Franklin & Marshall College Campus CyberInfrastructure Plan
F&M has, year over year, matured its approach and available resources in support of campus researchers. This work is highlighted as a priority in the College’s most recent strategic plan. Examples of this maturation include:
- creation of F&M’s first-ever Faculty Center in 2014 with support from the Mellon Foundation
- development of a professional College Grants Office, which received a prestigious NIH Biomedical/Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) Award to enhance its support for sponsored research and faculty development in health-related fields. Ultimately, all researchers will benefit from this work.
- receipt of a grant from the NSF in excess of $400K to acquire a confocal microscope for F&M.
F&M’s researchers expect access to world-class research instrumentation and infrastructure. They expect the same from the College’s cyberinfrastructure. More than a utility, this infrastructure plays a crucial role in virtually all of the scientific research happening at F&M. To better support this, F&M applied for and received a CC* award in 2015 which allowed us to improve dramatically upon our inter- and intra- campus connectivity. Our Science DMZ, data transfer node, access to Globus and associated upgrades to a variety of campus fiber runs, including a move to a 10 Gb/s connection to PennREN and joining Internet2 have been transformative for our researchers.
As we look forward, we recognize that the work of recent years leaves us with one significant shortcoming in our ability to provide quality cyberinfrastructure to our researchers. Our current campus compute resources are significantly lagging and at the same time, demand is increasing particularly given developments such as those mentioned above. With this in mind, F&M’s CI plan has four significant priorities.