ITAC  Minutes 
August 17, 2023 


Allen Building Boardroom 


All times below include presentation and discussion time. 


4:00 - 4:05pm: Announcements (5 minutes) 


Victoria Szabo: Welcome, lets get started. Hope everybody came through the storm safe. Only announcement today is approval of minutes (minutes from 6/22/23 approved.) 

Next up is going to be a discussion of Scholars@Duke with Damaris Murry, Lamont Cannon, and Richard Outten.  

4:05 – 4:25pm: Scholars@Duke 3.0 – Damaris Murry, Lamont Cannon, and Richard Outten (10-minute presentation, 10 minutes Q&A) 


What it is: Scholars@Duke is a research discovery system featuring the research, scholarship, and activities of Duke faculty, researchers, academic staff, and Ph.D./graduate students through web profiles. The profile summarizes a person's roles at Duke, their research and teaching activities, and their connections with colleagues. A core subset of profile content is aggregated and continuously updated from multiple trusted data sources at Duke. The remaining profile content can be edited directly in Scholars@Duke by the profile owner or their delegate(s). Scholars@Duke promotes data reuse by feeding profile data downstream to school and department websites and other systems such as myRESEARCHhome. 


Why it’s relevant: In June 2023, we launched the new Scholars@Duke 3.0, a significant redesign of the user interface (the first since inception in 2013) and overhaul of the underlying architecture. Upgrades include reimagined faculty profile pages, refocused organization pages to highlight featured publications and research, and a vastly improved appearance and set of filtering options for search results. We have also used the Scholars@Duke 3.0 launch to share raw data and data visualizations more widely using Tableau. Scholars@Duke 3.0 offers an improved user experience with greater opportunities for engagement, recognition, research intelligence, and data sharing across the institution. We’re interested to hear from ITAC on how you see Scholars@Duke playing a role in the vast ecosystem of faculty profiles outside of Duke.  

Damaris Murry: Today we wanted to give you an update of Scholars@Duke. We recently did a major redesign after ten years--we’ll  provide a little bit of history of how we got to here, then do a demo with time for questions. 


Begin slide presentation 

  • The map you're seeing here is actually a map of implementations of a software called Vivo; Scholars@Duke is based on this same open-source software. As you see, there's a lot of implementations in the US and Europe, and it's becoming more popular in South America. It's a community that Duke has played a huge part in even to today. Showing you this because there's definitely been a divide between the US and European implementations and how they have utilized Vivo. The software does a lot, it collects a lot of data, it structures it very well. It uses some pretty specific technologies to analyze the data, but then some people just want to use it for profiles. And I think the US side really likes just profiles and the European side really likes the data analytics. Keep that in mind as we talk about Scholars. 

  • Here's a paper that actually came out of the Vivo community in 2013. As you see here, this really is not talking about profiles; there really was a desire for Vivo to be a place where information about research in an institution could be gathered and really used to do some pretty sophisticated analysis around translational research and who should be working together and how do we disseminate data faster. Profiles and information gathering, analysis and resarch have always been the dual goals. 

  • When Scholars@Duke was rolled it out in 2013 it became immediately clear that we needed to focus on the profiles first. Here's some examples of profiles. One is going to a departmental site, one to an individual's lab website. Here's an example of where Scholars integrates with myRESEARCHhome. 

  • Scholars also integrates beautifully with Sites@Duke Pro (thank you Ryn!)  

  • We also we tried to support some other administrative tasks such as annual reporting. 

  • Here's another example of CV templates that are very specific. You can just push one button and it'll populate exactly what your school wants formats to be.  

  • Next let’s focus on the data--how the data gets updated--and making sure that was clear. Part of what we see as our goal is how can we point people to the system of record as often as possible and help them understand how to maintain their own information? Here's an example where we're pointing to self-service; we meet with IDM frequently to make sure, we understand what options they're giving people. 

  • Here's an example where we're putting people to the conflict of interest from that the School of Medicine is responsible for. 

  • Here we're pointing people to Duke Today and reminding them that the Office of News and Communications will tag articles for you and they’ll show up on your profile.  

