Data Stewards Interest Group

Recent developments

In May 2023, the Data Stewards Interest Group (DSIG) joint forces with the NWO established thematic Digital Competence Centres for Life Science & Health (LSH), Natural and Engineering Sciences (NES), and Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Researchers and institutions work together in these network organisations to develop exchangeable and reusable data and software, with the associated competencies, for specific research themes.

Consequently, all information on the DSIG and its meetings can also be found at the thematic Digital Competence Centres website.

For background on the DSIG and its good practices, including tips for those interested in starting a similar community on a national, domain or local level, this article and presentation offer a nice to read.


In June 2017 the Data Stewards Interest Group (DSIG) was initiated by members of Leiden UMC, UMC Utrecht, and DTL. Initially the DSIG met every other month and was chaired by Daphne van Beek. The distinctive feature of this DSIG in comparison to other initiatives regarding data stewardship is the hands-on and solution-oriented approach for practical matters.

In September 2018, with Jasmin Böhmer (UMC Utrecht) taking over the chairing position for the DSIG, the approach and collaboration design were revised. The new approach included monthly virtual meetings of the task groups and face to face meetings every two months as DSIG.

With the popularity of the DSIG growing and steady participation numbers, from 2020 onwards, there are six virtual meetings over the year. To allow variety and include the various local activities on data stewardship, each meeting is organised and chaired by another organisation. The DSIG is facilitated by Mijke Jetten (DTL/Health-RI).

An extra initiative are the topical/Special Interest Groups (SIG) that may result from the discussion in the DSIG meetings.


To establish a community hub for data stewardship that enables informal and inclusive knowledge and experience exchange.


  • Providing a platform for data stewards and like-minded in the Netherlands (and abroad) to share experiences.
  • Fostering the (Dutch) national implementation of data stewardship.
  • Joining efforts to produce hands-on solutions.

How to participate

The DSIG is open to everyone who is interested in data stewardship and is not limited to a specific academic discipline (nor to the Netherlands, but it is the Netherlands based).

  • You can sign up to the mailing list, or the slack community if you love to be actively involved. We use the slack community to actively share events, ask questions, and share experiences.
  • You can participate in person or virtually at the general DSIG meetings. The link will be provided in the agenda of each general DSIG meeting.
  • You can participate virtually in an existing topical/Special Interest Group (SIG), or suggest a topic for a new SIG.

New series: Spotlight on, data stewards in the spotlight

Every other week, the Thematic DCCs and the DSIG put the spotlight on one research data steward working in the Netherlands, to stimulate knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning.

  • Edition #21 introduces Davide Nardi, TU Delft: “I wanted to use my experience and mistakes as researcher in data management to provide value to early stage researchers.
  • Edition #20 features Efe Kerem Sözeri, Twente University: “I really appreciate data stewards already giving much-needed software support in many institutions today.”
  • Edition #19 introduces Kars Wijnhoven, Tilburg University: “I highly recommend checking out Tilburg Science Hub, which provides many practical tutorials and tools to efficiently manage data-intensive projects.
  • Edition #18 stars Angela Aleksovska, TU Eindhoven: “I think it would be helpful to share experiences and knowledge on how we collaborate with other Teams (like Ethics, Privacy, Research IT) at our respective universities.
  • Edition #17 introduces Katie Hudson, Leiden University: “I would really like to see the implementation of domain-specific data management plans.”
  • Edition #16 features Léa Massé, Utrecht University: “Offering advanced trainings could really help research stewards to further professionalize themselves and acquire more formalized skills.
  • Edition #15 stars Esther de Plomp, TU Delft: “I think Open Science includes ensuring that the research environment is inclusive to anyone who wants to contribute.”
  • Edition #14 shows Julia Camara de Assis, Wageningen University & Research: “The two recurring issues challenging me as a data steward are determining data ownership and data sensitivity (classification, storage, and sharing ‘rights’), and it would be great to find ways to collaborate on these topics with other data stewards.”
  • Edition #13 introduces Bert Huizing, University of Groningen: “I am still impressed by the diversity in data collection methods and the many categories of research data.”
  • Edition #12 shows Maria Vivas-Romero, Maastricht University: “One of the most fascinating things while working as a data steward was the creative process in thinking how we could make certain types of more qualitative data FAIR.”
  • Edition #11 features Anne Mutsaars-Aarts, Tilburg University: “I really enjoy being part of the Dutch data steward community and think that great things are happening there.”
  • Edition #10 stars Pascal de Boer, University of Groningen: “We need more of research field-specific knowledge exchange.”
  • Edition #9 introduces Luc Steinbuch, Wageningen University & Research: “We often talk about FAIR and open data, with “data” being collected observations. However, “data” in a broader sense includes more, for example also programming code.”
  • Edition #8 stars Elisa Rodenburg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: “I very much enjoy visiting academic departments across the university and giving presentations about our services.”
  • Edition #7 features Lora Armstrong, Technical University Delft: “I’d like to see even more of a focus on discipline-specific research data management strategies, especially in collaboration with research communities themselves.”
  • Edition #6 introduces Bora Lushaj, Erasmus University Rotterdam: “It is within our ability as data stewards to move closer to the disciplines we serve, to co-create FAIR resources together with researchers.”
  • Edition #5 stars Alex van der Jagt, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. “In the next few years, I would like to see a change in the general project workflow so that a data steward is consulted earlier.”
  • Edition #4 introduces Emma Schreurs, University of Amsterdam. “I would love to see the current field of work evolve by professionalizing data stewards more, and defining their role more clearly within the universities.”
  • Edition #3 stars Jitka Vavra, UMC Groningen. “I would like to work with colleagues on developing training on FAIR data […] with concrete examples and easy to follow how to procedures.”
  • Edition #2 featured Dorien Huijser, Utrecht University. “I think we lack education. There is no formal education to become a data steward or data manager.”
  • Edition #1 introduces Pedro Hernandez Serrano, Maastricht University. “Data is not a resource to be mined, but something to be nurtured and learned from. Therefore we don’t need more ‘data miners’, we need more data stewards!”

We welcome data stewards for the next editions via this form.

Meetings 2024

Meetings 2023

Meetings 2022

Meetings 2021

Meetings 2020

Meetings 2019

Meetings 2018

Materials and contact

  • View meeting agendas and other documents in the Google Drive folder.
  • Sign up to the mailing list, or the slack community if you love to be actively involved.
  • Do you have questions, want to suggest a topic, and/or chair one of the DSIG meetings? Contact us:
    • Mijke Jetten (Community Manager Data Stewardship, Health-RI) for cross-domain meetings
    • Nils Arlinghaus (Community Coordinator, TDCC-SSH) for SSH domain meetings
    • Fieke Schoots (Training Coordinator, TDCC-LSH/Health-RI) for LSH domain meetings
    • Mira Stanic (Community Coordinator, TDCC-NES) for NES domain meetings