ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC)

The call for the ALCC 2021-2022 allocation year is expected to open November 16, 2020. 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, that respond to National emergencies, 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 2020-21 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, respond to National emergencies, and 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, very large projects are encouraged to apply to the INCITE allocation program. Projects that request more than 25% of the available resources at any facility will be considered nonresponsive and may be declined without review.

Scientific discovery advanced by ALCC allocations range across the DOE mission space such as energy efficient engineering, computer science, materials and chemical sciences, geosciences and energy-related biosciences,  biological and environmental sciences, computational fluid dynamics, high energy and nuclear physics, cosmology, the design and control of scientific user facilities and experiments at these facilities, nuclear energy, fossil energy and renewable energy. (See ALCC Past Awards and ALCC FAQ.) 

ALCC Resources

ALCC allocates high performance computing time on the primary HPC machines at each ASCR facility. For the 2021-22 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 2021-2022

  • We are requiring a pre-proposal for all proposals, to permit better planning for reviews and to quickly identify projects that are nonresponsive or not well suited for the available resources. The pre-proposal is required and will be used to encourage or discourage submission of full proposals. The ALCC call opens November 16, 2020. Pre-proposals are due January 4, 2021 at 5:00PM (Eastern Time) and will receive a decision by Jan 15, 2021. The application site will pre-populate the Pre-proposal information for approved projects into the proposal site, which will open on Jan 18, 2021. Full proposals are due February 26, 2021 at 5:00PM (Eastern Time).
  • The link is ALCC Application Dashboard
  • Detailed instructions for the Pre-proposal 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 the Pre-proposal and proposal sections
  • Criteria for review of proposals may be found in the new sidebar link ALCC Review Questions
  • End Station and Consortium proposals will no longer be accepted.

See side bar for more ALCC information links.