The RDA Conference Grant Gave Maria a Taste for More

Published: 2020-01-15

—It’s fantastic, you learn so much; it’s amazing in terms of skills development.
Maria Johnsson, librarian at Lund University Libraries, has for several years specialised in working with research data. Last autumn, Maria was one of the experts who received a grant to attend the RDA conference in Helsinki, Finland. And right now, the organisation is offering new grants for participating in their plenary meeting in Melbourne, 18–20 March, on the theme ”Data for Real World Impact”.

Maria Johnsson from Lund University was one of the RDA grantees in autumn 2019.
Maria Johnsson from Lund University was one of the RDA grantees in autumn 2019.

One of the purposes of RDA (Research Data Alliance) is to bring together experts from many countries and research areas to discuss and develop recommendations and best practices in various fields, such as persistent identifiers, metadata standards, data citation, and data repository certification. By adopting the RDA recommendations, researchers and institutions can streamline their data management, increase the level of FAIRness of their results, and thereby help to improve Open Science on a global scale.

A treasure trove for the work with research data
—The years that I’ve followed RDA have given me an incredible amount of useful material. The recommendations and contacts are a treasure trove for me in my work with research data. The Helsinki conference was the first that I’ve attended, and I plan to get more involved in the interest group dedicated to education and training, says Maria Johnsson.

There are many working and interest groups in RDA. Maria chose the education and training group (”Education and Training on handling of research data Interest Group”) because it is related to the development in RDM activities at Lund University.

—We have come quite far in our work with open data. We have an open data policy and a DAU. It is only natural that the next step should be to reach out to researchers, for instance by various training initiatives.

RDA hosts so-called Plenary Meetings twice a year. These conferences consist mainly of group meetings, with plenty of discussions and intense development workshops. The European part of RDA, RDA Europe, offers a number of grants to the plenary meetings, partly within the Expert Support Programme, and partly within the Early Career Programme.

Give your application a personal touch
Maria Johnsson learned about the support programmes on the RDA website, decided to apply and was awarded one of the coveted grants. What recommendations does she have for anyone who wants to apply for funding from RDA Europe?

—I think it’s good to be a little bit personal in your application. Describe your own vision of research data, why you think it’s an important matter to work with. This came easy for me; after all, it’s my job.

Read Maria’s blog post from the RDA Plenary Meeting in Helsinki here.

Read more about applying for the Expert Support Programme grant here (deadline on 3 February).
Read more about applying for the Early Career Programme grant here (deadline on 3 February).