Join the EPSCoR CI Working Group exploring CI/RCD access for emerging and under-funded institutions!

Greetings, CaRCC members, from all of us in the newly formed EPSCoR CI Working Group (WG)!  Our work centers around recognition that increased access to cyberinfrastructure (CI) and associated best practices is the next challenge for emerging and under-resourced institutions. The National Science Foundation recently funded an effort (award #2033483) designed to boost awareness, communication, and partnerships using CaRCC-driven assessment and planning tools. Led by the University of Hawai’i, in collaboration with institutional partners from Alaska, Mississippi, Montana, and Nevada, the project advocates for broad use of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM) assessment tool across the nation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions and other emerging or under-resourced institutions (interested? Contact us).  Assessment data will be used by participating institutions in training efforts centered on CI strategic planning and partnership development.  Assessment and training activities will culminate in a workshop to be held in conjunction with the NSF EPSCoR National Conference in Portland, Maine, May 22–25, 2022.  An open access report, publication and related outreach activities will be made available to share findings and planning and partnership initiatives and opportunities. Check back on the working group site to keep up with our work. 

Announcing the V1.1 Release of the RCD Capabilities Model

Internet2, CaRCC, and EDUCAUSE are pleased to announce that there is a new version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM) just in time for you to complete your Institutional assessment and contribute to the 2021 RCD CM Community Dataset!

The Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model allows institutions to assess their support for computationally- and data-intensive research, to identify potential areas for improvement, and to understand how the broader community views Research Computing and Data support.

What’s new in the v1.1 release?

In response to community feedback, we have simplified a few things to make it easier to access and complete your institutional assessment:

  • A simpler Access Request form requires less information to complete. We’re now using the 2018 Carnegie Classification data to get your institution type (R1, R2, etc.), minority serving status, etc. 
  • A number of users felt the Local Weight/Relevance column was confusing, so we removed it, and incorporated a simpler variant on this elsewhere.
  • Many users felt that the Multi-Institutional Collaboration answers weighed too heavily in the computed coverage. We updated the calculations to reduce the impact of this question, and to give a boost (extra credit!!) to institutions that were sustaining or leading collaborations for a given topic.

The bulk of the Model and the questions remain essentially the same as in v1.0, so if you’ve attended one of our workshops or webinars, it will still look very familiar, and you can happily discuss your experience with everyone who completed an assessment in 2020!

Why should we contribute our RCD CM Assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset?

We’re so glad you asked! Contributing institutions help build the Community Dataset, and enrich the resulting picture we have of our community. You will also get an individualized Benchmarking report that compares your assessment to the community, and segments of the community (R1s, R2s, Public or Private institutions, etc.). Finally, you get access to the anonymized, aggregated dataset, if you really like digging into data. 

Sounds good – how do we get our copy and complete the assessment?

First, go to the new Access Request Form and fill it out. That will create an individualized copy of the v1.1 RCD CM Assessment tool for your institution. Then, read the Introduction and Guide to Use, and gather your team to complete the assessment. You can get help from the RCD CM working group by emailing capsmodel-help@carcc.org, or subscribe to the capsmodel-discuss@carcc.org discussion list (click here to join) to hear how other institutions are completing their assessment, and using it as part of strategic planning. You can also get help by joining our RCD CM Office Hours.

Here’s a timeline suggested by folks who worked on assessments last year:

In May: Get your copy and review the Guide. Think about who should be on the team that will complete the assessment (including, e.g., partners in central IT and/or the library). Your team can be just a few people (at smaller and emerging programs) or you could build a team with specialists for each facing.

In June: Your teams should meet to discuss the assessment, fill out most of it. Identify specific questions that may need additional input, and who can help with them.

In July: Review your assessment, discuss with your advisory board, and mark priorities for attention. We’re also holding a Workshop at PEARC21 on Strategic Planning using the Model. Watch the website for details!

In August: Submit your assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset (details to follow this summer).

In Fall/Winter 2021: Receive your Individualized Benchmarking report, the Contributors’ detailed Community Dataset report, and the full dataset if you’d like to dig deeper. 

