Merit Allocation Scheme
Under the Merit Allocation Scheme (MAS), research groups may apply for computational and associated data resources in October for the following year.
The application process is completed online using a form available at https://nf.nci.org.au/accounts/projects_new/MAC.php.
Applications comprise a summary of their research proposal which emphasises the significance, impact and innovation of the research, its relationship to national research priorities, the national benefit arising from the research, a summary of the research profile of the investigator team (publications and research funding), and a detailed computational/data management proposal that justifies the resources required, and demonstrates that the National Facility is critical to, and appropriate, for the particular research project.
A mid-year call is made to pick up typically smaller requests from groups not ready for the major annual round.
The Merit Allocation Committee (MAC) also considers requests outside the usual round, particularly for priority users such as high profile research teams whose needs cannot wait for the annual merit allocation round.
A new Flagship Scheme intended to support the highest impact science and to upscale Australia’s application of high-end computational services to the international league is underway.
Principles and Criteria
NCI MAS (Processor Resources)
The assessment criteria for high performance computing applications under MAS are:
- Research merit, including the potential of the work to generate new knowledge in an important area, the comparative scientific merits of the work within its discipline, originality and international competitiveness.
- National benefit and research priorities.
- Experience and demonstrated research capacity of the applicant and the project team.
Appropriateness of the NCI computational resources
- The need for such resources to conduct the research.
- Suitability of the system (hardware and software) and its operational environment to support the project.
- Evidence or experience to demonstrate that the project will use the facilities efficiently.
Reasonableness of the level of resources requested
- Relative to the total amount available.
- Needed to make adequate progress in the proposed research program.
Track record of the applicant in using the NCI computational resources where relevant
- In the case of proposals to continue a project, the record of achievement and efficient use of previous allocations.
Merit Allocation Committee
The Merit Allocation Committee members as at November 2012 are:
- Prof Brian Yates, University of Tasmania (Chair)
- Dr Amanda Barnard, CSIRO (*)
- Prof Geoff Bicknell, Australian National University
- Professor Hugh Blackburn, Monash University (*)
- Dr Jason Evans, University of NSW (*)
- Prof Julian Gale, Curtin University of Technology
- Assoc. Professor Evatt Hawkes (*)
- Dr Tony Hirst, CSIRO CMAR
- Prof Alan Mark, University of Queensland
- Professor Ross McPhedran, University of Sydney
- Assoc Prof Louis Moresi, Monash University
- Professor Dietmar Muller, University of Sydney (*)
- Assoc. Professor Aaron Oakley, University of Wollongong (*)
- Dr Ekaterina (Katya) Pas, Monash University (*)
- Dr Alfred Uhlherr, CSIRO ICT Centre
where the suffixed asterick denotes a newly appointed member.