Building a flexible and inclusive-to-all Data Mentoring Programme

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23 Nov 2019
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

You can join the groups to stay involved with their work if you are an RDA member:

Log in to the RDA Web site with your RDA userid/password, go to the Early Career and Engagement IG group page and press the "Join group" button on the right (near the top of the page).

If you are not an RDA member, you can join RDA here: (it’s free!)

The objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Spread awareness about the ECEIG Mentoring Programme, which is a core activity of the group

  • Attract early-career participants of RDA P15

  • Enhance the group of mentors and mentees

  • Start discussions and get feedback about the ECEIG Task Forces, all established to complement the Mentoring Programme

  • Encourage everyone to actively get involved with the TFs’ activities

  • Facilitate networking and research promotion of individuals in a flash-talk segment

  • Understand participants’ needs and consult about potential training and professional development activities

  • Plan for causal interaction amongst current and prospective ECEIG members in the form of a social event.

Meeting agenda: 
  1. Welcome and Introduction

  2. Short presentation about the group and its objectives, focusing on the Mentoring Programme

  3. Get to know the Task Forces and Get Involved! - short presentations and discussion

  4. The floor is yours! - flash talks segment of participants poster presentations and research interests communication

  5. Share you drink! - social event after the session

Target Audience: 

This meeting is aimed at members of the ECEIG and those who are interested in joining the group and RDA in general. The session will be of particular interest to Researchers and Professionals in the Early and Mid-Career stages as well as to more experienced RDA members who desire to mentor and support Early and Mid-Career Researchers and Professionals.

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The purpose of the Early Career and Engagement Interest Group (ECEIG) is to provide a focal point for Early and Mid-Career Researchers and Professionals, including those involved in various RDA-related fellowships and Early Career programs.

RDA members recognized that there is a need to create a space in RDA for those who are at the beginning stages of their careers. Specifically, that Early Career Researchers and Professionals usually need additional support for: (a) networking amongst themselves to learn about other Early Career scientists and their research, i.e., establishing a “network of peers”, and (b) receiving mentorship from senior RDA members who are interested in mentoring Early Career Researchers and Professionals.


Designating time on each RDA plenary schedule for this IG is important to recognize and develop the means which will effectively support this “next generation of RDA”, who is equipped with unique talents and strengths, impacting the future of RDA in their own way. Additionally, this is an opportunity for RDA to act proactively by building a strong network of mentors who lead on data mentorship within and outside the RDA.

For that, the ECEIG has developed a Mentoring Programme that calls people to join either as mentors or as mentees or in some cases both, according to their needs, willingness and  time restrictions. The Mentoring Programme was initially based on monthly teleconferences where representatives from both channels (mentors and mentees) could connect and discuss challenges faced regarding current research endeavours, seek collaboration, and get a better understanding of specific aspects of Research Data Management in other contexts, countries and continents besides where they are located. These teleconferences are known as Ask-Me-Anything calls or AMA calls and though they proved to be engaging, they were still lacking in structure. That is why since October 2018 the AMAs became more subject-specific. By now, Open and FAIR data topics that have been addressed by guest speakers and experts presentations include: Research credit and recognition; Text mining; Best Practices on Open Source Software; Machine Learning, etc.. In order to enrich the Mentoring Programme with added-value activities that cover other important areas that early career researchers and practitioners may need guidance or advice on, three Task Forces (TFs) were recently formulated. The TFs namely are: 

a. Mentoring Programme - organising and running AMAs (monthly activity), contacting mentors/mentees, communicating news through ECEIG social channels; potentially also work on a case study about mentoring programmes.

b. Newsletter - collecting information on topics of potential interest, generally informing people of activities/actions, jobs, trends etc, creating a structure for the newsletter (template), writing and sending newsletters.

c. Practice Presentation Skills - give or get advice for issues related to research communication.

Each Task Force focuses on supporting diverse needs of early career researchers and collectively building into a strong and safe environment for early career researchers to rely on for research data quests.

Short Group Status: 

A little bit about the history of the group: At a BoF conducted during RDA P8 in Denver, CO a group of Early Career fellows agreed to explore the idea of creating an IG centering on those who are in the early stages of their careers and helping them effectively engage with RDA.  This effort was continued and crystallized at a dedicated networking session during RDA P9 in Barcelona, Spain, leading to the first kick-off meeting of the official ECEIG in RDA P10 in Montreal. Hearing the different needs and expectations of members of the ECEIG community, P11 in Berlin was a stepping stone and the place where a dedicated RDA Mentoring Programme was launched. Finally, the P12, P13 & P14 sessions in Botswana, Philadelphia and Helsinki respectively, led to broader, more diverse engagement with early career researchers, fellows and data experts awarded grants for participation in the RDA meetings contributing the group activities growth. Hence, during the last year, the ECEIG activities have gained more attention by other organisations and initiatives that share common goals in supporting early career researchers and collaborations are underway (e.g. with the WDS Early Career Researchers and Scientists Network).

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2):