  • We have an amazing dataset and we still want people to be able to use it for of the less common tasks. For example, here’s where you can just pull up to two schools or two departments and you can see how many times those schools have published together. 

  • Another real life example is when a department wanted to see who within the department was collaborating together. This took ten seconds to generate.  

  • We use Tableau, so if you have a few parameters you can find someone in a specific school with particular expertise, pinpointing collaborators or experts you're looking for.  

  • That's just a background of what Scholars is, certainly a profile system, certainly a way to disseminate data, but then also a really incredible dataset that can hopefully help with larger problems as time evolves. Lamont is going to give a demo. 

Lamont Cannon:  

  • We launched Scholars 3.0 on June 20th and are using a phased approach with changes occurring over time. With the previous infrastructure it was a little bit more challenging to make the adaptations we needed to handle the things that our users needed.    

  • The first iteration focused on a whole new look and feel, a total refresh of the UI. There's also going to be a complete overall of the infrastructure and backend system, we're moving to an infrastructure is much more flexible and much more modern API.  

  • We have much better compliance with accessibility standards and we designed a new Scholars 3.0 with mobile in mind as the number of mobile users are steadily increasing (right now at 32% of user accessing via mobile.)  

  • What’s new in Scholars 3.0?  First and foremost, the homepage, where we can display much more content. We've added alert message bars that allow us to express any needed communications to users. We are more prominently featuring our search field, more so in the center of the page to encourage more searching, not just as a profile system but for new faculty to learn about other faculty with similar interests.  

  • We've added additional ways to feature faculty, including a carousel where to feature faculty-related themes, such as this example of distinguished professorships awards. 

  • You'll notice a completely new and enhanced layout, beginning with the new profile card at the top that features the faculty member's name, preferred title, and contact information. There are also weblink icons (links that are now featured more prominently) in the upper right so that the faculty member has a link to their CV, or they link to their Google Scholar or a LinkedIn profile. 

  • We have a new "At a Glance" tab. The idea behind that is to raise the visibility of certain courses that are profiled, so instead of having to dig further in to learn more about certain aspects of the faculty member's information, it's all front and center, displayitng background, credit overview, their current appointments, and affiliations.  

  • We've done a lot of visual enhancements, such as presenting the keywords in a whole new light. We're also using flags to represent the faculty member’s global scholarship, including expertise, does research, training or teaching in a particular country using flags 

  • We've redesigned the left-hand navigation, so it is expandable for any of those items that are sub-items. This eases navigation by jumping down to the content below.  

  • We also maintained our integration with DukeSpace; as Damaris mentioned earlier, if a faculty member uploads their publication into DukeSpace, we automatically create a link in their publication list to their open access link in DukeSpace (with usage statistics). 

  • Enhancements to publication and grant detail pages include drill down links for particular publications, such as the publication abstract. And, we've implemented faculty profile cards which look like business cards; any Duke author or co-authors will appear on the front of those faculty cards. You’ll also see the publication covers in the upper right-hand corner with metrics and citation stats that come in through Elements.  

  • We’ve got new page layouts for our courses, an area that we're hoping to further enhance with additional course data. This has been a request for quite some time. 

  • Searching is extremely important because we do want to encourage use of Scholars for locating expertise and finding collaborators. We've improved the filtering and sorting to make it easier to narrow search results: now you can narrow the results by school, unit, affiliations, and relevance. We’ve implemented highlighting to make it much easer easier to clarify where the search term is appearing in the actual search results. 

  • We're finding many more uses for Tableau to display and share data in Scholars; now it can be leveraged as a download option for search results which can be opened in Tableau. 

  • We’ve restyled the organizational pages, which had been bare-boned. Now in the Overview tab for a particular organization, we're featuring the publications and grants from that organization. We're also able to visually present the organizational profiles, starting with administration, to distinguished professorships, primary and joint appointments, down through secondary, affiliates and students. Incorporating thumbnails of profiles pictures, makes it more engaging and aesthetically pleasing.  

