The agenda for 2020 Large Facilities Workshop is still under development. Below is a sample of the sessions that we expect to be on the final agenda. You can find a preliminary daily agenda here. In addition, this year’s workshop will offer a special track focused on Operations Management.

Draft 2020 Agenda


  • Application of ISO Standards to Operations Management 
  • Best Practices for Managing the Incorporation of Cyberinfrastructure in Facilities
    Cyberinfrastructure (CI, comprising compute, data, software, and networking infrastructure) is an important element of all NSF major facilities.  This session will include a panel and audience discussion on concepts and practices for incorporating CI internally in facilities and leveraging existing external CI resources.  The discussion will focus on how to best plan and manage CI given the rapidly changing technologies and scientific needs.
  • Considerations in Determining Federally Owned Property
  • Digitizing Workflow and Facilitating Knowledge Management 
  • Diversity and Inclusion Plans
  • Elements of Operations Budget Development:
    – Segregation of Funding (Old-New; Construction-Ops)
    – Risk and Cost Uncertainty (GAO & NSF Good Practices)
    — Budgeting/Planning for Projects Within Operations
    — Operations Funds Accumulation Mechanisms?
    A Panel of PI’s will share recent cost estimates, challenges, and things to think about when it comes to the development of an Operations Budget.
  • Establishing a Safety Culture
    This session will discuss various techniques for improving safety culture to include experience in both Antarctica and the Arctic as well as throughout the Middle East. In order to build and improve a safety culture, trust is key and it truly takes a combination of technical knowledge and ability to connect with people.  Discussion will include how to gain compliance and improve the safety culture while building trust, safety management systems,  the importance of gaining leadership buy-in and getting safety professionals involved early in the process.
  • Facility Condition Assessment and Developing Property Lifecycle Maintenance Plans
    Present on the role and value of facility assessments, cover the existing assessment guidelines, and discuss the differences between a typical facility condition index assessment and a more in depth facility performance evaluation.  Includes a focus on NASA facilities lead by The Aerospace Corporation.
  • Good Practices for Reliable Construction Project Schedules
    Discussion of the Schedule Assessment Guide from the Government Accountability Office, with a focus on good practices for developing a reliable schedule and actual case studies.
  • Integration of Students in Operations
  • International Considerations for Major Facilities – GSO, GSF, & ICRI
    Annual session on international considerations, to include discussions on the Group of Senior Officials (GSO) on Global Research Infrastructures, Global Science Forum (GSF) , and International Conference for Research Infrastructures (ICRI).
  • Introduction by Matt Hawkins
  • Introduction of Representatives and Facilities
    This session will be conducted in two parts.  Through a series of lightning talks, each NSF Major Facility will introduce their facility including the field of science to give participants a feel for the breadth of facilities supported by NSF.  Following the presentations, participants will break into networking groups based on their discipline for personal introductions and to discuss workshop interests.
  • Keynote Speaker(s)
  • Leveraging Communications and Outreach Across Facilities
    The NSF Large Facilities engage in diverse communication and outreach activities. This session will focus on best practices and lessons learned and will explore areas where collaboration might be of mutual benefit.
  • Metrics for Systems/Operations/Engineering Performance
  • Metrics for Scientific Impact/Value
  • Next Steps for LF Communications and Education & Public Outreach/Engagement
    Over the past year, Communications and EPO/E personnel at the Large Facilities have been exploring diverse programs, best practices, and new ideas. The focus of this workshop will be to develop objectives for the upcoming year and a strategic action plan to support collaboration where and when appropriate.
  • New “Communities of Interest” Portal
    A new “Communities of Interest” portal will help connect different groups of people and facilitate communications and information sharing throughout our community.  The session will include a brief introduction and demonstration of the website and help signing up for access.
  • Operations and Management of NSF Major Facilities – Best Practices and Lessons Learned
    The Speakers are Directors and Managers of NSF Large Facilities that have lessons learned experiences that may benefit other Large Facilities.
  • Opportunities Realized and Lessons Learning via NSF Branding and Naming
    In recent years, NSF Large Facilities have gone through a variety of branding, re-branding, and renaming activities. These activities have brought about great opportunities as well as challenges for NSF and the Facilities. This session will feature NSF and Large Facilities that have gone, or are currently going, through this process. The presenters will share lessons learned from what has worked well, and possible modifications to improve the process.
  • Recipient Core Competencies, PMIAA, and MFG Update
    This session will continue the dialogue from past workshops on Key Personnel and qualifications to fulfill a set of core competencies considered necessary for successfully managing an NSF major facility award. The session will touch on core competencies for agency staff required by the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA) and future changes to the Major Facilities Guide (MFG).
  • Reducing Administrative Burden
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention
    This session will include an update on NSF sexual harassment prevention policies and procedures, which will be followed by small group discussions on promising practices facilities are utilizing to foster harassment-free environments and a report out from the groups.
  • Tailoring the Project Execution Plan for Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure Projects
    Discuss the guidelines for mid-scale projects in MFG, focusing on tailoring and scaling of requirements on PEP, using an example template developed for mid-scale projects. The session will also discuss the scaling of EVM for midscale projects.
  • Technology Transfer 
  • The Role of Major Facilities in Fueling the US STEM Workforce
    The NSF Large Facilities provide a unique opportunity to train and inspire the future STEM Workforce. This session will explore exemplar programs, K through college, that have been effective tools to inspire a diverse STEM workforce. Examples include REUs, RETs, CEE, INCLUDES, GK12-STEM Fellows, and others. 

Do you have ideas about topics that should be included in the 2020 Large Facilities Workshop, or would you like to volunteer to lead or develop a session? Please contact us at: