Authors : James L. Savage, Lauren Cadwallader
Supporting good practice in Research Data Management (RDM) is challenging for higher education institutions, in part because of the diversity of research practices and data types across disciplines.
While centralised research data support units now exist in many universities, these typically possess neither the discipline-specific expertise nor the resources to offer appropriate targeted training and support within every academic unit.
One solution to this problem is to identify suitable individuals with discipline-specific expertise that are already embedded within each unit, and empower these individuals to advocate for good RDM and to deliver support locally.
This article focuses on an ongoing example of this approach: the Data Champion Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK.
We describe how the Data Champion programme was established; the programme’s reach, impact, strengths and weaknesses after two years of operation; and our anticipated challenges and planned strategies for maintaining the programme over the medium- and long-term.