The EOSC as a ‘skills commons’ providing FAIR training for FAIR data stewardship

The EOSC as a ‘skills commons’ providing FAIR training for FAIR data stewardship
25 Jan 2018

The EOSC as a ‘skills commons’ providing FAIR training for FAIR data stewardship


Session Chairs: Angus Whyte (Digital Curation Centre), Gergely Sipos (EGI) and Ellen Leenarts (DANS)

Session co-chair: Marjan Grootveld (DANS)


  • Promoting dialogue between those with a cross-disciplinary skills remit and those with a more domain-specific focus
  • Focusing on issues around providing a ‘skills commons’ by offering FAIR training materials that fulfil needs for domain-focused examples, suitable for the variety of organisations and roles concerned
  • Stimulating discussion, we will describe our approach to stewardship competences and training approaches identified by the EOSCpilot project
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is an initiative from the European Commission to drive Open Science and provide researchers with a trusted virtual environment enabling open and seamless services for data storage, management, analysis, sharing, and re-use, across disciplines. This needs skills, both on the part of researchers and others involved in providing the services. Data stewardship is one of the key skill sets to enable the EOSC.
Stewardship involves professional development across various roles; from data managers, software engineers, to data scientists and researchers generally.   Infrastructures, institutions and all kinds of organisation involved in research and its application need to develop stewardship skills to support data science and digital humanities, and to perform and apply research as openly as possible towards the innovation of new products and services.   The EOSC will offer an environment to do just that.   Its skills development agenda is being shaped by needs and gaps reported by the European Commission’s Open Science Skills Working Group, and articulated in the EOSC Declaration. 
Since data stewardship is one of the most significant gaps, the EOSCpilot project is recommending options to address a number of issues in this area. These include: the relevant competences for the roles concerned; whether and how FAIR principles can be applied to training, and the scope of training-as-a-service in EOSC.
The EOSC is taking shape now, and we invite trainers and others interested in skills development to discuss these questions and other key factors that help or hinder development of individual competences and capabilities for their users and their organisations. 
09.00 – 09.45 Introduction: aims and structure of the event (Kevin Ashley, DCC)
09.45 – 10.05 Evolution of training provision in the EOSC projects: EOSCpilot (Angus Whyte, DCC), EOSC-hub (Gergely Sipos, EGI) and OpenAire Advance (Ellen Leenarts, DANS)
10.05 - 10.15  EOSCpilot Skills Framework-  Mapping competences to service capabilities for data-intensive research (Angus Whyte, DCC)
10.15 – 10.30  FAIR training - applying FAIR principles to training resources (Ellen Leenarts, DANS)
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.00  Live poll and breakout groups
12.00 - 12.10 Conclusions from breakouts
12.10 - 12.30 Closing discussion: how can the EOSC help Research Institutions, Libraries and Infrastructures work to close skills gaps?


The three breakout groups, with headings below, take forward discussion begun at the EOSC Stakeholders Forum in November 2017.  To move the discussion forward we summarise points raised in response to the questions below, and begin with a live poll to find out how the audience responds to 3 questions arising from that discussion.  Then we break into three groups, to discuss the issues raised.

Group 1. How can EOSC support research training providers to contribute to international level training infrastructure?

  • Should FAIR principles be extended to training resources, and if so what kinds of resources are worth the effort to make reusable?
  • Should EOSC perform quality assurance, certification of providers, or badging of content in a central catalogue of training materials and events harvested from participating organisations?
  • Should EOSC monitor what is being provided and attempt to fill gaps either in the content or mode of delivery?

Group 2. How can EOSC assist research performing organisations to develop the competences and capabilities for open data science?

  • How can EOSC assist institutions to plan the skills required to deliver their strategies and services for implementing FAIR principles, open science and data science?
  • Should EOSC broker the supply and demand for disciplinary-focused training across institutions and research infrastructures?
  • What are the biggest gaps in cross-disciplinary skills for data stewardship?

Group 3. How can EOSC coordinate national-level policies, strategies and reward mechanisms to stimulate open research data practices?

  • What information could EOSC collect and publish to inform national-level policies, strategies and mechanisms?
  • What can EOSC do to encourage and amplify efforts of funding bodies, institutions and other stakeholders to recognise researchers’ skills for data stewardship and open research practices?
  • What can EOSC do to nurture the career structures and rewards for professional support staff who contribute to open research practices?