  • We were able to take advantage of Sites@Duke Pro for our new Scholars help site, now the home for all our Scholars help resources. It includes information on the About page, power user guides, data consumer resources, user group meeting pages, and video tutorial pages. More importantly, we've introduced audience-specific pages; for example, in the upper-right-hand Utility menu, we have specific pages for faculty questions. These come from the FAQS as well as questions faculty tend to ask. We've done the same for staff, graduate students, power users, and delegates. So now they have something where they don't have to filter through the FAQs; everything is tailored. 

  • Because of the nature of this new flexible infrastructure, we're able to start delving into some extensions to support the APT process. Damaris showed earlier the ability for us to create a School of Medicine APT CV that meets the requirements as a dossier for promotion for faculty, so that keeping their profile up-to-date is just hitting the button and it comes out in the format that they need. We're also in the process of collaborating with the Medical Center Library to create a bibliometrics guide to assist both the faculty who are under review, and the faculty reviewers themselves with how assess all of these bibliometrics, to sure they're applying those appropriately. We're creating this guide based on research areas, which can apply that information differently. 

Damaris Murry: Actually, this past year, the Scholars@Duke Team officially merged with Faculty Affairs. That's really enabled us to tackle this APT process.  

David MacAlpine: I've been here long enough, I've seen several iterations of faculty profile pages, and this is by far the best.  It's fantastic. We have to generate these CVS and keep up with them. With my publications, it's not hard, but it's all my student committees and everything that I just get bogged down; I forget that I agreed to be on this committee or that. And, that's always really hard to find in the emails. Is it linked in such a way that all the committees are going to be there?  


Lamont Cannon: In a recent management team meeting, Ed talked to us a little bit about that, how do we make it better at capturing information around advising, mentoring, and committees and everything that falls under that. In another couple of slides, I'm going to talk about that, because it's one of the things we are looking for the future. We want to capture a better set of data around that information. From what we're hearing in terms of feedback, it is going to be extremely helpful across the university and is one of our primary future focuses. 


JoAnne Van Tuyl: Looking at the overview and department example, I'm thinking about comparing that to the department website, and, as somebody in small department, we don't have a super expert to maintain our website. Could this be a substitute? Is it friendlier for updating and maintaining compared to a website? 


Damaris Murry: We talked about this because we did not want this to compete with department sites that (Duke) Communicators put a lot of work into. So, I think we're going to leave it up to the Communicators to decide what how they feel about this page. It might be a Sites@Duke question too. If this starts to be something you can pull into your own site.  


Ed Gomes: On the Trinity departmental pages, we are using this as the source. But we're not publishing everything that's available there underneath the faculty profile. The faculty profile links you back to that page.  

JoAnne Van Tuyl: And so in terms of, you know, advertising events or focusing on events or something like that?  


Ed Gomes: That's a little bit different. That's an events piece. We can talk later. Our communications folks will be working with you on that.  


Sunshine Hillygus: I took this as an opportunity to look to see my Scholars@Duke and this is a huge improvement. I've always found this conflict between my own web page and this one, and where are people going, and this one never had the right information. And I like the summaries, and I love that my grants are automatically filtered into there, but so are my external relationships, which is like super weird.  How can I take that out ? 


Damaris Murry: I'm so glad you asked. One of one of the things that Scholars ends up doing is having people ask questions like that: "Why is this out there?"  There are reasons the Duke compliance program actually wants that information out there for the conflict of interest. 


Sunshine Hillygus: That might be appropriate for the med school. But the fact that I gave a talk at a particular school and got an honorarium is just weird. I have chosen to submit that as a COI to the University but not all of that should be public, right? Taking this approach is likely to change what faculty are willing to report in terms of COI in cases where there's something that should not be out there and public. For this reason and to encourage compliance with the CIO process, I would just encourage that we have some control, particularly on the university side; I get it on the medical side… 


Lamont Cannon: We've gotten some recent feedback. I think part of it the issue stems from that the COI data was already out publicized and we are just reflecting it in this new interface.  

Sunshine Hillygus: What's being shown right now is outdated. 

