Building the Next Generation of Data Savvy Biomedical Researchers
The Data Train cross-disciplinary graduate training programme, a core element of the NFDI4Health training approach, aims at building the next generation of data-savvy researchers in the biomedical sciences. The starter track will also be offered in 2024.
Researchers, but also allied professionals in the biomedical and health fields need the skills to manage research data in a structured way, and to take the steps from contextualising data to gaining knowledge and to making informed decisions. This ensures transparency, quality, reproducibility, and compliance with regulatory requirements. To equip the researchers with the appropriate understanding and the necessary skills in research data management (RDM) and data science, NFDI4Health offers a modular, reusable training programme that is tailored to different audiences based on the FAIR principles for data stewardship. A central component of this approach is to provide doctoral researchers with a broad grounding in RDM and data science, coupled with a practical and group-oriented immersion in data stewardship or data science or both.
The U Bremen Research Alliance, with the support of the State of Bremen, has established the Data Train cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary training programme for doctoral researchers from its member institutions. Data Train's mission is to strengthen basic skills in data literacy, RDM and data science, while providing a platform for doctoral researchers to build an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional network. The nine NFDI consortia represented in Bremen, including NFDI4Health, are involved in the development and delivery of the courses. In return, courses are opened for the NFDI-communities whenever possible.
A total of 40 lecturers delivers the programme in two runs since 2021, with 14 lectures, 17 workshops and data stories in each run, totalling more than 350 hours. In these two runs, more than 222 doctoral students participated. Since the programme was offered virtually, it was opened to technical staff, master students and other interested researchers. Thus, more than 2,600 participations have been registered. Data Train will now be offered every year, and several institutions outside Bremen have already expressed interest in collaborating.
NFDI4Health is contributing lecturers (Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot, Prof. Dr Benedikt Buchner, Prof. Dr. Dennis-Kenji Kipker). Two data stories were also contributed by NDFI4Health members (Lessons learned from Covid-19 surveillance: How to avoid data unFAIRness by Dr. Anatol-Fiete Näher; How to make large scale phenotypic data internationally competitive within a population-based cohort study by Prof. Dr. Carsten Oliver Schmidt).The highly successful Data Train covers the entire data value chain, fosters an interdisciplinary perspective, and makes an important contribution to data literacy training for science. Data Train is designed to showcase best and discipline-specific practices through data stories. It is also open to external collaboration. NFDI4Health is working with Data Train to provide a reusable and adaptable version of the training programme with health-specific add-ons.
Schematics of the curriculum concept. Light red boxes stand for add-on discipline-specific courses that could be offered in the scientific domains or the NFDI consortia. Hörner et al. 2021, doi: 10.17192/bfdm.2021.3.8343
The new Data Train training program starts in January 2024 and registration is now open at https://www.bremen-research.de/data-train/.