Data-driven research is growing exponentially. In order to support researchers with the proper management of their data, 500.000 data stewards will need to be trained in the EU alone. The first professional data stewards in Austria (e.g., at the TU Graz) had to acquire their skills and knowledge while “learning on the job”. As there is currently no dedicated training for data stewards in Austria, the Vienna University Library in cooperation with the FAIR Data Austria project currently develops the first postgraduate certificate for data stewards.
With regard to the tasks of data stewards (especially the support of researchers, information transfer and research data management (RDM) training, as well as requirements engineering), the course will include the basics of RDM, open science, data science, coding and teaching skills. The course will be practice-oriented and allow the students to learn not only from national and international experts on data stewardship and RDM but also benefit from transdisciplinary exchange among the participants themselves. The course will be offered part-time and in a hybrid format as a way for RPOs to upskill current research support staff as well as offer an alternative career path for researchers. Data Stewardship experts on the national and international level have given feedback on the preliminary curriculum in three workshop in July 2021.
Research institutions worldwide are developing data stewardship training to meet the growing demand. As the first formalized further education program in Austria, this lightning talk on the postgraduate certificate “Data Steward” from the Vienna University Library is sure to spark discussion on the topic of data stewardship training and contribute to the global efforts regarding Open Science education. The talk should serve as an example of possible collaborative efforts to implement high-quality certified data stewardship training on the national level.