Damaris Murry: I’ll take your feedback and talk to them about this form.  I'm glad you brought it up. 

Tracy Futhey: Which office is that? Research integrity? 

Damaris Murry:  Yes, Duke Office of Scientific Integrity (DOSI). 
Tracy Futhey: I think all would agree there needs to be reasonable disclosure, for example, that I may have a conflict of interest because I'm a clinician, and I also get money being on the board of exactly the medical device that I recommend. (Making that up, of course!) If that were to happen, Duke would want to know that and would want patients or other interested parties to know. Likewise, in the cases where somebody's being an expert witness for a company on behalf of a lawsuit, it might be the kind of thing that is important to disclose, in terms of it being perceived as a conflict. But the fact that you spoke at a conference doesn't seem like a conflict so it would be good to understand why DOSI might see it as so. 
Sunshine Hillygus: Yeah. it just is weird. It shows a particular university talk from two years ago. 
Victoria Szabo: Is there a fine-grained way to show/hide? Maybe one of the answers is that we have to be actively curating the outwardly facing versions of our profiles?  
John Board: That's not what I just heard, one of the things I heard is that it's pushed whether you want it or not.   
Tracy Futhey: Well, it might be that all we need is a way for the person who owns the page to specify "I think this is out of date" or "I think this is irrelevant." Ideally the person could click the button as the editor of this page to call for a review, "please reconsider whether this should appear," and the request would go through a review process to apply some reasoning or policy. 

JoAnne Van Tuyl: I haven't looked at the new version, but the old one was so difficult to work with and to create what I wanted to do that every time we were given the option of, making sure your Scholars was up to date versus giving you the CV, I would completely rewrite my CV before I leave it up to you. And, and as a result, to be honest, I've barely looked at or done anything with my scholars, at least ten years, but this looks a lot better.  

Lamont Cannon:  

  • And that's the other thing that's part of the next phase and maybe I'll just move to that: we're working on the editing interface, and that's going to take a little bit more time. We started with the front end, the UI refresh, but I think what's really going to make things a lot easier is updating the editing interface to match the UI.  From the feedback, being able to integrate that into the editing interface is where the challenge comes for most profile owners. 

  • What we've been able to do over the years is bring Scholars to a point where we've been able to spotlight scholarly activity and expand it. Early on, we started with just regular rank faculty; now it's all faculty, is graduate students, staff and researchers. The amount of information, and robustness has steadily increased over time. Artistic works, for example, were not native to Vivo when we started; they were custom pieces that our developers worked on (in the early going Damaris did a lot of work around just architecting the artistic work so our faculty could represent different works and styles.)  We're pulling news items, outreach and engaged scholarship, activities outside of Duke. It's the most well-rounded, comprehensive profile you'll have at Duke.  

  • The data reuse piece has been key--the ability to share--to keep everyone from reinventing the wheel. Data reporting is expanding through the use of Tableau, and we are continuing to support the library through open access. 

  • As we finish, we see key opportunities for the future. Advising and mentoring information is going to be critical going forward, as well as expanding the grants and course data. There’s also patent and innovation data, because it's so important.  

  • There's the annual reporting. How does Scholars fit into that piece when so much of the information is public and there's aspects of that and reporting that still are more private?  How can we strike a balance to make that process easier for everyone? 

  • Our big question is what can Scholars be used for going forward?  How can we help fit the need there? 

JoAnne Van Tuyl: Is there an expectation that students would use this? Looking at courses of professors, what somebody teaches in the class can be very different from their scholarship.  

Lamont Cannon: Good question. We have a section for teaching activities, so it allows the profile owner to give a statement of philosophy of teaching. They can talk about other classes or other things that they're teaching. As we expanded the course data, over time people could have things like a link to the syllabi or just course descriptions or other things to make it more robust. Students can come to this to learn more about faculty and maybe see how they might want to approach as an advisor or a mentor. Even though undergraduates do not have profiles, they can go to Scholars and learn a lot about the research that's happening, and the teaching at Duke. Graduate students already have profiles, and are part of the research fabric here. They want to show their connection with labs.  

