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This year's University-wide call for new Data Champions is now open!


Would you like to become a Data Champion? 

As a Data Champion, you will be a local advocate for good research data management, supporting researchers (both staff and students) in areas such as data organisation, storage and sharing. We are looking for people in all subject areas; we welcome those in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEMM subjects who would like to volunteer to become Data Champions within their departments, institutes or colleges.   

Who can become a Data Champion? 

Any member of the University of Cambridge who is interested in research data management (RDM) and data sharing who would like to become a local contact on RDM can apply to become a Data Champion. You do not need to be an expert in RDM in order to become a Data Champion and there will be numerous opportunities to expand your knowledge in this area. Researchers, postgraduate students, librarians, IT managers, data managers, or other members of research support staff who have a keen interest in RDM are invited to apply. We welcome applications from those working in all subject areas in all disciplines. All types of digital and non-digital information produced and used during the course of research require some degree of data management (e.g. textual, audio, visual, numeric, code, etc.) – we are looking for a range of Data Champions who work with diverse sources of information. 

What will be required of me? 

Data Champions promote good RDM and data sharing in a variety of ways. Some examples include: 

  • Holding one-to-one or group discussions about RDM 
  • Delivering discipline-specific workshop sessions on data handling and related topics in their departments/institutions 
  • Promoting or participating in the development of data management tools 
  • Participating in open research studies 
  • Developing RDM advocacy materials for dissemination
  • Raising awareness of RDM in your department or institution 
  • Promote to research staff and students the principles and responsibilities outlined in the University of Cambridge Research Data Management Policy Framework

To give an idea of the time commitment involved, current Data Champions volunteer on average for approximately a week in total per year (or a few hours per month) toward being a Data Champion. This can be highly flexible and depends on an individual’s circumstances.  

What are the benefits of becoming a Data Champion? 

There are multiple benefits of joining the Data Champion programme at the University of Cambridge. For example, you will have opportunities to: 

  • Grow your networks 
    • You will get to know others interested in RDM from other Cambridge departments, institutes and colleges 
    • You will be presented with opportunities to expand or develop networks beyond the University of Cambridge 
  • Collaborate
    • Work with other Data Champions and the University RDM team
    • Apply/develop your creativity by helping to produce resources for RDM learning, training, and advocacy
  • Increase your impact
    • You will be the advocate for the RDM needs of your local community 
    • You will become a local expert on RDM in your discipline 
    • You will make a broader contribution to research at the University of Cambridge by improving the integrity of research outputs 
    • You will increase your visibility; for example, via your Data Champion profile on the University of Cambridge Data Champions website 
  • Learn new skills  
    • Learn more about RDM and sources of support available for researchers 
    • Learn how to create and deliver workshops 
    • Learn how to communicate effectively  
    • Gain mentoring experience 
    • Develop consultancy skills
    • Learn about Open Research 
  • Enhance your CV 
    • This is an excellent extracurricular activity that will boost your CV, expand your working experience and enhance your transferable skills. Together, these offer to support your career progression whether it is within or beyond academia. 

Will any support be provided? 

The Data Champion programme is managed by the Research Data team at the Office of Scholarly Communication who oversee various aspects. You will have access to a wide range of support, not least the existing community of Data Champions who help one another and make collaborative contributions. Examples of areas of support available are: 

  • University of Cambridge Data Champion forums 
    • You will be a member of the Data Champion forum, where members convene every two months to discuss RDM-related issues, challenges and successes 
  • Support with providing RDM workshop/training sessions 
    • Standard (template) workshops already exist that you can tailor to reflect the needs of your community and discipline 
    • Training can be provided to help you deliver workshops 
  • Access to an online shared drive that is available to all current Data Champions 
    • You will have access to resources and information that is shared amongst the Data Champion community to help you advocate for good RDM within your department/institution 
    • You will have tools to help you collaborate with other Data Champions 
  • Contact with the Research Data Team at the Office of Scholarly Communication 
    • You can ask questions of the Research Data Team at any time

Next steps to becoming a Data Champion 

To apply to become a Data Champion, please fill in this form by 29th February 2024. We will follow up on all requests to join the Data Champion programme shortly afterwards. If you have any questions, email us at 

 Become a Data Champion CC-BY-NC-ND Clare Trowell