Researcher-Facing Track

Do you help researchers using IT tools to further their research goals?
Are you involved in research computing and/or data science training?
Do you consult with researchers on more effectively doing their research with advanced computing resources?
Compute with data?

The Researcher-Facing Track of the People Network brings together people from research computing groups, libraries, research institutes, and other organizations who support researchers in every phase of the research lifecycle. Many of us are also Data- & Systems-Facing, but this track is a community-led opportunity to discuss the practices, perspectives, and experiences of facilitation from any perspective.

Topics include:

  • Research computing facilitation
  • Outreach to all disciplines, esp. those under-represented, to aid with research computing resources
  • Education and training
  • The art and practice of facilitation
  • Increasing communications, collaborations, and team-building
  • Research computing UX and user-facing tech
  • And more, as determined by our members!

We connect via monthly calls and an email list. We also invite you to review and contribute to the Leading Practices of Facilitation!

The Researcher-Facing Track is supported by the team efforts of two Co-Coordinators and a Steering Committee. Send questions or comments, feedback, call topic ideas, etc., to the coordinators at

Join Us!

Join Us! Fill out our membership form to let us know who you are and what you’re interested in. We’ll add you to this email list and other Tracks that you indicate.

Monthly Calls

Monthly calls are on the second Thursday of the month, 1p ET/ 12p CT/ 11a MT/ 10a PT/ 8a HT. Connection information and links to any materials are distributed via the Researcher-Facing email list.

Upcoming Call(s)

Supporting researchers with NIH’s data management and sharing policy

Thursday May 12, 2022 1pm ET/ 12pm CT/ 11am MT/ 10am PT/ 8am HT

Lisa Federer (Data Science and Open Science Librarian, National Library of Medicine): Introduction to NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy
Kat Milligan-McClellan (Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology / Microbiology, UConn): Researcher challenges
Tobin Magle: How can researcher-facing staff provide support

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require researchers to submit a data management and sharing plan with grant applications beginning in January 2023. Many of these researchers are unfamiliar with data management planning and need support to meet this new requirement. This session will give a brief introduction to this new policy and discuss researcher challenges and how we can support researchers with compliance even if you don’t directly provide data management support.

Track Leadership

Track Coordinators
Justin Booth, Dir. Research IT, Michigan State University
Tobin Magle, Lead Data Management Specialist, Northwestern University to contact both Justin and Tobin

Steering Committee Members (alphabetically)
Gladys Karina Andino Bautista
Carrie Brown
Katia Bulekova
Martin Cuma
Christina Koch
Tobin Magle
Janna Ore Nugent
Annelie Rugg
Kurt Showmaker

We also wish to thank persons who have previously lead and contributed to the Researcher-Facing track:

  • Dirk Colbry, Steering Committee
  • Amy Neeser (UC Berkeley), Steering Committee
  • Wirawan Purwanto (Old Dominion University), Steering Committee
  • Claire Mizumoto (U. California, San Diego), Track Coordinator
  • Erin Shaw (USC), Steering Committee
  • Dana Brunson (Internet2), Track Coordinator
  • Lauren Michael (UW-Madison), Track Coordinator

Previous Call Topics

4/14/22 Supporting Research Data Management video
3/10/22 Part 2: Sensitive Data in Research Computing – Through Cloud Services video
2/10/22 Sensitive Data in Research Computing – HIPAA support at the University of Utah video
1/13/22 Saying No! When, Why, and How to Say No to Researchers video
12/9/21 CaRCC/People Network End-of-Year Party doc
11/11/21 Supporting GPU computing video
10/14/21 Series on Leading Practices of Facilitation: Part 2: Improving our People-Facing Skills: Revisiting the Leading Practices of Facilitation video
9/9/21 Bridging the Gap: Reaching Underrepresented Research Domains for Large-Scale Computing video
7/8/21 Building Teams with Graduate Student Research Facilitators video
6/10/21 No call. Virtual Residency week
5/13/21 Workflow Tools for Portable, Reproducible Data Analysis video – recording starts mid-call due to problems at the start
4/8/21 On Measuring the Impact of Training video
3/11/21 All About Orienting Researchers to Research Computing + Data Resources video
2/11/21 Supporting Researchers with Containers video
1/14/21 All About CaRCC (… beyond the R-F Track) video
11/12/20 CaRCC End-Of-Year Party doc
11/12/20 Profiling and Optimizing R Code in Your Workloads video
10/08/20 Writing More Equitable Job Postings video
09/10/20 Supporting research projects on the cloud video unavailable
07/09/20 Big Data, Big Compute Solutions, a Community Discussion video
05/14/20 Remote Support (cont’d): Working with Your Team Remotely video
04/09/20 Sharing Good Practices in Remote User Support & Training video
03/12/20 User Support via Ask.CI and Locales video
02/13/20 Doing it in public: User support via Slack, open forums, Github repos and blogs video
01/09/20 Handling Support Requests – A Community Discussion video
12/12/19 University of Missouri reports and Researcher Facing/CI-Engineer Metrics video
11/14/19 Open OnDemand User Experiences & Challenges video
10/10/19 An Expansion of User Support Services for the Research Computing Group at the University of Colorado Boulder video slides doc
09/12/19 A Startup Framework for Building Digital Research Capacity and Community at UCLA slides
08/08/19 PEARC19 recap!
07/11/19 Creating effective training materials
06/13/19 Lightning talks / Open mic sessions on track topics