As a relative newbie to the world of grids and e-science, I am interested in what outreach tools are being employed to engage potential users. At the EGI Roadshow session yesterday I found out about the UK NGS- a ‘hands-on’ road show (http://www.ngs.ac.uk/ngs-roadshows)
Over the last two years, Gillian Sinclair, Liaison Officer at NGS has been responsible for coordinating roadshows across the UK in both traditional universities and newer institutions. Twelve roadshows have taken place in total, and from listening to Gillian it is proving a successful formula in raising awareness and assisting potential recruits.
The attractiveness of a roadshows for researchers is that researchers don’t have to leave their place of work, and each can be tailored to specific research requirements. It also provides a platform to build confidence as researchers can be shown how to use the technology and what applications are appropriate/available for their research. There were a few points that highlighted in the talk.
· Give real-life examples of users. What really helps is inviting somebody from the institution to give a presentation as it reinforces the message that they too can use it. NGS has compiled 20 real life case studies.
· Ask the local institution IT person to come along.
· Try and get immediate feedback and follow up a few months.
EGI.eu is collating guidance and support resources (brochures, case studies, survey templates, lessons learnt etc.) for any NGIs interested in running roadshows at www.egi.eu/user-support/.