The Michael Stifel Center Jena (MSCJ) joins expertise to strengthen data-driven and simulation science in Jena by
- Fostering scientific exchange and collaboration among researchers from different disciplines
- Initiating third-party funded joined projects
- Consolidating and establishing an internationally visible scientific research structure
- Fostering young researchers and education
- Establishing a platform for collaboration with and among existing centers and networks at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) as well as transferring the developed technologies to industrial applications
To support the realization of these aims, the MSCJ establishes the Competence Center Digital Research (zedif). It serves as first contact point for all questions related to digitized research. It provides joined expertise and covers the range from mere service up to enabling collaborative research on topics like machine learning (ML), semantic web, high-performance computing (HPC), research data management (RDM), data exploration and visualization.
Vision and Mission
From its foundation in 2015, the MSCJ pursued the five main goals mentioned above with the intention of strengthening the focus on data-driven and simulation science in and around Jena as well as to integrate both fields. Since then, a further goal came to focus more and more by identifying a clear demand in
- Research support and research-related services in the fields of data-driven and simulation science in Jena
To meet this demand includes, 1) at the one end, counseling on RDM, simple applications and counseling on transfer in ML, the provision of general tools for e.g., HPC, simulation processes, visualization and data exploration as well as the provision of tools from computer science for particular disciplines. 2) At the other end, scientific questions have to be answered in close cooperation of scientists from the respective disciplines and experts in the respective fields of computer science to adapt solutions, processes and tools to specific applications. Both ends have to blend seamlessly into each other.
The Competence Center Digital Research aims to be the central contact point for research related services bridging research and infrastructure. It will serve as first and unequivocal entry point for all concerns of researchers related to data, provide orientation and channel the needs for support. Requests of researchers will be answered directly or forwarded to facilities with the respective responsibility, e.g., University Computer Center (URZ), Thuringian State and University Library (ThULB), Service Center Research and Transfer (SFT), Legal Office.
The Competence Center will efficiently coordinate the harmonization of the processes of research support among the facilities and initiate complex projects in research support. With this, processes from the application phase of a research project to the publication of research results and data will be supported in a coordinated manner. This applies to smaller individual projects as well as to bigger joint projects.
For this, process models have to be developed and implemented in close cooperation of all concerned facilities, including e.g., the FSU Vice President for Research and other scientific centers at FSU to establish interdisciplinary services that are integrated among all respective facilities. Linking services allows for a better and easier monitoring of the required resources as well as planning and extension of capacities for support offers.
A permanent multichannel service desk shall be established by structured communication among the facilities, if appropriate by using respective software solutions. For example, a central communication platform will be established on the web for enhanced interconnections among facilities and disciplines. This will also serve to raise internal visibility with regard to potential users of the services and to provide extended information offers. Participation of the project leader of the center in relevant committees will also enhance FSU internal visibility and interconnections.
The web platform will also raise external visibility of the services and foster exchange of know-how with similar / related organizations throughout Thuringia and Germany. In addition, events will be organized to enhance visibility, networking and information exchange.
With all those measures and activities, the Competence Center Digital Research will not only address the demand in research support and research-related services, but also support the realization of the goals 1-5 of MSCJ: the provision of a crystallization point for impactful interdisciplinary and integrated research in and around Jena, the leverage on joint projects and the acquisition of third-party funding, the acquisition and promotion of young scientists, the increase of visibility, and the transfer of scientific findings into other research disciplines, industry and society.