2016-07-Cyberpractitioner Workshop

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Cyberpractitioner Workshop

July 13–14, 2016
1150 18th Street NW, #900, Washington, DC 20036

This workshop was supported by NSF Award 1546711

Workshop Summary:

An invitation-only workshop was held with 31 participants in Washington, DC on July 13th and 14th.  NSF awarded Internet2 and Clemson University a grant, NSF Award 1546711 (grant details), to run an initial workshop in order to build a framework for a much larger initiative, the Cyberpractitioner Project. The subjects of this project are the set of skilled practitioners, variously called among other names "facilitators" or "cyberpractitioners", who form an essential component of many if not most highly compute-intensive scientific research projects.  

The goal of the Cyberpractitioner Project is an end state in which cyberpractitioners are recognized as members of an intellectual profession with recognized preparatory curricula and other entrance methods, an accepted place in the university hierarchy commensurate with the value they bring to the research enterprise, and an established career progression that provides for stability and prospects for steady employment on par with the faculty whom they support.

The workshop, which included a panel presentation by representatives of the NSCI lead agencies, addressed key questions about the Cyberpractitioner profession and the community at large, such as:

  • What are the avenues of entry into the community?
  • What are the prevalent aspirations and frustrations in the community?
  • What are the career exits?
  • What are typical modes of preparation for entry?
  • Are there purpose-built curricula for cyberpractitioners and, if so, where are they and what are the barriers to wider adoption?
  • Is the cyberpractitioner career a deliberate choice?
  • What should the future of this community look like?


This workshop was supported by NSF Award 1546711

PIs: Steve Wolff (Internet2), Jim Bottum (Clemson & Internet2), Dustin Atkins (Clemson)

Workshop Planning Committee: Henry Neeman (Oklahoma), Jim Wilgenbusch (Minnesota), Nick Tsinoremas (Miami), Ruth Marinshaw (Stanford), Tom Cheatham (Utah), Claudia Neuhauser (Minnesota), Kendra Dresback (Oklahoma), and PIs.

Workshop Facilitator: Russ Purvis (Clemson)

NSCI Panelists: Irene Qualters (NSF), Carolyn Lauzon (DoE), Robert Bonneau (DoD)

NSF Observers: Irene Qualters, Sushil Prasad, Bill Miller, Rajiv Ramnath, and Vipin Chaudhary


photo of attendees of the Cyberpractitioner Workshop

photo of notes on a whiteboard from Cyberpractitioner Workshop