The National Institute for Computational Sciences

User Responsibilities and Acceptable Usage Policy

When using resources at NICS, you agree to the following user responsibilities:

  1. You agree to abide by all applicable laws and regulations including, but not limited to, export control laws and regulations and the regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) with respect to sanctioned countries and regions. See here for more information. Unless otherwise indicated by OFAC, currently the following countries are the most severely sanctioned: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  2. Regardless of Your citizenship or permanent residency, You agree not to access NICS resources from any country identified above as the most severely sanctioned.
  3. If You are a national* of one of the countries identified above as the most severely sanctioned, You agree to the following special terms of use:
    • You will access NICS resources only as authorized pursuant to applicable anti-terrorist asset control laws, regulations, rules and Executive Orders, or pursuant to a “specific license” as described below (i.e., a license issued specifically for you by OFAC pursuant to OFAC regulations, as opposed to a “general license” or authorization, which is set forth in the OFAC regulations).
    • If you are authorized to access NICS resources pursuant to a visa-related general license or authorization, you will not access NICS resources unless You possess a current, valid U.S. visa in an authorized visa category, and the scope of Your visa encompasses research requiring the use of high performance computers. (Authorized visa categories for Iranian nationals are found in 31 C.F.R. § 560.505 .
      Authorized visa categories for Sudanese nationals are found in 31 C.F.R. §538.509 .
      Authorized visa types for Cuban nationals are found in 31 C.F.R. §515.571(a)(5) .
      Cuban nationals in a non-visitor status may be authorized pursuant to at: 31 C.F.R. §515.505(c) .
    • Further, you will not access NICS resources while you are located outside the U.S. You will not access NICS resources during any period in which you are out of status.
    • If you are required to obtain a specific license from OFAC, You will only access NICS resources subject to the conditions of a valid specific license that You have obtained before accessing NICS resources.
  4. You have the responsibility to protect your account from unauthorized use. Never share your login information If you believe your account has been compromised, immediately notify us at
  5. You have responsibility for the security of your programs and data.
  6. You may not copy and/or distribute proprietary software without the software owners permission. Possession or use of illegally copied software is prohibited; all software must be appropriately acquired and used according to the specific licensing.
  7. NICS resources may only be used by authorized users and is limited to the purpose prescribed in the project award. Use of these resources for processing proprietary information, source code or executable code must be disclosed in the award process and is prohibited unless authorized by the project award. Use of NICS resources for export controlled information, source code or executable code is prohibited. Exceptions to store or process proprietary or export control information must have prior approval by NICS management and the University of Tennessee Export Control Office. Disclose exception requests in the award process or send post-award exception requests to
  8. To ensure protection of data and resources, user activity may be monitored, intercepted, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorities. By using NICS resources, the user consents to such at the discretion of authorized site personnel.
  9. Activities in violation of any laws may be reported to the proper authorities for investigation and prosecution. Abusive activity may be reported to your home institution for review and action.
  10. NICS file systems are generally very reliable, however, data may still be lost or corrupted. Users are responsible for backing up critical data.
  11. Violations of NICS policy can result in loss of access to NICS resources and possible prosecution.

* - For the purposes of these Terms of Use, ”national” means an individual who is not a U.S. citizen, not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., and not a “protected individual” as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1324 (such as an asylum visa holder).

If you have questions, you may contact NICS User Assistance during normal working hours, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm ET, at 1-865-241-1504, or you may email