New and enhanced digital research services now available

September 16th, 2018

The University has invested over £3m in the last 12 months in developing and enhancing digital services for research. These services will support researchers by improving information security and enabling research that will have the greatest impact in support of our University research strategy.

Included are storage solutions that will transition users from existing legacy storage to secure, fast, accessible technology.

There are new, free at the point of use services as well as high performance options which will have an associated fee, to be recovered from funding bids. The costs recovered through these fees will be reinvested into improving existing, and developing new, digital resources for our research community.

Digital Research Services are more than technology and infrastructure; they are underpinned by experts with specialist digital skills who understand the challenges of conducting research within the digital landscape.

Support services now available:

  1. You asked for guidance and support on planning your research data management
    We delivered a new Research Data Management Service offering guidance to support in research planning, developing data management plans for funding applications, managing data during and after research completion, and all in full consideration of working with commercial, sensitive and personal data.
  2. You asked for access to specialist expertise in data analysis and compute services
    We delivered a new Digital Research Service (DRS) providing expertise in the areas of Data Analytics, Bioinformatics and Research Software Engineering. The DRS can help to realise the potential of your data, access the new compute facilities and improve research quality. Available in UNUK/UNNC/UNMC.
  3. You asked for clear policies, advice and guidance on using all digital research services
    We delivered new Digital Research pages with comprehensive advice for research data management, including guidance and policies. Further information to support data analysis using on premise and cloud compute services, including routes for accessing regional and national HPC facilities will be coming soon.

Storage services now available

  1. You asked for secure, compliant and access-anywhere storage for research data
    We delivered a new Core Storage Service with allocations of 5Tb per individual, and 1Tb of secure, shared and recoverable data storage (expandable upon request). All cloud storage meets data security standards (ISO 270001 and GDPR) when used in accordance with best practice.
  2. You asked for high-capacity and costed storage for research data
    We delivered a new Performance Storage Service for researchers who require a larger storage allocation, higher performance, or where contracts state you need on-site/high security which cannot be met by the free core service. This includes guidance on choosing the right solutions to meet your requirements and clear costs for research bids (via RIS). From Monday 17 September all new requests for research storage will be allocated from the new services rather than R:Drive.
  3. You asked for discoverable, long-term and costed archival storage for research data
    We delivered a new Data Archiving Service enabling you to retain and preserve your research data for the future and promote research openness and transparency. We will provide 50GB of free archive storage per research project and should you require more, clear costs are outlined for including in research bids (via RIS). Available in UNUK/UNNC/UNMC.

Collaboration services now available:

  1. You asked for remote and real-time collaborative working with all your collaborators
    We delivered new Collaboration Tools with Microsoft O365, OneDrive and Teams sites. You can now work collaboratively on version controlled documents and share research data easily with colleagues in and outside of the University. Specific advice and guidance on how best to use these tools will be coming soon.

Imminent services available within the coming weeks:

  1. You asked for high-speed capture and transfer, and costed storage for research data
    We will deliver a new Local Performance Storage Service, which will enable you to quickly capture large amounts of data produced from equipment, and move this onto other storage services for analysis and longer-term storage. Clear costs are outlined for including in research bids (via RIS).
  2. You asked for secure, scalable, expanded and costed compute facilities for research
    We will deliver a new High Performance Compute Service combining an on premise HPC with “Cloud Burst” for shorter wait times or longer compute jobs, and the ability to run virtual Windows and Linux environments in the cloud. Clear costs are available now for including in research bids, and a free-at-point-of-use service will be available to encourage new users to trial the HPC and to boost innovation.

Activities over the coming academic year:

  • Look out for information on roadshows, workshops and events to support your transition to the new storage, compute and collaboration services.
  • If you’d like to be an early adopter and feature in our case study showcase or feedback on our services – get in touch.
  • We will provide standard Data Management statements for Ethics submissions in the coming weeks.
  • A review of all the above services and how they can be best expanded and utilised into the International Campuses is coming soon.
  • New Cyber Essentials service for researchers that require high security environments. For example NHS/Government funded research which requires this certification.
  • Enhanced cloud services based on researcher’s needs will be available.
  • The ability to showcase your research through research showcase websites for example
  • We will implement researcher led enhancements to all the above services based upon your feedback – send your feedback.

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