Facilitation Services

Drawing upon the principles of Research Computing Facilitation (RCF) pioneered by UW-Madison’s Center for High Throughput Computing, the Facilitation Services team work to expand the impact of dHTC and dHTC Facilitation across various PATh stakeholders, including researchers, multi-institutional collaborations, and the campuses and organizations that support them. These principles include:

  • proactive engagement
  • personalized guidance
  • technology agnosticism
  • ‘teach-to-fish’ documentation and training methodologies (empowering participants to realize dHTC impacts for themselves)
  • prioritization of “research performance” over computing performance, and
  • advocacy for user-centric improvements to relevant technologies.

PATh Research Computing Facilitators apply these principles to the practice of dHTC Facilitation for researchers, research groups, and multi-institutional collaborations leveraging the dHTC environment of the Open Science Grid (OSG) via access services like OSG Connect (available to researchers affiliated with any US-based academic, government, or non-profit organization). For example, all new users of the OSG Connect service first meet with a Facilitator to collaborate on an efficient on-ramp plan and anticipated impact, with accessible ongoing support.

Facilitation for Campuses

Leveraging the same principles and a history of experience with researchers, the RCF team also facilitates the navigation of PATh services for staff at campuses (including NSF CC* awardees) and other organizations looking to enhance their dHTC capabilities, whether by growing local dHTC capacity and support, or by connecting local resources and end-users into the OSG. As part of the services for campuses, the RCF team also leverages its own experience in dHTC for end-users to offer dHTC Facilitation training via shadowing, workshops, and ongoing support channels.

Taking dHTC Impact Farther

As an ultimate principle of Research Computing Facilitation, insights from the facilitation of dHTC stakeholders are continually integrated across PATh areas to improve dHTC capabilities and services. These include improvements to strategies for Community Empowerment, where our RCFs also contribute significantly to the materials and execution of PATh’s various outreach, education, and training programs. As part of the services for campuses, the RCF team leverages its own experience in dHTC for end-users to offer dHTC Facilitation training for personnel at campuses.