Uppsala Multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computational Science

Applying for a SNIC SENS project

SNIC SENS provides a secure cluster environment for the analysis of sensitive personal data, mainly from large-scale molecular experiments. The compute cluster is called Bianca, and the storage systems are called Castor and Cygnus. 

If you are uncertain whether Bianca is the right system for you, read this FAQ page.

A SNIC SENS project includes both compute (Bianca) resources and storage (Castor/Cygnus) resources. Please make sure to add both types of resource to your proposal before submitting.

SNIC SENS, like all SNIC projects, are open for applications from researchers affiliated with Swedish institutions of higher education. International collaborators may become members of a project.

Submitting a SNIC SENS proposal

  1. Estimate how much raw data you're expecting to need to store during the upcoming year, in GB.
    • If you're going to work from existing databases, this is relatively straightforward.
    • If an NGS platform is producing data for you, they can provide an estimate.​
  2. Estimate the "expansion factor", i.e. how much additional data you'll produce when analyzing the raw data. This number is usually 1.5x-3x, sometimes more.
  3. Calculate a final estimate of your total storage needs. This is "GB of raw data" times "expansion factor".
  4. Figure out how much computation time you will need, in core-hours per month. 
    • If your usage history doesn't reflect the future you expect, try to make an estimate — a rule of thumb is that you consume on average 1000 core-hours per month for every 2 TB of data (1 TB = 1000 GB) in your project.
    • Note that this value is a monthly allocation.
  5. Go to SUPR. Log in.
  6. Go to the SNIC SENS Small round (< 20 TB total, < 10 kch/month) or the SNIC SENS Medium round (> 20 TB total, > 10 kch/month). Create a new proposal.
  7. Complete the proposal and submit.
    1. Project Title should be the topic of your activity.
    2. Edit Basic Information.
      • Abstract should summarise your research plan, and include a description of the data you are going to store. Show how you estimated your projected needs (in step 4). State clearly what is considered sensitive personal data (if you have no sensitive personal data, this is the wrong project type for you).
    3. Add co-investigators (if any).
    4. If someone other than the PI needs control over the project, assign a co-investigator the role of proxy.
    5. Add resources to your proposal:
      1. Add the Castor /proj resource and set the Requested Capacity to your amount of raw data. You may ignore the other fields.
      2. Add the Castor /proj/nobackup resource and set the Requested Capacity to your estimated total minus your raw data. You may ignore the other fields.
      3. Add the Bianca resource and set the Requested Capacity to the thousands of core-hours/month you estimated
    6. Submit the Proposal.