March 2020 National eResearch Newsletter

Welcome to the March 2020 National eResearch Newsletter

Message from AeRO:  C3DIS Cancelled.

It is with deep regret advise that the 2020 Collaborative Conference on Computational and Data Intensive Science (2020 C3DIS) scheduled to take place in Melbourne 16 – 20 March has been cancelled.

The rapidly changing circumstances relating to COVID-19, combined with the recent implementation of organisational travel restrictions, and government travel restrictions here in Australia and internationally, has significantly impacted the ability of delegates to attend the conference.  As such the organising committee has been left with no choice but to cancel the conference.

This has been a very difficult decision for the organising committee to take.  We apologise for the limited notice we were able to give, and recognise the decision will impose a significant inconvenience for all participants.

This cancellation applies to the main conference (16-17 March) and all post conference workshops (18-20 March).  Note that the RDA Plenary (18-20 March) has also been cancelled.

We understand a lot of presenters will have already prepared their presentations and slides. We will contact all C3DIS presenters offering to post presentation slides and pre-recorded videos to the conference website in the coming weeks.

We thank you for your understanding during this very difficult time.

Dr John Zic, Conference Co-Chair
Dr Carina Kemp, Conference Co-Chair
Sam Moskwa, Organising Committee Chair

Research Data Alliance Plenary 15 Cancelled


Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and the declaration by the World Health Organisation of a pandemic, CSIRO, ARDC and RDA have made the very difficult decision to cancel the Plenary 15 meeting, 18-20 March, in the interest of the health and safety of our members.  Please contact co-located event organisers for the status of those events.


From 18th March to 10th April 2020 we will be facilitating the organisation of a virtual Plenary (VP 15) meeting, offering session convenors the opportunity to organise and participate in virtual breakout sessions.




MRtrix3 Workshop in April in Sydney Cancelled



With great regret, we have taken the decision to cancel the next MRtrix3 workshop, which we had planned for April 2020 in Sydney.  See


Since we had not yet started accepting registrations (these were due to open this week), we feel it is best to cancel now and postpone the workshop while we can still do so without unduly affecting participants.


Please be assured this decision was not taken lightly.  We hope this will not come as too much of a disappointment, and apologise to those who had planned to attend.  We will do our best to organise another workshop as soon as possible.

Winter School 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19



Due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, the organisers of the Winter School in Mathematical and Computational Biology have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.


This year’s Winter School, with a line-up of national and international speakers, was due to be held at The University of Queensland from 6–10 July.


The Winter School, which has run annually for 16 years, will return next year, 5–9 July 2021, with an exciting program.


Any queries, please contact Dr Nick Hamilton:

Other Events Postponed or Cancelled


Bayesian Deep Learning JCU postponed:; rescheduled for 8-13 August 2020 in Paris.


CAI Smposium 27-29 April:


Women in HPC Summit 29 April 1 May:


CarpentryCon will update on 1st of April:


Pawsey Announces New Compute Cluster


The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, through its centre agent CSIRO, has selected HPE to deliver a new $2 million compute cluster which will support one of the Square Kilometre Array precursor projects in Australia, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope.


The new cluster will provide users with enhanced GPU capabilities to power AI, computational work, machine learning workflows and data analytics.


For more details of this acquisition, see


For updates on the overall Pawsey Capital Refresh Project, see


Galaxy Australia Contributes to Global Research Effort into COVID-19


The recent public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the necessity for a rapid, collaborative and international response.  The development of fast and effective countermeasures relies on the global research community’s ability to share data and perform fast and reproducible analyses.


The Galaxy Australia team rapidly implemented the COVID-19 analysis workflows across Galaxy Australia’s distributed national compute infrastructure.


A joint paper by Galaxy teams from Australia, Europe and the United States demonstrated how the COVID-19 genome data can be shared, analysed and reproduced in an efficient and transparent way.




Does FAIR Data Need SHARP Services?


The concept of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) Data has gained huge traction worldwide.  Now there is a move to promote SHARP services to manage those data (Sustainable, Helpful, Accessible, Reusable, Professional).  EGI is one of the leading eResearch agencies working on this SHARP framework for IT/eResearch services.




Perhaps this is something that AeRO (with its Tick program – see and/or ARDC could promote.  Could this become as widely adopted/cited as FAIR?

Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater


The award winning project Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) is set to benefit from updated data sharing arrangements with two of its primary custodians.  This will result in more timely and integrated groundwater data for the state.  VVG was developed in 2012 by Federation University Australia’s Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) to provide easy access to groundwater bore data for Victoria.  The portal directly links with data repositories that are managed by various government departments, agencies and research institutions.  The latest developments for VVG will further expand the value of the portal, for contributors and end-users.


For more information, see


Research Software Community Landscape


The Research Software Alliance (ReSA)’s mission is to bring research software communities together to collaborate on the advancement of research software. One of ReSA’s taskforces revolves around a software landscape analysis aiming to answer the question “How can we identify the different communities and topics of interest for the research software community (eg preservation, RSEs, citation, productivity, sustainability)?”


See for details of the work of the taskforces to date, with an invitation to join one of the research software communities.  The current set of communities is in a CSV file (see  Contributions can be made on the live spreadsheet at


QCIF Welcomes John Bancroft as New CEO


John Bancroft has joined QCIF as its new CEO, starting on Monday, 9 March 2020.  John has extensive experience working at the intersection of academia, government and industry.


John succeeds Phil Gurney, who stood down as QCIF’s CEO in late 2019 due to family commitments in Melbourne.


QCIF Chair David Gray said John will be a great fit for the organisation.  “His experience in the management of research and its translation into application will be very valuable as QCIF increases its focus on domain-specific software platforms that service both researchers and policymakers.”



Webinar on Virtual Software Carpentry


Jason Bell, QCIF’s CQU-based eResearch Analyst, delivered an ARDC webinar on 27 February about his key learnings to make virtual Software Carpentry workshops a success.


Watch the webinar on YouTube at

Gateway Focus Week: Apply Now!


Looking to build a sustainability plan for your gateway?  Planning to write your next funding proposal?  Gateway Focus Week helps software and website projects get to the next level.


Gateway Focus Week (formerly Science Gateways Bootcamp) is a five-day intensive workshop to help teams ensure the sustainability of their gateway projects.


Learn more and apply now at


In 2020 the program will be offered twice:

  • June 1-5 at Columbia University in New York, NY.
  • Nov 30 – Dec 4 at the San Diego Supercomputer Center in La Jolla, CA.


Focus Week is currently subsidized by the NSF, saving around $2,500 per team.

eResearch NZ 2020 Presentations


Thank you for your patience while we’ve been uploading presentations to the eResearch NZ 2020 Figshare portal.  You can now view our speakers’ slides online!  If we missed including your talk or if you don’t see a particular talk you were looking for, please email and we’ll ensure it’s part of the collection.


See the conference website at


eResearch NZ 2021 is coming to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington!

It’s the Age of the Webinar!


Webinar:  Identifiers for Instruments in Australia (i4iOz) CoP.
Thursday, 12 March 2020, 12pm – 1pm AEST
Organised by Tom Honeyman and Paula Martinez
Zoom ID:


Webinar:  iRODS – open source data management software.
Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 pm AEST
This webinar is co-organised by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and the Australian BioCommons.
Presenter:  Jason Coposky, Executive Director, iRODS Consortium


Webinar:  Australian Vocabularies Specification Interest Group (quarterly meeting).
Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 10:00 – 11:00am AEST


Webinar:  Australian Research Software Management, Curation and Citation Interest Group.
Friday, 27 March 27 2020, 12:00 (noon) – 12:50 AEST


Webinar:  Meeting 7 of the Sensitive Data Community of Practice (CoP).
Thursday, 2 April 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 pm AEST
Organised by ARDC, AARNet, ADA
Register here:

eResearch Jobs

AeRO provides details of the latest eResearch job opportunities in the sector.  Jobs are posted immediately to, and the website at is also updated.

This is a free service for the whole eResearch community – to advertise a position, simply email

Here’s a sample of current vacancies: Biostatistician Research Officer, Scientific Visualisation Software Research Engineer, AAF Software Developer, ARDC Outreach Director, Carpentries Executive Director, Industry and Member Engagement Managers.


This newsletter is based on contributions provided by members of the eResearch community, and draws on news articles and newsletters published across the sector. The Newsletter is published around the 16th of each month.

Please send any contributions (max. 100 words, plus a link and image) or pointers to any other relevant articles or newsletters to

Archives of these Newsletters are held at
Click HERE to add yourself to the eResearch Mailing List.

—AeRO Newsletter Editor