National Research Data Programme – NRDP

A Programme Implementation Capability

As with any long-term, transformational opportunity, we suggest the first step would be to put in place Programme Management that can shape and implement the various projects to be undertaken as part of programme delivery. This Programme Management function will need to be an effective change agent in both the public service as well as across the research sector, and have the skills to develop and deliver complex projects. Depending on structure and the complexities of the projects to be undertaken, programme management could be expected to require between NZD4.0m and NZD6.0m over the life of the programme.

In general, we would expect a National Research Data Programme to start small, with initial projects that focus on policy and alignment opportunities to begin with, perhaps along with engagement with those readily accessible international tools such as ORCID and the Datacite DOI standard. As this is a long term programme of change, individual projects will need to be shaped into digestible investment chunks, with the appropriate business case and returns on investment defined at each stage, and then risk managed through implementation. We suggest a reasonably standard distribution of total investment across the entire 5 year programme, with the heftiest projects worked up and delivered in the middle years, and the programme winding down over the final 18 months.



Engaged with the Community

A key aspect of a successful National Research Data Programme will be the extent to which it is tied to existing leaders in the research community, and develops the New Zealand research data eco-system. In developing the NRDP workstreams, we expect natural partners will emerge for each initiative, much in the same way CONZUL have taken up the baton in breaking ground on the feasibility of a New Zealand-wide research meta-data catalogue. Likewise, Crown Research Institutes and Callaghan Innovation might become major actors in establishing and operating Active Data Bridges between research, industry and Government. We propose the NRDP as an opportunity to establish some of the missing pieces of our NZ research data eco-system, and to help key actors in NZ research and industry to excel.

eResearch 2020 Recommendations

We’ve designed the National Research Data Programme based on input from researchers, research institutions, and through engagement with public services and the international research data management community. While we’ve proposed the NRDP in some detail, we are suggesting a broad programme of change.

Individual projects will still need to be shaped and implemented, therefore the first step will be for Government and the sector to get behind establishment of a Programme Implementation capability. We recommend the following:

For Government – establish and fund the Programme Implementation workstream, either within the public service or in partnership with the research community, and bring the NRDP to life across the New Zealand research sector.

For Research Institutions – begin reorganising for digital research and data-intensive science, and ensure senior management participation in the development and implementation of the National Research Data Programme nationwide.

For Researchers, broaden your engagement with digital methods, and increase your demand for research data participation from your colleagues, your research projects and your institutions.

“Inevitably, our society’s problems in the future are going to have a data and computation aspect to them.”