Northeast Cyberteam Program - A Workforce Development Strategy for Research Computing

Cyberinfrastructure is as important for research in the 21st century as test tubes and microscopes were in the 20th century. Familiarity with and effective use of cyberinfrastructure at small and mid-sized institutions is essential if their faculty and students are to remain competitive. The Northeast Cyberteam Program is a 3-year NSF-funded regional initiative to increase effective use of cyberinfrastructure by researchers and educators at small and mid-sized institutions in northern New England by making it easier to obtain support from Research Computing Facilitators. Research Computing Facilitators combine technical knowledge and strong interpersonal skills with a service mindset, and use their connections with cyberinfrastructure providers to ensure that researchers and educators have access to the best available resources. It is widely recognized that Research Computing Facilitators are critical to successful utilization of cyberinfrastructure, but in very short supply. The Northeast Cyberteam aims to build a pool of Research Computing Facilitators in the region and a process to share them across institutional boundaries. Concurrently, we are providing experiential learning opportunities for students interested in becoming Research Computing Facilitators, and developing a self-service learning toolkit to provide timely access to information when it is needed.