New! Engagement Facilitation Guide for Smaller and Emerging RCD Programs

The CaRCC Capabilities Model Focused Tools Committee has just released a new guide and script designed to support research computing and data (RCD) facilitators as they engage with institutions that have more modest or newly-emerging RCD programs. The guide is designed to help begin conversion about an institution’s support for research and identify key issues and opportunities for growth and strategic planning. The guide and script have already been used successfully with a number of smaller institutions, and we are pleased to share it for use by the wider RCD community. 

This work was developed with support from the National Science Foundation under the RCD Nexus grant OAC-2100003. 

Keep reading to learn more about how this guide was developed.

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New Release: RCD Nexus Capabilities Model Visualization Portal 

The latest release of the RCD Nexus portal provides new functionality to explore and visualize the community dataset provided by institutions that are using the CaRCC Capabilities Model and/or have contributed their capabilities assessment data. With this release, users can also benchmark their institutional capabilities coverage relative to the community of contributors. Visit and try out the new functionality!  If you have questions, complaints, or kudos, please let us know by emailing the RCD CM working group at

Keep reading for more details about the new functionality. 

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant OAC-2100003.

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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.

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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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 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.

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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:

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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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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”