ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC)


The call for the ALCC 2020-2021 allocation year is expected to open October 1, 2019. There are a number of important changes for this year

ALCC Mission

The mission of the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) is to provide an allocation program for projects of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE) with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations in areas directly related to the DOE mission and for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources.

Current Awards

ALCC grants one year awards which are active from July 1 to June 30 of the following calendar year. For a listing of 2019-20 awarded projects see Current Awards . For awards from previous years see Past Awards  .

Overview of ALCC

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 supercomputing facilities. ASCR supercomputing facilities include 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 and to broaden community access to leadership computing facilities. To fulfill its goal of broadening community access, ALCC supports a wide range of project allocation sizes and allocates time across all three ASCR supercomputing facilities.

Scientific discovery advanced by ALCC allocations range across the DOE mission space such as energy efficient engineering, computer science, materials discovery, bioenergy, computational fluid dynamics, nuclear physics, cosmology, and nuclear energy. (See ALCC Past Awards.) 

ALCC Resources

ALCC allocates high performance computing time on the primary HPC machines at each ASCR facility. For 2020-21 ALCC, these resources include Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Theta at Argonne National Laboratory, and the Cori/KNL partition at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For a description of the computing resources at ASCR facilities, please see

What’s new for ALCC 2020-2021

  • We are requiring a Letter of Intent for all proposals, to permit better planning for reviews. The LOI is required, but is not binding and is not used to restrict or reject submission of full proposals. The ALCC call opens October 1, 2019. LOIs are due December 16. Full proposals are due February 3, 2020.
  • The new link is
  • Detailed instructions for LOI and proposals are in the new FAQ

  • Required content is described in the new Required Content for ALCC Proposals.     

  • Downloadable Word templates  are available for LOI and proposal sections

  • Criteria for review of proposals may be found in the new sidebar link ALCC Review Questions

See side bar for more ALCC information links.