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Welcome from John Towns, XSEDE Director:

Welcome to the XSEDE New Staff Guide. We are happy to have you join our growing community. We know that XSEDE can appear so large and complex that you might think it is impossible to fully wrap your head around it at first and, well, you are probably right, but we hope this guide will at least help you to better understand XSEDE as a whole and the important role you play within the XSEDE community. 

We encourage you to explore the guide with the Quick Navigation list on the left in whatever order you prefer, and you can explore the page with the page content list below.

Once you are finished, you are encouraged to take a few minutes to earn a "New Staff Badge" by answering some questions to help reinforce what you have learned. 

Page Contents

Table of Contents

The XSEDE New Staff Training Guide attempts to provide a general overview of the many different parts of XSEDE and how they work together. As a new staff member, you may have specific needs and interests, so you should feel free to explore this guide in any order you prefer. This guide is an ever-evolving document and we can improve it with your feedback. When you have time, please respond to the New Staff Guide Feedback Survey so your views as an XSEDE staff member can be included in this guide to make it the best it can be.

After you complete this guide, you will be able to:

  • Explain what the different WBSs are and the general purpose they serve
  • Perform basic reporting and project change request tasks
  • Identify key points of contact in XSEDE
  • Locate many of the XSEDE Service Providers
  • List the XSEDE partner institutions
  • Understand terminology guidelines


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You might find this video useful as an introduction to XSEDE:

The vision of XSEDE is to create a world of digitally enabled scholars, researchers, and engineers participating in multidisciplinary collaborations to tackle society’s grand challenges.


Learn more about XSEDE's Vision ...


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The mission of XSEDE is to substantially enhance the productivity of a growing community of scholars, researchers, and engineers through access to advanced digital services that support open research; and to coordinate and add significant value to the leading cyberinfrastructure resources funded by the NSF and other agencies.

Learn more about XSEDE's Mission ...


The goals of XSEDE are to support XSEDE’s mission and to guide the project’s activities toward the realization of XSEDE’s vision. We specifically define three strategic goals:

  • Deepen and Extend: XSEDE will deepen the use of the advanced digital research services ecosystem by existing scholars, researchers, and engineers, and extend the use to new communities. We will prepare the current and next generation of scholars, researchers, and engineers in the use of advanced digital technologies via education, training, and outreach; and we will raise the general awareness of the value of advanced digital research services.
  • Advance: XSEDE will continually advance the advanced digital research services ecosystem by creating an open and evolving e-infrastructure, and by enhancing the array of technical expertise and support services offered.
  • Sustain: XSEDE will sustain the advanced digital research services ecosystem by assuring and maintaining a reliable and secure infrastructure, and providing excellent user support services. XSEDE will further operate an effective and innovative virtual organization.

Each strategic goal contains sub-goals that define the objectives to be met for successfully delivering the project’s mission and realizing the project’s vision. To assure that the quality of our products (how well are we delivering the mission) and to assess progress toward our vision we have identified metrics to measure our progress toward meeting each sub goal. These key performance indicators (KPIs) are simply a subset of our project metrics that we feel to be the true or best currently available measure of how well we are meeting a particular sub goal. Our planning for Program Year 4 (PY4) of XSEDE, of which this document is the product, has been driven by our vision, mission, goals and metrics which are in turn rooted in the needs of the communities we support.

Learn more about XSEDE's Goals ...


XSEDE Staff are expected to abide by the XSEDE Code of Conduct and to provide a welcoming environment through use of inclusive terminology .  A short staff training video is available. A short staff training video is available.


This guide is meant as a general introduction to XSEDE and includes information which may be relevant to multiple target audiences including technical staff, administrative staff, L2, L3, Coordinators. 


The XSEDE web site and User Portal are the first place to go to learn more about XSEDE.

XSEDE Web Site:

XSEDE User Portal (XUP):

The XSEDE Confluence "Wiki" is used by XSEDE staff to create and collaborate on XSEDE projects in an open, public web site.

The XSEDE JIRA site is a private project management site which may be accessed on request through our Supervisor. See the section in the New Staff Checklist regarding the XSEDE New Staff Member Resource Checklist (link to the Google Form). 

The upcoming PEARC 2017 conference (formerly the XSEDE annual conference) would be an excellent opportunity to get to know XSEDE on a more personalized, f2f basis. 

The developers of this orientation are Manu Shantharam and Jeff Sale under the supervision of Susan Mehringer with added guidance and wisdom from Scott Lathrop and the WBS* 2.1 Team. We work with a group of devoted educators and trainers within WBS 2.1 "Community Engagement & Enrichment" as part of the "Workforce Development" unit (WBS 2.1.2).

*WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure