Data Champions: Dalhousie researchers recognized for bringing innovation and advocacy to data‑driven research

- August 2, 2022

Dalhousie’s Data Champions will receive up to $50,000. (Danny Abriel photo)
Dalhousie’s Data Champions will receive up to $50,000. (Danny Abriel photo)

Dalhousie researchers are helping to transform the academic landscape by elevating the use and management of data. Their work is helping researchers understand the evershifting dynamics of the world’s ocean and equipping humanities researchers with new skills to leverage data-driven approaches.

For their efforts, the Digital Research Alliance of Canada has announced Mike Smit, Colin Conrad and Darren Abramson as winners of their Data Champions competiton. The alliance is a non-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada to help Canadian researchers access digital research infrastructure, pursue data-based research and navigate new digital technologies.

“So much can be understood through the analysis of data and with ever more powerful tools to collect, parse and examine it, new worlds of study and exploration open every day,” says Alice Aiken, Dalhousie’s vice-president research and innovation. “Drs. Smit, Conrad and Abramson are empowering Canadian academics to harness the power of data in new ways to create and share knowledge, and remain globally competitive.”

Dalhousie’s Data Champions will receive up to $50,000 each to develop activities at the local, regional and national levels that advance awareness, understanding, development and adoption of research management tools, best practices and resources in Canada.

Learn more about Dahousie’s Data Champions:

Mike Smit, Faculty of Management

Accelerating Research Data Management in Ocean Observing & Research

Understanding the ocean is essential for coastal communities, access to food, and moderating climate. Challenged but undaunted by its vast expanse and depth, researchers from across disciplines rely on observations of the ocean. This project will advance research data management from ocean observations in support of ocean research, beyond what would otherwise be possible.

The Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS) will accelerate research data management by:

  • Informing, educating, and guiding new and emerging researchers in how to manage, share, and find ocean data from a growing array of sources;
  • Review and renew research data management advocacy and support for sharing ocean data based on the results of a previous SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant;
  • Build on existing collaborations and engagement, consult with First Nations communities on how Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural labels might be incorporated in data management systems when it is appropriate to include this type of data.

The research team includes Dalhousie data experts like Louise Gillis (Research Data Management Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries) and Shayla Fitzsimmons (Executive Director, CIOOS Atlantic) along with expertise from some of Canada’s leading ocean data management centers, including Ocean Networks Canada, Observatoire global du Saint-Laurent, and Memorial University. During the pilot phase, the team will work with academic institutions and organizations on the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast, and the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Colin Conrad, Faculty of Management and Darren Abramson, Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Beyond the Black Box: Unlocking the Potential of Digital Humanities

Digital technologies and data now play a pivotal role in our world, yet many university researchers are poorly equipped to create knowledge with them. This issue is particularly pertinent to researchers in the social sciences and humanities who are limited by funding and resources tailored to pre-digital methodologies. There is also a growing interest among digital researchers in the insights from the social sciences and humanities related to the intersection of digital technologies and society.

Drs. Conrad (pictured) and Abramson aim to address disciplinary divides through a series of events aimed at equipping humanities researchers with digital and data skills. Their immediate goal is to foster interest and cultivate expertise. Their long-term goal is to create a hub for equipping social researchers with ever-changing research tools for the digital era with a vision to position Canada as a leader in data-driven social sciences and digital humanities.


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus