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Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IU selected as partner in new data curation fellowship program

April 25, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Researchers are creating and using scientific data at unprecedented levels, underscoring the need for curators, or caretakers, to ensure that this massive amount of vital information is being maintained for important research today -- and tomorrow.

To help meet this need, Indiana University, through a joint effort between its Data to Insight Center and IU Libraries, has been selected as a partner institution in the Council on Library and Information Resources/Digital Library Federation Data Curation Fellowship Program. The program is made possible by a $679,827 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

This joint effort by the Data to Insight Center and the IU Libraries takes advantage of a natural partnership and draws on synergies between the two organizations.

"The scientific data projects we work on with the IU Libraries are complex, large and valuable in science when taken collectively and over time," said Beth Plale, director of the Data to Insight Center and managing director of IU's Pervasive Technology Institute. "The preservation and curation of this data is critical to advancing science."

The Council on Library and Information Resources is now recruiting six data curation fellows in cooperation with its partner institutions: Indiana University; Lehigh University; McMaster University; Purdue University; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Michigan.

The two-year, postdoctoral fellowships will encourage the development of highly skilled and knowledgeable specialists in data curation for the natural and social sciences. IU's fellow will work with the Sustainable Environment-Actionable Data project, a major National Science Foundation-funded DataNet project, and the HathiTrust Research Center, both joint ventures of the Data to Insight Center and the IU Libraries.

Brenda Johnson

Brenda Johnson

Print-Quality Photo

"This program is a terrific opportunity for a postdoctoral fellow to get hands-on experience with library, domain and computer science experts addressing real problems in data preservation of sustainability science," says Brenda Johnson, Ruth Lilly Dean of IU Libraries.

The fellowship's creation coincides with the Obama administration's recent announcement of the "Big Data Research and Development Initiative," which recognizes the importance of training the next generation of data scientists.

The grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will fund one year of the two-year award. The award is being supplemented by funding from the Data to Insight Center and IU Libraries to create a two-year postdoctoral fellow experience.

Recent Ph.D.s who are interested in the Indiana University fellowship can visit here for more information.

For more information contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or Tweeting Indiana University science news: @IndianaScience