MLibrary launches data curation fellowship program

April 4, 2012

The University of Michigan Library, in partnership with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and its Digital Library Federation (DLF) program, will help launch a new data curation fellowship program for recent Ph.Ds in the natural and social sciences.
The aim of the CLIR/DLF Data Curation Fellowship Program is to create a cadre of scholars whose expertise in their discipline is enriched by an understanding of how their research data are organized, transmitted, and manipulated. One of the program’s first cohort of six fellows will spend two years in the U-M Library, receiving professional development, education, and training in data curation. The five remaining partner institutions are Indiana University, Lehigh University, McMaster University, Purdue University, and the University of California Los Angeles

The program is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “As academic research becomes increasingly data-intensive, we need skilled professionals trained in both science and data curation,” said Joshua M. Greenberg, Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “CLIR and DLF’s visionary fellowship program recognizes that libraries have a unique and important role to play in the training and employment of this new cohort of professionals.”

Paul Courant, university librarian and dean of libraries, is pleased that U-M will be among the first to host a data curation fellow. “We expect that the program will aid the library’s effort to meet the demand for campus data curation and management, and enhance our understanding of disciplinary requirements.” He adds that the need for such expertise is pressing in the social and natural sciences, and is growing in the humanities now that digitization has enabled the creation of large datasets of text for computational analysis.

Information about the program and position descriptions are available at Applicants to the Fellowship program must have received a Ph.D. in a discipline no more than five years before applying (i.e., after April 1, 2007). All work toward the degree, including dissertation defense and final dissertation editing, must be completed before starting the fellowship. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, but no later than June 30, 2012.

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. The DLF is a consortium of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services.

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Last modified: 04/04/2012