JoAnne Van Tuyl: In terms of the editing things, if I chose to forefront teaching versus scholarship, having a profile, presenting the information visually. If the first ten things are the biggest things, but they are research, is there any way to focus on teaching? 

Lamont Cannon: Very good feedback and a good time to get it, because now we are in the implementation phase, where we're trying to give faculty more options for what they feature up front.  The "At a Glance" is another section where we are hoping to show things like future publications, or grants, and maybe we can even include aspects of your teaching that we want to feature on the front page. You don't have to wait for somebody to dig down. 

Victoria Szabo: I have a question about some of the things you're talking about because they seem like tiered-access sort of things. Access to some things is public to the world, but that part of what you're considering? With the example of advising: once a student writes a thesis that's out in the world, then that's one sort of data source. And in the end, you want it to be out there, but what if it's in process, changing, it seems like we are still in FERPA land. 

Lamont Cannon: Right. We did talk about that in our discussion the other day. You know, what kind of things have to happen to make that connection with the student public? And those are things that we're going to have to work with. 

Ed Gomes: I'm in discussions with the registrar's office and SISS office to figure out how to get the right categories of data in there. Do we have it and how long do we have it available, etc. We're working together. 

John Board: I will admit to having been accusing the whole program of being a solution, looking for a problem from the faculty perspective for 11 or 12 years now since it was first established.  And so, I am in the category of faculty who use it when compelled to get my raise, right? For me, it's not in the top five places I would think of finding a new collaborator, but I really don't ask my faculty colleagues. Am I missing out on cool and interesting uses of Scholars that that I have been too jaded to become aware of?   

Victoria Szabo: It is feeding websites. Now it has all the automatic stuff... 

Ken Rogerson: The new interface is nice, but my school doesn’t use this for our annual reviews. We have a form we have to fill out and submit to the Dean for our annual reviews. So, I have to do my CV and then I have to fill out the school’s form. I can see value in using Scholars but it's just it's not being used in my school internally in a way that forces me to go there. 
JoAnne Van Tuyl: Same here. I submit my updated cv and I write a paragraph about new things I've done. 
Damaris Murry: This is not what you are asking, exactly, but there are a lot of administrative offices that find a lot of value in Scholars, whether it's News and Communications. Like the Duke Daily--they need to find things every day. Or to invite faculty to events. Some administrative staff find it very helpful…award nominations. 
Tracy Futhey: Now is the perfect time to go back and say "there's still ten more things" or "here are the things I noticed" or "this seems odd." We can have another conversation in this room if you want to.  If you all send in ideas and comments, we want to then work in this room to prioritize them a little bit and to think about how we might address these. But now is a good time for you to get your input. 

Sunshine Hillygus: I would say that I appreciate pulling in the classes. I love that it pulls in the news.  The recognition and prof activities are so mismatched and so limited. I don't know where you're pulling from. It's a weird highlighting of items that aren't necessarily the most prominent and there should be a way to suppress those.  

Lamont Cannon: Things like professional activities are things that you enter manually so you have a lot more control inside of Scholars to suppress that entirely. You have some control. COI data is one of the few that just “comes in.” But, what we hope to do is have some conversations with them to say now that it's more public, this is the feedback we're getting. We appreciate all the feedback. Any other questions? 

Victoria Szabo: A teaser for later. We've talked to this group about trying to think about the relationship of scholars to things like LinkedIn and Google. 

John Board: Google Scholar, I was glad to see we had links there. 

Victoria Szabo: Out of time, thank you.  I think we're going to bump the Code Plus updates for a future meeting so we can hear from Tracy about the research IT needs. 

Tracy Futhey: Yes. And Code plus is evergreen, it will be back with us all the time in preparation for next year, whereas the research IT stuff is the third in our series of time-sensitive activities 

4:45 – 5:15pm: Research IT Needs: Phase 2 Wrap-Up – Tracy Futhey (15-minute presentation, 15 minutes Q&A) 


What it is: In Phase 2 of Duke’s study of Research IT Needs, each of the 6 major findings identified in the December 2022 summary report was assigned to a working group composed of faculty and staff with insight into that particular finding. Each group met over a 10-week period in the first half of 2023 to devise potential solutions to their assigned priority. 39 services were proposed; now, after further refinement and feedback, 12 services are recommended for implementation. 


