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The SCINet Virtual Research Support Core

The Virtual Research Support Core (VRSC) is comprised of ARS personnel and contract personnel at Iowa State University and Mississippi State University. The VRSC manages the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the Ceres and Atlas HPC systems and is also involved with the networking aspects of SCINet. The VRSC is staffed by talented IT administrators and engineers with expertise in high-performance computing system and network engineering, operations, maintenance, and administration.

Additionally, the VRSC provides research IT support, computational expertise in various research domains, and support for SCINet-funded workshops/training for SCINet users.

Research IT Support

  • Linux/Unix

  • Advanced scripting/parallelization

  • HPC operational support

  • Software development, software installation, assistance using software, assistance building containers

  • Data transfer

  • Data management

  • Cloud computing

Computational Research Domain Expertise

  • Bioinformatics and Sequence Data Analysis

  • Image Processing

  • Modeling

Support for SCINet-Funded Workshops/Training

The SCINet initiative funds various workshops and training events annually (Apply to Hold a SCINet-Funded Workshop/Training) to which the VRSC can provide the following types of support:

  • general SCINet information presentation with Q&A

  • hands-on SCINet training assistance

  • data management assistance / help designing computational workflows

How and When to Contact the VRSC

Discussion that is relevant to other SCINet users such as questions about the best practices for research computations should be posted on the SCINet Forum message board. Access to the Forum is provided during the SCINet account application process (Apply for an Account).

If your question is related to SCINet policy or development, contact the acting SCINet Program Manager, Stan Kosecki.

Single user operational questions should be emailed to the VRSC at Ceres or Atlas. Support requests for login issues on either Ceres or Atlas should be sent to Examples of the kinds of questions/requests that should be sent to the support email addresses include:

  • I can’t login
  • I’m having problems with a batch script
  • I’m have a problem with storage
  • How do I use software package X?
  • Please update software application X on Ceres.
  • Please add user X to project Y.
  • I need help with script/program optimization or making a program run faster

Again, please note that support requests for login issues on either Ceres or Atlas should be sent to

For new software installation requests, see Request Software Installation on SCINet.

For new SCINet AWS project requests, see Request SCINet AWS.