PBSci Academic Computing Survey

Nov 2, 2021 | Divisional Announcements, Research

To: All Divisional Faculty and Researchers
From: PBSci Academic Computing
Subject: PBSci Academic Computing Survey

Due date: November 10, 2021

The University of California Office of the President has initiated a system-wide Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the need for research data backup and recovery. In order for this RPF to move forward, we need to understand the scale of our needs. We are asking that you complete a 10-minute survey to help.

For the purpose of this survey, research data may include:

  • Data from campus research instruments (e.g. microscopes, cameras, DNA sequencers)
  • Data from direct observations (e.g. environmental data, telescope data, behavioural or ethnographic data)
  • Data from creative processes (e.g. digital film, artwork, pre-publication academic papers)
  • Data from analytical processes (e.g. genomics analyses, particle physics analysis, social science analyses)
  • Other data generated from campus scholarly activities

The survey is not intended to capture data from third parties (e.g. NIH data sets, unmanipulated ATLAS data), student data, or administrative data (e.g. budgets, proposals, spreadsheets). For a comprehensive understanding of what is included, please refer to the Proposed Presidential Policy on UC Research Data and Tangible Research Materials.

We’d like to survey as many people as possible, including faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and staff who have key knowledge of data associated with your scholarly activity. Informed guessing is allowed! Conservative guesses will slightly overestimate the data size.

Your contribution will ensure that UCSC campus needs are considered for this very important step towards better research data backup and recovery.


Thank you for your participation.



In the aftermath of the 2020 UCSF ransomware attack in addition to our UCSC campus’s close call with the CZU Lightning Complex fires, the system-wide Cyber-Risk Governance Committee released a report with their “Recommendations to Protect UC’s Digital Research Data.” This report, fully endorsed by UC President Drake, included a recommendation that the system provide a scalable data backup service for all UC researchers.


A Research Data Backup RFP committee including representatives from the campuses and the medical centers has been assembled to define the scope and scale of the problem, and assess the range of available research data backup solutions. The committee is currently defining in-scope data as any “data used directly in support of UC research,” which can include file-based data, databases, cloud-resident only-copy data, and data up to and including P4 level data. For data storage, the committee is thinking broadly and considering in scope any device storing research data that connects to a UC network or the Internet.


Please contact the RFP committee representative, Shawn Duncan (ashawn@ucsc.edu).

Direct Survey link: https://ucsd.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1G0aAq2WfRsrDqC

Hart Hancock
Computing Director / ITS Divisional Liaison
Division of Physical and Biological Sciences
UC Santa Cruz
hhancock@ucsc.edu / (831) 459-5354
If you have any questions or comments, please contact hhancock@ucsc.edu