Extended Collaborative Support Service (ECSS)
The mission of the XSEDE Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS) program is to improve the productivity of the XSEDE user community through successful, meaningful collaborations to optimize their applications, improve their work and data flows, and increase their effective use of the XSEDE digital infrastructure and broadly expand the XSEDE user base by engaging members of underrepresented communities and domain areas.
In the course of fulfilling this mission, ECSS staff members are paired with members of the research community for intensive engagements lasting months up to a year in length. Because of the nature of the program both in scope and in scale, ECSS staff work with researchers from a wide variety of domain areas. ECSS has over 50 collaborations active at any one time, with research teams who are interested in using XSEDE's advanced computational infrastructure to accelerate or extend their work in some way. This can provide a rich opportunity for others to develop practical expertise with cyberinfrastructure on a variety of projects.
As the ECSS program has developed, we have increasingly been approached by those wanting to volunteer their time and expertise to help support ECSS projects. Often times the best way to keep skills sharp and extend practical experience is through this type of hands-on work. Because of this, we have developed the ECSS Affiliates program. The program is open to all and will be re-assessed for feasibility after one year.
The objectives of the ECSS Affiliates program are to:
● Provide interested experts outside the XSEDE ECSS program with the opportunity to collaborate on cutting edge ECSS projects
● Extend expertise among ECSS Affiliates in utilizing advanced cyberinfrastructure or managing user support collaborations at their own institutions
● Widen the impact of the ECSS program
● Increase the diversity of expertise available for ECSS projects as well as ECSS training and outreach activities
Through the Affiliates program, members of the research computing community (including XSEDE Campus and Domain Champions, XSEDE SP Level 1, 2 and 3 staff members, ACI-REF participants, computational scientists, engineers, scholars, and technology developers in academia and at national labs) can volunteer their time to assist with ECSS projects, serving as full members of the ECSS team. Projects are available in three areas, Extended Support for Research Teams (ESRT), Extended Support for Community Codes (ESCC) and Extended Support for Science Gateways (ESSGW). This accomplishes several goals. Affiliates are able to broaden their expertise by working on a variety of projects. The ECSS program benefits in its ability to scale beyond its funded staff members, incorporate wider expertise and potentially undertake a larger number of collaborative projects with the research community. No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated in this program and it includes no stipend, travel or other support.
Affiliates may also participate in the Novel and Innovative Projects (NIP) and Extended Support for Training, Education and Outreach (ESTEO) components of ECSS which are not project-based. NIP helps to identify scientists, scholars and educators from disciplines that have not yet made significant use of advanced computing infrastructure, who are committed to projects that require XSEDE services and are in a good position to use them efficiently. NIP staff provides mentoring to these projects, helping them to obtain XSEDE allocations and to use them successfully. ESTEO develops, reviews and delivers relevant training material for the XSEDE community.
Applicants to the Affiliates program will provide a list of their skills, a CV and either express interest in an ongoing project at http://www.xsede.org/ecss-projects or be added to the ECSS staffing list for NIP, ESTEO, or future ECSS project assignments. ECSS management will evaluate the expressions of interest and an ECSS staff member will always serve as project lead.
What is expected of an ECSS Affiliate?
● Provide a list of skills.
● Commit to the duties as agreed upon in an ECSS project's work plan or other documents defining the working relationship, for example for NIP and ESTEO activities. A 4 hour time commitment per week is expected.
● Attend remote project meetings with the PI team and/or ECSS staff meetings, as necessary.
● Co-present remotely at an ECSS Symposium webinar at the conclusion of the work.
● Participate in brief annual evaluation activities regarding the experience in this program.
● Assist with quarterly and final progress reports by contributing descriptions of work completed.
● Notify the XSEDE ECSS Affiliates program coordinator if the individual's status of employment changes.
● Provide as much notice as possible if unable to continue with the program, ideally 2 weeks notice.
● Renew Affiliates status at annual intervals.
What is expected of XSEDE?
● Provide the Letter of Commitment to be signed by XSEDE and the ECSS Affiliate.
● Add Affiliates and their skills to the ECSS-maintained staffing list for project assignments.
● List Affiliates on the ECSS Affiliates website.
● Provide opportunities to participate in ongoing ECSS projects. Because ECSS projects are initiated by the XSEDE user community, topics will vary.
● Provide access to the ECSS staff allocation of compute time for the express purpose of assisting on the project.
● Provide opportunities to participate in ECSS training activities.
● Develop ECSS project workplans or other documents that outline expected contributions expected of Affiliates on a given project.
● Provide opportunities for participation in ECSS staff activities, including teleconferences, meetings, tutorials and presentations.
● Conduct periodic evaluations to assess and improve the Affiliates program.
● Conduct annual review of each Affiliate's status
Interested parties may apply to the ECSS Affiliates program here.