Why it’s relevant: Today we’ll hear about the 12 services proposals that are advancing to Phase 3 (Implementation) and learn more details about them and the service clusters they comprise. 


Tracy Futhey: The last discussion was in May to talk about what the status of this was. 

slide presentation  

Just to remind folks, this is three phases:  

  • Phase 1, where we heard from faculty about what you thought we needed, what you thought the gaps were. 

  • Phase 2 was mostly the service providers, where we proposed, as service providers, what we thought the solutions could be.  

  • Phase 3 is where we are now, which is mostly figuring out how we pay for it.  

With close out of Phase 2, all those things are now done--the survey, the readouts. We are starting to know what costs look like.  

  • Phase 3 convened a couple of weeks ago, and will work over next month and a half are to identify funding options for each of the services that have been proposed and think about the multiyear walk up and bridge funding that will probably be needed.  

  • When last we met and talked about it, we started with 39 different proposals---here they are across all workgroups. We did all this combining, we said anything that has to do with people, that are client/faculty facing, we'll bundle all that together so we don't have a lot of interdependencies all over the place. These lines represent where things were consolidated from 39 somewhat overlapping proposals to 29 distinct proposals. 

  • In ITAC you talked about how difficult it would be to hand the faculty a survey that had these 29 distinct services to weigh in on, so we de-prioritized the ones that got the lowest rating in the poster session that many of you attended in early April.  

  • As a result, we had 21 services that we surveyed with participating Phase 1 and Phase 2 faculty, and received a 67% response rate. We feel pretty good that everyone who has been connected to this process has had a chance to respond. We had good response rates from each of the different domains, and the faculty did a really good job of spreading their scores so everything didn’t end up having the highest rating. In fact, every one of the 21 services got a combination of highest, medium and lowest priority! 

  • We summarized ratings for each of the 21 items: what the average was, as well as how many ratings each proposed received that were low, medium, or high. We said "low" counted a one point, "medium" counted as two, and "high" counted as three. 

  • This next chart plots the faculty priorities along the x axis, with things to the right representing higher priorities, things to the left lower priorities.  

  • As you remember the sponsors were me, Jenny Lodge, Joe Salem, as well as deans--we had deans sponsoring each of the different findings. We asked the sponsors what they thought were the more strategic items and we graphed sponsor priorities on the y axis.  

  • We ended up with a handful of faculty top priorities, additional high priorities as indicated by sponsors, and some high impact/low cost priorities. We had a couple of things we called "on the bubble." All these services are shown in clusters in the graph. 

  • And then we highlighted school-based priorities— areas that had mixed ratings overall, but might have gotten a really high rating, for example, in the natural sciences, or in the social sciences. So, where the costs on those were relatively low, we thought those might represent particular collaborations with schools; maybe a school wants to fund a trial, and then if it works out, maybe it ends up becoming a university-level service.  

  • As we go to the next slide you see the actual bubble chart that we promised would be provided at the last ITAC. Those ones on the top right are the five services that the faculty said were most important. The ones in the top middle in purple are the ones that the sponsor said, "okay, faculty didn't rate these quite as high, but we think they're of pretty high strategic importance here.” The ones on the top left--as you see, the bubble size corresponds to their estimated cost --were lowish. These low cost, high strategic value services form another priority cluster. Then the couple that are shown as on the bubble were deferred for further study. Finally, the circles with dotted lines down in the lower-middle section are potential candidates for school-level priorities. 

JoAnne Van Tuyl: Which the little blue ball group is hiding behind number four there? 

Tracy Futhey: That is item D1. Each of those balls or bubbles refer to different services. D1 in particular is the Duke compute cluster, and the proposal is that we need to enhance the DCC a bit more so that is has higher memory, higher processing capacity, etc. On the graph it just happens to fall a little bit behind the other service bubble because its cost (bubble) is so big. 

If we go to the next slide, these are the actual 12 services that are recommended for implementation, each with a shorthand notes to describe it, and they're organized according to the work groups that proposed them (A-F) 

  • A: The first workgroup was about people. The original finding was that Duke lacks enough people to support the research. Of the four proposals that came from the people group, these are the two from the survey and sponsor input that rose to the level of us continuing to move forward with them.  

  • B: Only one came out on the work group evaluating the complexities for faculty caused by the two separate research infrastructures. The one that rose as a priority was about this idea of “protected enclaves.”   

  • C: We've got one service priority that advances from the security / compliance area.  

(The ones below in red (D-F) are more of the technology services) 

  • D: The D category includes recommendations such as researchers urging that the Duke compute cluster isn’t as flexible as it needs to be.   

  • E:  This was about “how do I find the resources? There's so many of them, I can't figure out which one works for me?” 

  • F:  This work group was about storage.  

Next slide: We have this idea that these services actually fell into what we were calling "service clusters;" even though they arose from these six different findings, the reality is they naturally hang together. 

  • The first one is about providing better support for researchers by adding personnel, improving the coordination across the people, not only in the central units, but also at the school level, and improving the delivery of service discovery (how people find out about things.)  

  • The middle categories are about better computational services and better capacity for the data science, data-intensive research that we see on the horizon. 

  • The last category on the right is all about security and compliance and how do we balance that against the different kinds of research that occur at Duke. 

We’ll  pause here, see if anybody has questions, comments. Okay?  On to the next…  

So now we're in phase three: 

  • Phase three is driven more by people who think about finance and funding. For the sponsors, we are lucky to have the new Provost as one of our sponsors of phase three, as well as the University EVP and the newly-appointed EVP for Health Affairs.  

The names you saw before on the earlier phases of sponsors are now more in these roles of Advocates who will be helping the working group members in this next phase to do their work to think about what these services are, and what may be the right financial instruments. 

The Phase 3 co-chairs: 

  • Amy Oates, is the Vice Provost for Finance;  

  • John Clements, Associate Vice President for Budgets and Central Business Operations  

  • Evan Levine is with OIT and is the link between the all the financing folks and what happened in phase two. He gets the heavy role of converting all our IT speak for the business folks who will help us figure out how to fund it. 

Members listed there are the people who are meeting biweekly, the co-chairs are meeting weekly. Then there are also some other expert resources who will help out as needed; people more from the development and sponsored research areas, 

It is a small team structure relative to where we've been. We’re in week 2 now and they're charged with finishing their work by the first week in October. 

Next slide.  These items are the ones that have to happen to make phase three successful: 

  • Figure out what the funding options are, 

  • What the multi-year walk up looks like; and  

  • Make sure we have the sponsor backing throughout.  

Beyond the work of this group, there are other activities that have to occur more operationally from some of the kind of people in this room.  For example, how do we figure out all the people we think we need to hire day one? What do job descriptions look like? Where would they be placed organizationally? Are they people who are technical people and fit well in OIT? Are they people who help to support?  The phrase we've used is "process Sherpas," who would be people to can help reserachers figure out how to get through the process of getting data use agreements approved and getting their security right, or other complicated procedures that people can't get out of. So which of those are priorities? What are the job descriptions look like? Where do the people live?  

I think the virtual teams one is going to be huge. How do we connect all the many people who are already here?  Adding 15 or 20 people as the recommendation calls for is not going to fix this unless we can figure out how they become glue and connectors and can mobilize and help support all the resources that are already out there. Thinking about virtual teams and school-level resources is going to be a major effort. 

We've got to figure out how all of the research support is all of us, even if organizationally it reports wherever. That's going to be a big one. And we can do a lot of work on that even before funding is available, hopefully next fiscal year.  

Last slide. There are five services we’re already working on, so there is real momentum around this. For example, priority 11 is underway, “devise tools to manage data over its lifecycle.” Charlie is the PI on a grant we got from NSF last year that is really showing great potential for how we can lower our storage costs.  So, there's a lot of work already underway there.  

