CoP Workshop, 17. June 2022

Authors: Irena Vipavc Brvar and Maja Dolinar (Slovenian Social Science Data Archives – ADP)), Brian Kleiner (Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS)), Francesco Giovanni Paoletti (University of Milano-Bicocca)

The first Community of Practice workshop was delivered at the International Conference of the International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST) in June 2022, hosted in the city of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The workshop on “Strengthening Managerial Capacities in Data Policy Management and Team Building” addressed two crucial aspects of effective leadership in research infrastructures (RIs) and core facilities (CFs): data policy and management, as well as team building. The learning objectives were as follows:

  • Equipping infrastructure managers with the skills necessary to formulate data management policies and effectively guide their teams towards successful implementation.
  • Acquiring knowledge on building a cohesive team to enhance internal workplace culture and productivity.

Learning from experienced colleagues is a valued and sought-after resource for management training in RIs and CFs. RIs and CFs that are still in the developmental stage, may be lacking management and leadership expertise tailored to the unique demands of operating services that have been acquired or provided in an incomplete or disorganised manner. 

The workshop was opened and moderated by Irena Vipavc Brvar (CESSDA/ADP), who provided an introduction to the RItrainPlus project and its objectives. The project’s overall objective is to develop and deliver a training program to fulfil the competency requirements for the present and future European RI and CF managers. 

Brian Kleiner (CESSDA/FORS) led the segment on Data policy and data management, which aimed to familiarise participants with the essential skills that infrastructure managers need to have in order to define their data management policies and effectively lead their teams. The session covered the requirements for developing and implementing meaningful data-related policies across the research lifecycle, encompassing topics such as long-term preservation, data security and access requirements for staff, data storage and backup, personal data handling, and documentation. Participants were instructed on how to establish appropriate workflows, roles, and responsibilities among the staff of RIs.

The workshop was brought to a close by Francesco Giovanni Paoletti (University of Milano-Bicocca), who conducted a session on RI and CF management team culture. The session focused on the critical task of cultivating a stronger team culture. Workplace culture is established on a foundation of values, beliefs, and behaviours, and building the right team culture can be a daunting challenge, given the constant pressures and constraints faced by teams. It is easy to fall back on old habits and opt for the path of least resistance in completing tasks and moving on. The session included the use of the Desert Survival Team Building Exercise as an example to encourage discussion on overcoming the challenges of team building, such as working with intercultural teams, fostering mutual understanding among team members, building consensus, and promoting diversity.The RItrainPlus CoP provides a forum for discussion about relevant issues and opportunities for knowledge and best practices sharing through a peer learning approach that would support research infrastructures (RIs) and core facilities (CFs) in their specific managerial and operational challenges. The CoP offers new community meetings every two months, and by signing up, you will be able to access the meeting recordings and materials. This is a great opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and stay up-to-date with the latest best practices in the research infrastructure landscape. Sign up for the RITrainPlus CoP!

Strengthening Managerial Capacities in Data Policy Management and Team Building