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Ryan has an academic background in the humanities and social sciences. His undergraduate degree was completed at University College Cork, where he studied English literature and psychological sciences, before undertaking a master's degree in modern English literature at the University of Edinburgh. Here, tying together the areas he studied during his undergraduate degree, Ryan’s research focused on reader and audience experiences of literature and drama.
Following graduation, he worked for a number of years at a media intelligence company in Edinburgh, where he was eventually responsible for the company’s media evaluation and analysis department. Ryan was involved in improving the department’s data curation and analysis procedures, while balancing this against the demands of a client facing role. Since joining the DCC in the summer of 2019, a large proportion of Ryan’s time has been focused on European Commission projects, including RDA Europe 4.0, FAIRsFAIR, and OpenAIRE Advance, while using his practical experience of data curation in the commercial sector to inform his input in the DCC’s training workshops and consultancy work.