Tier 2 High Performance Computing Services

Tier-2 High Performance Computing (HPC) services are a significant feature in the UK’s landscape of research and innovation infrastructure. Together with the national Tier-1 service, the network of Tier-2 services act as a distributed national resource that provides a diverse range of expertise and technological capability. Collectively, Tier-2 services act as the interface between the highest capability national and international HPC services and underpinning layer of local computing provision in universities. In addition, Tier-2 services play a key role in enabling multi-disciplinary computational science, building software engineering expertise, and ensuring the UK is at the forefront of new technologies.

EPSRC’s strategy for Tier-2 provision therefore emphasises the need to support a diverse landscape of services that encompass a range of technologies, skills and expertise. By providing standardised and easy to access mechanisms, the Tier-2 services provide significant capacity to the UK research base.

This call is to invest in extending Tier-2 High Performance Computing (HPC) service provision, in recognition that the existing Tier-2 services may wish to seek a refresh or expansion of their hardware, and to support new services that address unmet user requirements or that will provide new capabilities for the UK research base.

All applications, whether relating to existing or new services, will be considered together and in competition with each other. They will be treated equally and assessed using the same assessment process and criteria. Applications are invited from individual institutions or consortia that have the capacity and capability to manage and operate HPC services. Funding is available to support Tier-2 services for a duration of 4 years. This consists of:

  • Up to £15m capital is available for the purchase of capital assets required for HPC service provision, including computer hardware, associated maintenance, and essential elements such as operating systems.
  • Up to £2.5m resource to support the operation of the capital assets referred to above, and as a contribution to service provision. This could include a contribution to power and systems administration costs, user support and software support. 

Applicants will be asked to complete a short intent to submit form before submitting a full proposal. Full proposals will be assessed by an independent panel of experts. Bids will not be subject to postal peer review. Applications will be sent to the panel for their comments and questions; these comments will be returned to applicants for their response. Applicants will then be invited for an interview with the panel.