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Your role: Data Steward: policy


As a policy data steward, I focus on policy development and the implementation of research data management practices in my organisation. I work in close collaboration with directors, policy makers and funders, and I help establish suitable and sufficient data stewardship services and infrastructure.

It is my job to coordinate and align efforts on the quality, security and management of my organisation’s data, thus effectively supporting the research process. I have a good knowledge of local, national and international procedures and regulations, such as my institution’s research code, national codes of conduct or the EU privacy legislation. I translate these general concepts into practical guidelines for my organisation, and coordinate their implementation and monitoring.


  • Advise, develop and monitor a research data management (RDM) policy institutionally or nationally
  • Ensure compliance of the RDM policy to codes of conduct and regulations, including ethical and legal compliance
  • Align the RDM policy to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles and the principles of Open Science
  • Organise RDM support into a set of services
  • Identify the requirements of adequate data-infrastructure for RDM to comply with the institute’s RDM policy and alignment to (inter)national data-infrastructure and tools
  • Determine the adequate level of knowledge and skills on RDM
  • Maintain a network of aligned RDM expertise inside and outside the organisation
  • Identify the requirements of adequate support and data infrastructure for FAIR and long-term archiving of data

Learning path

Institutes across Europe have started hiring professional data stewards. A policy oriented data steward is expected to be competent in the following areas:

  • Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate policies regarding research data that are endorsed by researchers and aligned with internal and external stakeholders and effectuate change management
  • Communicate about the FAIR data and Open Science principles to researchers, support staff and relevant stakeholders, thus creating awareness within institutes and organisations
  • Give advice on RDM and formats for data management plans (DMP) to a broad audience
  • Communicate about the RDM policy, explain implications and create awareness
  • Translate RDM policy and legislation and codes of conduct concerning research data into practical implications and guidelines for that researchers can understand
  • Formulate requirements for RDM support (staff and services)
  • Assess and analyse needs from researchers regarding support on RDM for researchers and define new requirements
  • Assess RDM knowledge and skills and identify gaps among researchers and relevant stakeholders

Related pages

More information

Relevant tools and resources

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Tool or resource Description Related pages Registry
Arvados With Arvados, bioinformaticians run and scale compute-intensive workflows, developers create biomedical applications, and IT administrators manage large compute and storage resources. Data Steward: infrastructure Researcher Data analysis
BBMRI-ERIC's ELSI Knowledge Base The ELSI Knowledge Base is an open-access resource platform that aims at providing practical know-how for responsible research. Data protection Sensitive data Data Steward: research Human data
Choose a license Choose an open source license Licensing Researcher Data Steward: research
Creative Commons License Chooser It helps you choose the right Creative Commons license for your needs. Licensing Researcher Data Steward: research
DAISY Data Information System to keep sensitive data inventory and meet GDPR accountability requirement. Data Steward: infrastructure Human data Data protection TransMed Tool info
DAWID The Data Agreement Wizard is a tool developed by ELIXIR-Luxembourg to facilitate data sharing agreements. Data protection Human data
DPIA Knowledge Model A DSW knowledge model guiding users through a set of questions to collect information necessary for a research project Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). Data protection Human data
ERPA Web-based tool allowing users to create and manage a register of personal data processing activities (ROPA). Human data Data protection
EU General Data Protection Regulation Regulation (eu) 2016/679 of the european parliament and of the council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing directive 95/46/ec (general data protection regulation). Data protection Human data TSD
EUDAT licence selector wizard EUDAT's wizard for finding the right licence for your data or code. Licensing Researcher Data Steward: research
EUPID EUPID provides a method for identity management, pseudonymisation and record linkage to bridge the gap between multiple contexts. Data Steward: infrastructure Human data
FAIR Evaluation Services Resources and guidelines to assess the FAIRness of digital resources. Compliance monitoring & measurement Data Steward: research
FAIR-Wizard The FAIR wizard utilizes FAIRification resources developed by the FAIRplus project and other platforms, suggests FAIRification materials based on the FAIRification requirements, and designs FAIRification solutions for data owners, data stewards, and other people involved in FAIRification. Compliance monitoring & measurement Data Steward: research Help you discover resources to measure and improve FAIRness. Compliance monitoring & measurement Data Steward: research
FAIRsharing A curated, informative and educational resource on data and metadata standards, inter-related to databases and data policies. Documentation and metadata Data publication Data Steward: research Researcher Microbial biotechnology Existing data Standards/Databases Training
GA4GH Data Security Toolkit Principled and practical framework for the responsible sharing of genomic and health-related data. Data publication Data Steward: research Data Steward: infrastructure Human data Sensitive data
GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics toolkit Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data Data protection Sensitive data Data Steward: research Data Steward: infrastructure Human data
How to License Research Data - DCC Guidelines about how to license research data from Digital Curation Centre Licensing Researcher Data Steward: research
Informed Consent Ontology The Informed Consent Ontology (ICO) is an ontology for the informed consent and informed consent process in the medical field. Data Steward: infrastructure Human data Standards/Databases
ISO/IEC 27001 International information security standard Data protection Human data
MONARC A risk assessment tool that can be used to do Data Protection Impact Assessments Data protection Human data TransMed
Multi-Crop Passport Descriptor (MCPD) The Multi-Crop Passport Descriptor is the metadata standard for plant genetic resources maintained ex situ by genbanks. Documentation and metadata Researcher Data Steward: infrastructure Plant sciences Plant Phenomics Plant Genomics Standards/Databases
Open Definition Conformant Licenses Licenses that are conformant with the principles laid out in the Open Definition. Licensing Researcher Data Steward: research
The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) EGA is a service for permanent archiving and sharing of all types of personally identifiable genetic and phenotypic data resulting from biomedical research projects Data publication Human data CSC TSD Tool info Standards/Databases Training
The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) is an open-membership working body enabling genomic data integration, discovery and comparison through international community-driven standards. Documentation and metadata Researcher Data Steward: infrastructure Human data Standards/Databases
Tryggve ELSI Checklist A list of Ethical, Legal, and Societal Implications (ELSI) to consider for research projects on human subjects Sensitive data Data Steward: research Human data NeLS CSC TSD Data protection
National resources

System for Risk and compliance. Processing of personal data in research and student projects at UiB.

Human data Data protection Sensitive data Data Steward: research