There are several pathways available for researchers and educators to apply to use Blue Waters for their work.

National Science Foundation

At least 80 percent of the capacity of Blue Waters--about 150 million node-hours each year--is available to scientists and engineers across the country through the National Science Foundation's Petascale Computing Resource Allocation program. Next proposal due date: Nov. 13, 2015.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Up to 7 percent of the computing capacity of Blue Waters—about 13 million node-hours each year—is reserved for faculty and staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For application detiails, visit Next proposal due date: March 15, 2016

A portion of the University of Illinois Blue Waters allocation is being made available to the Blue Waters professors. For more details see

Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation

Up to 2 percent is available to researchers whose institutions are members of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation. For more information visit: or the GLCPC website.


Up to 1 percent of the Blue Waters compute capacity—or 1.8 million node-hours per year—is available for educators and students. For application details, visit


NCSA's industry partners and industry partners of any of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation institutions also have opportunities to use Blue Waters. To apply for a Blue Waters industry allocation visit,

Innovation and Exploration

Up to 5 percent is available for innovation and exploration of new uses for high performance computation and data analysis. For application details, visit

Allocation Policies

Projects with multi-year awards may request that their unused node hour balance be carried over into the project's next allocation year subject to the following restrictions:

  •  The carry over amount will not be available to the project until the project completely exhausts the awarded allocation for that time period.
  •  Jobs submitted using carry-over time will be be scheduled to run only when there are no other runnable jobs or sessions able to be scheduled (lower priority than the lowest published priority)
  • Carry-over jobs may be preempted at any time if higher priority work becomes schedulable.
  • Carry-over jobs will not be eligible for charging discounts and will be always charged one node hour per node wall clock hour.
  •  The amount of the carry-over time will be determined by the unused allocation amount minus either the charged or actual usage, whichever results in a lower carry-over amount.
  •  Unused time can only be carried forward one allocation period.

Projects in their final allocation period may request an extension from their program manager to be determined on a case by case basis. Projects may not transfer any unused balance to any other project.