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.

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.  

Continue reading “Seeking beta-testers for the new RCD Capabilities Model Tool”

CaRCC activities at PEARC23

It’s almost time for the PEARC23 conference and we’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Portland! Be sure to stop by the Internet2 table during open Exhibit hours, Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25 8am-5pm to pick up a CaRCC sticker and other info. A big thank you to our partner, Internet2 for providing space for CaRCC at their table!

Remember that you, our engaged CaRCC members, are the most powerful communication and outreach tool we have as we strive to be diverse and inclusive. If you meet members of the community at PEARC who aren’t familiar with CaRCC, encourage them to learn more at the CaRCC Town Hall, stop by the table in the Exhibit Hall, or visit CaRCC.org to join the People Network.

CaRCC events at PEARC23 include:

Sunday, July 23

RCD Nexus Day — A full day of collaboration and connection for the RCD Community. This year’s topics include Using the Capabilities Model Assessment Tool and Onboarding RCD Staff and Students. (Pre-registration required.)

RCD Nexus is supported as an NSF-funded Cyberinfrastructure Centers of Excellence (CoE) pilot (award NSF-2100003).

Tuesday, July 24

CaRCC Town Hall, 10:30am-12pm, Room F151 — Come hear about current initiative and help shape future directions! Learn how to get involved and how we are connecting with the broader RCD ecosystem through the People Network.

Workforce Track: Understanding the Research Computing and Data Profession, 3:00-4:30pm, Room D135 — Talks include “Career Phases in Research Computing and Data” and Professionalization of Research Computing and Data: An Expanded Agenda” both by Tim Middelkoop. And Christina Maimone will present on “Compensation of Academic Research Computing and Data Professionals”.

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.

Continue reading “RCD Nexus Day at PEARC23”

Nexus Day Staff and Student Workforce Development Update

During the Nexus Day event, held July 10, 2022 in conjunction with the PEARC22 conference, we held an all-day workshop to address student workforce programs and staff onboarding and workforce development practices. Although we intended to spend much of the time addressing both the staff and student workforce issues together, we quickly determined that breakout sessions specific to staff or student development efforts would be more effective and provide an excellent forum to discuss common themes and exchange ideas.

There was a general recognition that common problems and challenges span the two efforts, and there is a desire to address them collectively through shared tools and methodologies and by developing a common framework. Specifically, there was an aspiration to develop a set of learning paths, starting as early as undergraduate RCD staff and continuing through senior-level RCD professionals, to identify existing gaps in training and development. However, it was also recognized that specifics would differ between staff and student development – even though many of the tools, documentation, and basic framework may be the same. Interesting outcomes included a shared desire to develop basic materials, such as  a five-minute video on “What is a Research Computing and Data Professional?”, as well as a collective agreement on the need for and value of project management skills and training for those working in research computing and data (RCD).

Read more below about how each of these efforts is evolving:

Continue reading “Nexus Day Staff and Student Workforce Development Update”

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. 

Continue reading “CaRCC/RCD Nexus 2022 Retrospective”

Make the list! Submit your RCD Capabilities Model Assessment by December 15

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 join this year’s list:

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • Cornell University
  • George Mason University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Michigan State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Purdue University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Rutgers University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California Merced
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Florida
  • University of Guam
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • University of Hawaii System
  • University of Hawaii West Oahu
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
Continue reading “Make the list! Submit your RCD Capabilities Model Assessment by December 15”

Help spread the word: 2022 Capabilities Model Assessment — Due December 15

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!

Continue reading “Help spread the word: 2022 Capabilities Model Assessment — Due December 15”

CaRCC at PEARC22!

In lieu of July calls for most People Network tracks, make sure to check out the below events next week at PEARC22, all of which are a direct result of CaRCC-associated efforts for the RCD community. (See the full PEARC22 schedule here.)

Sunday, July 10:

  • RCD Nexus Day (colocated event), all-day parallel sessions on student/staff workforce development and on the RCD Capabilities Model ‘Essentials’ version

Tuesday, July 12:

  • Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC) Town Hall (panel, organization update)
    10:30 AM-12:00 PM, White Hill Room
  • Understanding Factors that Influence Research Computing and Data Careers (Best Full Paper, Workforce Track; Phil Andrews Award)
    3:00 PM-3:30 PM, The Loft
  • Characterizing the US Research Computing and Data (RCD) Workforce (paper)
    3:30 PM-4:00 PM, The Loft
  • Words Matter! Progress in Promoting Inclusion through Language in Advanced Research Computing (panel; CaRCC represented among other organizations)
    5:00 PM-6:00 PM, The Loft

Thursday, July 14

  • Plenary and Awards (above RCD Career Arcs paper receiving Phil Andrews award!)
    10:00 AM-12:30 PM  Ballroom A

We hope to see you there!

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.