Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, April 5, 2012

U-M Library launches data curation fellowship program

The U-M 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 doctoral scholars 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,” says 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 N. 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 www.clir.org/fellowships/datacuration. Applicants to the fellowship program must have received a doctorate 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.