5 Essential Steps to Excel in Your New Role Supporting Computational and Data-Intensive Research

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By Dana Brunson - Internet2 Executive Director for Research Engagement

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Congratulations on embarking on a new role supporting computational and data-intensive research! Whether you have a background in information technology or academic research, transitioning into this field requires specific skills and knowledge.

In these roles, you may work directly with researchers to leverage technology to make new scientific discoveries or provide them with support to navigate the research data lifecycle. You may even build supercomputers that enable the exploration of phenomena impossible to understand just a few years ago.

Here we explore how you can excel as a support professional for computational and data-intensive research. Let’s dive in!

5 Essential Steps

  1. Join the CaRCC People Network

    To kickstart your journey, join the CaRCC People Network. This vibrant community provides a platform for professionals in research computing and data (RCD) to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. By joining this virtual year-round conference network, you will gain access to a supportive community of experienced practitioners who can offer valuable insights, resources, and mentorship opportunities. Engaging with the CaRCC People Network will accelerate your learning curve and provide a strong foundation for supporting computational and data-intensive research projects.

  2. Attend the PEARC Conference and RCD Nexus Day Workshops

    Participating in the PEARC Conference and the co-located RCD Nexus Day workshops is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the world of research computing and data. These events bring together experts, practitioners, and researchers who share their knowledge, best practices, and innovative technologies. By attending PEARC and RCD Nexus Day, you will gain valuable insights, expand your network, and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field.

  3. Participate in Virtual Residency Workshops

    The Virtual Residency Workshop offers intensive training and hands-on experience tailored to professionals supporting computational and data-intensive research. Led by industry experts, these workshops cover essential topics such as high-performance computing, data management, and scientific visualization. Participating in the Virtual Residency Workshop will equip you with practical skills and strategies to effectively support researchers and address the unique challenges they encounter in their computational workflows.

  4. Explore NSF-Supported Resources

    Take advantage of National Science Foundation (NSF) resources to enhance your support capabilities. The NSF-supported ACCESS program offers training, consulting, and access to advanced cyberinfrastructure resources. These resources can help you guide researchers by leveraging cutting-edge tools, computational resources, and expertise. These tools enable you to provide valuable support and contribute to the success of computational and data-intensive research projects.

  5. Discover the RCD Ecosystem

    The RCD Ecosystem is a comprehensive resource that maps the various components crucial to research computing and data. It provides tools, services, and community organizations that advance RCD practices. Exploring the RCD Ecosystem will help you understand the interconnected nature of resources, platforms, and networks available to support computational and data-intensive research. This understanding will enable you to navigate the ecosystem effectively, connect researchers with relevant resources, and provide tailored support.

Laying the Foundation for Computational and Data-Intensive Research Success

By embracing these five essential steps, you are laying a solid foundation for your career as a support professional in computational and data-intensive research.

Remember to continuously seek learning opportunities, stay connected with the research community, and adapt to the evolving needs of researchers. Your dedication to enhancing your skills and staying at the forefront of the field benefits your professional growth and contributes to the success of the research projects you support.

If you have questions about these steps or are interested in additional consulting, tools, best practices, and support, the Internet2 Research Engagement team is here to help! Contact us at researchengagement@internet2.edu. Or reach out to me at dbrunson@internet2.edu.