Advanced Research Computing


Digital Research Community Steering Group

The Digital Research Community Steering Group has a remit to feedback requirements from all UCL research domains to the main governance group, the Digital Research Board led by Prof Allison Littlejohn

Terms of Reference


Community activities of ARC seek to facilitate the transformative impact of digital methods in research in UCL and to optimise dialogue across the computational science and digital scholarship communities in UCL.

This will be achieved through structured, multi-way dialogue between ARC and the broad UCL academic and professional communities involved in digital research.

The Digital Research Community Steering Group (DRCSG) has the following key responsibilities:

  • To develop shared understanding of digital research at UCL through broad-based discussion and horizon scanning and inform UCL strategy in this area.
  • To advise the Community academic lead (product owner in Agile-speak) on all matters relating to the interface between ARC and UCL digital researchers.
  • To inform the Digital Research Board (DRB) in planning current and futureinvestment by supporting the Community lead and ARC team in preparing regular reports to the DRB.

It will discharge these responsibilities in various ways including:

  • Discussing and reviewing content of funnel activity.
  • Steering the organisation of ‘Forum’ events, usually through the creation of short-term task and finish groups.
  • Working with ARC teams to coordinate the two-way exchange with collaborators and users. There are particular synergies in relation to education, research and innovation.
  • Working with colleagues to ensure adequate horizon-scanning and definition of future needs.
  • Working with ARC teams to provide support for a diverse range of community events / bodies of work including Tech Socials, Code Clubs, Podcasts, Newsletters etc.
  • Working closely with the DRB to ensure alignment between users and oversight.


The DRCSG will have a core membership that will include ARC product leads with clear links to the Community mission (ie Education and Research and Innovation) and up to 6 user members drawn from across the digital research community in UCL, at all levels including academic, postdoc and graduate students. User members will typically serve for a period of 3 years and a transparent process will be used for their appointment.

Mode of working

DRCSG will meet at least once a term but it is anticipated that much of the discussion and exchange will take advantage of other approaches to deal effectively with issues and delivery of mission as required. Notes of all activities will be taken by a member of ARC staff and will be made available to members of ARC and DRCSG.


Stakeholder groups

All UCL research community including academics, research fellows and post-graduate researchers.
All UCL professional staff with a job description related to digital research including departmental research software engineers, data scientists, system administrators etc.
Related staff in partner organisations.

Forum events

These will be open to all users and vary from small workshops around specific user group needs to Town Hall meetings to discuss, for instance, future platform development. Each event will have a lead. In general, ARC and the Community Board will be able to provide guidance and limited financial support (refreshments etc) but the running of the event will be the responsibility of the lead and their team.

Apply to join the Steering Group

If you would like to apply to join the panel, or send us any ideas for events/other things we could do to grow the Digital Research Community at UCL - please complete this Microsoft form.

Current Steering Group Membership

Chair: Dr Claire Ellul, CEGE

Prof Sean Hanna, The Bartlett School of Architecture

Prof Kenneth Harris, Department of Neuromuscular Diseases

Dr Naomi Launders, Epidemiology & Applied Clinical Research

Prof Mirco Musolesi, Department of Computer Science

Prof Christine Orengo, Structural & Molecular Biology

Samantha Ahern, ARC, Senior Digital Research Trainer

Dr Jonathan Cooper, ARC, Head of Research Software Engineering

Werner van Niekerk, ARC, Principal Research Infrastructure Systems Administrator

Dr Nicholas Owen, ARC, Senior Research Data Steward