The Research Facilitation Service expands to serve the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Research Facilitation Service logo

Research Facilitation Service logo

The Research Facilitation Service (RFS) is extending its reach to serve the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). A partnership between the NC State University Libraries, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI), the RFS provides a single point of contact for research computing and data questions. 

The RFS advises researchers on available tools and technologies to support their research and supports the continuous assessment of research computing and data needs at NC State. The idea is not to add another service provider to campus, but to help each individual researcher connect with the specific providers they need.

Launched in April 2022 as a pilot program to serve NC State’s College of Sciences, the RFS expanded to the College of Natural Resources in January 2023.

CALS research casts a wide net— $130 million in annual expenditures supporting 600 active projects that explore more than 70 different commodities. The college is present across the state, with NC State Extension units in every county, including 18 agricultural research stations. “CALS is excited to be working with the RFS. We have many faculty who are moving into big data analytics and AI. The RFS will be indispensable in allowing our faculty to adopt these technologies and capabilities,” says Steven Lommel, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, and CALS Associate Dean for Research.

RFS guidance helps researchers focus on their research

NC State offers a wide variety of computing and data services for researchers. Ranging from research data storage and high-performance computing, to data science and data visualization support, to finding and acquiring public and licensed data sets, these services are scattered across the university. There is also a rapidly growing ecosystem of community resources available beyond the university. While it’s great to have so many options, it can be tough to narrow them down, and it's not always obvious how to get started or who to contact for help.

The RFS team currently consists of a service director, an RFS lead within OIT’s Research Computing unit, a research facilitator, a research solutions consultant, and a research integration consultant. The RFS partners closely with a variety of IT and data service providers across campus, freeing researchers to focus on their research. 

The starting point for specialized expertise

The RFS acts as a network of expertise to improve the awareness, coordination, growth, and effectiveness of services that support computational and data-intensive research across the university.

The RFS accomplishes this in four main ways:

  • Providing an effective, consistent, and efficient pathway to research computing and data services
  • Consulting with researchers and other IT staff to analyze computational, data, and networking requirements, make recommendations, and propose design solutions 
  • Connecting research computing and data service providers and offering a technical point of contact for research administrators
  • Gathering feedback to advocate for resources to meet new and evolving needs

Contact the RFS

The RFS is currently operational with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, and the College of Sciences, but will continue expanding its reach to other portions of campus in a phased roll-out throughout 2024 and beyond. RFS staff may be able to assist researchers in other campus colleges, contingent on the team's current capacity. 

To contact the RFS, visit

RFS team

Susan Ivey, Director
Moira Downey, Research Facilitator
Andy Kurth, Research Storage Specialist & OIT RFS Lead
Chris Blanton, Research Solutions Consultant
Derek DeVries, Research Integration Consultant