Research Computing Management Committee

Terms of Reference and Remit (4th November 2019)

Membership of the RESEARCH COMPUTING MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE is drawn from academic researchers and Advanced Research Computing (ARC) staff in IT Services. It exists to ensure the academic needs of researchers are being addressed by BEAR (the Birmingham Environment for Academic Research), and to oversee and advise on its operation and development.


  1. The Management Committee will have a maximum of FIFTEEN members: Ten academic representatives of the Colleges who have an active interest in using central, advanced computing facilities in their research; three from ARC; a senior representative from Computer Science and the Committee Secretary.
  2. The Committee shall be quorate if at least three members of academic staff are present, representing at least 2 colleges.
  3. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer has a standing invitation to the Committee.
  4. Two representative from each College will be sought; Colleges will be asked to nominate members.
  5. The Chair of the Committee will be a member of academic staff and agreed by the members of the Committee.
  6. The Chair of the BEAR User Forum shall be a member of the Committee, with the expectation that they will be an existing academic member of the Committee. If no such member is willing to serve then exceptionally another member of the University’s academic staff may be co-opted and attend meetings.
  7. If a member of the Committee is unable to be present at a meeting a deputy may attend in their place.
  8. Other members may be co-opted onto the Committee or invited to attend specific meetings, at the discretion of the Chair.
  9. Meetings will be held at least THREE times a year; additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair.
  10. Membership of the Committee and Committee positions will be reviewed every two years.


The Committee exists to:

  1. advise the Academic IT Reference Group, and through it the University Research Committee and PVC Research and Knowledge Transfer, on the research computing strategy for the University, and guide its implementation.
  2. advise ARC on the academic need for services to be delivered by BEAR.
  3. recommend new services and developments to BEAR which would benefit researchers. Where funding exists, the Committee may authorise such developments subject to their compatibility with ARC plans and capacity. Where no funding exists the Committee will make representation to the University.
  4. act as the University’s Research Data Storage Management Board (RDSMB) and undertake the duties as defined in the Research Data Storage Management Policy
  5. consider operational policies for BEAR, based on recommendations made by the ARC (after consultation). Such operational policies would include but are not be limited to:
    • default filestore allocations,
    • run-time allocations,
    • configuration of the scheduling system to maintain an equitable share of the resources for all users.
    • data management and security. 
  6. consider and adjudicate on any special requests for resources outside of the norm (for example exclusive use of a large number of nodes over an extended period of time, or requests for unusually large amounts of filestore) which have been referred by ARC. Users may also make a direct approach to the Management Committee where they wish to appeal a decision on such a matter by ARC.
  7. consider suggestions from Users for further development of BEAR, and hear any concerns.
  8. guide and oversee implementation of the strategy for BEAR.
  9. make recommendations on University strategy as it affects the operation of BEAR.
  10. collaborate with IT Services to create and agree the research computing strategy as it relates to BEAR.
  11. appraise proposals from research groups to fund major enhancements to BEAR which have been referred to the Committee by ARC.
  12. through a standing sub-committee, consisting of at least 4 academic members of the Committee, manage applications for allocation of the University’s share of processing capacity in HPC Midlands Plus and subsequent Tier-2 services where Birmingham is a consortium member, and other national services.
  13. oversee and advise on any costs or charging model which may be applied for use of BEAR.
  14. guide the development and advise on the Communication and Engagement Plan for BEAR.
  15. consider and adjudicate on requests for access to BEAR for external organisations, or individuals who are not members of the University, and any charges which may apply.


The Management Committee reports to the Academic IT Reference Group and then to University Research Committee.


Professional Services