Strategy for IGERT
NSF Critical Areas
IGERT Proposal Writing
Draft Budget Overview
Letter of Intent
IGERT Call for Proposals Notes
UNM Preproposal Limited Competition Guidelines (with notes)
Grant Proposal Guide Notes
INCBN IGERT Notes
Current research practices in most fields are rooted in practices developed in the mid-20th century, while technology has raced ahead. Researchers in the sciences increasingly collaborate across institutions and even internationally, yet they are often hampered by their lack of skills with current cyber-technology. Social sciences, humanities and the arts are typically even less collaborative. We are proposing an intensive summer long program for 2nd-3rd year graduate students across all disciplines. They will work together as teams throughout the summer. The teams will consists of a diverse array of disciplines, and the students will work together using a variety of tools available to develop a collaborative project that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. For instance, physicists and artists may work together to explore how their disciplines can augment each other and result in exciting new ways of working together.
Understanding that data will become a commodity to be marketed and researchers and grad students do not have this skill.
What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
Project Summary: New graduate students face a vastly different research environment than their advisors and mentors experienced as students. Research is becoming a more open process as funding agencies increasingly treat data and other products as a public good. Our growing online culture has also made it easier for researchers to collaborate across space and disciplines. However, the training of most graduate students is still firmly grounded in the 20th century. We propose to provide graduate students with a foundation in 21st century research practices, including: proper data management and sharing, intellectual property management, principles and practices of open science and open access, online approaches to public science, and tools and best practices for collaboration. We will train the open scientists of tomorrow by leveraging UNM’s current strengths in data management and collaborative science, as well as incorporating current and new classes into our new informatics curriculum. This project will fund six graduate students per year from diverse disciplines. We anticipate providing opportunities for travel, as well as internships in startups and industry. Also as part of the program we wish to start a national Open Science Challenge for every year of funding, with a $1000 cash prize to go towards furthering the research of the winning student(s).
Narrative: Current research practices in most fields are still rooted in practices developed in the mid-20th century, while technology has raced ahead. The NSF is progressively taking a positive stance toward open data and open research. These practices are unfamiliar and often frightening to researchers and the community has failed to embrace the shift in culture. Although researchers in the STEM sciences increasingly collaborate across institutions and internationally, they are often hampered by their lack of skills with current cyber-technology like social media, which is built around collaboration. This leaves many researchers lacking skills in data management, data curation, intellectual property management, online tools for collaboration, and marketing. Simply put, the culture of science needs to change and education is the mechanism to drive this change.
The first step in open research is creating high quality data (data defined broadly as any products of research). Most researchers understand this need at the level of personal use, however, the standard for shared data is much higher. The data must persist over time without loss or corruption and the creator must have the expertise to facilitate the findability and understandability of the data. This requires that researchers expand their skill set to include knowledge of modern data management and data curation practices. It also may require they work more closely and collaborate with information professionals and librarians to adequately curate their work.
As data is made public, shared, and reused, issues of intellectual property rights become critical. Personal experience working with faculty has shown that many faculty are completely unaware of these issues. Not only are they not aware of their own rights, but they also are unaware how to legally and ethically incorporate other people’s work into their own.
One of the greatest potential benefits of our increasingly networked world is the potential to collaborate across distance and across disciplines. However, most researchers are unfamiliar with even the most basic tools to facilitate online collaboration or how to manage, curate and expose their data to maximize its effectiveness and visibility or to effectively market it.
We are proposing fund six graduate students over five years and develop three courses at UNM:
These classes would be offered to all graduate students through the University of New Mexico’s Informatics curriculum. The current goal of the curriculum is primarily to train informatics professionals. The new courses would provide an ideal intersection between informatics professionals and researchers from other disciplines, offering additional opportunities for collaboration. The courses would also serve as the backbone of the IGERT training program, become part of the Informatics PhD core curriculum, and serve as the basis for a certificate in Data Management and Informatics.
The Data Management and Curation course would provide a foundation for students to better manage and curate their data using the most up-to-date tools, concepts and techniques to prevent data loss or corruption, collaborate with multiple researchers on the same data set, back-up and version their work, and maintain sufficient auxiliary information to help others understand and reuse their data.
