Champions

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Main Scheme oversight Forms Useful Information



This wikipage is a working repository of information about the EGI Champions programme.

This information that is primarily intended for use by EGI Champions (including prospective Champions) to help them in their quest to encourage scientific researchers to use the considerable resources of the European Grid Infrastructure. This page is administered on a day to day basis by EGI.eu (contact: Richard McLennan) but all EGI Champions are encouraged to contribute to the information recorded in these pages so as to help compile as useful and complete repository as possible.

EGI Champions - Aims

The EGI Champions scheme aims to create a nucleus of knowledgeable and highly motivated users of the grid who's mission will be to actively encourage and enthuse more scientists into using enormous resources of the European Grid Infrastructure for their research.

The scheme was launched on 17 September 2012 during the EGI Technical Forum in Prague. The Champions role offers a flexible and practical mechanism that can be used by EGI to create and support a cadre of enthusiastic individuals who will act as ambassadors for the European Grid Infrastructure. In turn, and through their own technical knowledge and awareness of EGI's resources and services, these ambassadors will help, assist, encourage and nurture both current and potential new users to employ the resources of the grid.

EGI Champions - Descriptions and Definitions

What will Champions do?

The European Grid Infrastructure is an immensely capable academic computing grid that enables access to state-of-the-art computing facilities for cutting edge research across an international scientific community. To fully exploit this valuable infrastructure we need to promote its capabilities and engage with as wide a field of researchers as possible. The EGI Champions are knowledgeable users of the infrastructure who will have gained their experience in any of a varied range of ways - more importantly, they will have an aptitude for enthusiastically conveying the potential and value of the EGI to fellow scientists and researchers. Champions may work in any discipline from astro-physics to ancient history but it is their communications skill that are of greatest importance to the role, providing hands-on support to small numbers of other researchers and by delivering compelling talks to large numbers of people, be they academics, the general public or perhaps even school children.

What will Champions get in return?

In return for promoting the benefits and value of the EGI and for undertaking this ambassadorial role, Champions will be eligible for funding to attend additional meetings and conferences where they are relevant. EGI Champions will thus form a network of effective communicators and supporters who simultaneously raise the profile of EGI and also their own academic careers.

How do I become a Champion?

Prospective candidates should forward a completed application form (see above: Useful Documents & Forms) with their CV to champions@egi.eu for consideration. Endorsement from the NIL of the candidate’s own country will be required and should preferably be confirmed when submitting the application. At least three members from the OC must endorse candidates with no dissensions from the committee overall.

Applications will normally be circulated to the OC within one week of being received. Candidate applications will be considered during the monthly OC meetings. Applicants will be informed of their selection or otherwise not later than 1 week after the OC meeting. The applicant's endorsing NIL will be kept informed at all stages of the process.

EGI Champions - More Detail

Which Meetings & Events will Champions attend?

Champions will use their own judgement in identifying where they are most needed in the user community and where they can have the greatest benefit for EGI. There will routinely be opportunities to champion the EGI cause while attending conferences and other events related to their own research or professional interests. Additionally, many events will arise which can be attended specifically in the role as EGI Champions and in these cases it will be appropriate to seek EGI funding support.

The following events are of relevance to the EGI Champions network scheme:

  • Distributed Computing Infrastructure (DCI) including Grid, Cloud and HPC.
  • Domain-specific with a specific focus on the use of distributed computing by researchers.
  • Domain-specific with inclusion of applications, services and resources to support the science and/or innovation of these areas
  • EGI Forums: at the NILs meeting the network coordinator will report back (6 monthly)
  • EGI Training events and workshops, technical briefings and webinars: these will be of interest to Champions and will keep their skill levels up to date
  • NGI and other national events – EGI Champions should attend these to learn about national initiatives as well as report back on EGI from their perspective.
  • Events recommended by the OC or other members of EGI.

What back-up and support will EGI provide?

The following mechanisms will be established by EGI.eu as on going processes to maintain a prominent profile for the EGI Champions network:

  • Produce web pages to be kept up to date in terms of: people profiles, success stories, benefits, contact points.
  • Produce a brochure/postcard to distribute at Forums and other events including those organised by the NGIs.
  • Produce video interviews featuring EGI Champions reporting from events and/or from their own labs.
  • Produce further articles in the EGI newsletter and encourage other community and NGI newsletters to promote the successes of the scheme.

