People Network and Other Community Calls for This Month!

It’s February! Mark your calendars for the below People Network track gatherings and other community events. For handy calendar entries, try the CaRCC Events Calendar.

If you’re not on our mailing lists, please fill out our Join the People Network form and join our Slack channels!

CaRCC People Network Calls

Data-Facing Track (1st Tuesdays)

Tue Feb 6, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT
Lifecycle Support and Compliance for Open Research Practices

Researcher-Facing Track (2nd Thursdays)

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Capabilities Model Assessment Tool Upgraded to Version 2.1

The Capabilities Model Assessment Tool has been upgraded to version 2.1, which includes a range of interface improvements and institutional metadata updates. See the v2.1 Release Notes for a complete list of all changes. Highlights of the new version include: 

  • Improved topic level display that shows average coverage values for each question in that topic, and main assessment page that shows average coverage values for each Facing
  • Updated progress indicator that filters out Domain Coverage questions, and eliminates them as a requirement for survey submission
  • Updated RCD Profile user interface that shows additional institutional metadata.

Institutional metadata updates include: 

About the Capabilities Model

The Capabilities Model allows participating institutions to: 

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Read the report: RCD Nexus Day 2023

A new report is now available detailing the accomplishments of RCD Nexus Day 2023. Funded by a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence Pilot grant from the National Science Foundation, the workshop brought together 95 research computing and data (RCD) professionals from institutions across the U.S. The event took place on July 23, 2023, and was an official co-located event of the PEARC’23 conference in Portland, Oregon. Thirty-three attendees received travel support, which allowed them to attend both RCD Nexus Day and the full PEARC23 conference.

In addition to a combined opening session and an evening networking session, the event included two concurrent workshops. Workshop 1 was related to using the RCD Capabilities Model assessment tools and was led by Patrick Schmitz of Semper Cogito Consulting, while Workshop 2 was on the topic of staff and student onboarding and led by Claire Mizumoto of University of California, San Diego. These workshops are described in detail in the full report.

New Capabilities Model Assessment Tool Now Available!

The Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) is pleased to announce that a new version of the RCD Capabilities Model assessment tool is now available and ready to use. This new web-based version of the assessment tool offers a much better user experience and is backed by a database that provides a more robust platform for data analysis. A new online data exploration and benchmarking portal will also be launched in early 2024.  

Why participate in the Capabilities Model? 

The Capabilities Model allows participating institutions to: 

  • Assess their support for computationally- and data-intensive research.
  • Identify potential areas for improvement. 
  • Understand how the broader community views Research Computing and Data support.   

Contributing institutions help build the Community Dataset, and enrich the resulting picture we have of our community. You will get access to the benchmarking functionality on the new portal that compares your assessment to the community at-large, as well as segments of the community (R1s, R2s, Public or Private institutions, etc.; on the new portal you can define your benchmarking peer groups!). As a contributor, you will also get access to more detailed reporting functionality on the new portal, to dig into the data and create custom visualizations. Although summary data will be publicly available, only contributors will have access to the detailed data and custom visualization feature. 

How to get started

Whether you are from one of the 56 institutions that have submitted past assessments, or if you are an organization interested in submitting for the first time, use our Quick Start Guide to walk you through the process of using the new tool. 

 And please keep reading for details on how to get help if you have questions

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Seeking beta-testers for the new RCD Capabilities Model Tool

The Research Computing and Data (RCD) Capabilities Model is rolling out a new web-based version of the assessment tool that offers a much better user experience and is backed by a database that provides a more robust platform for data analysis. We need volunteers to beta test the new tool. 

Whether you are one of the over 180 institutions who requested a past assessment, or if you are new to the process, your feedback and perspective is valuable as we work to continually improve the tool. We will retain all data from the beta testing period, and so (barring any unforeseen problems), you can complete your actual 2023 submission, while also providing us valuable feedback to improve the new tool. 

How do I participate in beta testing?

Check out our Beta Testing guide, and then just  log in to the portal using your institutional credentials (you can also use Google or Microsoft to authenticate). Along the way, please use this Feedback Document to share any issues, challenges, or successes you experience. If you’d like a refresher on the RCD Capabilities Model, see the updated User Guide

Not familiar with the RCD Capabilities Model? Keep reading to learn more.  

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Where does RCD sit in the organization?

Many people have asked where RCD programs typically report in the university hierarchy. We have data from about 140 institutions using the RCD Capabilities model including a mix of different Carnegie Classifications but dominated by R1 and R2 institutions (about 2/3 of the total). Here’s how they described their reporting relationship:

While the dominant model is within central or campus IT, quite a few programs are run out of a college, department, or institute, and nearly one in six are organized under the campus research office.

These data may not represent the entire community, but are at least one source on this question.

RCD Nexus Day at PEARC23

Registration is now closed for the second annual RCD Nexus Day, a one-day workshop and networking event just for research computing and data (RCD) professionals on Sunday July 23, 8am-7pm preceding the PEARC23 Conference in Portland, OR. It’s an official PEARC co-located event, and there’s no additional cost to attend. Connect with your peers as we explore the topics that matter to you and your RCD career, including:

  • Student and staff workforce development topics and practices 
  • Understanding the RCD Capabilities Model assessment tools, and how best to use them at your institution (details below)

The event will be held at the main conference venue, the Oregon Convention Center. Space is limited and last year the event reached capacity, so don’t wait to register!

Travel support is available for those at U.S. institutions who request it by June 28. Just indicate your need when you register and we’ll send further information. 

See below for a detailed agenda and track descriptions.

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How long does it take to complete the RCD Capabilities Model?

We are often asked by community members how long it typically takes an institution to complete an assessment of their RCD support using the RCD Capabilities Model. When teams submit an assessment, we ask them about this, and so we decided to go through that data and share what we found (although we note that not all institutions provided an answer). As you might imagine, there is quite a bit of variation.

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2024 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! Drop in for a few minutes or stay for the whole hour.

Office Hours for 2024 are scheduled for:

the 2nd Tuesday of each month

for 1 hour at 1pm ET, 12noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT

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.

CaRCC/RCD Nexus 2022 Retrospective

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. 

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