Publishing and Promoting Research Online would give students exposure to a variety of tools for making their data visible to the public. This would include, but not be limited to, using online lab notebooks, creating project websites or wikis, and using social media to publicize their work. Students would also learn about the ethics of sharing and reusing data, as well as the essentials of intellectual property management.
The final special topics course would be the capstone course for the program. Each semester a different big issue topic would be chosen. The students would form collaborative interdisciplinary teams to explore and research the topic. Using the tools learned in the previous two courses, the students would develop a research project. The course would tie in with the Open Science Challenge that would be funded by the IGERT. Ideally, students will establish productive relationships with one another that lead to longer-term collaborations, publications and other research products that would not have occurred otherwise.
Resources: UNM is a leader in data management and open science and has sufficient resources to provide education in data management techniques and philosophies. The University Libraries has already hired several data librarians, including two of the PIs on this grant. UNM Libraries are committed to becoming a leader in the field of informatics and data services. They are also developing an Informatics curriculum that fits in well with the goals of this grant. Additionally, outside commercial institutions like BenchFly, FigShare (Digital Science), and Science Exchange have expressed a willingness to support the program, both structurally and educationally. We will continue to seek collaborations from other commercial enterprises and academic institutions.
Intellectual Merit: Data management is crucial in today’s world because most scientific information is stored electronically. Without proper data management, there is no protection for data integrity. In an open access environment, data management is even more important because the data is publicly accessible, requiring additional security measures and the ability to maintain that accessibility. Also, while the data may be accessible, maintaining context and understandability of the data is often a crucial but overlooked element. Most scientists are unaware of the need for data management and even fewer know about open research practices. This program will teach students how to manage data in an open research environment and is applicable across all disciplines.
Open science is a new concept to many researchers, one often met with fear and misunderstanding. By training new scientists to use best practices of open science, they can both make their data available while at the same time promoting their careers.
This IGERT will train students already established in their programs and require the labs that these students maintain an open access data policy in their work. As students and their PIs become more familiar with open research practices the labs will be more ready to adopt this change.
Broader Impacts. Collaborative research and open science is practiced in an ever-changing environment and students will need to be able to adapt to this environment. The courses planned incorporate novel components of scientific research that will train the students to deal with the uncertainties of dealing with foreign material and tools. The very nature of the coursework will develop the students ability to conceptualize new research methods through collaboration.
The courses proposed are open to disciplines outside of the traditional STEM studies, maximizing student diversity. Additionally, the University of New Mexico–Albuquerque is the only Hispanic-Serving Institution in the United States that is also classified by the Carnegie Foundation as RU/VH (Research University–Very High research activity). Students will also be encouraged to incorporate citizen science components into their projects, further increasing the breadth of exposure.
This proposed IGERT program is not simply technical training, but a foundational component of an open data management infrastructure that will be accessible to and reusable by other universities, institutions, or private organizations.
Maggie Werner-Washburne/Paul Szauter I think Paul would be really interested (biology/IMSD)
NSMS IGERT (Abhaya Datye)
INCBN IGERT (Marek Osinski)
Library of Congress
BenchFly (Alan Marnett)
FigShare (Mark Hahnel)
Graduate Resource Center
Graduate Student Funding Initiative
New graduate students face a vastly different research environment than their advisors and mentors experienced as students. Research is becoming a more open process as funding agencies increasingly treat data and other products as a public good. Our growing online culture has also made it easier for researchers to collaborate across space and disciplines. However, the training of most graduate students is still firmly grounded in the 20th century. We propose to provide graduate students with a foundation in 21st century research practices, including: proper data management and sharing, intellectual property management, principles and practices of open science and open access, online approaches to public science, and tools and best practices for collaboration. We will train the open scientists of tomorrow by leveraging UNM’s current strengths in data management and collaborative science, as well as incorporating current and new classes into our new informatics curriculum. This program will fund six graduate students per year from diverse disciplines. We anticipate providing opportunities for travel, as well as internships in startups and industry. Also as part of the program we wish to start a national Open Science Challenge for every year of funding, with a $1000 cash prize to go towards furthering the research of the winning student(s).
collaborative science online