Funding and reimbursement decisions

Champions may seek funds to cover their travel, subsistence, conference fees and other costs associated with attending meetings and events relevant to their role. Requests for such funding should use the Travel Request Form and need to be submitted at least three weeks before the deadline for the event (earlybird if this is available). A request will be reviewed by the OC and approved if three or more members endorse it and no one dissents. Decisions will be made on the basis of:

  • The proposed justification;
  • The spectrum of other requests;
  • The funding remaining for the year;
  • The EGI Champion’s track record and results from previous events.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Tasks & responsibilities of EGI Champions include the following:

  • Promoting EGI and the value of EGI.eu within the context of the normal working environment and institution.
  • Participating in at least one EGI Forum per year. This would typically be the Community Forum.
  • Preparing feedback reports on conferences and other events that have been attended, focusing on opportunities and issues for EGI to take forwards (including new leads that can be followed up by NGIs or EGI.)
  • Maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of EGI’s role and the benefits it provides from the perspective of researchers and research teams.
  • Providing local help and advice when and where appropriate even if it is to escalate enquires to relevant EGI individuals or services.
  • Providing specialist help through the EGI help desk when applicable to their locale or specialist skills.
  • Notifying NGI/EGI/their own institution about opportunities and issues that concern user communities in terms of their use of the European Grid Infrastructure.

Oversight of Scheme

EGI Champions Oversight Committee (OC)

The Oversight Committee (OC) will have 5 – 7 members, two of whom will be from the EGI.eu executive; typically these will be the Director and the Chief Community Officer. The OC will be chaired by the Chief Community Officer. In this context the OC chair may also be referred to as the EGI Champions Network Coordinator. The other 3 -5 members will be NILs. Membership will be time-limited to provide a turnover of members so in the first instance some NILs will be appointed for 2 years and some for 1 year. An open invitation will be issued to the NILs at the launch and then repeated every year at the time of the Technical Forum.

OC Meettings

The OC will convene (typically by phone) every month to monitor progress of the EGI Champions in terms of:

  • Number of EGI Champions
  • New nominations/applications coming in from NGIs
  • Progress of individual EGI Champions against their own time line and targets.
  • Forthcoming events at which EGI Champions could participate
  • Requests from EGI Champions to attend events and associated expense claims
  • Publicity matters – is the EGI Champions getting appropriate publicity – EGI publicity team to report to the oversight committee
  • Is the budget being wisely and effectively spent in terms of achievements versus activities?

Champions Selection Process

Candidate names must be proposed through the NIL from the candidate’s own country. Information should be supplied as described in Appendix B. At least three members from the OC must endorse candidates with no dissensions from the committee overall. Applications must be circulated to the OC within one week of being received – they do not have to await one of the regular meetings. Once a decision has been made, the candidate must be advised of the decision within one week. The NIL of the country of the candidate who endorsed the application must be kept informed at all stages of the process.

Champion Profile - Eligibility

Academic level

  • Candidates should be graduates/post-graduates engaged in formal academic research within an institution of learning within the ERA or another region formally connected with EGI.
  • All subject disciplines are acceptable.

Knowledge and skills

  • Must be a competent user of EGI for research purposes;
  • Must be articulate about how their research processes work on the infrastructure even if they do not understand every element of the underlying processes;
  • Must possess most, if not all, of the following characteristics relating to the ability to promote the benefits of grid and other forms of distributed computing for research purposes:
    • Excellent presentation skills;
    • Convincing and enthusiastic communication skills;
    • Ability to talk to small groups of researchers in the same institution with enthusiasm and substance;
    • Ability to talk to medium sized groups of researchers in their subject area;
    • Ability to talk to large groups of researchers from multiple disciplines;
    • Ability to talk to a more general audience from school children, under-graduates to the general public.

Note that communication and presentation skills may be offered in the course of the EGI Champions training and briefing sessions. These sessions will not only relate to the technological aspects of EGI.

Experience

Potential Champions may be drawn from many research areas including the following:

  • Existing NGI champion/ambassador/fellow roles or similar;
  • The RAMIRI participants/alumni working within Research Infrastructures as practitioners;
  • The ESFRI projects may have candidates they want to put forwards;
  • Highly specialist researchers will also make good candidates.

Duration of Champion Assignment

EGI Champions will be assigned for 18 – 24 months. Assignments will be time-limited in order that Champions can become established and recognised figures in their role yet the rotations will promote a constantly expanding community of "alumni" with growing influence, awareness and communication skills.