ELIXIR-UK Fellows showcase their work at NERC Digital Gathering 2023

Fostering collaborations and upskilling the workforce: ELIXIR-UK Fellows shine.

Two ELIXIR-UK Fellows, Gabriela López González from the University of Leeds and Richard Ostler from Rothamsted Research, were invited to speak at the NERC Digital Gathering in July 2023. The event served as the stage for these Fellows to showcase their work and contributions during their Fellowship with ELIXIR-UK. Their Fellowship’s primary focus revolves around driving a culture change and upskilling the workforce of UK-performing organisations in Research Data Management (RDM) for the life sciences.

Gabriela López González: cultivating collaboration and knowledge sharing

Gabriela, a researcher working with peatland data with over two decades of experience in long-term ecological data, took the audience through the benefits of active engagement within the ELIXIR-UK community. She emphasised the significance of attending influential bioinformatics gatherings, including the ELIXIR Europe All Hands in June and the ELIXIR Train the Trainer in January of the same year. These experiences enriched her knowledge, fostered collaboration and facilitated invaluable connections with peers in RDM and bioinformatics.

RDM lies at the heart of Gabriela’s work, acting as a vital bridge between three crucial elements: volunteers/citizen science, peatland academic researchers, and governmental/non-governmental organisations. During her talk, she indicated the potential of her ELIXIR-UK affiliation in opening doors to collaboration and data sharing among these stakeholders – culminating in more impactful research outcomes.

Gabriela’s work extends beyond her Fellowship tenure, as she indicated her eagerness to join the newly established ELIXIR Biodiversity Community. This step allows her to extend her reach and merge her peatland research into the ELIXIR knowledge-sharing network. Her commitment exemplifies the essence of collaboration and knowledge dissemination that the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship nurtures.

Richard Ostler: embracing the FAIR data movement

Richard Ostler, sharing similar sentiments with Gabriela, highlighted the importance of being an integral part of a vibrant community of RDM experts in the life sciences. As an expert in long-term agricultural experiments, he commended the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship for providing access to diverse knowledge and expertise.

FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data lies at the heart of Richard’s work, and he advocates for a culture change in its adoption. At the gathering, he recognised that FAIR is no longer a new term but is yet to be mastered by many researchers. Richard’s shared enthusiasm with ELIXIR-UK in the commitment to FAIRify data in the life sciences is one of his main reasons for applying to the Fellowship.

Empowering researchers with exemplary DMPs

Richard showcased his contributions to developing Data Management Plans (DMPs) using the ELIXIR Data Stewardship Wizard (DSW). He expressed his desire to empower fellow researchers by providing them with templates and exemplary DMPs, amplifying their research’s impact and promoting responsible data management practices.

Cross-disciplinary synergy

Richard also noted the significance of adopting best practices from NERC’s Data Management Plans into those from BBSRC. This demonstrated the value of cross-disciplinary and translational research that the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship program actively fosters.

The audience at the NERC Digital Gathering exhibited keen interest in deploying the templates to create their Data Management Plans through DSW. The event also showcased a poster presentation, “The Data Stewardship Wizard: Delivering the FAIR agenda”,  from UKCEH. The attendees’ interest underscores the practical utility and relevance of Richard’s work.

The ELIXIR-UK Fellowship: nurturing talent and fostering collaborations

The contributions of Gabriela López González and Richard Ostler exemplify the resounding success and impact of the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship in nurturing talent and fostering collaborations in RDM.

Find out more about the ELIXIR-UK Fellowship, funded by the ELIXIR-UK: FAIR Data Stewardship training UKRI award (MR/V038966/1)

Additional information

Watch Gabriela’s and Richard’s talk. 

DG23 Gabriela Lopez Gonzalez
DG23 Richard Ostler
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