Acquiring Accounts and Project Resources

General Information


Preference for project requests will be given to projects led by University of Alaska faculity or staff members and arctic and high latitude related research. ARSC is not a general-purpose, academic computing center. Accounts for ARSC resources are granted to eligible researchers based upon their need for High Performance Computing (HPC) resources.

All users must read and abide by the User Policies governing the use of ARSC resources. Continued access to ARSC resources is contingent upon compliance with these policies.

ARSC is also an Open Research Center. This means all information processed on any ARSC system must be unclassified and publicly releasable.

Academic users must provide proof of affiliation with a University.

Account Lifetime

Accounts at ARSC can be in one of three states:

  • Active - The user has full access to the account and associated resources.
  • Inactive - The user is unable to login to the account. However, no data is removed from the system.
  • Disabled - The user's home directory and all archived data is removed (unless that data has been transferred to another user).

Accounts are initially created for all systems, but are only in an active status on those systems requested by the user. Accounts can be Active on some systems and Inactive on others. Accounts must be renewed during annual re-registration. If an account is not renewed during the re-registration period it will be placed in an inactive status. Other conditions that may lead to inactivation are:

  • Non-use of the account for 180 consecutive days
  • Violations of ARSC policy
  • Requests by the user or principal investigator
  • Termination of the project and/or class

Accounts are eligible to be disabled if they have not been registered for the current Fiscal Year and have been in an inactive status on all ARSC systems for at least 6 months. Please note that ARSC will never remove an account without giving ample, prior warning to the user and/or PI. If desired, PIs can request the transfer of data from the account to be disabled to another project member's account.

For information on how to return an inactive or disabled account to an active status, please contact ARSC User Support .

Required Documentation

In order to activate any account on an ARSC system, every user is required to:

  1. Apply for an account
  2. Complete the Information Assurance Awareness training
  3. Provide proof of affiliation with a University
  4. Sign and submit a Account Agreement form

Information Assurance Awareness (IAA) Training

ARSC requires all users to complete Information Assurance Awareness (IAA) training.

ARSC Account Agreement

As an Open Research Center, ARSC does not allow the processing of sensitive or classified data
on any of our systems. The Account Agreement form contains this restriction,
therefore all ARSC users must sign the form and agree to the Open Research directive.

Types of Applicants

Academic Applicants

Eligible Applicants

Resources are granted to projects and not to individuals. Each project must have a designated Principal Investigator (PI). PIs may apply for a project resource grant, using the

Resource Grant Application

You may apply as a PI if you are:

  • A full-time faculty or staff member in a University of Alaska department with a research or academic focus
  • A local Alaskan researcher (or a colleague of one) performing non-commercial, scientific research of arctic interest
  • A qualified faculty member or researcher from an academic institution outside of the University of Alaska system as long as the project has well defined collaboration with University of Alaska faculty and/or staff.

Students requesting an account must seek the partnership of a qualified faculty researcher in order to gain access to ARSC resources. For example, a UAF faculty research member can apply for an ARSC resource grant as the PI, and the student is added to the project by submitting a User ID Application form.

The PI of a project is the manager of the users and resources associated with the project and is the person held primarily responsible for all associated project activity. The PI can allow collaborators to perform work with his/her project data, but not login using the PI's User ID. Additional User IDs can be granted for a project by submitting a User ID Application.

If you are new to supercomputing or you are beginning a new project, contact ARSC User Support for assistance in determining an initial allocation of CPU hours. You can use these hours to optimize your code and obtain accurate estimates for the CPU and storage resources needed to complete your project.

Note that we cannot guarantee the availability of hours for your request. All allocations are reviewed by an ARSC allocation committee prior to approval. Contact ARSC User Support if you have questions about the allocation process.

Available Resources

Applicants may request a user account on any of ARSC’s platforms and must specify which systems are necessary in order to perform their research. If access to additional systems is needed following the initial project application, contact ARSC User Support.

How to apply

Please complete the following:

  1. Resource Grant Application (for new projects only).  This form requests a new project and includes information gathered regarding the project Principal Investigator, any additional researchers, and the resource requirements. 
  2. User ID Application This form should be completed when applying for a new ARSC user account.  A separate User ID Application must be submitted for each member of the project.
  3. Account Agreement This form acknowledges that each user has read, understood, and agrees to the policies and procedures of ARSC. Every user must submit a signed Account Agreement via mail, fax or in person, before their account is activated on any ARSC system.
  4. Proof of affiliation with a University. For example, a new applicant can provide a web URL to a University's staff or student directory containing the applicant's name and title.
  5. Information Assurance Awareness All ARSC users must demonstrate an awareness of the safety and security of electronic data and devices.

Class Accounts

Class Accounts are available to provide ARSC resources in support of courses in the UA curriculum. The Academic Class Application form should be filled out by the instructor.


