ASCR Announces 2022 Leadership Computing Challenge

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Oct. 14, 2022 — The ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) is an allocation program for projects of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE), with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff scientific campaigns enabled via high-performance computing (HPC) in areas directly related to the DOE mission, that respond to national emergencies, or that broaden the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources.

ALCC is soliciting proposals for allocation awards for the 2023-2024 allocation year. High performance computing (HPC) platforms available for the current allocation cycle include Frontier, the new exascale system at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF); early access on Aurora, the new exascale system at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF); Polaris, a new 44-petaflop accelerated system at ALCF; 6-month allocations on Theta at ALCF; and Perlmutter, a new accelerated system at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Up to thirty percent of the available computing time will be made available on each of these machines to the ALCC program.

For more information, please visit Please send questions or email correspondence to

Important Policies:

  • Allocation Request Cap: To ensure equitable distribution of projects, any pre-proposal or proposal that requests more than 25% of the available resources will be deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed. For more information, please see Allocation Request Cap Information.
  • Mid-year Allocation Reduction: On January 16, 2024, a percentage of unused allocation hours will be returned to the ALCC program for redistribution to other projects. For more information, please see Allocation Reduction Information.

Open to scientists from the research community in industry, academia, and national laboratories, the ALCC program allocates from 10% to 30% of the computational resources at ASCR’s three high performance computing facilities: NERSC at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Leadership Computing Facilities at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. These resources represent some of the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers.

ALCC is one of several allocation programs for ASCR supercomputing facilities (see ASCR Allocation Policy) and supports ASCR’s efforts to further DOE mission science, respond to National emergencies, or to broaden community access to leadership computing facilities. To fulfill its goal of broadening community access, ALCC supports a range of project allocation sizes and allocates time across all three ASCR supercomputing facilities. However, proposals seeking very large allocations are more appropriate for the INCITE allocation program. Projects that request more than 25% of the available resources will be considered nonresponsive and may be declined without review.

The ALCC program has a strong legacy of advancing scientific discovery and innovation across a wide range of DOE research and development mission areas, including energy efficient engineering, computer science, materials and chemistry research, geosciences and energy-related biosciences, biological and environmental research, computational fluid dynamics, high energy and nuclear physics, fusion energy sciences, cosmology, the design and control of scientific user facilities and experiments at these facilities, nuclear energy, fossil energy, carbon management, and renewable energy.