Canadian universities are mandated to provide IT services for infrastructure, collaboration, communication, desktop and high performance computing. However, scientific research requires the use of technologies that do not fall within the aforementioned categories. The support for technology of this kind is widely referred to as General Research Computing Support. The lack of a mandate to provide this can create a gap that leaves scientists without the necessary resources to sustain their research. We will explore this gap and how our department has attempted to fill it. We will look at what technologies our labs use and the unique challenges we’ve encountered when supporting them. While the examples we share are from a research unit’s perspective, the goal is not to advocate for a centralized or decentralized approach, but rather to emphasize best practices for implementing a service delivery model for general research computing support.


Matthew Smith

Manager, Information Technology, UBC Department of Psychology