Special Projects


What is a special project?

The RCGC (Research Computing Governance Committee) has approved support for "Special Projects" that use more than the standard allocation of hours. When a special project request is granted, an additional allocation of standard hours is provided for a limited period of time.   

There is not a specific definition of what comprises a project, but it is often support for publication or grant deadlines, or graduation dates. Each request is considered on a case by case basis.

Who can request a special project?

Project requests must be submitted by a PI; partly because the additional time granted will go to the allocation of the PI.

How are special projects requested?

Requests are submitted via a web form in the HPC user portal: https://portal.hpc.arizona.edu under Support / Requests.  Please include:

  • Number of additional standard hours needed for the special project
  • Duration of the Special Project in months
  • Reason for the temporary increase


  • All special project allocations are temporary

  • Special project allocations cannot be granted if they will impact the community of users with a standard allocation

  • PIs can only be granted a special project once within a 12 month period (starting from the ending period of the last special project)

    • PI groups that routinely need more standard computing hours should supplement their needs in other ways (e.g. buy-in, accessing national/international computing resources, etc)
    • The Research Computing group can help UA PIs access national-scale computing centers (e.g. ACCESS, TACC, Open Science Grid, etc)

Special Project Details

Special Project requests fall into three categories:

  • 10,000 hours per month or less: The majority of requests fall into this category. These requests provide a general statement of the need and are one month or less in duration. These requests are occasional and they can be granted automatically by UITS staff with minimal impact to windfall queue usage. This will be done at the discretion of the Research Technologies staff.

  • 10,000 to 100,000 hours per month: These requests must provide a defined number of hours and not to exceed 3 months. A defined statement of need (e.g. publication deadline) will be provided. These requests are occasional, and can be granted by Research Technologies staff after considering the researcher’s need, alternative ways to solve those needs, and assessing that there is no overall impact to the system.

  • Greater than 100,000 hours per month: These requests must provide a defined number of hours, defined duration not to exceed 6 months, and a defined statement of need (e.g. publication deadline). These requests required PIs to report back the results of their calculations (publications, conference presentations, etc) for potential inclusion in our online documentation. Benchmarking, profiling, or assessment of analyses run should also be provided to help the UA HPC understand how the additional computing time was used and ways that need can be met in the future without a special project. These requests will be forwarded to the HPC policies subcommittee of RCGC and require committee approval before being granted.