Getting an Education Allocation on Jetstream

Jetstream allocations are awarded exclusively through the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). XSEDE provides XSEDE User Portal (XUP) accounts free of charge. XSEDE allocations require that the Principal Investigator (PI) be a US-based researcher. 

A guide with more detail on Jetstream allocations is available online at

You'll need a copy of your CV, the course syllabus, and a resource justification. The latter is basically figuring the size of the VM your students will need, the number of weeks they'll need it, and the number of students. An example of the resource selection is below.

You'll first need to create an XSEDE Portal Account if you do not already have one:

Create an XSEDE Portal Account
  1. Go to
  2. Click "Create Account" on the left side of your screen. 
  3. Fill out the form and click Submit. 
  4. Upon receipt of the email notification click the link in the email to verify your account and set your username and password. If the link doesn't work, go to, click "Sign In" and then select "Verify Account" under the "Other Sign In Options".
  5. Following account verification, if not already logged in, go to, click "Sign In" and sign in with the username and password set in the verification step.
  6. You will be asked to read and accept the User Responsibilities form. This form outlines acceptable use to protect shared resources and intellectual property.
Apply for an XSEDE Education Allocation
  1. Read the Allocations Overview. There are sample allocation requests in the overview that you may find helpful.
  2. Go to On the Available Opportunities page, click "Start a New Submission" under "Educational". If you are not familiar with the process, select "Begin Guided Submission" for step-by-step instructions.
  3. Before submitting an allocation request have the following information available:
    • PI, Co-PIs, and Allocation Managers (username)
    • Add additional users that will be able to use your allocation time and resources (optional)
    • Title
    • Abstract (typically a paragraph or two for an Educational request will suffice)
    • Keywords
    • Field of science (secondary areas of science may be also be added)
    • Resources
      • Select "Jetstream IU/TACC" from the list.
      • Enter the number of SUs you'll need. The Virtual Machine Sizes and Configurations page can help you figure VM sizes needed. See the box below for a walkthrough of creating your resource justification.
      • Fill in number of Virtual Machines needed (this is an estimate for planning purposes – there's no wrong answer – try to best guess at how many instances you'll run at one time)
      • Fill in number of public IP addresses needed (same as above)
      • Select "Jetstream Storage". For Startup allocations, the block storage provided will be limited. By default, all Atmosphere users get 100gb of volume space in addition to any VM root disks, so if that's enough, you need not request Jetstream Storage and do not need to select it. 
    • Supporting documents - PDF format required
      • PI CV (2 page limit)
      • CoPI CV required for every CoPI added to request (2 page limit)
      • Syllabus
      • Resource Justification (see below)
    • Supporting Grants (Optional)
    • Publications of previous/supporting work (optional)

4. Submit allocation request. At this point, all entered information is validated, errors or omissions are flagged.

Allow 3-5 business days for your application to go through the approval process.

Detailed information about the allocation request process, with screenshots, is here,

Writing your resource justification

A resource justification is required for an Educational allocation. You'll need to explain how the resources will be used and for how long. A sample calculation for your SU request might be:

  • 16 week course
  • 20 students
  • m1.medium instance size (6 vCPU)

Planning for 24 hour/day usage -

6 vCPU (SUs) x 24 hours/day x 7 days x 16 weeks = 16,128 SUs/student x 20 students = 322,560 SUs

It would be standard practice to round that to 350,000 SUs for development time for the instructors plus instructor VMs during the duration of the course.

You'll also need to briefly explain why you chose the VM sizes that you did – what you expect each student to be running on those VMs. The Virtual Machine Sizes and Configurations page can help you figure VM sizes needed. A paragraph or two should suffice to cover this. 

If you have questions about the resource justification please do contact Jetstream Help via and we can assist you.