Research Computing

Our Advanced Research Computing team designs, builds and supports services to meet the specialist and intensive computing needs of researchers at the University of Birmingham.

A division of IT Services, our Advanced Research Computing (ARC) team provides powerful computing systems and fast, tightly-coupled storage to meet the challenges of research in a wide range of academic disciplines. With over 1,000 applications and libraries built for both HPC and Cloud platforms, the team supports traditional analysis, simulation, modelling and visualisation as well as the latest innovative techniques in data science. 

Together, the services the team delivers form BEAR, the Birmingham Environment for Academic Research. Importantly, BEAR includes training, guidance and a range of support options for researchers alongside the leading technology solutions. 

The team is led by Carol Sandys and operates in three inter-dependent groups:

  • The Architecture Infrastructure and Systems Group, led by Dr Jon Wakelin, develops and manages the cutting-edge infrastructure that underpins BEAR.
  • The Research Software Group led by Dr Andrew Edmondson,  builds and supports the software BEAR relies on as well as offering a range of software services direct to individual research projects or researchers; these include training, coaching, coding and advice.
  • The Research Engagement and Data Group led by Dr Stephanie Thompson, networks with researchers across the University at all stages of their careers to raise awareness of what BEAR can offer, as well as supporting both new and established users  via training and 1:1 support sessions.  

The development and operation of BEAR is overseen and governed by the Research Computing Management Committee (RCMC) consisting of Academics drawn from each College, working in partnership with the ARC leadership. A team of BEAR Champions also support outreach activities, providing a local contact for researchers and a direct feedback mechanism to ARC.   

As well as providing BEAR Services for University of Birmingham researchers and their collaborators, ARC also delivers services to the wider sector. The national accelerated compute system Baskerville, funded by EPSRC, is hosted on campus (designed built and operated by ARC). Similarly ARC hosts and operates the MRC funded CLIMB, supporting its global community of microbial bioinformaticians. 

Annual Reports

The Research Software Group's annual reports contain information about their work, including case studies and statistics:

Research Software Group 2021 report 

The Research Engagement and Data Group’s annual reports contain information about the outreach activities and support that they provide to researchers:

Research Engagement and Data Group 2021 report 

Please contact us with any queries.