Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model

Version 1.1 of the RCD Capabilities Model has been released!

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!

Read more about it in this post.

2020 RCD CM Community Dataset report available

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! (

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 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.

Upcoming events related to the Capabilities Model:

  • 2021 Office Hours announced! Come join the discussion, get help, and hear how others are using the Model.
  • PEARC21 Workshop on Strategic Planning using the Model (more details to come).

Past events

Next steps/Roadmap

We are gathering and documenting requirements for an online (web-based) version of the questionnaire that is backed by a database, as well as a dashboard that allows users in the community to understand their assessment in the context of the broader community of institutions. This dashboard will also provide important insights into the state of the community as a whole, and in segments of interest (e.g., geographic regions, Carnegie classifications, EPSCoR eligible schools, MSIs, etc.).

This next phase continues as a collaboration among CaRCC, Internet2, and EDUCAUSE. We expect to coordinate with and benefit from the experience EDUCAUSE has in providing their annual Core Data Service survey and are open to working with other groups willing to provide input and help. The timeline to develop the next version of the tool is subject to continued/renewed funding (undertaking and sustaining these efforts is a challenge).

Going forward, the continuing commitment is for the Capabilities Model to reflect the evolving work of supporting research computing and data, helping organizations and institutions to adjust and align their capabilities to address changes in technology, and the expanding use of data, software, and compute resources across virtually all fields and disciplines.

How to get involved

The Working Group has calls every second Wednesday at 11 AM (Pacific time). If you want to support the development of this Capabilities Model, please contact the co-Chairs Patrick Schmitz (Semper Cogito), Claire Mizumoto (UC San Diego), and Dana Brunson (Internet2) or

Background on the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model

In early 2017, Internet2’s External Advisory Group for Research Engagement started working with the community on a set of questions to help develop cyberinfrastructure readiness on campuses. A workshop bringing elements of the community together was held in December 2018, and a follow-on group of volunteers continued to develop the Capabilities Model resulting in a alpha version ready for community feedback in spring 2019. 

After two very successful workshops at PEARC19 and EDUCAUSE 2019, feedback was incorporated including  renaming the model and the associated working group from the “Research IT Maturity Model” to the “Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model,” in an effort to be more inviting and inclusive in our language; and a number of usability improvements

In late 2019, the working group completed the initial version of a Google-sheets implementation of the assessment tool, incorporating a broad range of aspects and questions that reflect the work of supporting researchers. An associated Introduction and Guide was drafted, as well as an online form to simplify getting access to the assessment tool. 

Read more about the background and development of the model in our paper: A Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model for Strategic Decision-Making.

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