UKOLN Contribution to the University of Bath's Roadmap for EPSRC
In April 2011, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) set out its research data management expectations for institutions in receipt of EPSRC grant funding. They included the requirement for institutions to develop an institutional ‘Roadmap’, intended to set out how compliance with those expectations would be achieved. Associated with the expectations, EPSRC laid down two deadlines: the Roadmap had to be in place by 1 May 2012; and institutions needed to be fully compliant by 1 May 2015.
The University of Bath’s Roadmap for EPSRC: Compliance with Research Data Management Expectations was authored by Liz Lyon and Catherine Pink of the UKOLN Informatics Research Group. As well as working on the JISC-funded Research360 Project, are both members of the University of Bath Research Data Steering Group, a working group with a remit to advise on Research Data Management across the University and with responsibility for co-ordinating the University of Bath’s response.
The EPSRC was not prescriptive about the format of the response, enabling individual institutions to tailor it to their specific needs. The approach chosen by the authors for the University of Bath was therefore based on their experience and roles within the University, as well as drawing upon a series of informative blogs by the DCC. The resulting Roadmap for EPSRC addresses each of the nine expectations, identifying what the University is already doing to meet them. Future activities required to meet each expectation were identified, and responsibility within the University for their implementation was assigned. More can be read about how the Roadmap for EPSRC was developed at the Research360 blog.
The authors worked closely with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Jane Millar, who has a strong awareness of Research Data Management activities at Bath, and was able to provide invaluable guidance and a viewpoint from senior management from within the institution. This support enabled the Roadmap for EPSRC to carry the endorsement of the University Vice-Chancellor’s Group.
The University of Bath submitted its Roadmap for EPSRC to the research council on 1 May 2012, and has subsequently received encouraging feedback: Ben Ryan, Senior Evaluation Manager, EPSRC, congratulated Bath on the document, and described it as “an excellent example of an appropriate response”. He stated that the Roadmap “fully meets our needs for assurance that the University is taking our policy framework on research data seriously”.
Professor Jane Millar, PVC Research, responded: “The University of Bath is fully committed to enhancing its research data management infrastructure to meet the challenges of a more data-intensive research paradigm going forward. The Roadmap activities will build on the solid foundations already in place, which support our current research activities across all the Faculties.”
Dr Liz Lyon, Director of UKOLN, said: “The Roadmap demonstrates our strong vision and understanding of the wide range of research data management activities. Many stakeholders with specific roles and responsibilities are working in partnership across the institution.” As part of their work on the Research360 Project, Liz Lyon and Catherine Pink will now continue to work on developing a long-term RDM Strategy and RDM Operational Plan for the University of Bath.