What is HPC?

HPC or high performance computing is the application of the world’s fastest computers (super computers) to computationally intensive problems. Some common applications include astrophysics, climatology, health sciences, biomedical science, and engineering.

What are the benefits of HPC?

HPC is of vital importance to many research scientists working in diverse fields. It allows us to simulate and observe events it would otherwise be impossible to witness, such as the birth of stars, the interaction of subatomic particles, the intricacies of the human brain and many more. HPC is often viewed as the third pillar of science in conjunction with theory and experimentation.

What is PRACE?

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. It has 25 member countries (February 2015) whose representative organisations are creating a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for large-scale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.

Why is PRACE running Summer of HPC?

PRACE wishes to inspire and encourage the next generation of software engineers, system administrators, and general users of HPC systems in order to keep Europe at the forefront of supercomputing.

What is Summer of HPC?

Summer of HPC is a programme that will offer undergraduate and junior postgraduate university students the opportunity to spend two months of the summer at a HPC centre, in a PRACE partner country. Students will undertake a visualisation project, based on the outcomes from PRACE technical work or other work using PRACE resources.

What are the aims of the programme?

The programme aims to ensure a positive experience for all students and to encourage them in their path to become the next generation of HPC students. The programme aims to produce videos and visualisations to use in outreach activities. The programme also aims to generate interest in HPC and PRACE through social media.

Who should apply?

Students over the age of 18 who are registered in an academic institution in European Union Member States or Associated Countries and PRACE member countries are eligible to apply. Late stage undergraduates or early stage postgraduates, with some coding experience and an interest in HPC are the desired applicants. A visual flair and/or an interest in blogging or social media are advantageous. Application instructions will be available on this website on January 13th, 2016.

Who are the PRACE partner Countries?

PRACE has 25 members, representing Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.

How long is the programme?

The programme lasts for two months. It runs from July 4th to August 31st 2015 inclusive.

What costs are covered? Are participants paid?

All participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses (subject to a cap). Accommodation will be provided for participants. A daily allowance for living expenses is payable to participants. There is no salary associated with this programme.

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Who is eligible?

Any student, over the age of 18, who is registered at a European institution, is eligible to apply.

Are final year students eligible?

Final Year students are eligible, as long as they are registered students at the time of application.

What is involved in the application?

The application will consist of an application form,  and a CV.

Can I apply to be placed in my home country?

Students cannot apply to be placed in the country in which they currently study. If you do not study in your home country you are eligible to apply for placement there.

Will there be an interview?

Some sites may interview applicants. These interviews will likely take place over Skype during late spring.

Where can I find out more about the projects?

Further details can be asked in the projects preview time, before application starts. Post any questions to programme coordinator sohpc@hpc.fs.uni-lj.si and not to project mentors. Clarification will be posted on the project page in question.

Where can I find the code test that is to be completed with the application?

The Code Test is presented the Registration Form (application page) where you need to attach the reslting code and paste output at submission.

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Who chooses the projects?

The projects are chosen by the host sites.

When are projects due?

The projects are due in the final week of the programme. Participants will present them to their host site and each other.

Who will I work with?

Each participant will be assigned a Project Mentor with whom they will work closely on their project. Additional domain experts may be made available to work with participants.

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What kind of support will be made available to me?

Participants will have access to a Project Mentor on site to support them in their day-to-day needs on the project. Participants will also have access to a Site Co-ordinator on site who will support them with any non-technical issues. Participants will participate in a weekly phone conference with other participants across Europe and a support co-ordinator to discuss progress and highlight any issues. In addition participants will have access to a support forum.

What information can you give me about the final reports?

The final reports are written in a popular scientific style. Usually two or three pages in a multicolumn format with figures. The purpose of these reports is to present your summer work to the general public and compete for one of the awards. Adittionally, short videos/presentations are created to demonstrate your work. For all that, support from mentors and programme coordinator will be given. Initial training week at JSC includes one day visualisation and other tools of the trade.

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Does Summer of HPC have a social media presence?

