Policy RCS-POL-01
Version 1.0
Status Approved
Date 05/04/2024

Imperial College London, ICT Research Computing Services (RCS) operates several platforms and services to support research activities.

1. Scope of Policy

  • 1.1   This Access Policy applies to all services provided by ICT Research Computing Services, including but not limited to high performance computing, interactive services, data storage and cloud provisioned services such as the Trusted Research Environment.
  • 1.2   This Access Policy is to ensure that all users agree to abide by a common set of access and usage requirements which are in place to ensure fair usage for all users. Such agreement is a requirement for using RCS facilities.
  • 1.3   This Access Policy is to enable ICT RCS to manage and control usage of services and act where appropriate / necessary to safeguard usage of RCS platforms and services.

2. Eligibility to Access Resources

  • 2.1   Imperial College London, via RCS, provides research computing resources for all Imperial College researchers and permanent staff. Categories of staff eligible to request accounts on RCS resources is maintained on the Imperial College website under Research Computing Services - Get Access.
  • 2.2   Researchers affiliated to the university or within the ICLHT (Imperial College London Hospital Trust) entities may also be eligible for access.
  • 2.3   You must be registered with RCS in order to access the services provided.
  • 2.4   Certain RCS provided services are charged for in line with TRAC based costings. Read our RCS charging structure web page for more information and advice.
  • 2.5   RCS is a research service. For 2024-2025, there will be minimal support for class teaching using RCS resources, and this will only be for activities previously known to the service, and for this academic year only. Research projects - including undergraduate and taught postgraduate - will not be affected.
  • 2.6   The HPC and RDF (Research Data Facility) services are general purpose computing and storage resources. If you are working with sensitive personal data, even if anonymised, please consult with the RCS Service Manager before commencing work. A TRE (Trusted Research environment) for those who need to process sensitive data is provided separately by RCS.
  • 2.7   RCS resources may be used for academic related commercial partnerships with prior agreement of the RCS leadership team. Restrictions on software licensing for academic use only may mean that commercial usage cannot be undertaken.

3. User Account Management

  • 3.1   All user accounts on RCS systems are linked to the university single sign on (SSO) system. Accounts as such are governed by the university’s terms and conditions of use for IT accounts.
  • 3.2   Account activation and de-activation are linked to university IT account management processes.
  • 3.3   On leaving the university an individual access to RCS resources is terminated in line with Imperial College IT user account management processes.
  • 3.4   All requests for modifications, updates, to IT user accounts must be made via the ICT Service Desk.
  • 3.5   Where usage of an RCS provided service is disrupted or at-risk of disruption due to the actions of a user, RCS reserves the right to suspend individual user access without warning.

4. Usage Charges: User account and Project account charges

  • 4.1   RCS provides free at the point of use access to a range of services which are defined on the RCS website.
  • 4.2   The default for additional paid services is for payment of services in advance through the purchase of service credits. Service credits do not expire. 
  • 4.3   Where service charges are applied retrospectively to meet funding requirements these will be charged to project accounts on a monthly/quarterly basis.
  • 4.4   Where project codes have expired or no longer have funds to pay for requested services, RCS applies the following procedures:
    • 4.4.1         (Compute) HPC services:  remove projects from the Express access queues.
    • 4.4.2         (Storage) RDS/RDF services: 
    • 4.4.3         3 months after project end date: Full Access (*quota applied based on last payment received).
    • 4.4.4         3-6 months after project end date: Read only access.
    • 4.4.5         6+ months after project end date: No access to data / data deletion.
    • 4.4.6         (Secure Compute and Data) TRE services: Access to environment removed.

5. Acknowledgements

  • 5.1   Users of the RCS services must acknowledge the use of RCS in any research output (publication, thesis, dataset, presentation, …) that contains results obtained using the RCS resources.
  • 5.2   When publishing articles or datasets, preparing Masters or PhD theses, based on research that's made use of RCS facilities, please acknowledge the service and include the following DOI: 10.14469/hpc/2232 either in acknowledgements or in references.
  • 5.3   Publications deposited in Symplectic (the university Research Information Management System used by Imperial) should link RCS as a facility.

    For example:

    "We acknowledge computational resources and support provided by the Imperial College Research Computing Service (http://doi.org/10.14469/hpc/2232)"

    This helps to demonstrate the impact of the investments made in the service, ensuring that the service has the resources to continue supporting research at Imperial.