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Institutional Research and Data Management Strategy Proposal

Introduction

The Tri-Council (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) has mandated that all institutions that receive funding from the Councils must create an institutional Research and Data Management (RDM) strategy. The strategy needs to reflect the institution’s particular circumstances (such as size, research intensity, and existing RDM capacity), but the agencies expect “strategies that outline how the institution will provide its researchers with an environment that enables and supports RDM.” The strategy is a working document and therefore the institution will update the strategy as institutional needs change.

The strategy below takes into consideration that:

  1. Data sets are an important research output of some research projects.
  2. Researchers need support in their efforts to establish and implement data management practices consistent with “Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans” (TCPS2) and “Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research” (RCR).
  3. Researchers need guidance on how to manage data properly in accordance with the principles outlined in “Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management”.
  4. The development of institutional standards and policies for plans must follow established best practices.
  5. The institution is responsible both for supporting faculty in their engagement with RDM and for providing repository services or other platforms that securely preserve, curate, and provide appropriate access to research data.

Planned steps

  1. Form a Research and Data Management Working Group (by September 2025)
    • Appoint an individual to chair the working group as a one-third full-time position[1]
    • Include representation from the Information Technology Services Department, the Marketing and Communications Department, and the Research Ethics Committee
    • Report progress to the University Librarian, who serves in a supervisory capacity
  1. Assess the current state of Crandall’s RDM (report to be complete by March 2026)
    • Conduct an inventory of institutional assets and practices for data management by surveying faculty of current data practices, current expectations, and desired supports
    • Evaluate current practices of faculty and any existing supports and services in terms of availability, funding/costs, staff support used, and sustainability
    • Investigate policies at other institutions
  1. Develop an RDM policy (first draft to be complete by December 2026)
    • Identify the parameters for a planned RDM policy
    • Write an RDM policy that:
      • Articulates the importance of research data and RDM
      • Details a realistic, sustainable workflow for institutional RDM that explains all relevant procedures
      • Assigns specific responsibilities to specific job titles and/or departments
      • Recommends relevant institutional memberships (e.g., CANARIE, Canadian Access Federation, Digital Research Alliance of Canada)
      • Includes a training and promotion plan (e.g., faculty training workshops)
      • Accounts for intersections with other Crandall policies
      • Exhibits sufficient nuance to apply to all of the different academic subjects researched at Crandall
      • Specifies storage needs and technologies (e.g., Federated Research Data Repository, Odesi)
      • Balances accessibility and privacy
      • Ensures long-term preservation of data
      • Considers all stakeholders (e.g. faculty, students, staff, community members)
      • Makes special provision for Indigenous data
      • Is in keeping with Crandall’s ethical commitments
    • Estimate costs associated with the implementation of the policy and recommend which departments should bear these costs
    • Submit draft RDM plan first to Academic Council via University Librarian and then to Senate and the Board, revising until approved
  1. Implement a sustainable institutional RDM workflow (starting July 2027)
    • Establish a timeline for putting the approved RDM policy into practice
    • Determine the frequency of review for the RDM policy and the status of its implementation
    • Dissolve the Research and Data Management Working Group and leave the ongoing implementation and maintenance of the RDM policy to the Chair

[1] This one-third position allotment will carry over to the ongoing implementation and maintenance of the RDM policy after the dissolution of the working group.

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