Open data IGERT: Graduate training for data sharing and reuse in e-science

Students with research interests in scientific data management, sharing, and reuse have the opportunity to participate in the Open Data fellowship program. Open Data is an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in the methods, practices and emerging norms of data sharing and reuse sponsored by the National Science Foundation. UMSI professors Mark Ackerman and Carl Lagoze are collaborating with Margaret Hedstrom on this project.

Start date: 7/1/2009
End date: 7/31/2016

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High speed networks, massive repositories of data, and new analytical tools are emerging as key elements of cyberinfrastructure with the potential to transform the conduct of science and engineering research, leading to breakthrough discoveries. Today, research in many areas of science and engineering is performed on proprietary data created or collected by individual research groups. Besides changing proprietary norms and practices, there is a need for new data management tools and technologies and training in how to use them to support data sharing and reuse. This project seeks to train graduate students in bioinformatics and materials research in the principles, practices, and tools that support sharing and reuse of data.

This project focuses on two fields—bioinformatics and materials science and engineering—in order to build a basis for meaningful comparisons between the fields and to create a cohort of students in each field who are trained in this new way of thinking about open data sharing and reuse. The purpose of this program is to generate new policies, practices, and technologies for data sharing. It builds on computer science and information science research that identify basic principles for acquiring, managing, sharing, and archiving data.

Fellows engage in research activities at the University of Michigan with faculty and doctoral students from the School of Information, Computer Science and Engineering, Bioinformatics, Materials Science, and Chemical Engineering. Through multi-disciplinary seminars, skill-focused workshops, and both informal and structured interaction, students learn how to generate, acquire, and manage research data so that it can be widely shared and reused.

Collaborators at the University of Michigan outside of UMSI include:

  • Co-PI Margit Burmeister, Philip Andrews, Brian Athey, and Daniel Burns in the Department of Bioinformatics
  • Co-PI H.V. Jagadish, Kristen LeFevre, and Brian Noble in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Co-PI Joanna Mirecki Millunchick and John Kieffer in the Department of Material Science and Engineering
  • Sharon Glotzer and Michael Solomon in the Department of Chemical Engineering


IGERT: Open Data Graduate Training for Data Sharing and Reuse in E-Science, National Science Foundation: $2,861,583


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"