SC21 WINS Call for Participation

Submission deadline: January 15, 2021 EXTENDED to January 29, 2021

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program is seeking qualified female candidates in their early- to mid-career to join the SCinet volunteer workforce for the Supercomputing 2021 Conference (SC21), to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, November 14-19, 2021. WINS strives to have diverse representation of organizations and applicant backgrounds in the cohort each year. Selected candidates will receive full travel support and mentoring by well-known engineering experts in the research and education community before, during and after the conference.

** Early to mid-career women employed in the IT field who are located in the United States are encouraged to apply.**

Each year, expert volunteers from academia, government, and industry come together to design, construct, and operate SCinet, a unique multi-terabit-per-second network built to support attendees’ revolutionary demonstrations that have become the hallmark of the SC conference. SCinet takes a year to plan, a month to build, a week to operate, and just one day to tear down.

SCinet provides an ideal “apprenticeship” opportunity for engineers and technologists looking for direct access to the most cutting-edge network hardware and software, while working side-by-side with the world’s leading network, software, and systems engineers and top network technology vendors.

More than 15 teams comprise SCinet, all focused on specific areas of expertise involved in setting up and operating a research network. Selected candidates will be matched with a mentor and team based on interest and background. Learning and training opportunities include (but are not limited to):
* Operating and maintaining traditional IT services for SCinet
* Installing fiber optic network connections
* Installing and configuring wireless access points
* Installing and configuring wired network devices for conference meeting rooms
* Managing internet routing protocols
* Configuring wide-area network connections to national telecom providers
* Supporting conference attendees, high performance computing, and high-performing network demonstrations
* Participating in cybersecurity activities focused on prevention, detection, and countermeasures to protect the resources of the conference.
* Marketing Communications in support of SCinet activities.
* Project management including liaising with multiple SCinet Teams

Professional Development with SCinet
The primary objective of the program is to provide the opportunity for early to mid-career women to participate in SCinet. In addition to matching the selected participants with the appropriate SCinet team, the program provides travel funds for attending staging, setup, and live support of the SC conference as a SCinet volunteer. Travel could include up to three weeks (or some portion of these three weeks) depending on the SCinet team needs. SC21 will take place in St. Louis, MO. Participation in the program requires travel to St. Louis for the following dates (not including travel days):
* SCinet Staging: Oct. 21-29, 2021
* SCinet Setup: Nov. 8-14, 2021
* SCinet Live Operations/SC21 Conference and SCinet teardown: Nov 15-19, 2021

Participants also receive a complimentary conference registration, which includes the world’s leading technical program on all facets of high performance computing and networking.

We understand the evolving challenges associated with the current COVID-19 environment, particularly with regard to travel. The WINS Management team is in regular contact with the SC Steering Committee and SCinet leads. SC is planning for an in-person event and information on the conference and travel can be found here. We understand that as of the application deadline it may be difficult for the applicant and/or her management to provide a definitive statement regarding travel authorization as part of the application. We recommend that the submitted materials indicate that intent is to authorize the travel, but may change based on travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.

WINS Selection Criteria
Candidates will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the research and education community for current job relevance, stated support from the applicant’s employer, ability to attend the conference (WINS will provide the travel funding but the participant must be able to set aside time to travel and participate), areas of interest (see application form), desire to participate in SCinet. In order to further broaden the diversity within the WINS program itself, preference this year will be given to applicants who are historically underrepresented in the Information Technology field, including Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latinx.

Project Measurement
After completion of the conference, participants are asked to report on their experiences, including: which parts of the training were new or useful, which learning experiences were effective or valuable, and other targeted questions that will help drive the future of gender diversity outreach efforts. This reflection will be shared with their home institution, the SC conference leadership, project PIs, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

About WINS
The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program was developed in 2015** as a means for addressing the prevalent gender gap that exists in Information Technology particularly in the fields of network engineering and high performance computing.

WINS is a joint effort between the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Funding is provided through a National Science Foundation grant*, through direct funding from ESnet and contributions from other project collaborators. Information on all sponsors can be found here –

* NSF 2016 grant #ACI-1640987
** NSF 2015 grant #ACI-144064

Access the 2021 WINS Application from the WINS website:
Submission deadline: January 29, 2021 at 11:59 PM AoE
Award notifications will be sent by mid to late February 2021