LERU Summer School

From 10 to 15 July 2016, LERU, Leiden University and Leiden University Medical Center organised the 7th LERU Doctoral Summer School. DTL supported the event. The summer school’s theme was ‘Data Stewardship for Scientific Discovery and Innovation’ and it was received with enormous enthusiasm. The organisers have prepared a video with an impression of the summer school.

The LERU Doctoral Summer School is a yearly event organised by different LERU members. The aim is to provide PhD candidates with unique professional and personal development opportunities, beyond what they are usually exposed to in the course of their PhD training. By creating an exceptional and truly international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary meeting of bright young minds, the Summer School creates a highly stimulating learning experience which is of long lasting value to the participants’ future careers.

Data Stewardship
The 2016 theme was ‘Data Stewardship for Scientific Discovery and Innovation’. Existing methods of scholarship, scientific discovery and communication (publishing research articles) have been in place for hundreds of years. But as the amount of data being generated, either collectively or in any single study increases, methods that worked so well before, are now impeding the discovery potential latent within large and heterogeneous data. Out-dated methodologies for and incentives behind data generation, capture, processing, interlinking and analysis make data hard to find, hard to integrate and impossible to analyze. Without effective data management plans and data stewardship protocols, valuable data sets are increasingly at risk of being lost.

Essential skill
Robust data stewardship and data publication in machine-readable format is swiftly becoming an essential skill for participation in professional science, and are becoming more and more the responsibility of the data-generator whether they come from academic research or private companies and governmental organizations. Beyond technical challenges, there are also interdependent ethical, legal and societal issues at stake. The LERU Summer School prepared its participants for the future of complex, data-intensive, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary scientific methods and collaborations.

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