The UMF-funded Institutional Engagement Programme
The UMF-funded institutional engagement programme ran from mid-2011 to mid-2013. During that time we worked with 21 universities to provide tailored support and services.
The engagement programme aimed to increase data management capabilities and develop a suite of tools and best practice that can be implemented by other institutions. HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funded this work through its Universities Modernisation Fund.
The UMF-funded engagement programme has now finished and we are undertaking a fresh programme of activity. See our pages on tailored support for details of the kinds of assistance we can provide to institutions.
What is an Institutional Engagement?
An Institutional Engagement allows the DCC to provide intensive, tailored support to increase research data management capability.
Each engagement was tailored to the specific needs and priorities of the institution and included a range of activities, from making the case for research data management through requirements analysis to the design and implementation of policy, support, infrastructure and services.
Since commencement of the institutional engagement programme we have worked with the following twenty-one HEIs / groups. The engagement programme has now finished and we are undertaking a fresh programme of activity. See our pages on tailored support.
|Loughborough||London School of Economics||Northampton|
|Open University||Oxford Brookes||Queen Mary University of London|
|Queen’s University Belfast||Salford||St Andrews|
|Stirling||Surrey||University of East Anglia|
|University of the Arts||Warwick||White Rose Consortium
What can the DCC do to help?
The DCC’s role is to support institutions in their path to good research data management. From the outset we will help institutions to initiate change activities that win the support of senior management and aid in the development of a business case for research data management.
Once an engagement is started a range of tools and resources is made available to help an institution develop strategies and services that meet its research data management challenges. They can be combined in different ways to enhance the growth of capabilities and capacity with respect to an institution’s particular needs and ambition.
The key areas in which the DCC can work with institutions are:
Understanding current data practices
Many institutions are unsure of the data their researchers are creating and how this data is stored and managed. The DCC can help assess data assets and practices through processes involving the documentation of current research activities, looking at what data is held and its condition, analyzing costs and considering workflows. Different approaches can be taken, including the use of:
- CARDIO – A tool which can be used at research group or department level to assess current capabilities to support research data management, and contribute to an institution-wide agenda for change.
- Data Asset Framework – A structured mechanism to identify what data exists, its condition and format, who claims responsibility for it and what long-term custody issues it presents.
Redesigning data support services
It is likely that the assessment process will identify skill and capability gaps as well as highlight potential risks and opportunities.
With a better understanding of its data processes an institution may want to redesign its data support services. The DCC can help with the creation of workflow diagrams, allowing institutions to break down complex processes into specific activities and clarify responsibility for these activities. Support can also be given with risk assessment, for example through use of:
- The Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) - A tool which guides repository managers through the process of evaluating and managing risks that threaten data or the infrastructures that they rely upon. Its use promotes institutional risk awareness and helps to highlight problems and prepare for their resolution.
The DCC can also help institutions identify the costs of developing research data management services and in the establishment of pricing structures.
Many Research Councils now require that institutions develop policies and plans for research data management as a condition of research funding. Find out more about Funder Policies.
The DCC will advise and support you in the creation of data management policy and, using its customizable data management planning templates and guidance, can work with you to develop an institution-specific instance of the DCC’s DMPonline tool.
Institutions often have pockets of knowledge in the area of research data management but knowledge and techniques rarely cross departments, disciplines or service areas. Most would like to build a more coherent body of expertise and the DCC can provide support with training aimed at different levels and different roles (such as researchers, Phd students, information staff, etc.). DCC Training is offered in the use of numerous tools and in the acquisition of more generic skills, such as data quality assessment.
Outcomes from the Institutional Engagements
Sharing what is learned from the Institutional Engagements is a vital part of this whole undertaking and over the next year we will be publishing reports, case studies, blogs, best practice guides and more here on the DCC website. To keep up to date with what is happening check back regularly, sign up for our e-newsletter or subscribe to our Twitter feed @digitalcuration
Who are the Institutional Engagement Team?
Institutional Engagement Coordinator:
Senior Institutional Support Officers (SISOs):
Institutional Support Officers (ISOs):
Where can I find out more?
A number of presentations, papers and articles have been produced on the programme. See for example:
- DCC Institutional Engagements: building RDM capacity and capability [slideshare]
A maturing process of engagement: raising data capabilities in UK higher education [pdf - presentation]
The programme was a success and is being continued in a revised form. We want to support a broader range of institutions so are providing shorter, more modular packages of tailored support. Information on how to get involved will be released shortly.
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