This article is published in the September 2013 issue.

Updates from the Computing Community Consortium

The mission of CRA’s Computing Community Consortium is to catalyze the computing research community and enable the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research. In its six years of existence, the CCC has conducted activities aimed at strengthening the research community, articulating compelling research visions, and aligning those visions with pressing national and global challenges.  CCC has developed white papers and organized events to communicate the importance of those visions to policymakers, government and industry stakeholders, the public, and the research community itself.

Over the past year, the CCC has invested time and effort to formalize how it is organized, and it has seen its leadership transition, with Susan Graham taking over as chair from Ed Lazowska, the founding chair of CCC.  Greg Hager has taken on the role of vice chair.  With those changes now in place, the CCC is excited to be introducing some new initiatives and reintroducing former initiatives with some changes in the coming weeks.

One of the most visible activities of the CCC over the past few years has been the Computing Innovation Fellows Program, which was put in place to ensure that top talent was retained in the CS&E Research Pipeline during the economic downturn. Although that program has ended, the number of postdoctoral researchers in CS has continued to increase. Given this, it is important to ensure that the Postdoc experience helps junior researchers to move their careers forward.  To this end, CCC anticipates awarding grants to institutions or consortia of institutions to design and implement a Best Practices program for Postdocs in computer science and computing-related fields.  These programs will enable PhD graduates to transition effectively to research roles in a variety of sectors.  Grantees will be selected in response to an open call for proposals, to be released mid-September.  Institutions will be asked to propose programs that focus on creating and implementing best practices which are sustainable over time, attempt new and innovative practices, and create programs that can be assessed through a set of common metrics.  The awardee institutions will be expected to work together to define best practices for the field over the course of the award (3 years).  Awards will be commensurate with the scope of work described in the proposals.  By publicizing the resulting best practices, this activity will create a model for other institutions and thereby impact the entire computing research community.  If you are interested in receiving the RFP, please email and check the website at for further information.

Visioning workshops have been at the core of CCC’s activity and we will continue to catalyze new ideas in computing through this mechanism. We are releasing a new Call for Visioning Workshop Proposals today (see CCC Calls for New Visioning Proposals). CCC not only provides financial support for workshops, but also helps the workshop organizers to communicate the results of the workshop to policymakers and other stakeholders. Please read the release and check the website for additional information (

As a complement to visioning workshops, CCC has an active program for sponsoring tracks or symposia at conferences to help generate research visions. We are in the process of reviewing this program and updating its structure to be more in line with our mission. Stay tuned to the CCC blog and website ( for information on ways to bring the CCC visioning track to your favorite conference.

The CCC is working to develop ways to communicate new ideas and research in computing. We are specifically soliciting contributions to our Research Highlight of the Week every week ( To further expand on these Highlights, CCC has created a video series, called Computing Research in Action ( The first two videos in the series were released this summer. Stay tuned for future videos.

In addition to these activities, the CCC is continuing to support many of our past initiatives in Big Data, Robotics, Health, and Sustainability. Expect to hear more about these initiatives in the near future.