCITE

Apply for DD

Apply for ALCC

What are the differences between project types?

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. Please visit the Department of Energy Leadership Computing website for more information and to submit a proposal.

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 the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge webpage.

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 the OLCF Director’s Discretion Project Application. Select “OLCF Director’s Discretionary Project” from the drop down menu to begin.

Vendor – OLCF resources are also available to ORNL vendors. Applications may be submitted year-round by completing the Vendor Project Application. Select “OLCF Vendors Program” from the drop down menu to begin.

If you have questions about project types or application procedures, feel free to contact the OLCF Accounts Team at

Approved projects will be granted an allocation of core-hours for a period of time on one or more of the OLCF systems.

What happens after a project request is approved?

Once a project request is approved, an OLCF Accounts Manager will communicate the following steps for activation to the project’s PI.

  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 details. At this time, project participants may apply for user accounts.

Guidance on Frontier Allocation Requests

Frontier has a total of 9,408 AMD compute nodes, with each node consisting of [1x] 64-core AMD “Optimized 3rd Gen EPYC” CPU with access to 512 GB of DDR4 memory. Each node also contains [4x] AMD MI250X accelerators, each with 2 Graphics Compute Dies (GCDs) for a total of 8 GCDs per node. The programmer can think of the 8 GCDs as 8 separate GPUs, each having 64 GB of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2E). The CPU is connected to each GCD via Infinity Fabric CPU-GPU, allowing a peak host-to-device (H2D) and device-to-host (D2H) bandwidth of 36+36 GB/s. The 2 GCDs on the same MI250X are connected with Infinity Fabric GPU-GPU with a peak bandwidth of 200 GB/s. The OLCF Director’s Discretionary (DD) program allocates approximately 10% of the available Frontier hours in a calendar year. Frontier is allocated in *node* hours, and a typical DD project is awarded between 15,000 - 20,000 *node* hours. For more information about Frontier, please visit the Frontier User Guide.

Applying for a user account

Collaborators involved with an approved and activated OLCF project can apply for a user account associated with it. There are several steps in receiving a user account, and we’re here to help you through them.


Project PIs do not receive a user account with project creation, and must also apply.


If you will be contributing to multiple projects, your user account will need to be associated with each. For instructions on joining additional projects with an existing account, see the Get access to additional projects section below.

  1. First-time users should apply for an account using the Account Request Form.

  2. When our accounts team begins processing your application, you will receive an automated email containing an unique 36-character confirmation code. Make note of it; you can use it to check the status of your application at any time.

  3. The principal investigator (PI) of the project must approve your account and system access. We will make the project PI aware of your request.

  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 Institutional User Agreements with each institution having participants are required. If our records indicate your institution needs to sign either an Institutional User Agreement and/or Appendix A, the proper 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.

  7. If you need an RSA SecurID token from our facility, the token and additional paperwork will be sent to you via email to complete identity proofing.

Checking the status of your application

You can check the general status of your application at any time using the myOLCF self-service portal’s account status page. For more information, see the myOLCF self-service portal documentation. If you need to make further inquiries about your application, you may email our Accounts Team at

When all of the above steps are completed, your user account will be created and you will be notified by email. Now that you have a user account and it has been associated with a project, you’re ready to get to work. This website provides extensive documentation for OLCF systems, and can help you efficiently use your project’s allocation. We recommend reading the System User Guides for the machines you will be using often.

Get access to additional projects

If you already have a user account at the OLCF, your existing credentials can be leveraged across multiple projects.

If your user account has an associated RSA SecurID (i.e. you have an “OLCF Moderate” account), you gain access to another project by logging in to the myOLCF self-service portal and filling out the application under My Account > Join Another Project. For more information, see the myOLCF self-service portal documentation.

If your user account has only an associated password (i.e. you have an “OLCF Open” account) you gain access to another project by filling out the Account Request Form; logging in to myOLCF is only available to users with RSA SecurID tokens at this time.

In either case, once the PI of that project has been contacted and granted permission, your user account will be added to the relevant charge accounts and unix groups, and you will see these additions when you log in.