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Scholarship winners reflect on RDAP21 Summit – Matt Hayward

April 08, 2021 1:47 PM | Laura Palumbo

The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.


I am the health-sciences librarian at the John Peace Library at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). When I started here, a little over three years ago, one of my first duties was to take over the research data management classes for the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training that is required for all incoming researchers. I also began hosting campus-wide workshops on best practices and this eventually lead to becoming the leader of our library’s Data Services team and the resident research data specialist at UTSA. 2021was my first year to attend the RDAP Summit and I am very grateful to the event sponsors for providing the opportunity to me.

I found the sessions regarding the new virtual modality of instruction, like Reflecting on Teaching Carpentries Workshops Online and The Zooming Winds of Change: Developing a New Curriculum for RDM Instruction from the Virtual Ground Up, to be very useful for my current needs as I too had to adapt my instruction to virtual. The insight offered into differences and challenges of the virtual learning environment, as well as the experiences of others in adapting or their programming and/or creating new content to meet learner needs will be very helpful for my instruction offerings, especially the use of interactive components.

Our university, at an administrative level, has recently begun to closely examine the impact of open data sharing mandates and policies as well as the implications for UTSA in terms of necessary governance. Fortunately, thanks to support garnered through the RCR program, I have been able to be involved in those conversations. Thankfully there were several sessions with useful tips and information that I plan to incorporate into our discussions. The “Collaborative Data Projects” sessions, especially No-nonsense, Practical Guide to Implementing Effective Data Practices and Research as Design-Design as Research: Developing a Researcher-Driven Collaborative Model for Data Services, contained information that I think will be especially helpful as we move forward through the process of implementing a governance team and begin working with researchers to support their needs in incorporating ethical and open data practices into their existing research workflows.

I look forward to all the benefits of my RDAP membership as our institution moves forward through this progression toward FAIR data at my institution and I am also excited at the prospect of attending RDAP 2022.


The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.


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