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Delta Proposal Guidelines

A project proposal should be 4-6 pages (excluding references), and contain the following:

  1. Name(s) of Illinois PI and Co-PIs and if applicable, name(s) of collaborators and their institutions.
  2. Project Abstract
  3. Project Overview (General proposals only)
  4. Target Problem
  5. Description of Code(s)
  6. Experience, Readiness, Usage Plans and Funding Source(s)
  7. Resources Required
  8. Requested Start Date and Duration
  9. References

Explanations and guidelines are described in detail below.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator must be a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty or staff member. Multiple co-PIs may be listed and they may be students, postdocs, or faculty/staff members from Illinois or other institutions. Young investigators are encouraged to apply. Only one Principal Investigator should be listed for each proposal.  The proposal should include the PI and co-PIs names, title, department, university, and contact information.

Project Abstract

A one-paragraph (about 150 words) project summary including why Delta is necessary for this activity.  This summary may be shared with the community on the Delta website.

Project Overview (for General Proposals)

For general allocations, include a one-page overview of the project that describes the science/engineering problem to be solved and the computational approach, including challenges. Also describe the possible scientific impact to the specific field of science or to the greater scientific community. This overview may be shared with the community on the Delta website.

Target Problem

A description of the specific research question(s) that the resources requested will be used to answer and the scientific and societal impact of the proposed work. Include an explanation of why a resource of the capability that Delta represents is necessary to address this research. 

Description of Code(s)

Describe the structure of the application codes that you intend to use. These may either currently exist, might require enhancement, or they may be in development. Include descriptions of any novel computational or data driven approaches. Please include details about the algorithms involved and the approach that you intend to use to ensure that the code performs effectively on the Delta GPU-centric architecture. Describe how your code(s) will use each of the major system elements: the memory hierarchy, the communications network, the computational elements, GPU nodes, and the I/O subsystem. Identify which system element(s) is/are likely to be the main bottlenecks and how the design of your application minimizes the impact of these bottlenecks. Describe how you intend to analyze the output resulting from your use of Delta. IMPORTANT: Please describe any run-time libraries or special system software or program development environment features required.

Experience, Readiness, Usage Plans and Funding Source(s)

Briefly describe your experience with using other HPC systems. Include the current state of readiness of the application codes that you intend to use and your plans for developing these to the point where they are ready to run in production mode on the Delta system. Evidence of suitability for running on Delta may include data on the efficiency of the application or evidence of running on other GPU resources. 

Provide an estimated schedule. The estimate should be per quarter and may be represented as a percent of the requested allocation (e.g. Q1: 10%, Q2: 20%, Q3: 50%, Q4: 20%). It would be best to plan to use most of the time by the end of Q3 and not plan to use time in the final quarter, Q4 since many allocations will be trying to complete their usage.

The Delta project is tasked with efficient utilization of the Delta system and accordingly reserves the right to age out and scale back allocations if their utilization rate is very low. However, the project understands that research time availability varies across the academic calendar and will consult with the PI before taking such steps.

Please identify the source(s), amount(s) and duration of existing funding that is supporting the development of your application. If not currently funded, please describe how you intend to support any required development work.

Resources Required

Describe the resources required to complete research on the Target Problem. This description should include the amount and type of each Delta allocatable resource needed for your runs (Delta CPU in core-hours, Delta GPU in A100 gpu-hours, and Delta Storage),  the anticipated input and output requirements, the amount of data that you anticipate transferring to or from Delta, the amount and type of storage required and any other system resource needs that you anticipate. As Delta is a GPU-centric resource CPU-only requests are discouraged. For a description of the default storage quotas see:

Requested Start Date and Duration

For general allocations, the default duration is 12 months. If you believe your project can be completed in less time, please indicate as such (e.g. 6 months). All projects should include the desired start date for the allocation.


Include references related to the work at the end of the proposal as part of the main document.

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