IU to lead Sloan Foundation-funded effort to identify scholars for Research Data Alliance

  • Feb. 18, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A team of researchers led by Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing professor Beth Plale has received a $748,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop and run RDA Data Share, an early career engagement program for the Research Data Alliance.

RDA Data Share is a three-year program that selects and awards fellows to engage with, study and contribute to the Research Data Alliance. The program is designed to encourage adoption of best practices of data sharing established through RDA as well as to enhance early career engagement with the alliance.

The success of RDA and its ability to effect positive change depends on the work of its members and its ability to build effective communities that learn, interact and grow. RDA has established functional and educational communities but still needs people interested in professional development to maximize their effectiveness. RDA Data Share will help provide this pool of passionate and engaged fellows who can help work toward its mission.

The RDA Data Share program will provide early career fellows the opportunity to get involved with one of over 50 working groups and interest groups in RDA, with topics including big data, certification of digital repositories and agricultural data interoperability. Engagement would vary based on the fellow’s skill set and interests and could take the form of implementing a use case for a product, which then improves the usability of a product or tool.

“Early career scholars bring an energy and a perspective to the field,” said Plale, the principal investigator for RDA Data Share. “They will embody the change that RDA is trying to bring about and will help bring that change about. As they engage in the RDA, they assimilate its culture of sharing and will then disseminate it back into their home institutions.”

RDA Data Share is built upon a pilot scholars program funded by the National Science Foundation and piloted by Plale and Inna Kouper, assistant director of IU’s Data to Insight Center. Kouper and Kathy Fontaine, the managing director of RDA/U.S., will serve as co-principal investigators for this project.

Founded in March 2013 with support from the National Science Foundation, the European Commission and the Australian Commonwealth Government, the Research Data Alliance builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. RDA's goal is for researchers and innovators to openly share data across technologies, disciplines and countries to address the grand challenges of society. It is composed of over 2,000 individuals from 96 countries.

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Beth Plale

Beth Plale | Photo by Indiana University

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Media Contacts

Kelsey Keag

  • IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing
  • Office 812-855-4125
  • kkeag@indiana.edu

Nate Williams

  • Sloan Foundation
  • Williams@sloan.org