Applications open for 2020 access to Pawsey Supercomputers

Calls are open for supercomputing time on Magnus at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in 2020. If you are interested in using supercomputing resources for your meritorious research between January and December in 2020, please consider applying.
The 2020 calls are for the following schemes:

  • National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS) – supports computational research in all science disciplines across Australia. There are 100 million core-hours available on Magnus for this call. NCMAS also provides access to the new NCI Gadi system and other resources.
  • Energy and Resources Merit Allocation Scheme – supports Energy and Resources-focused research projects from across Australia. Energy examples include generation, storage and distribution. Resources examples include exploration, minerals extraction and processing, groundwater, and waste management. There are 55.5 million core-hours available on Magnus for this call.
  • Pawsey Partner Merit Allocation Scheme – supports the whole range of computational research at Pawsey Partner institutions. Partner institutions are CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. Western Australian Government researchers are also eligible for the Partner Scheme. There are 110 million core-hours available on Magnus for this call.


NCMAS closes on 20th September 2019 and the other two schemes on the 4th October 2019.

Pawsey’s petascale supercomputer, Magnus, is available for allocations through the current call. Magnus supports capability-scale computational research. It is a Cray XC40 system, with 1,488 compute nodes (35,712 cores) using Intel Xeon ‘Haswell’ CPUs, linked by the Cray Aries interconnect.  Some applicants may be allocated onto the Zeus cluster, which contains a CPU partition and a modest GPU partition, so Zeus-specific users are also encouraged to apply (and make this clear in the application).

As a guide, we anticipate requests to be in the order of 1-10 million core hours, although smaller (and larger) requests will be considered. Applicants should confirm their software can run effectively on Magnus (or Zeus), provide detailed justification/benchmarks of how they have estimated their compute-time requirements, and state why they need to run at a Tier-1 supercomputing centre (e.g. capability-scale jobs, high throughput, data-intensive).  Pawsey staff have developed a guide for Writing a Strong Competitive Merit Application.  There is a short course on NCMAS at

We encourage experienced research groups to apply for the NCMAS to maximise their opportunities and to establish a track record in NCMAS for the future.  We also encourage researchers to apply for both Magnus and NCI’s Gadi system where appropriate and justified.

There are no significant changes for the Pawsey Partner and Energy and Resources schemes.  There is a new NCMAS Terms of Reference, improvements to the NCMAS application portal, and NCI’s Gadi system will be available.

Pawsey is offering a technical pre-submission check for proposals. Upon request, Pawsey supercomputing staff will check an application, highlighting any potential omissions or errors they identify, plus suggesting changes that may improve the technical assessment for the proposal. For NCMAS applications this must occur via email (send us a copy before submission) rather than by Pawsey staff accessing the form.  Project leaders should email a request to in advance of 9th September 2019 for NCMAS and 23rd September 2019 for the other schemes.

For assistance with your application or for any other enquiries, please contact the Pawsey Helpdesk at