Research Computing Management Committee

Terms of Reference and Remit (Revised March 2022)

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.

ORGANISATION AND MEMBERSHIP OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

  1. The Management Committee will be composed of:  
    • Ten academic representatives of the Colleges who have an active interest in using central, advanced computing facilities in their research; 
    • directors of interdisciplinary institutes related to computationally or data intensive research; 
    • academic leads of regional or national supercomputing services operated by ARC;
    • ARC Group Leaders; 
    • and the Committee Secretary.
  1. Two representatives from each College will be sought; Colleges will be asked to nominate members.

  1. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer has a standing invitation to the Committee. 

  1. The Committee shall be quorate if, in addition to the Chair, at least three members of academic staff are present, representing at least 2 colleges. 

  1. The Chair of the Committee will be a member of academic staff and agreed by the members of the Committee. 

  1. 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. 

  1. If a member of the Committee is unable to be present, they may designate a deputy to attend in their place. 

  1. Other members may be co-opted onto the Committee or invited to attend specific meetings, at the discretion of the Chair. 

  1. Meetings will be held at least FOUR times a year; additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair. 

  1. A member of the Committee who fails to attend 3 successive meetings shall be deemed to have resigned and a replacement sought. 

  1. Membership of the Committee and Committee positions will be reviewed every two years. 

REMIT OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The Committee exists to:

  1. Advise the PVC R&KT’s Academic IT Reference Group (AIRG), and through it, the University Research Committee on the research computing strategy for the University, and guide its implementation. Similarly, make recommendations on University strategy as it affects central research computing operations. 
  2. Collaborate with IT Services to create and endorse the research computing strategy.
  3. Guide and oversee implementation of the strategy for BEAR.  
  4. Consider operational policies for BEAR, based on recommendations made by the ARC (after consultation). Such operational policies would include but are not 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. 
  5. Inform/Consult/Represent needs of researchers in respective colleges. 
  6. Advise ARC on the academic need for specialist services to be delivered by BEAR and recommend developments which would benefit researchers broadly. Where funding exists, the Committee may authorise such developments subject to their compatibility with the strategy, operational plans and capacity. Where no funding exists the Committee will seek to make representations to the University via their respective college leadership teams. 
  7. Act as the University’s Research Data Storage Management Board (RDSMB) and undertake the duties as defined in the Research Data Storage Management Policy. 
  8. Through its Strategic Resource Allocation Group (SRAG), 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 or any substantial requests from external bodies/non-members of the University) which have been referred by ARC.
  9. Through SRAG, manage applications for a share of the University’s allocations of processing capacity in HPC Midlands Plus, Baskerville and subsequent Tier-2 services where Birmingham is a consortium member. 
  10. Canvas for and consider suggestions from Users for further development of BEAR, and hear any concerns. 
  11. Appraise proposals from research groups to fund major enhancements to BEAR which have been referred to the Committee by ARC.
  12. Oversee and advise on any costs or charging model which may be applied for use of BEAR. 
  13. Guide the development and advise on the Communication and Engagement Plan for BEAR. 

REPORTING LINE

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

Colleges

Professional Services