ARSC encourages University of Alaska (UA) professors to teach vector and parallel programming, visualization, and other appropriate topics using ARSC resources.

ARSC, UA, and the State of Alaska all stand to benefit as students and graduates exhibit technical expertise in the use of cutting-edge computing resources. The students, of course, also benefit from first-hand exposure to HPC resources.

Definitions / Course Project

An ARSC project account with a professor or instructor as principal investigator (PI) and students as additional users. The course project provides access to ARSC's visualization resources, access labs, including High Performance Computing (HPC) resources if the instructor desires. The course project exists for the duration of the course.

Student Account

Each student in the approved course will be granted an ARSC UserID. The UserID will only be valid during the semester in which the class meets unless the student joins a regular, permanent ARSC project account.

Setup Process

  1. The professor requests a course project by filling out an Academic Class Account Application form.

    A student of the class is eligible for an ARSC account only if he/she is registered with UA for the course. This may include degree seeking or non-degree seeking students. It may include students taking the course for credit or audit.

    • All students who need an account should be listed on this form.
    • If a user account is also needed for the instructor, then the instructor needs to fill out the normal UserID Application form.
    • The professor may apply for the course project when convenient. For example: following the drop/add period when the complete list of students should be known. Please note, however, that a lead-time of 3-4 business days is needed for the creation of the class and student accounts.
  2. The application is reviewed by ARSC User Support.
  3. If approved, a project is created for the course. Its name is based on the course department and number. For instance: CS310 . For courses spanning multiple semesters, e.g., CS310 and CS410 , or for courses providing either undergraduate or graduate credit, e.g., CS405/CS605 , the lower course number will be used. For instance, CS310 or CS405 . Existing course projects may be reused from semester to semester.
  4. Students accessing ARSC systems must read and sign an ARSC Account Agreement.
  5. Account home directories have disk quotas assigned, however additional storage is available. Please see our Storage Management page for more information about file storage options available at ARSC.
  6. A Unix permission group equivalent to the course project name is created and all students in the project are put into the group.

Maintenance During the Semester

The professor may add students to his/her course project at any time by submitting an email message to ARSC User Support with the following:

  • Full name of the student
  • The student UA Username
  • E-mail
  • Does student have an existing ARSC account (yes/no)?

The professor may remove students from his/her course project at any time on request to ARSC User Support.

ARSC requests that students discuss basic user issues and other problems with their professor, first. He or she may already have the solution, or may pass the question on to ARSC User Support. We encourage professors to inform their entire class of solutions and issues, and to help facilitate communication between students and ARSC.

Inactivation and Account Deletion

All associated student accounts are placed in an inactive status upon the end of the semester and are deleted from all systems no later than two weeks following the last day of finals for the semester in which the course ends. At this time the course project is placed in an inactive status.

  • Exceptions :
    • If the course spans both fall and spring semesters, the project and accounts remain active through the winter break. Account inactivation/deletion occurs following the spring semester finals.
    • If a student is a member of one or more permanent (non-course) projects in addition to the course project, his/her UserID remains active for the other projects only.

A professor may request at any time or for any reason, that a member (student) of his/her project be inactivated. Please direct these requests to ARSC User Support

Professors should notify ARSC User Support immediately when a student member of his/her course project drops the course so that ARSC User Support may remove the student from the project. If this is the student's only project, then the student's User ID will be deleted as well.

Students who wish to continue their research following the inactivation of their student account must obtain a regular ARSC user account prior to the end of the semester.

ARSC reserves the right to inactivate (e.g. prevent access to ARSC resources) any user, without notice, if it suspects that someone is attempting to circumvent ARSC security measures, compromise the system, gain access to other user accounts, or otherwise use ARSC resources inappropriately. All incidents will be investigated by one or more ARSC Information System Security Officers.

Professor and Student Responsibilities

Every user of ARSC systems, including UA students and professors, must follow ARSC's Security Policy.

The professor must notify ARSC User Support when a student member of his/her course project drops the course.

In accordance with the ARSC Security Policy, professors and students must notify ARSC User Support immediately of any incident involving ARSC systems' security.

Professors are requested to notify ARSC with plenty of advance notice about special hardware or software requirements for classes.

Department of Defense Applicants

Please visit the Open Research Systems website for information on HPCMP accounts.

Commercial or Federal/State Government Applicants

ARSC offers customizable partnerships for Commercial, Federal and State agencies. Please contact Greg Newby, ARSC Director, for more information:

Greg Newby
Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
PO Box 756020
Fairbanks AK 99775-6020
phone: (907) 450-8663

Commercial applicants with an established relationship with ARSC use the same application process as Academic applicants. Please refer to the policies and forms listed under the Academic Applicants section of this page.

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