Allocations and Accounts

The Ohio Supercomputer Center provides cycles to both academic and industrial clients. The methods for gaining access to the systems are different for each user community.

Primarily, our users are Ohio-based and academic, and the vast majority of our cycles will continue to be consumed by Ohio-based academic users. Those cycles are allocated to academic PIs via an allocations process overseen by the Statewide Users Group, which evaluates applications via a peer review process. There are two basic classes of academic allocations:

  1.  an allocation of a number of resource units (RUs) that never expire
  2.  an annual allocation process that awards an RU allocation for the upcoming calendar year. The annual allocation process is designed for "discovery level" users, who consistently consume large amounts of resources, and allow the Allocations Committee to better allocate the limited Center resources.

Other users (non-Ohio academic or industrial/commercial) interested in using Center resources may purchase cycles at a rate set by the expected total consumption. Expert consulting support is also available.

You may find more information about "RU" calculation and charging here.

  Ohio Academic Other
  Rolling Annual Rolling
Duration Unlimited 1 year Unlimited
Allocation Approval SUG SUG OSC Director
Call for Proposals At any time November At any time
  Apply [By invitation] Apply

For users interested in gaining access to larger resources, please contact OSC Help. We can assist you in applying for resources at an NSF or XSEDE site.

Once a project has been created, the PI can create accounts for users by contacting OSC Help to add existing users to that project

I need to add authorized users to my project

Please contact OSC Help. We require PI approval. 

I need additional resources for my existing project

If you already have a project, but are running low on allocated resources, you can click on the links above for your project type to request additional resources.

See our Project Application page for more information. 

I wish to use OSC to support teaching a class

We provide special classroom allocations for this purpose. You may apply here. See our Project Application page for more information. 

I don't think I fit in the above categories

Please contact us.

Managing Your Account

Once your account is set-up, you will receive a welcome letter from us containing your username and instructions for setting up your account.

MyOSC, one of our web portals, provides services to OSC users, including:

  • Password changes and resets for your HPC accounts
  • Changing your UNIX shell
  • Updating your email address
  • Tracking your project(s) balance​

Note: HPC password changes and resets take 3-5 minutes to process. If you attempt to login with your new password, you will receive an error. Too many failed login attempts results in your account being automatically locked for 5 minutes.


Are the answers you're looking for not here? Contact OSC Help


Managing Your Project

Principal Investigators of OSC projects are responsible for updating their authorized user list, their outside funding sources, and their publications and presentations that cite OSC. All of these tasks can be accomplished by contacting OSC Help with the information. PIs are also responsible for monitoring their project's Resource Unit balance and for submitting a proposal to the Allocations Committee of the Statewide Users Group before the balance goes negative. Projects with negative balances are subject to restrictions, causing submitted jobs to have lower priority in the queue. We have a resource page for your convenience. 

Allocation managment for Ohio-based academic projects

Eligible Principal Investigators must be tenure-track faculty members or permanent research scientists at Ohio colleges or universities. All other researchers, such as postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students, may be authorized users under a project led by an eligible PI.

Principal Investigators who plan to submit a proposal for additional resource units should have the following information ready when they fill out the application form:

  • names, departments, affiliations, and email addresses of new authorized users
  • names and email address of two or three suggested peer reviewers
  • document with performance reports and justification for request
  • electronic version of resume/CV
  • list of publications and presentations that cite OSC
  • proposal text
  • document with other pertinent information (optional)

Send a query to or to if you require more detailed information concerning the application process.

Once a proposal has been approved for peer review, any restrictions that have been accrued due to a negative balance will be lifted. The Allocations Committee meets every other month (even-numbered months), and awards are made after the meeting.

Account Maintenance and Usage: Please use MyOSC to update your password, shell, and check usage on the project. The command OSCusage will also provide usage details. 

Allocation managment for purchased cycles

Please disregard any RU messages or instructions to apply for additional resources. If you have any billing questions, please consult your contact at OSC or inquire with OSC Help.



Project Applications

Application if you are based at an Ohio Academic Institution

Statewide academic allocation of computing resources and services is a peer-reviewed account process governed by the Allocations Committee of the Statewide Users Group and subject to the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) Code of Ethics for Academic Users.  Ohio Academic Clients are eligible for highly subsidized access to OSC resources, with fees generally only being charged above certain resource thresholds.  These clients must submit a proposal that is potentially peer-reviewed and/or approved by their host insitution.  More information is available here.

The procedures described enable services to be available to approved projects conducted by eligible principal investigators (PIs) at Ohio academic institutions. In order to be an eligible PI at OSC, you must be eligible to hold PI status at your college, university, or research organization administered by an Ohio academic institution (i.e., be a full-time, permanent academic researcher or tenure-track faculty member at an Ohio college or unviersity). Students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scientists, and others who wish to use the facilities may be authorized users on projects headed by an eligible PI. Once a PI has received their project information, he/she can contact OSC Help to add new authorized user(s) to a project at any time.

All first-time PIs must submit a signature page (electronically or hard copy). Please send a copy of the signature page to the attention of the Allocations Committee, OSC, 1224 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43212.

OSC's online project application is part of an electronic system that leads you through the process step by step. Before you begin to fill in the application form, especially if you are new to the process, look at the Project Application Help page. From this help page, please note the required materials for each request. Have all information and materials (suggested reviewer names and addresses, proposal text file names, etc.) at hand before you begin the application form. You can save a partially completed project application form for later use. As a reminder, you cannot re-submit application materials if they have already been used. 

Online Project and Account Application Form (NEW OSC PI)
Online Project Application Form (EXISTING PI)
Classroom Project Application Form (use our resources and software in the classroom)

If you need assistance, please contact OSC Help.

Application if you are NOT based at an Ohio Academic Institution

Researchers from business, non-Ohio academic, nonprofit or other organizations who wish to use the OSC's resources should complete the Other Client request form available here. All clients not affiliated with an Ohio academic institution must sign a service agreement, provide a $500 deposit, and pay for resource usage per a standard price list.

Add a new user

Please submit your request to OSC Help or use our online submission form. For reference, we will need the following:

Full Name:
If not U.S. Citizen, country of citizenship:
Email address:
Special Requests?

Letter of Commitment for Outside Funding Proposals

OSC will provide a letter of commitment users can include with their account proposals for outside funding, such as from the Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation (limited to standard text, per NSF policy), etc. This letter details OSC's commitment to supporting research efforts of its users and the facilities and platforms we provide our users. [Note: This letter does not waive the normal OSC account application process; it merely states that OSC is willing to support such application.] The information users must provide for the letter is:

  • address to which the letter should be directed (e.g. NSF, Department, mailing address)
  • name of funding agency's representative
  • name of the proposal, as well as names and home institutions of the Co-PIs
  • number of RUs per year you would apply for if you were to receive funding
  • number of years of proposed research
  • solicitation number

Send e-mail with your request for the commitment letter to OSC Help or submit online. We will prepare a draft for your approval and then we will send you the final PDF for your proposal submission. Please allow at least two working days for this service.

Letter of Support for Outside Funding Proposals

Letters of support may be subject to strict and specific guidelines, and may not be accepted by your funding agency.

If you need a letter of support, please see above "Letter of Commitment for Outside Funding Proposals". 

Applying at NSF Centers

Researchers requiring additional computing resources should consider applying for allocations at National Science Foundation Centers. For more information, please write to, and your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate staff member.:

We require you cite OSC in any publications or reports that result from projects supported by our services.