What if we’ve already started with the original version of the Assessment?

Not a problem! It is largely the same, so just get a copy of the new one (as described above), and fill it out. With a little care you can even copy your answers over from the old spreadsheet (See our Notes on copying from a v1.0 RCD CM Assessment to a V1.1 Assessment).

Feel free to contact us if you want help with this to ensure your data is transferred correctly.

2021 RCD Capabilities Model Office Hours

Have questions about how to get started with the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model? Or are you already working with it and just want to discuss the process, or a particular aspect of the assessment tool? Join working group members and your colleagues in the community at one of our upcoming Office Hours to get help, ask your questions, and share your experiences!

Office Hours for 2021 are scheduled for the:

2nd Wednesdays of each month for 1 hour at 11am ET (new)

4th Tuesday of each month for 1 hour, at 2 pm ET.

Those dates are:

  • April 27
  • May 25
  • June 22
  • July 14 and 27
  • August 11 and 24
  • September 8 and 28
  • October 13 and 26
  • November 10 and 23

For details on how to join, email the RCD CM working group at capsmodel-help@carcc.org, or subscribe to the capsmodel-discuss@carcc.org discussion list.

2020 RCD CM Community Dataset report available

Scatter Plot showing the capabilities coverage for all 41 institutions

The report describes the first Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model Community Dataset, aggregating the assessments of 41 Higher Education Institutions. These assessments were completed using the 1.0 version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM), over a period of several months in the Spring and Summer of 2020. This Community Dataset provides insight into the current state of support for RCD across the community and in a number of key sub-communities. Download it now! (zenodo.org/record/4344057).

The Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model allows institutions to assess their support for computationally- and data-intensive research, to identify potential areas for improvement, and to understand how the broader community views Research Computing and Data support. The Model was developed by a diverse group of institutions with a range of support models, in a collaboration among Internet2, CaRCC, and EDUCAUSE. This Assessment Tool is designed for use by a range of roles at each institution, from front-line support through campus leadership, and is intended to be inclusive across small and large, and public and private institutions. 

We encourage you to check out the Capabilities Model, and begin to use it at your institution. Start with the Capabilities Model Introduction and Guide to Use, which includes background as well as tips for using the model, and a link to the access request form that will create a personalized copy of the Assessment Tool for your institution.  You can also watch the recording of the EDUCAUSE webinar. Keep an eye on the RCD CM working group page for more information and updates.

Announcing the RCD CM 2020 Community Data participation window

Version 1.0 of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCDCM) was released in Spring of 2020. We will aggregate contributed assessment data from the community, and make this available in the Fall. If you complete an institutional assessment and contribute your results to the 2020 Community Data collection by August 30 (deadline extended to September 27) you will get access to the detailed version of the data, allowing you to benchmark your institution’s program relative to peer institutions.

We know there is broad interest in having a community dataset. 88% of the institutions who have requested to use the Assessment tool listed “Benchmarking of current service offerings” as an intended use of the model. Users of the model are fairly diverse: as of early summer, there are over 70 institutions representing 32 states, both public and private, and a mix of R1s, R2s, and institutions with emerging research programs. As more institutions participate, the more useful the Community Cata collection becomes!

Continue reading “Announcing the RCD CM 2020 Community Data participation window”

RCD Capabilities Model Office Hours

Have questions about how to get started with the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model? Or are you already working with it and just want to discuss the process, or a particular aspect of the assessment tool? Join working group members at one of our upcoming Office Hours to get help, ask your questions, and share your experiences! The next few Office Hours are scheduled for:

Wed April 1511 a.m.-1 p.m. PT / 1-3 p.m. CT / 2-4 p.m. ET
Fri April 178 a.m.-10 a.m PT / 10 a.m.- Noon CT / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET
Fri May 111 a.m.-1 p.m. PT / 1-3 p.m. CT / 2-4 p.m. ET
Thu May 78 a.m.-10 a.m PT / 10 a.m.- Noon CT / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET

Call Coordinates (Zoom):
Due to the recent trend in ZoomBombing, please contact the WG Chairs for the Zoom call information, and please include your name and affiliation.