Conditions of Use and Other Requirements

Researchers who wish to use the WestGrid systems must apply for a WestGrid user account, giving information to establish their identity and their intended usage, and users must agree to abide by the WestGrid Conditions of Use. The WestGrid account is given to an individual and is not to be shared or delegated.  Researchers must register in the CCDB (Compute Canada Database of researchers) and apply for WestGrid accounts from that website:

See the page Registering with the CCDB for full instructions.



WestGrid facilities are designated for Canadian researchers or those collaborating on Canadian research projects.

In general, any academic researcher from a Canadian research institution with significant high performance computing requirements to support his or her research may apply for an account on WestGrid.

Faculty members and senior researchers at a Canadian university or research facility are eligible once registered in the CCDB.

Graduate Students and PDFs are eligible but the sponsor must register in the CCDB first.


Permitted Uses

The WestGrid facilities were purchased with funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (, the Alberta Science and Research Authority and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund.  These institutions impose limitations on how the facilities may be used.

The WestGrid resources must be used exclusively for research projects that fit into one of the following categories:

  1. research projects that are supported by a recognized funding agency

  2. research projects that are eligible for funding from such an agency

  3. industrial research projects

  4. research under contract

Note that teaching and commercial uses are not allowed.


Conditions of Use - Responsible use of WestGrid facilities

A user of WestGrid facilities must agree to abide by the following conditions:

  1. The WestGrid facilities are governed by rules set down by the WestGrid Executive Committee and/or the WestGrid Chief Technology Officer. All users must agree to abide by these rules.

  2. A user is responsible for his or her account and all activities that are performed using his or her account.

  3. A user must not make his or her account available to any other user.

  4. Accounts and allocations are to be used exclusively for the purposes and project(s) for which they have been approved.

  5. WestGrid resources are provided for support of research and may not be used for instructional or administrative purposes.

  6. Users will be fair and considerate in their use of WestGrid resources.

  7. When requested, users must provide data that is required by WestGrid for purposes of reporting to the WestGrid funding agencies. This data must be provided in a timely fashion.

Failure to follow these directives may result in users and/or projects losing access to the WestGrid facilities. WestGrid reserves the right to take whatever actions are necessary to identify and resolve suspected abuse of the facilities. For cases not covered by this Conditions of Use statement, the computing policies in effect at the user's home institution shall apply.


Reporting Requirements

On an annual basis, users are expected to update project descriptions, provide references to publications facilitated by use of WestGrid resources, and acknowledge WestGrid in such publications.

WestGrid will provide the ability for users to maintain contact information and to record their research activity for use in WestGrid's annual "Impact Report" submissions to CFI.


Acknowledgement Requirement

Researchers are requested to acknowledge WestGrid and its major funders in publications and reports on research undertaken using WestGrid resources, either in whole or part. The exact wording may vary, but please ensure both WestGrid and Compute/Calcul Canada are noted. The following can be used as a guide:

"This research has been enabled by the use of computing resources provided by WestGrid and Compute/Calcul Canada."

We would appreciate being sent references to the above publications which acknowledge the support of WestGrid resources, since WestGrid is required to submit annual "Impact Report" submissions to CFI. Successful use of the WestGrid systems is also used to justify the next round of funding.


Account Renewal

WestGrid accounts must be renewed annually. When it comes time to renew your WestGrid account, you will be sent an e-mail giving further instructions. This will be about 30 days before your GridCanada certificate expires. If you no longer need your account, please notify us.


GridCanada Certificates

WestGrid uses X.509 security certificates issued by GridCanada to authenticate users. The application for a GridCanada certificate is part of the application for a WestGrid account. The key and passphrase to this certificate must also be kept secret.

For an explanation of certificates and their use in a grid-enabled environment, see the Grid Tools page.


Account Expiry

WestGrid accounts must be renewed annually. If it is not renewed, the account will be deactivated.  In this state, the user cannot access the account or his/her files, but the account and the files are not removed.  There is a 90 day grace period during which the user can still renew his/her account to regain access.  After 90 days the account is retired.  The account and the files are removed from the WestGrid systems.


Updated 2012-12-20.