Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Needs Assessment


The purpose of this nation-wide exercise is two-fold:

Through a comprehensive consultation process, NDRIO is seeking input from the Canadian research community to inform its Strategic Plan, a single and unified vision of the highest DRI priorities for 2021-2024.  

Consultation Process

Step 1. Call for White Papers

Purpose: White Papers provide a unique opportunity for participants to share their vision and perspectives about the Canadian DRI landscape in a way that surveys or Town Halls don’t allow. With no predefined structure, participants can provide a deeper narrative in areas where they see fit. The purpose of the White Papers is to identify individual perspectives about current and future Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) needs in terms of advanced research computing (ARC), research data management (RDM), and research software (RS) in Canada. 

What is the requested format and length?  

There is no specific format for the White Papers. However, they must be submitted as PDF files, with a minimum of 11-point font, and be a maximum of five pages long. Submissions may be made in English or in French. White Papers are not required to contain a specific set of sections or headings.  

Who can submit a White Paper?

A: This call is targeted at the broader academic research community, including but not limited to: individual researchers, research groups or centres, research organizations, academic associations and societies. There are no restrictions on the affiliations of co-authors and no limit on the number of co-authors.

What is the deadline to submit a White Paper?

Submissions should be sent to:

Deadline for submissions is 17:00 PST on December 14, 2020. 

How will the White Papers contribute to the Needs Assessment as well as NDRIO’s strategic planning process?

NDRIO will use the information shared in the White Papers and integrate it within the overarching Needs Assessment.

How will the White Papers be evaluated? Is NDRIO intending to review all papers and consider them equally? 

White Papers will not be evaluated. Submissions will be aggregated to understand the needs and perspectives of the different stakeholders. For example, what are the needs of small vs. large institutions, or how can the service be improved to remote locations. The findings will be presented to the Researcher Council for comments and prioritization before being integrated into the Needs Assessment.

Will the submitted White Papers be published?

All submitted White Papers will be posted throughout the consultation process as public documents on NDRIO’s website. White Papers will not be commented on.

Why will NDRIO make my White Paper public?

NDRIO is committed to transparency and accountability. In keeping with these core values, it is important to ensure that the documentation informing NDRIO’s Strategic Plan is publicly available, as it will represent the diverse perspectives of the broader digital research community NDRIO will support. 

What if I have information I do not want to share publicly? 

If you wish to incorporate information into your White Paper submission that you would prefer remain confidential, please submit this information as an appendix and clearly identify it as confidential or do not distribute. These documents will not be posted online and will only be used by NDRIO within the scope of the Needs Assessment.

Where should additional questions regarding the White Paper process be directed?

Questions related to any aspect of this call can be submitted to: Felipe Pérez-Jvostov, Senior Analyst for Outreach and Engagement at

Step 2. Call for Current Documentation

Purpose: Incorporate current documentation reflecting current and future needs related to a Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem. These documents will help inform NDRIO’s strategic planning for 2021-2024.  

What type of documentation is NDRIO looking for?

Research institutions and organizations are encouraged to share their roadmaps, strategic plans, or related position papers on current and future needs for a Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem.

Who should share current documentation?

NDRIO encourages feedback from all research institutions and research organizations across Canada, especially those in disciplines, geographical regions, or minority groups that has been traditionally under-represented in the national DRI ecosystem.  

Will the documents received be published?

No. We will only be publishing the White Papers submissions. The current documentation received will only be used internally.

Where should you submit your documentation?

To share your organization’s documentation, please contact NDRIO at by December 14, 2020.

Step 3. Online Survey

Purpose: Addressing the needs of the diverse Canadian research community can only be performed by consulting with the individual researchers. The survey will provide the most granular information of the consultation process.

When and how will the survey be submitted for feedback?

We are in the process of developing an online survey to gather additional researcher input. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Step 4. Town Halls

Purpose: In keeping with NDRIO’s vision of providing a researcher-centric service, Town Halls provide a unique venue for fruitful and two-way dialogue with the Canadian research community. The Town Halls will serve as an opportunity for the community to react on the work that will have been completed by January 2021.

When and how will the Town Halls be hosted?

The Town Halls will be virtual-only events. Participation details will be provided in the coming weeks.