Merit allocations

This is the highest award given for use of NeSI services. A Merit allocation is intended for highly skilled research teams carrying out work funded by a New Zealand funding agency in support of the New Zealand Government Science Goals. Successful applicants will receive priority access to our HPC Compute & Analytics and Computational Science services.

Who is eligible for a Merit allocation?

Proposals must meet the following criteria for consideration for a Merit allocation:

  • The research programme must support the Government’s Science Goals.
  • In order to demonstrate research quality and alignment with national research priorities, the funding award must have come from a peer-reviewed, contestable process at an institutional, regional or national level.
    • The following funding sources are likely to qualify:
      • MBIE funding
      • Health Research Council (HRC) funding
      • Royal Society of New Zealand funding, e.g. Marsden grants
      • SSIF programme funding (previously known as CRI Core funding)
      • Research programmes forming part of a National Science Challenge
      • Research programmes forming part of a Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).
    • The following funding sources are unlikely to qualify:
      • Privately funded research
      • Research funded by a foreign government.
  • The grant or contract must cover the entire period for which an allocation of NeSI resources is sought.
  • To help us verify the funding award, you must provide the contract or grant title, its ID number (if it has one), the period of time for which the funding is valid, and the name and affiliation (i.e. employer) of the contract or grant's Principal Investigator (PI).
  • In the case where the research is being directly funded by an institution (e.g. as a result of an internal research evaluation process) or by a central or local government agency, you must state who has authorised the research (e.g. Dean, CRI Science Award, etc.) and how it was reveiwed, and provide the title and abstract of the relevant research proposal.
  • You must be a named investigator on the research grant or contract. If you are a student, we may at our discretion consider your application for a Merit award if your supervisor is a named investigator.
  • Our general technical criteria of feasibility and fitness for purpose must be satisfied.
  • We must be satisfied that you and your project team have the necessary skills and experience to carry out your workflow on a NeSI facility. You can normally demonstrate this by receiving and making use of a NeSI Proposal Development allocation to test your workflow before applying for a further allocation. However, we may at our discretion accept evidence of relevant experience on another research computing facility.

Even if your application satisfies these criteria, we may not award your project an allocation from the Merit class:

  • If your institution has an entitlement to NeSI core hours as a NeSI Collaborator or Subscriber, we will, if possible, award your project's allocation from your institutional entitlement.
  • If you have not run the same or a similar workflow on a research computing facility comparable to NeSI before, we will consider offering a Proposal Development allocation instead, to give you the opportunity to gain experience on our systems, ensure that your workflow will run successfully, and get an idea of its likely resource needs.
  • If your team does not have the skills needed to make use of an allocation (even if the research meets the other criteria), we may put your application on hold (or reject it) to give you an opportunity to undergo appropriate training.

If we decide to consider your research programme as a candidate for a Merit allocation, we will hold it until the relevant review period. See here for more information on our review cycles. As our computing capacity, though large, is finite, we cannot guarantee that all eligible applicants will be awarded Merit allocations for their projects.

How big can a Merit allocation be?

A Merit allocation may be up to 1,000,000 CPU core hours over 12 months, which is equivalent to constant use of between 114 and 115 CPU cores. We may at our discretion issue Merit allocations of 3, 6 or 9 months' duration.

We are unable to offer concurrent allocations from different classes on the same NeSI facility, so if you require more than 1,000,000 CPU core hours per annum for your research, you won't be able to get the first 1,000,000 CPU core hours from a year-long Merit allocation and have the remainder come from some other source. If you think you will need more than 1,000,000 CPU core hours per annum, please contact our support team for assistance.


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