That said, Azure probably has the worst UI—slow, buggy, and their CLI doesn't work with Anaconda installed on OS X. I had to hack Anaconda out of my path temporarily while using Microsoft's 'az' tool. Also, their new resource manager system is confusing. In terms of sheer compute capability though, Azure is hard to beat.
I would suggest contacting the nearby university with research groups using HPC such as theoretical chemistry, bioinformatics or computational economics. I would guess you could get a special deal for less than what you'd pay for an AWS instance.