RDA Funders Forum

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18 March 2019 99206 reads



The RDA Funders Forum, initiated around the launch of RDA in 2013, is a group of funding organisations / representatives with an interest in research data and related data policies. The Funders Forum, typically meet the day before the start of RDA plenary meetings, taking place in different regions around the world. The Funders Forum currently has two co-chairs who take responsibility for the organisation of the meetings, defining the agenda, structure and topics for discussion.

Participation in the Funders Forum is not limited to current funders of RDA, but is open to all funding agencies and organisations with an interest to attend.


During the beginning of the Funders Forum meeting the RDA Council and Secretary General provide an update to the funders on the strategy and activities of RDA. This is followed by a closed meeting between funders focusing on different topics and information exchanges, the focus of which is determined by the funders themselves and the co-chairs. The co-chairs are Josh Greenburg – Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (US) and Matthew Lucas - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC - CAN). 


During three plenary meetings Montreal (Sept 2017), Berlin (March 2018) and Botswana (Nov 2018), the Funders Forum organised a Birds of a Feather (BoF) meeting during the breakout sessions to interact with the RDA community and dialogue with data professionals on various different topics of relevance to them and RDA. The objective of these Birds of a Feather sessions in which funders from around the globe bring subjects that they wish to discuss publicly among themselves and on which they want to gather input from the RDA community. 

These questions were addressed during a BoF session, “Research Funders on the Topic of Open Research and Data Management”, Montreal Sept 2017, and during two BoF sessions held in Berlin (March 2018) “Interest Group for Funders and Stakeholders on Open Research and Data Management Policies”. In November 2018, the group organised a BoF in Botswana (P12) entitled "Research Data Management and Sharing in Low and Middle-Income Countries". 

There are currently few forums for research funders engaged in the open research and data management space to discuss their unique challenges, perspectives and opportunities. Creating a forum for research funders to initiate or further data-related discussions could result in lasting benefits for the research community (increased coordination, standardization and support) and the funders themselves in terms of avoiding duplication of efforts and building on existing expertise and resources. For this reason, the funders forum created an RDA Interest Group, to substantiate their engagement with RDA and be fully aligned with the RDA principles of openness, harmonization and being community-driven. It is a significant value-added contribution to the RDA community as a vehicle for open discussion of policy-driven topics.

For more information on the Interest Group see Research Funders and Stakeholders on Open Research and Data Management Policies and Practices IG