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23 Jul 2018

Building Early Career Support and Mentoring Networks


RDA Early Career and Engagement IG


Group chairs: Fotis Psomopoulos (INAB/CERTH, Greece), Devan Donaldson (Indiana University, USA), Elli Papadopoulou (ATHENA Research and Innovation Centre, Greece)

Group page:


The RDA Early Career and Engagement Interest Group (ECEIG) has successfully hosted three online “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions. These monthly sessions are the keystone of the informal mentoring programme established by the group. Brainstorming how to respond to the need for mentoring and support that have been often expressed by the early career researchers and practitioners within RDA, the IG found that the format of informal synchronous sessions works best. The format accommodates busy schedules and varying expectations and communication styles.

During these monthly AMA sessions mentors, mentees and others interested in building this community come together in a virtual room and engage in open lively discussions. The discussions are organized around three broad themes – RDA-related questions, professional development and networking opportunities. Such a flexible structure establishes a common context, while also providing the freedom to identify relevant questions and address other topics. The last two sessions, for example, discussed funding for data repositories, the role of data management plans in various domains, and outreach in providing data services.

The feedback on the sessions is overwhelmingly positive. Among the mentors the AMA sessions were attended by Martha Teperek (TU Delft), Sarah Jones (UK Digital Curation Centre) and Lynn Yarmey (RDA/US). Says an early career researcher from the Netherlands Ricarda Braukmann (DANS):

The call was very useful for me, it brought me in contact with the right people and helped me to find the information I needed for my project on assessing RDA groups and outputs relevant for social sciences researchers.

The AMAs are planned for every third Wednesday of the month starting in September 2018. The notes from the previous calls are available in the ECEIG GitHub repository The group also has its own Slack channel (invitation here) and Twitter channel.

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