Minding the Gap: Leveraging Cyberinfrastructure to Transform EPSCoR Jurisdictions
Catalyzing research competitiveness is central to the National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) mission. Modern research and education relies on cyberinfrastructure (CI): networks, data, computers, software, and the people who support them. The rapid rate of technological change, however, poses particularly significant challenges to researchers and traditional institutional Information Technology (IT) organizations.
Historical CI underinvestment in NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions has created degrees of unevenness in the national distribution and availability of CI resources, impacting competitiveness across all NSF funding areas. The gaps in EPSCoR CI infrastructure in data-centric areas alone suggest that EPSCoR institutions are unlikely to be competitive in the national research arena without purposeful companion efforts to improve already lagging cyberinfrastructure.
The EPSCoR CI Working Group (EPSCoR CI WG) formed with funding support from NSF EPSCoR via a collaborative workshop award for the dual purpose of responding to the lack of data characterizing EPSCoR CI capabilities, and to a “Call to Action” to increase CI access across EPSCoR (Moore, 2019). The EPSCoR CI WG facilitated community generation of unprecedented baseline CI capabilities data characterizing CI distribution and availability across EPSCoR jurisdictions and institutions. Those data then framed community workshop discussions focused on prioritizing identified gaps and generating solutions.
This report summarizes the results of community data generation activities and workshop discussions, ending with eleven recommendations to NSF and to Jurisdictions and Institutions