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University of Bradford creates data guardians of the future

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Dr Krzysztof Poterlowicz

A national training programme designed to address the increasing demand in management of large-scale data has been launched thanks to a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant.

The University of Bradford and ELIXIR-UK have secured £0.7m for a new data steward training project as part of the UK Research and Innovation initiative to boost health and bioscience skills and industry.

The project will establish a fellowship to integrate research data management best practice into UK universities and research institutions. It will be open to biomedical researchers and their research support staff.

Dr Krzysztof Poterlowicz from the University of Bradford explains: “A data steward is an oversight or data governance role within an organisation and is responsible for ensuring the quality and fitness for purpose of the organisation's data, thus effectively supporting the research process.

“Our aim is to make data stewards an integral part of life science research and support the UK to implement open data management practices which will future proof our world leading research.

“Looking after data is an area which is often overlooked but is becoming more and more critical to life science research as larger datasets are produced and need careful plans on how to be managed and shared.”

The project is being led by ELIXIR-UK training coordinator Krzysztof Poterlowicz from the University of Bradford, with ELIXIR-UK’s data management lead Robert Andrews from Cardiff University as co-lead.

Through the creation of a national Data Stewardship training programme, the University and ELIXIR hope to equip researchers at different starting levels and career stages in University’s across the UK with the skills they need to manage and oversee data. The funding will provide a virtual training package for Life Science students to enable them to become stewards, the creation of a specific Life Science Data Stewards fellowship and access to a fellowship network.

Krzysztof adds: “Data stewards can be isolated in organisations and so alongside training this project also aims to foster community in this area to make the data stewardship community more interconnected and informed.”

For information on the application process email contact@elixir-uk.org  

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