ECSS Affiliates

The Affiliates program provides a rich opportunity to develop practical cyberinfrastructure expertise on a variety of projects.

As the ECSS program has evolved, members have frequently been approached by those wanting to volunteer their time and expertise to ECSS projects, often as a way to keep skills sharp and extend practical experience through this type of hands-on work. XSEDE has developed the ECSS Affiliates program to serve this demand.

Through ECSS, members of the research community and ECSS staff colaborate on intensive engagements lasting up to one year, covering many domain areas. ECSS has over 50 active collaborations at any one time, involving research teams using XSEDE's advanced computational infrastructure to accelerate or extend their work in some way. Through their participation in the Affilates program, interested researchers and staff share an opportunity to develop valuable cyberinfrastructure expertise.

Objectives of the ECSS Affiliates program

  • Provide interested experts outside the ECSS program with an opportunity to collaborate on cutting edge ECSS projects
  • Extend expertise in utilizing advanced cyberinfrastructure or managing user support collaborations at affilate institutions
  • Widen the impact of the ECSS program
  • Increase the diversity of expertise available for ECSS projects, training and outreach activities

Who can participate

Through the Affiliates program, members of the research computing community can volunteer their time to assist with ECSS projects, serving as full members of the ECSS team. Potential Affiliates contributors may include (but are not limited to):

  • 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

Project areas available

  • Extended Support for Research Teams (ESRT)
  • Extended Support for Community Codes (ESCC)
  • Extended Support for Science Gateways (ESSGW)

This diversity 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.

Other affilate participation options

In lieu of working on a current ECSS project, Affiliates may also participate in two components of ECSS: Novel and Innovative Projects (NIP), and Extended Support for Training, Education and Outreach (ESTEO).

NIP helps to identify scientists, scholars and educators in disciplines that have not yet made significant use of advanced computing infrastructure, who are committed to projects that require XSEDE services and who 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 be asked to provide a skills list and a CV, and either express interest in an ongoing ECSS project, or request to be added to the ECSS staffing list for NIP, ESTEO or a future ECSS project.

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 web page
  • Provide opportunities to participate in ongoing ECSS projects
  • 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 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

How to apply

Those interested may apply to the ECSS Affiliates program. ECSS management will evaluate applications and provide timely responses.

An ECSS staff member will always serve as project lead.

Because ECSS projects are initiated by the XSEDE user community, specific needs and contributions will vary across projects.

This program is open to everyone and will be re-assessed for feasibility after one year.

Key Points
Allows non-ECSS members to contribute expertise
Volunteers can become full members of ECSS
Leverages domain experience and helps sharpen and retain skills
Contact Information