MSI Access

Access to MSI resources is available to Principal Investigators (PIs) and their research groups. New PIs can apply for MSI accounts for themselves and their groups with a few exceptions.  Please see the Access Eligibility for more information.

Here is information on:
1. How to apply for an MSI Account
         •New PI
         • PIs with MSI accounts
         • Student / Post-doc / Research Associate / other non-PI personnel

2. The types of accounts available at MSI
         • Research Accounts of two types:
                   i. Basic account
                  ii. HPC account
         • Class Accounts


Applying for Access

New PI only:
To apply for access to MSI resources, you must submit an MSI Access Request Form . All applications must be initiated by an eligible PI. The PI, however, may designate a group administrator to complete the form, and the group administrator may be any member of the PI’s group.
Please Note: The Access Request Form is only for PIs who DO NOT have current access to MSI resources.  Renewing  PIs can renew their accounts through the renewal page .

PIs with MSI Accounts:
PIs who already work with MSI and are interested in expanding their access or adding group members should use myMSI.

Student / Post-doc / Research Associate / other non-PI researchers:
Access for non-PI users needs to be through a Principal Investigator (PI) with an active MSI account.
If you DO NOT have an MSI account: Have your current PI send an email to requesting MSI access for you with the following subject line, 
         Subject Line: Need MSI Account: 'Student/Researcher Full Name'
If you need a second MSI account: If you already have an MSI account with a PI and need to have another account created to work with a different PI, then please have the second PI send an email to requesting you to be added to his/her group with the following subject line and the specified information in the email content,
        Subject Line: Please add 'Student/Researcher Full Name' to my group 'Group name'
        Specific Content: Student full name
                                           Student UMN email (or x500)


Research Accounts

MSI offers two types of research accounts: basic and HPC (High-Performance Computing).

A basic account gives a user software access, remote login capability, and access to MSI labs.
An HPC account includes everything in a basic account plus access to MSI HPC resources . HPC access requires an allocation of service units (SUs), which provide processing time on the HPC machines. Requests for SUs are peer reviewed by MSI’s HPC Allocation Committee .

When determining which MSI resources are best-suited to your research group's needs, please consider the following questions:

  • Are your applications serial or parallel? Does a given application need to run on multiple nodes? Does it need a high-speed interconnect?
  • Is this your own code? Someone else's? Open source? Commercial software? You might be limited to certain machines based on your software needs.
  • What are your memory requirements?
  • What is the length of a typical computational run of your application? In other words, how much wallclock time do you need?
  • What are your data storage needs?

If you would like assistance determining which resources you should request, you can contact MSI support staff by sending email to


Class Accounts

A faculty member may request accounts for students in a course s/he is teaching. To request class accounts, the faculty member should provide the following at least two weeks before class begins,

A. Provide written approval
MSI user accounts for University of Minnesota credited courses are created based on each course's demonstrated need for high performance computing (HPC) resources and any other related MSI services. A letter from the class instructor's department chair verifying that HPC resources are needed for the course should be sent to The MSI Director reviews and approves all class account requests.

B. Provide required information
The PI should send the following information to with the subject line: Create Class Accounts for 'Course Name'
    1. Course number and name plus a brief description
    2. Course roster in Excel format based on UM Report for the course
    3. Start date for the course
    4. If HPC resources are requested, specification of machines to be used and number of SUs needed for semester
    5. If there are software requirements then please list them and specify both new and existing modules required 

    6. If class is to be held in one of MSI's labs, specific information on date/s, time/s and location if available; otherwise
        indication of by when you will be able to provide it

Note: Class accounts will be closed two weeks after the semester ends unless an extended time is requested.

Please Note: Class accounts are available only to faculty at the University of Minnesota.