Lead in Research Support

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We will provide leadership class computational research infrastructure and supporting services that enable the productivity and creativity of BU researchers and their collaborators. We will also provide information systems for research administration that enable BU researchers to spend more time on their research and less time on managing it administratively.


BU Researchers across all domains have increasing needs in advanced computation to enable their productivity.  These demands have accelerated with the pervasive reach of data science across all aspects of society. In addition, federally funded research is increasingly burdened with complex cybersecurity requirements. Strategic projects include developing new services such as the BU-deployed research cloud resources and scalable analytical support of restricted-use data, expanded research facilitation and security compliance services, and implementation of next-generation data center and cooling infrastructure.

Research administration system improvements include replacement of our primary institutional proposal and award management system, deployment of new proposal development system, and replacement of our research conflict of interest system.

Major Projects

Research Computing

  • New England Research Cloud – Active
    The New England Research Cloud (NERC) is a collaboration between Boston University and Harvard University whose goal is to build a stable, cost-effective on-premise cloud service to support data intensive research workloads. With sponsored funding by the MassTech Collaborative, the NERC team will implement a pilot cloud service, onboarding select proof of concept use cases from institutions within the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) consortium and the region.
  • Student Ambassador Pilot Program – Active
    This project will train students in applying high-performance computing best practices to their fields of study.  In turn, these students will aid fellow researchers in their departments in the use of Research Computing services, further strengthening the relationship between IS&T and the BU research community.
  • Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) Academic Course Support – Complete
    The Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) currently supports academic courses that require advanced computation in their curriculum. The number and breadth of courses supported on the SCC continue to grow as Data Science becomes more mainstream in the learning experience. This project will formalize a service and associated processes, documentation, and training to aid teaching faculty in establishing course-related projects and student accounts on the cluster.
  • Restricted Use Research Data Support Investigation – Investigating
    The Shared Computing Cluster (SCC) currently supports the analysis of public and confidential research data, including dbGaP and HIPPA Limited datasets. This project will investigate the implementation of a service that will support the analysis of restricted research data, such as non-limited HIPPA data sets, at scale.
  • Accounts / Resource Management System Overhaul – Investigating
    Researchers require a high degree of flexibility and visibility to organize their computing activities for their labs and collaborators.  This project will overhaul Research Computing Service’s existing administrative management system, providing researchers a more user-friendly interface and streamlined processes for creating accounts, tracking utilization, and managing their resources.
  • Implement GPU Infrastructure Improvements – Active
    This project aims to identify more scalable and attractive offerings for the researcher community to address the increasing demands for computing accelerator technology, such as Graphics Processing Units (GPU’s) that have become commonplace in Data Science research.
  • Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) Water Cooling Investigation / Pilot – Active
    As high-density computing servers evolve, they increasingly require more power and cooling to operate. Traditional air-cooled technology will soon not be sufficient to support their continued use. This project will examine the technology and costs of utilizing alternate water and hybrid (water/air) cooling methods at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) to support BU’s future computing infrastructure investments.
  • Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) Build Out – Identified
    The MGHPCC was built to facilitate future expansion into unused data center space by University consortium members. This project will identify the costs and implement the buildout of Boston University’s space within the data center to support future Research Computing infrastructure needs.

Research Administration

  • Conflict of Interest System Replacement – Active
    This project will implement the Huron Research Suite Conflict of Interest Module, including Integrations with CITI Training, SAP ECC HANA, iMedris, and other Huron modules (including IACUC and AOPS).
  • Proposal development, Grants and Agreements – Proposed
    This project will deploy new proposal development functionality and replace the Kuali Research Proposal Log, Institutional Proposal, Award, Subaward, and Negotiations modules with Huron Research Suite Grants and Agreements, including all associated data migration and system integrations.
  • BUMC Research Cores Management System – Complete
    This project will implement iLab to replace the BUMC legacy research cores management system.

Cybersecurity Compliance

  • CMMC Compliance Gap Assessment – Complete
    Work with consultants to assess our current state of compliance with Cybersecurity Maturity Model Compliance (CMMC) requirements potentially imposed by the Department of Defense on future research and propose a strategy for meeting those requirements.
  • CMMC Compliance Solution Implementation – Proposed
    Based on GAP assessment, implement a solution to meet CMMC Compliance objectives.
  • 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance – Complete
    Ensure BU REDCap and related-systems comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Rule on Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures, to support FDA-related research, such as clinical trials.


    • The University research faculty and their collaborators are the primary stakeholders for this strategic priority.
    • Teaching faculty who leverage advanced computation for their student’s academic coursework.
    • Other research, IS&T, and IT Partner groups who leverage data center infrastructure located at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).
    • The Office of Research, especially the Office of Sponsored Programs, Research Compliance, Industry Engagement, and Post Award Financial Office (PAFO) are key partners in the research administration aspect of this priority.
    • Department Administrators who support researchers in grant proposal development and grants management.

    Oversight for initiatives in this area will be provided by the Research Computing and Administrative Systems Governance Committees.

    Key Success Metrics

    • Research Computing service utilization across schools, colleges and departments
    • Count of completed cybersecurity consultations/plan for research proposals
    • Grant awards to faculty who use research computing services and/or security consulting services
    • Research infrastructure grant awards
    • Researcher satisfaction with research computing services (survey)
    • Research satisfaction with research administration systems (survey)