Closing the Skills Gap - the Basics of the Research Data Management (BRDM) Course: Case University of Turku

Rantasaari Jukka, Kokkinen Heli

Research output: Other contribution


The current challenge for researchers at the University of Turku is that there is a substantial gap between the level of targeted and present research data management (RDM) skills. In order to better understand this challenge and to develop a training course in RDM, we examined the importance of RDM competencies vs. perceived competencies of doctoral students in different stages of research data life cycle. The RDM importance and competencies were examined by interviewing doctoral students, supervisors and biostatisticians. So far, 34 interview sessions on RDM skills have been conducted, covering research data life cycle topics such as collection, organization, documentation, processing and sharing the data. The interviewees’ average estimate of the importance of RDM skills in different stages of research data life cycle was 4.1 (very important) on Likert scale 1 to 5. An average estimate of the competencies of doctoral students was 2.6 (have somewhat skills). Targets for competencies have been set – besides by the interviewees themselves – by the Data Policy of the University of Turku, Finnish and EU level Open Science principles and research literature.
Based on the results we developed a three-credit RDM course for doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers. The course was developed by a working group consisting of university teacher-researchers, lawyers, library's open science specialists, data protection officer, IT Services, and biostatisticians.
Three different study programmes of the BRDM are initiated: Health Sciences programme, Natural Sciences programme and Survey and Interview Studies programme. Each study programme has 7 modules, of which 3 are mutual for all the study programmes. During the course, students complete a study plan and build a data management plan for a research project and learn e.g. to take care of data privacy and to collect, store, protect, process, document and share data.
In this preliminary paper we will discuss the conducted interviews and their key results, the RDM course planning and implementation, the student feedback and the lessons we have learned so far.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherProceedings of the IATUL Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeO2 Other


  • research data management


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