The RDA/EOSC Future team has launched a series of spotlights to showcase the grantees, their work and experience, and highlight the benefits of being an RDA Domain Ambassador.
This week we spoke to Sara El-Gebali, Domain Ambassador for Life Sciences.
⇨ Sara's RDA profile
⇨ Sara's Domain Ambassador page
⇨ Sara's page on the EOSC Future grants platform
Can you describe your achievements during your time as RDA/EOSC Future Domain Ambassador?
Throughout my involvement with RDA and EOSC, I got a greater respect for the inner workings of both organizations, and eventually evolved from a passive observer to an active contributor. As I continue to connect with the community, I am even investigating the potential of starting a group within RDA. Beyond my own experiences, I must underline the importance of the Domain Ambassador program. The program provided mentorship, guidance, and crucial introductions, allowing me to bring RDA and EOSC activities to a broader audience in a more accessible and engaging manner. By promoting community involvement and inclusivity, the Domain Ambassador program has played a significant role in supporting and inspiring people to embark on their own journeys of engagement with RDA and EOSC.
What challenges did you face, if any?
One of the major challenges I faced was identifying the key players involved in RDA and EOSC. Despite successfully identifying the relevant themes and topics, it proved extremely difficult to connect with the individuals driving the work. A registry or centralised point of contact for active EOSC members would have been immensely beneficial in streamlining this process. Furthermore, having a comprehensive overview of all members and points of contact would be valuable in promoting the voices and contributions of individuals from historically underrepresented groups, as opposed to solely highlighting the "usual suspects" who are typically associated with a given topic.
How has being an RDA Ambassador contributed to your professional development?
As previously mentioned, my work has been greatly enhanced by expanding my personal knowledge through various interactions. Collaboration with other ambassadors, in particular, has broadened my awareness of other disciplines and how they connect with my own work. For example, I've gained a better understanding of the significance of ethics and data governance in relation to research data and Open Science practices. This has been further enriched by viewing aspects of Open Science from a range of different fields, which has undoubtedly been a valuable learning experience.
Furthermore, as a result of my project activities, I've had the opportunity to interact with experts in my field. These interactions have been instrumental in shaping my perspectives and deepening my understanding of the field. Overall, the diverse range of experiences and perspectives that I have encountered through my involvement in various initiatives have significantly enriched my work and contributed to my professional growth.
Are there any lessons learnt that you could share with the community?
- Cultivate a mindset of continuous learning.
- Don't be afraid to engage with others; use it as a learning opportunity to widen your perspective and develop personal and professional growth by approaching people from different backgrounds, disciplines, and experiences.
- Motivate, support and empower others.
- Never hesitate to seek help, especially from the Ambassadors program organizers and coordinators, as their valuable insights and resources can enhance your overall experience within the community.
What do you want to get out of the RDA 20th Plenary Meeting?
Phenomenal, engaging, tiring and exciting.
You can contact Sara El-Gebali by completing this form.