Vanderbilt Research IT Resources

The Vanderbilt Research IT Resources, developed out of recommendations from the working group, aims to provide research consultation and technical solutions to research driven information technology problems.

The Research IT Working Group has completed and proposed recommendations for VU Research IT Resources for 2018-2019. The report recommendations can be viewed here.

Our goal is to connect end-to-end our users with support services to ensure researchers have solutions for their research problems.  These services are currently being constructed and we will be piloting them in the coming months.  As we develop these services we appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

Background

The Research IT Working Group is charged with laying the groundwork for enhancing research information technology (IT) services for schools and colleges reporting to Provost Susan R. Wente. The Research IT Special Project Working Group operates under the auspices of the Provost’s Initiative to Enhance Research and Scholarship, or PIERS, and pursues key recommendations put forth in 2016 by the Faculty Advisory Committee on Research IT.
The Research IT Working Group, which began in 2017, is tasked to “pilot 1-3 new services critically and broadly needed by researchers”. With an eye on the long-term ability of Vanderbilt to compete in the research domain, the group is challenged to “inform the development of a long- term plan for sustainably providing services that are implemented by professionally trained and managed IT staff with oversight and input from our faculty and stakeholder engagement.”

Research IT: information technology resources that directly impact research, this is different from other campus IT infrastructure.There are four distinct IT areas represented at Vanderbilt:


Research IT aims to a) maximally leverage existing resources on campus, b) tap into new resources, and c) ensure that the solutions created are financially and administratively sustainable for the institution.  Concurrent with these, the committee seeks input on working to advance the long-term cause of using information technology to increase the productivity and visibility of researchers and their output through the formation of Vanderbilt Research IT Resources, managed through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. This resource aims to connect end-to-end our Vanderbilt researchers and scholars to the research IT resources through technical, consultative services, and enhanced information sharing. Our goal is to leverage our current resources across campus entities. Doing so enables trans-disciplinary innovations through providing sustainable solutions for our Vanderbilt researchers.

Guiding principles in developing these recommendations have been:

  1. Apply: existing technologies, both commercial and developed on campus, can potentially be applied in innovative ways to serve researcher needs.  For example, cloud services, such as those provided by Amazon Web Services, could be coupled to services ACCRE or VUIT provides to promote scaling up of capabilities and efficient use of university resources.
  2. Amplify: leveraging existing resources in response to a researcher’s needs to catalyze higher levels of outcomes than would otherwise be possible. For example, leveraging capabilities at the intersection of VUIT and the libraries to expand support services for the curation and preservation of scholarly collections.
  3. Create: when existing technologies and leveraging alone will not serve a researcher’s needs, and we need to advance new infrastructure and new models or analysis techniques to create solutions. For example, tapping into machine learning capabilities in engineering to analyze video data around learning sciences.

Moving Forward

Given the wide range of research methods and workflows across the university, combined with the sheer number of technical areas where assistance might be needed, we expect a series of customizable solutions will need to be developed. As we begin tracking solutions and needs across campus, we will build on this effort to create flexible, transferable approaches to research IT consultation that will address varied needs across the university, avoid redundancy of efforts, and encourage faculty to develop common solutions and work with third-party IT services, where necessary, in ways that contribute to the development of sustainable and effective research IT solutions at Vanderbilt.

To provide service feedback, please complete this survey.

Get in touch with VU Research IT Resources by emailing Lindsey Fox or calling 615-343-0730.