Quantum Computing User Program (QCUP) Access

Welcome! The information below introduces how we structure projects and user accounts for access to the Quantum resources within the QCUP program. In general, OLCF QCUP resources are granted to projects, which are in turn made available to the approved users associated with each project.

To gain access, you must first submit a project proposal to the OLCF QCUP (see Project Allocations) or join an existing QCUP project (see User Accounts). The Quantum Resource Utilization Council (QRUC), as well as independent referees, review and approve all QCUP project proposals. Applications to QCUP are accepted year-round via the project application form found below. Once a project is approved, then all of the users associated with the project will need to apply for a User Account. After your user account is approved, you can then move on to accessing the quantum resources offered by our vendors (see Accessing Quantum Resources).

QCUP Priorities

There are several broad aims of the Quantum Computing User Program at OLCF, which are as follows:

  1. Enable Research
The QCUP aims to provide a broad spectrum of user access to the best available quantum computing systems. Once a user’s intended research has been reviewed for merit and user agreements have been established, we seek to provide users with the opportunity to become familiar with the unique aspects and challenges of quantum computing, as well as to implement and test quantum algorithms on the available systems.
  1. Evaluate Technology
The QCUP aims to aid in the evaluation of technology by monitoring the breadth and performance of early quantum computing applications. How users integrate quantum computing with scientific computing is a question constrained by both application, infrastructure constraints, and the use cases expected for the associated computational system. Through the QCUP program, users can explore new potential computational research applications, and potentially accelerate existing scientific applications using quantum processors and architectures. Research projects supported include advanced scientific computing, basic energy science, biological environmental research, high-energy physics, fusion energy science, and nuclear physics, among others.
  1. Engage the Community
The QCUP aims to engage the quantum computing community and support the growth of the quantum information science ecosystems. Our quantum computing users range in quantum computing experience from novice to expert; users are from US national labs, universities, government, and industry. User groups utilize quantum computing expertise to investigate diverse application interests, using multiple programming languages, quantum-classical programming, and multiple software environments. Most projects focus on proof-of-principle demonstrations and/or new method development. Some projects focus on application performance and/or benchmarking, and additionally some projects focus on device characterization, verification, and validation.

Project Allocations

A QCUP proposal describes the nature, methodology, and merits of the project, explains why it requires access to QCUP resources, and outlines any other essential information that might be needed for its consideration. Project applications are submitted using the Project Application Form. Select “OLCF Quantum Computing User Program” from the dropdown menu.

For QCUP Projects, all proposed work must be open, fundamental research and no Export Control, PHI, or other controlled data can be used.

Once submitted, you will receive email notification of successful proposal submission. The proposal is then reviewed by the Quantum Resource Utilization Council (QRUC), as well as independent referees for merit and to ensure the feasibility of project success using the resources available to the QCUP. You will be notified of the QRUC decision via email.

What happens after a project request is approved?

Once a project request is approved by the QRUC, an OLCF Accounts Manager will communicate with the project’s PI to finalize activation and request a signed Principal Investigator’s PI Agreement to be submitted.

The OLCF will then establish a QCUP project and notify the PI of its creation along with the 6-character OLCF QCUP Project ID and resources allocation details. At this time project participants may proceed with applying for their individual user accounts.

Project Renewals

QCUP Projects have a finite duration; when starting, projects get however many months are left in that allocation period and then must be renewed for subsequent 6 month intervals. Projects can be renewed by filling out a renewal form (Accounts Renewal Form) and emailing it to accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

Closeout and Quarterly Reports

All QCUP projects are required to submit quarterly reports and a closeout report. These forms may be emailed to accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

User Accounts

Any collaborator involved with an approved and activated OLCF project can apply for a user account associated with that project to gain access.


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

  1. First-time users should apply for an account using the Account Request Form. You will need the correct 6 character project ID from your PI.
  2. When our accounts team begins processing your application, you will receive an automated email containing a 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. Once your application is evaluated and approved, you will be notified via email of your account creation, and the quantum resource vendor will be contacted with instructions to grant you access.

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 our myOLCF Overview page. If you need to make further inquiries about your application, you may email our Accounts Team at accounts@ccs.ornl.gov.

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.

Accessing Quantum Resources

As opposed to setting up a personal account through each of the individual vendor websites, OLCF has purchased subscriptions to those vendor services and handles setting up your access to each one once your Quantum User Application is approved. You will receive individual email invitations from Quantinuum and Rigetti with further instructions, whereas for IBM you can proceed directly to their website to create an account. More details for gaining access to each vendor are listed below. For details on how to use a vendor’s system once access is gained, see our Quantum Systems Guides instead.

IBM Quantum Computing

After submitting the OLCF quantum account application and receiving approval, proceed to https://quantum-computing.ibm.com/ and click on “Create an IBMid account”. Your IBM Quantum Hub account email will be the email associated with your OLCF account. If sign-in fails, contact help@olcf.ornl.gov. Once logged in, users will have access to the IBM Quantum Hub, IBM’s online platform for QPU access, forums for quantum computing discussion, etc. From the IBM Quantum Hub Dashboard, users can manage system reservations, view system (backend) statuses, and view the results of your past jobs. More information about using these IBM quantum resources can be found on the IBM’s Documentation or our OLCF IBM Quantum Guide.


After submitting the OLCF quantum account application and receiving approval, you will receive an email from Quantinuum inviting you to create your quantum account. Once logged in, users will have access to Quantinuum’s User Interface, https://um.qapi.quantinuum.com, their online platform for managing jobs and accessing the available quantum systems, including the System Model H1, via the cloud. From the UI, users can view system status and upcoming system availability, as well as monitor batch submissions and job history. Information on using the quantum resources via Jupyter notebooks is available in the UI via the “Examples” tab. Quantinuum’s systems feature mid-circuit measurement and qubit reuse, and are compatible with a variety of software frameworks.


After submitting the OLCF quantum account application and receiving approval, you will receive an email from support@rigetti.com inviting you to create your quantum account. If you did not receive this, proceed to https://qcs.rigetti.com/sign-in and click “Sign In”. It is necessary that the email you use for sign in be associated with an affiliated subscribing institution, i.e. ORNL, ANL, etc. If sign in fails, contact help@olcf.ornl.gov. Once logged in, users will have access to Quantum Cloud Services (QCS), Rigetti’s online platform for accessing the hybrid infrastructure of available quantum processors and classical computational framework via the cloud. From the QCS, users can view system status and availability, initiate and manage quantum infrastructure reservations (either executing programs manually or adding them to the queue). Information on using this resource is available on the Rigetti’s Documentation or our OLCF Rigetti Guide.

Publication Citations

Publications using resources provided by the OLCF are requested to include the following acknowledgment statement: “This research used resources of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported under Contract DE-AC05-00OR22725.”