Statement of Imperial College's support for Research Computing

Imperial College makes a strategic annual investment in excess of £4 million in research computing in recognition of its broad utility to the whole academic community. The Research Computing Service, as part of the College's central ICT Department, administers this investment providing a high-quality, free at the point of use, service encompassing access to compute, research data storage, training and professional research software engineering services. The Service has almost 2000 active users, representing over 50% of the College's active research projects. 

The RCS's compute estate is tailored to support the diverse computing needs of the research community, from high-thoughput capacity (30k cores) to high-end capability (17k cores), the latter providing a complement to national Tier-1 resources. Supporting this is a high-capacity research data system (6PB capacity, in commissioning) appropriate for storage of data through all stages of its lifecycle. The RCS is working towards ISO-certification of the RDS for the secure storage of sensitive data. The Service's equipment is housed in a modern ISO 27001-certified commercial data-centre providing secure, highly reliable hosting. 

Imperial College researchers benefit from significant resource allocation free at the point of use. Where a project's needs exceed the Service's standard offering, compute and storage is available at flexible, low-cost metered rates. 

Additionally, the RCS provides regular training for Service users at all levels of experience, but with particular emphasis on training for early-career researchers, equipping them with the board skillset required for effective research computing. A recent strategic development for the RCS is the creation of a Research Software Engineering team staffed by professional engineers and available for expert, in-depth consultancy to research projects through both short and long-term engagements. 

Costing for Grants

  • See Urgent and on-demand computing for costings for compute time.
  • RDS Data storage rates will be published soon
  • Research Software Engineering consultancy is available at a rate of £430/day
  • We ask that researchers preparing proposals including RCS services also include a professional services fee of £430 per researcher per annum, as a contribution to our user support and training 

RCS Services will soon be available within InfoEd