Certified Cyberinfrastructure Facilitator Training and Development (CCIFTD) BoF at PEARC22

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.

PEARC21 report: Building a shared RCD community resource

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:

  1. Share the experiences of universities who are currently using the RCD Capabilities Model as part of their RCD strategic planning work, including lessons learned. 
  2. Discuss the range of RCD strategic planning models across the community and identify approaches to building a strong strategic planning practice
  3.  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.

2021 RCD Capabilities Model Community Data report now available

The second Research Computing and Data (RCD) Capabilities Model Community Dataset report is now available through CaRCC’s RCD Nexus as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation. The report aggregates assessments contributed by 51 higher education institutions, providing insight into the current state of support for RCD.

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.  

The RCD Capabilities Model Community Dataset report is now available.

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.