Helis FAIR data stewardship course 

Digital data scholarship for the life sciences


Course description

Did you ever wonder how to improve your data handling in your daily research practice? Are you thinking of a career change or starting a career as a data steward in the life sciences in academia or industry?

Join this introductory course to FAIR data stewardship in the life sciences!

During this three day course researchers, data stewards and experts of related fields to data stewardship will introduce you to several areas of research data management and technologies which ease the process of creating and maintaining FAIR research data.

The course will introduce the trainees to important concepts of data stewardship. We start with a general introduction covering the data life cycle, the FAIR principles and a definition of data stewardship.

We will pass the stages of the data life cycle in more detail in the training modules of this 3 day course.

  • Module 1: Why use a data management plan and what for? On day one trainees will investigate data management plans, which types are there and how they should be used.


  • Module 2: Mastering the data chaos during the research phase. On day two the course highlights how to work with data during the research phase, explaining how to create well formatted data which helps in the second module of day two to make data interoperable already during the active research phase.


  • Module 3: Boost your visibility and get cited for your data! On day three trainees will have an in-depth at persistent identifiers, different use cases and types of identifiers. Finally we are closing the data life cycle by making data fit for sharing, archiving and publishing.


The full program of the course can be found under the Course Programme Tab. The training is organised by DTL and delivered as a joint effort by DTL partners.


Target audience

The course targets all researchers from the life sciences. There is no prior knowledge or programming skills needed. However, participants will be exposed to technology and some mild programming in some demonstrations.



Gaining knowledge on:

  • Research data management Life Cycle
  • FAIR principles
  • FAIR data stewardship

Practical experience in:

  • Data management planning
  • Cleaning data (Step 1 of making data FAIR)
  • Semantic interoperability between data
  • Archiving and publishing of data
  • Persistent identifiers and their use cases

Required skills

There is no prior knowledge or programming skills needed.

Some basic experience with programming and scripting languages like python, perl, R, matlab, etc. are an advantage, but not needed.

Required software

Please bring your own laptop. For day 1 and 3 you will need a web browser. Day 2 requires to install some software: 

  • Docker: https://docs.docker.com/install/
  • Docker-compose: https://docs.docker.com/compose/install/
  • validating RDF: http://book.validatingrdf.com/
  • And as a recommended text editor: https://www.sublimetext.com/

Further preparatory instructions for day 2 will follow shortly before the course starts.

Trainers (name, affiliation)

  • Jasmin Boehmer, UMCU Bioinformatics Expertise Core, Center for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht
  • Cees Hof, DANS
  • Celia van Gelder, Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences
  • Christine Staiger, Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences
  • Santosh Ilamparuthi, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, TU Delft
  • Andra Waagmeester, Owner of Micelio
  • Frederieke Ehrhart, Department of Bioinformatics NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University

Partners for this course

This course is part of the Data Analysis and Stewardship theme of Helis Academy and is organised by DTL and DTL collaborators.  The partners in this Helis Academy theme are:  DTL, VIB, TU/e and Maastricht University and info about other courses in the theme of Data Analysis and Stewardship can be found on the Helis Academy website and on the Helis Academy page on the DTL website.

Courses in the other 5 themes of Helis Academy can be found via the Helis Academy website

Registration form

The registration form for the Course can be found under the Register Tab

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