Announcements and information regarding the programme are available on the following sites.

SoHPC website: visit us at www.summerofhpc.prace-ri.eu,
Twitter: follow us at www.twitter.com/summerofHPC #SoHPC
Facebook: Like us at www.facebook.com/SummerOfHPC

What social media activities will students participate in.

The Summer of HPC program is, in its essence, an outreach program, making social media an important part of the program. During the course of the program, students are required to write blogs posts about their experience and projects, which will be published here, on the Summer of HPC website. Students are strongly encouraged to be creative when creating these posts and also when promoting them on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.


During the course of the summer, participants are required to write at least 3 blogs pertaining to their experiences and the projects they are working on, which will be used by PRACE on the Summer of HPC website. This posts should be contain unique content and contain media elements, whether it includes pictures, videos, or something else. These posts should focus mainly on the projects and the work students are doing.

For some ideas of what the blogs should look like, check out the links below for some of the best blogs from last year’s participants!

Check out Alberto’s post ‘How to work at Jülich in a nutshell‘, Sergio’s post ‘Wi-Fi Planner, a breakthrough in gaming history‘, and Mircea’s post ‘Parallel boundary point method: Matlab has surrendered to C++!’.

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Where will I live?

Participants will be housed in prearranged accommodation near to the host site. Should you be successful in your application, you will be able to discuss further details with your host site before accepting your place.

Who will I live with?

Depending on site you may live with other students or other site visitors. Should you be successful in your application, you will be able to discuss further details with your host site before accepting your place.

Will I have to pay for accommodation?

Accommodation costs will be covered.

Can I arrange my own accommodation?

Accommodation will be arranged for you at no cost. Should you be successful in your application, and wish to arrange alternative accommodation you should discuss it with you host site before accepting your place.

Will I have Internet access?

All (placement) sites will have Internet access. It is expected that home Internet access will be provided but may be dependent on location. Should you be offered a place on the programme, please check with your site Co-ordinator.

Will I have access other facilities?

Other facilities e.g. laundry, telephone, television etc. are location dependent. Should you be offered a place on the programme, please check with your site Co-ordinator.

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What costs does the programme cover?

The programme covers accommodation, travel & living costs in the form of a stipend.

How much will the stipend be?

The stipend will vary depending on placement location. It will be enough to cover food and living expenses in that country for the duration of the programme. Should you be successful in your application, you will be able to discuss further details with your host site before accepting your place.

Do I need a visa?

Visas may be required depending on nationality and placement location. Support in getting a visa will be provided by the host site through a letter of invitation. EU nationals going to EU countries do not require visas.

Will visa fees be covered?

Application fees for visas will be reimbursed.

Do I need travel insurance or health insurance?

We recommend that you take out travel insurance, many companies offer “working holiday” coverage for students. Health insurance may be required for a Visa, please check your specific case with the relevant embassy should you be offered a place. Participants with EU nationality should obtain a European Health Insurance Card. http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559

How will the stipend and travel expenses be paid?

Individual host sites will arrange disbursements. Should you be successful in your application, you will be able to discuss further details with your host site before accepting your place.

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Who will own the IP to the projects?

Foreground Intellectual Property will be held by PRACE.

Who will own the copyright to the blog?

PRACE will retain the copyright to all material posted to the blog, YouTube Channel or other social media.

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Can I apply with a friend?

Currently we cannot accommodate joint applications.

Can I receive university credit for this programme?

University credit is not available.

Is this related to recruitment?

This is not a recruitment related programme. However many sites do have additional visitor programmes, postgraduate programmes or research positions that may interest you.

Can I get a reference?

References are at the discretion of Project Mentors and/or Site Co-ordinators.

Can I temporary leave the program?

In agreement with project mentor and site coordinator students can temporary leave SoHPC program for a few days on their personal cost due to justified absence (family matters, graduation day, etc.).

My question isn’t in the FAQ, where can I get more information?

Please direct any additional questions to sohpc@hpc.fs.uni-lj.si