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Research Coordination Networks: Fostering and Nurturing a Diverse Community of CI Professionals (RCN:CIP)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Grant amount: US $500,000 - US $1,000,000

Fields of work: Cyberinfrastructure

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States


The national research cyberinfrastructure (CI) ecosystem is a key catalyst for discovery and innovation across research domains and plays a critical role in ensuring US leadership in science and engineering, economic competitiveness, and national security, consistent with NSF’s mission. A diverse, skilled, capable, and productive workforce is required to effectively leverage and utilize current, emerging, and future CI capabilities – spanning researchers who use CI, developers of new CI capabilities, and professionals that deploy and operate NSF-supported CI. Developing and sustaining such a dynamic CI workforce presents challenges that are similar across science and engineering research and education fields, such as implementing effective institutional and on-the-job training and refreshing skills to keep up with evolving software, technologies, platforms, and application requirements. The CI workforce also faces somewhat unique challenges due to lack of clear career pathways and disparity in position descriptions.

In this broader context, NSF envisions fostering and nurturing diverse communities of CI Professionals (CIP)across all areas of science and engineering research and education by establishing a network of connected and coordinated hubs that recognize and connect CI Professionals, support communications, training, sharing of best practices, and mobility across projects and organizations.

To establish this network for all stakeholders of the CI workforce, NSF will support a set of Research Coordination Networks (RCN) to advance CI Professionals communities through transformative and/or new approaches for fostering, nurturing, expanding, and sustaining such communities. The RCN:CIP projects are intended to:

  • foster exchange and community development among CI Professionals;
  • share experience on sustaining and retaining CI Professionals;
  • raise the awareness and importance of CI Professionals in academia, and convey the information to academic leaders on their career development;
  • communicate opportunities for, and importance of, CI Professionals’ collaboration with research and engineering groups;
  • advance best practices for recruiting and developing CI expertise at all levels;
  • explore mutually beneficial partnerships across the different stakeholders in academia, government, non-profits, and industry; and
  • explore the establishment and sustainability of a network of hubs over the longer term, including governance and coordination among these hubs.

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This page was last reviewed February 15, 2022 and last updated February 08, 2022