Call for Nominations for the RDA Technical Advisory Board (TAB)

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19 Jun 2017

Call for Nominations for the RDA Technical Advisory Board (TAB)

Want to play a significant role in the technical direction of RDA?  Get involved in the Technical Advisory Board!  Know someone who would be a wonderful asset to TAB?  Encourage them to run for TAB!

RDA is now seeking candidates for its annual TAB election, to be held in September 2017.  Terms are for three (3) years. We encourage participation from people in all stages of their careers. Nominations will be accepted until August 15, 2017.  See below for all the details.


Please note that the information on TAB slots available at this election and on the Regional balancing criterion has been updated following a decision made by Council to increase the size of TAB over the next three election cycles. 

Why are we looking for new TAB Members?

RDA conducts TAB elections on a yearly basis as members’ terms come to an end.
Four of the RDA TAB members’ terms are ending in September 2017, and those slots need to be filled. The TAB Members stepping down may run again, however current members of RDA’s Council and Organizational Advisory Board are not eligible for TAB membership.

What does TAB do?

TAB is responsible for the technical direction of the RDA and provides technical expertise and advice to the Council, as well as helping to develop and review RDA Working and Interest Groups to promote their impact and effectiveness.  Among other tasks, TAB Members:

  • engage with the RDA membership and feed their ideas and TAB perspectives into RDA processes and strategies;
  • evaluate proposed Working Groups and Interest Groups;

  • act as liaisons to endorsed Working and Interest Groups;

  • facilitate relevant communication and coordination across the various WGs and IGs; and

  • work with RDA Working Groups to promote adoption and effectiveness of their Outputs.

But that’s not all!

The Technical Advisory Board also provides strategic insight into the current and future direction of RDA, and each member’s own strengths are drawn upon regularly.  Expertise and advice could take the form of reviewing new Working Groups or Interest Groups, responding to RDA membership input, working with Council, or any number of other ways.

Much more information is available in the document TAB:  What we do and how we do it, on the RDA site.

Who does TAB need?

There are 12 TAB members, and 4 are stepping down in this cycle. As a result of a decision made at the last Council meeting in July 2017, the 2017 election to TAB will elect 5 members to replace the 4 who are rotating off after their 3 year terms are complete. The total number of TAB members will therefore increase to 13 after this year’s TAB Election. This process will also be followed in 2018 and 2019 to expand the total TAB size to 15.  


There are Balance Criteria to ensure that disciplines, regions, and roles are adequately represented. All criteria except Regional have a maximum of 5 members in that category. Due to the increase in the size of TAB, Regional now has a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6.


The Regional criterion is no more than 6, but no fewer than 2 TAB members from

  • North America and South America

  • Europe and Africa

  • Asia and Oceania

Additional Criteria of Discipline and Roles are applied to achieve sufficient breadth of expertise.

The Discipline criteria are based on those in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) classifications (see for the sub-classifications under each category).

The major categories are

  • Natural sciences

  • Engineering and technology

  • Medical and health sciences

  • Agricultural sciences

  • Social sciences

  • Humanities

Roles criteria examples are

  • Data Generator

  • Data Manager

  • Data Technologist

  • Data User

  • Data Policy Maker

  • Other

A more complete description of the entire TAB Election Process is available via the TAB RDA page, Please note that the TAB Election Process document has been updated with the new information on TAB  size and regional balancing criterion. 

Interested?  Here’s how to Apply!

Any current RDA member may self-nominate or be nominated by others. 

Not sure if you are an RDA member?  Do you have an account on our website (  Yes? Then you’re a member!  No?  Sign up now!

Know someone who would be perfect for the job?  Encourage them to apply!

To apply, please fill in the candidacy form at

Each candidate must have a minimum of three (3) RDA members willing to second their nomination.  Seconders must send one simple sentence to the RDA Secretariat ( stating that they support the nomination of the candidate.

Each candidate’s statement will be posted on the RDA website (but not the nomination seconds), along with a photo.

Applications and seconds are due by midnight GMT August 15, 2017.

Elections will open on September 19, 2017, at Plenary 10 in Montreal, Canada, and close on October 3, 2017 (two weeks later).  You must be an RDA member in order to vote.

Still have unanswered questions?

Current TAB members will be happy to discuss the time commitments, working procedures, and other elements of TAB membership!  Any of them can be contacted here

Additional information is available from any of the RDA Secretariat members, at