Greetings, research computing and data (RCD) professionals! As we usher in the New Year, CaRCC and RCD Nexus would like to take a moment to look back on and celebrate some of our community’s exciting accomplishments in 2022:
To formalize and ensure community input and evaluation, CaRCC formed a new Advisory Committee and held its first annual meeting in January, 2022. The group consists of 12 members selected for their leadership and expertise within the broader RCD and cyberinfrastructure landscape. The group is instrumental in long-term planning as CaRCC continues a period of rapid growth.
We ramped up the work of our RCD Nexus NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence(CI CoE) pilot grant, and began to provide more resources than ever before to both the CaRCC and broader RCD community. The RCD Nexus website currently serves as the CaRCC Career and Resource Center.
In May, 2022, CaRCC activity leaders, advisory committee members, and peers from across the RCD community met in Denver and joined remotely for a Strategic Planning Meeting. The meeting included discussion around CaRCC’s role in defining a framework for an RCD-CI professional society.
CaRCC has helped to facilitate the RCD Community Builders Group, a collaborative effort among nine RCD-CI organizations working together to support the community at-large. The group has been meeting monthly since March 2022. Additionally, CaRCC has formalized a partnership and collaboration with the CASC organization and had two meetings and presentations during which the groups discussed opportunities for collaboration.
The 2022 Research Computing and Data (RCD) Capabilities Model Community Dataset participation window will close on December 15, 2022. Please be sure to contribute your assessment using this form before you leave for winter break!
We are grateful to the following institutions who participated in 2020/21 and would love to see your institution’s name jointhis year’s list:
2022 Research Computing and Data (RCD) Capabilities Model Community Dataset participation window will close on December 15, 2022. Please be sure to contribute your assessment using this form before you leave for winter break.
Know of other institutions that might be interested in participating? Please help us reach them by passing this information along!
One of the biggest challenges we face as an organization supporting the research computing and data (RCD) profession is defining what it means to be an RCD professional. Although it’s clear our profession is growing and very much in-demand, the lines between RCD and other types of jobs are often blurred, and our professional titles rarely reflect the breadth of what we do. Supporting the needs of researchers is distinct and often very different from providing enterprise technology services to a general user population (even though many of us do both and overlap certainly exists). The Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) focuses on the challenges and opportunities unique to providing computational, data, and other related services to researchers.
Am I an RCD professional?
Most of us would agree that the people who manage university supercomputers are RCD professionals, but am I an RCD professional if I help researchers navigate data and my title is Librarian or Data Scientist? Am I an RCD professional if I’m a programmer who develops software that supports a research project? Am I an RCD professional if I’m not involved in hands-on technical work but do outreach and education to help researchers find and use technology and data resources?
If you are supporting researchers in any way through systems, software, data, security, networking, data center operations, or education and consulting, yes –you are an RCD professional!
Attending PEARC22? Don’t miss this birds of a feather (BoF) session organized by Henry Neeman (University of Oklahoma), Dana Brunson (Internet2), and Dirk Colbry (Michigan State University).
Thursday, July 14 from 9-10am in the Berkeley/Clarendon rooms
Overview: The Certified Cyberinfrastructure Facilitator Training and Development (CCIFTD) program is a first-of-its- kind, non matriculated certification of professional development for CI Facilitators. CCIFTD’s role is to attest to proficiency in core skills needed for facilitating computing/data-intensive research, across all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The emphasis is on crucial professional/interpersonal skills, and complementary CI technical topics. CCIFTD focuses on establishing both (a) the set of skills and (b) a means for determining whether a CI Facilitator has these skills.
Motivation: The CI workforce suffers from a critical deficit of CI Facilitators, the CI professionals who work directly with researchers to advance computing/data-intensive aspects of their research. a vital role at many research institutions. Currently, there is a clear sense of the nature and value of the CI Facilitator role, but no well-defined set of skills agreed upon by the CI Facilitator community at large.
Methodology: 1. Determine the skills that are most valuable for CI Facilitation, by surveying (i) experienced CI Facilitators, (ii) CI organization leaders such as supercomputing center directors, and (iii) STEM researchers who use CI. 2. For each such skill, develop a badge, specifically a training mechanism, an examination instrument, and its scoring rubric, via pilot testing at workshops and online. 3. Construct certification pathways, subsets of badges that collectively merit certification. 4. Test badging methods. 5. Evaluate the CCIFTD program, both formatively during this pilot project and summatively at the end, to improve CCIFTD as it progresses and to determine how successful it has been.
It’s almost PEARC conference time again and we’re looking forward to the Fifth Workshop on Strategies for Enhancing HPC Education and Training on Monday, July 11, 2022.
That made us look back and remember some of the great things that happened at last year’s PEARC conference. In case you missed it, check out this report: Towards a National Best Practices Resource for Research Computing and Data Strategic Planning. It shares the activities and findings of a CaRCC RCD Nexus workshop that brought together Research Computing and Data (RCD) professionals to discuss leading practices for developing effective strategic plans for their Research Computing and Data programs.
The 2021 workshop had three goals:
Share the experiences of universities who are currently using the RCD Capabilities Model as part of their RCD strategic planning work, including lessons learned.
Discuss the range of RCD strategic planning models across the community and identify approaches to building a strong strategic planning practice.
Work towards the development of a shared community resource to support strategic planning for RCD, identify potential elements of such a resource and a near-term roadmap for development.
The report documents the workshop activity and findings, including shared observations as well as recommendations. In particular, it identifies four themes that emerged as “Desired elements of a strategic planning resource”:
A repository of templates, examples, and models of strategic planning
A collection of narratives and use-cases that describe successful programs
Examples and practices for communication strategies related to strategic planning
A program of mentoring and identifying expertise related to strategic planning
The information and insights in this report are being used to inform what we make available in our RCD-Nexus Resource and Career Center. Want to know more? Read the full report.
Report data is intended to support strategic planning and decision-making for campus leadership, funding agencies, RCD leaders, and others interested in advanced technologies that enable research.
Themes that emerged from the 2021 data include:
There is generally stronger support for Researcher-Facing, System-Facing, and Strategy and Policy-Facing areas, than for Data-Facing and Software-Facing capabilities.
R1 institutions have much higher levels of coverage than other Carnegie Classifications, particularly in certain areas.
EPSCoR institutions have significant gaps in capabilities coverage relative to institutions in other states, including dramatic gaps in certain areas of Data-Facing support.
“This level of data has never before been readily available to the RCD community,” said Patrick Schmitz, co-principal investigator on the RCD Nexus project. “We were intrigued to see that institutions who completed a second assessment in 2021 saw a marked increase in their capabilities related to RCD strategy and policy. It’s possible the assessment is already helping them improve their programs. We will work to continue expanding the dataset in the coming years, and are pleased to offer the RCD community a solid baseline dataset to help inform strategic planning.”
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant OAC-2100003. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.