Research Data UnitExpanding University Research Data Management

28 March 2024

The newly structured Research Data Unit has taken over the activities of the former Competence Centre for Research Data

The Research Data Unit (RDU) at Heidelberg University offers support for a professional and sustainable management of research data. With its new structure, the joint service centre of the University Computing Centre and the University Library has taken over the work previously done at the Competence Centre for Research Data. The range of services covers the administration, publication and long-term archiving of data, as well as advice and training for researchers. Apart from providing and continuing to develop local support and services, the Research Data Unit also serves as an interface to regional, national and international research data infrastructures.

The former Competence Centre for Research Data was founded in 2014 as a joint service unit combining expertise for managing, archiving and publishing research data. The expansion of research data management at the university and a restructuring of the former competence centre led to the creation of the Research Data Unit with its present name. A Steering Board with academic leadership and a Committee for Sensitive Research Data will in future accompany and support the RDU in carrying out its responsibilities. The Steering Board, responsible for the strategic guidance of the Research Data Unit, is made up of one member each of the Fields of Focus – the four central research fields at Ruperto Carola – and the two directors of the University Library and the University Computing Centre. The Committee for Sensitive Research Data accompanies the operational activity of the RDU in handling sensitive data and the related data protection issues.

The Research Data Unit offers researchers comprehensive services across the whole data life cycle – from the planning phase and applying for appropriate services to solutions for saving and processing data, as well as data sharing, data publication and long-term archiving of research data. In the context of RDU, the University Computing Centre supplies information about available high-performance computers for extensive research questions calling for high computing capacity and access to the resources of high-performance computing, and also offers training sessions on this subject. In addition, the interdisciplinary conference series “E-Science Days” takes place in Heidelberg every two years, dealing with the topics of research data management and open science.

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