15 Million Euro Support for Researchers and Open Science

15 Million Euro Support for Researchers and Open Science 492 691 Open and Universal Science (OPUS) Project

In a significant move towards advancing open science initiatives, Open Science NL has earmarked a substantial sum of 15 million euros for bolstering Local and Thematic Digital Competence Centres (LDCCs and TDCCs). Collaborating with the Netherlands eScience Center, this initiative aims to enhance research software training offerings and invest in research data interoperability expertise.

The decision to allocate these funds stems from the recognition of certain gaps in the current landscape of digital competence centers. While significant progress has been made in augmenting professional capacity for working with research software and data, two critical areas remain under-addressed: research software training and data interoperability.

With research increasingly reliant on computational methods, the need for researchers proficient in digital and computational expertise has become paramount. However, many researchers lack formal training in software development and management, despite their proficiency in their respective fields of research. Consequently, there is a pressing demand for training programs tailored to equip researchers with essential digital skills.

Furthermore, although tools for data sharing and repository creation have proliferated, attention to interoperability aspects lags behind. The absence of comprehensive interoperability compromises the reusability of research data, hindering integration with other data sets and workflows for analysis and processing.

In response to these challenges, Open Science NL’s funding program aims to expand the capacity of LDCCs and TDCCs in two key areas: research software training and ontology/metadata expertise for research data. The program will support the establishment of a national network to facilitate the training of researchers and research support staff in open research software.

The funding program outlines specific points to be covered:

  1. LDCCs: Each LDCC can apply for up to 0.5 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) trainer capacity per year for open source software skills and up to 0.5 FTE per year for community manager capacity focused on research data interoperability. This will facilitate collaboration with metadata and ontology experts within TDCCs to enhance interoperability aspects of research data.
  2. TDCCs: TDCCs can apply to increase their capacity in domain-specific metadata and ontologies, with a maximum of 2 FTE per year. This will aid in the implementation of domain-specific standards and tools, fostering international alignment and collaboration.
  3. Netherlands eScience Center: The center can apply to appoint up to 1 FTE community management capacity per year to establish a national network of software trainers. This program will include train-the-trainer activities and collaboration on open training material development.

This funding opportunity, although non-competitive, is subject to quality assessment and spans a four-year period. Eligible parties have been invited to submit proposals, marking a significant step forward in advancing open science initiatives and fostering digital competence in research communities.

Find more information here.

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