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Nominate your candidate 🏆
Complete the submission form to nominate your candidate for the Sarah Jones Award 2024


Sarah Jones was an esteemed member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Council, former member of the Technical Advisory Board (TAB), and RDA community member since 2014.

A fantastic colleague and a wonderful friend, Sarah’s energy, passion, and enthusiasm was infectious, and she was a true believer in and driver of Open Science in Europe and across the globe. Sarah didn’t just ‘talk the talk’ about openness, but she really walked the talk. Sarah invested a huge amount of time and effort into advocating for true openness. She believed in community and its power, and was a true believer in the RDA. She said it was ‘her tribe’. Sarah was professional, prepared and passionate about her work and had an incredible work ethic, but she also infused her enthusiasm and energy into social networking. With this annual award the global RDA community would like to honour Sarah’s memory and her huge contribution to the Open Science community.

Award Overview and Criteria

The RDA is pleased to announce the ‘The Sarah Jones Award for exceptional contribution to fostering cross border and/or cross-community collaboration in Open Science‘. This annual award, instituted in 2024, will be given to the nominee that is recognised for:

Nomination criteria

  1. Open science (including but not limited to education & training, research data management & FAIR data) contribution. Exceptional contribution to fostering cross border and/or cross-community collaboration in Open Science.
  2. Positive impact: Showing evidence of positive change as a result of interactions on an organisational, individual and/or community level.
  3. Nominee characteristics should outline the career level (Early Career nominations are strongly encouraged), an otherwise unrecognised contribution to the community in open science. Furthermore, demonstration of contribution within the RDA community is welcomed, but not obligatory. 
  4. Nominees from geographical areas with little or difficult development of open science are strongly encouraged.

Nominations Process

The RDA community is invited to suggest nominations for this award providing details on the following:

  1. Nominee Contact details
  2. Why they should receive the award:
    – What have they contributed to Open Science and community-driven activities?
    – What impact has their work had outside of their organisation, within their scientific/research community, between community members?
    – What is special about them and their work?
  3. How they fulfil the eligibility criteria, mandatory and desirable (if applicable).
  4. Support letter from the nominator and one other supporter.


A selection panel, composed of invited RDA community members, will assess the nominations received and shortlist up to three candidates to be contacted and interviewed. The winner will be announced during the RDA 23rd Plenary Meeting in Costa Rica in November 2024. The winner will receive a physical award, a certificate, and be included on the RDA Sarah Jones Award website listing with details of their exceptional contribution. Finally, the winner will have access to a fund to be invested in activities relevant to the winning activities (for example, further capacity building, cross community collaboration, community animation and engagement, etc.).

Criteria for shortlisting and selection

The criteria and weighting for shortlisting and selection are:

Assessment Scoring & weighting

Three overarching criteria are assessed: 1) Excellence; 2) Impact and 3) Nominee Status.

Each criteria will be scored between 0 (very poor) and 5 (Excellent) (and 0.5 scores are admitted) by the individual evaluator. The score should be accompanied by a note on the assessment and rationale for the score assigned. Upon receipt of the three individual evaluations, they will be merged, scores totalled and the weighting criteria below assigned to obtain the ranking list.

Excellence (35%)

Impact (45%)

Nominee Characteristics (20%)

Award Timeline

PhaseStart DateDuration (days)End DateResponsibility
Award definitionTuesday 20 February 202490Monday 20 May 2024RDA Council & others
Publication preparationTuesday 21 May 202423Thursday 13 June 2024Secretariat
Public announcementFriday 14 June 20240Friday 14 June 2024Secretariat
Deadline for nomination submissionFriday 14 June 202490Thursday 12 September 2024Community
Selection & ShortlistingThursday 12 September 202420Wednesday 2 October 2024Selection Panel
Shortlist interviewsWednesday 2 October 202420Tuesday 22 October 2024Selection Panel
Panel deliberationTuesday 22 October 202415Wednesday 6 November 2024Selection Panel
Announcement preparationWednesday 6 November 20246Tuesday 12 November 2024Secretariat
Award announcementTuesday 12 November 20242Thursday 14 November 2024RDA Council
Contact us

For more information about the Sarah Jones Award 2024, please contact the Secretariat.