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BioExcel Deliverable 4.2 - Competency framework, mapping to current training & initial training plan

Matser, Vera

This document describes how the BioExcel Centre of Excellence has worked with its users to agree on the competencies that they require to make the most of HPC for their research. To enrich the competency profile we have, for each competence, defined what an individual will need to know and what skills they need to have to exhibit competence in a specific area, as well as listed what behaviours are suited and unsuited to an individual with that particular competency.

We have performed a training needs analysis to gather the competency requirements for BioExcel’s users. These users include: entry-level users (e.g. bench-based molecular life scientists with a very limited computational background, working in both academic and industrial settings); expert users (e.g. structural bioinformaticians/computational chemists, medicinal chemists and others) and computational service providers, including systems administrators, applications experts and others involved in providing high-end computational services and software to biomolecular scientists.

An initial workshop was organised to outline the competencies required by these users to make the most of HPC, and the main outcome of the workshop was a matrix of the different target groups against the agreed competencies. A total of 31 competencies have been defined; 5 Generic Competencies, 13 Scientific Competencies; 8 Generic Computing Competencies and 5 Parallel Computing Competencies.

We are in the process of mapping these competencies to the learning outcomes of courses already provided by existing training programmes so that we can focus on developing new training that meets currently unmet needs. Though a large number of the competencies have existing courses mapped against them the coverage is often partial or fragmented. At the interim analysis stage (refers to D4.2 versus final analysis in D4.3 due in month 12) 10 out of the 31 competencies are insufficiently covered; based on having less than 5 training resources mapped against the competencies. Taking into account the partial mapping, the number of insufficiently covered competencies increased to 19.

Initial plans for the BioExcel Training Programme are presented with mapping against the relevant competencies. The work (task 4.1) underlying this deliverable formally runs until month 12 and the complete results with recommendations for the BioExcel Training Programme will be presented in D4.3 (PM12).

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