Victoria Szabo: For A1 and A2, how much of the infrastructure is already in place that these people will be introduced to?  

Tracy Futhey:  We have the proposed new FTEs generally scoped out, we've categorized what we think they would focus on and which would be priorities to hire in the beginning; some people around helping with data, some around the process, some around the technical underpinnings. We've identified where they might fit in existing places There is also the idea of domain-based resources. This would be somebody who might live, for example, in the social sciences, at least Intellectually, in terms of knowledge and awareness focused mostly on data sciences, and how do they think about data and data wrangling but also serve the rest of campus. You can consider those as domain-focused or -based resource, but not domain-exclusive resources. What we're trying to get at with these domain-focused resources, is to have a knowledge in a scholarly domain as well as an essential technical set of skills. In this way they might play the field so to speak and help to support somebody in the natural sciences who needs to do some work on the on the data side. 

I think those are the ones that are kind of still relatively unclear where and how they will live. For some of the others—like those around Python and other technologies, it’s clearer where to associate them as “OK, they feel like OIT people,” whereas around the process, securing the data pieces that might relate to the research office, they might feel like they fit in ORI, and then some of the expertise around data visualization and data retention might be Library-related 

Evan Levine: I would note that A2 goes closely with A1; we're trying to do a better job of virtually teaming these people up and making sure they know each other so that exactly where they sit doesn’t dictate the work they do, and that we have more access to them in different areas. If we have a specialization over here, it doesn’t mean that it’s solely over here. The structures are still being figured out but being made less siloed. 

Tracy Futhey: And I would say we've done some good work with Trinity. Ed and Trinity merged over a lot of their everyday support folks into OIT a couple of years ago, but kept at the school level a kind of a higher order, folks who were supporting the more research-intensive units. That may be the kind of structure that we need to get to in other places 

Brandon Le: At number two in the middle, you listed to provide storage capacity to be 80% of active research project need. I guess the obvious question is why not 100%? 

Tracy Futhey: We generally set 80% of the need as reflecting what most everyday people need, but there are always people who have a crazy intensive need. If we were trying to say that the compute cluster met 100% of the need rather than 80% of the need, it would need to be many times larger. What we try to do is set that sweet spot of meeting most people's needs. For those with really intensive storage, it’s likely intensive research that is probably getting funded from somewhere.  And therefore, you use your grant money to buy additional storage or computation that you put in the Duke compute cluster, and that grows that environment. The numbers two and three in the middle column, those actually involve extending access to  PhD students and to postdocs in a way that the current compute cluster only gives access by virtue of your engagement through a lab that a faculty member has. But in this new implementation, at least as we proposed, the PhD students and postdocs would also get some level of computational access and storage just by virtue of their roles not tied to particular research. 

John Board: That’s more important to some disciplines than others. 

Colin Rundel: But that also reduces a lot of burden on the faculty because I end up supporting them, to get them on the DCC. It’s not getting in my allocation, or my department’s allocation. They get to manage it themselves. 

Victoria Szabo: I think it's really impressive that such a heterogeneous amount of input turned into something so clear. 

Tracy Futhey: I will say, there is a small line in the report—those in the basic sciences may appreciate this---one of the on-the-bubble services, about a common research network throughout Duke, which I think a lot of us believe would be really important to do in supporting the researchers, but which has been very difficult to do for lots of reasons. In a couple of conversations this week, it looks like we will launch a pilot with a basic sciences department to shift them over to the OIT network.  

More on this as it comes. We'll talk to you again, probably mid-semester or later. Once phase three is done, then we can talk about how the next steps unfold.  

David MacAlpine: Now, there are controls in place with all these finance people, but you know, I just worry that we're going to anticipate more storage and now we're going charge you 10 times more for storage. 

Tracy Futhey: We are looking hard at the indirect cost recovery. Administrative costs are pretty much tapped out. But facilities costs, maybe not so much. It may be that where some of these are really research facilities that enhance security and therefore that those are good candidates to include in the F&A rate. So, the team is really looking with open eyes. 

Victoria Szabo: And on that note, I think we’re out of time.