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Call for Applications: Workshop on Data Sharing for the Public Good

02/05/2019
The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), through its new initiative the Arab Social Science Data Archive, is pleased to announce a three-day workshop on “Data Sharing for the Public Good,” co-organized with the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
 
The workshop will be held from April 9, 2019 till April 11, 2019 in Beirut, Lebanon, and is designed for researchers, administrators, librarians, and archivists focusing on the importance of data archiving for social science and public policy, and on global best practices in data archiving.
 
The benefits of making data open and accessible have been widely discussed within the academic and public policy communities. Sharing research data enables others to verify and build upon published results, supports transparency and accountability of research findings, increases the return on public investments in research, encourages new scientific innovations, and facilitates collaboration within and across disciplines. However, there are real challenges associated with sharing data with the broader community. Fortunately, many of these challenges can be overcome with careful data management planning and implementation. 
 
The Arab Social Science Data Archive initiative aims to address the fact that quantitative research methods and the datasets to which they are applied are not widely accessible in the Arab region. It aims to create an ACSS Dataverse as an ongoing resource with a growing number of quantitative datasets on the Arab region for use by Arab social scientists.
 
Workshop Objectives
The workshop will examine the opportunities and challenges of sharing quantitative data resources as well as the mechanisms available to help researchers produce and share high-quality datasets. 
 
Workshop participants will learn about:
  • The basics of data curation and the planning of institutional services for researchers;
  • The benefits of quantitative data sharing to both the individual researcher and to the scientific enterprise as a whole;
  • The complexities of research data based on disciplinary context, format, technical requirements, and applicable policies;
  • The implementation of data management standards and best practices across the research data lifecycle to produce and share high-quality datasets;
  • Preparation of datasets for analysis and best practices in data processing;
  • The application of the Data Quality Review framework for ensuring computational reproducibility of reported research findings; and
  • Mechanisms for archiving research data for long-term preservation, discovery, access, and reuse.
Workshop Format
  • The three-day training workshop will be held in English.
  • Training will be from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
  • Participants are expected to fully participate in all sessions.
  • Participants will be given an official ACSS-Odum Institute certificate upon successful completion of the workshop.
Tentative Schedule
 
Day 1: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

09:00 – 13:00 (including coffee break) | Research Data: Opportunities, Life Cycle and Complexities
The Research Data Life Cycle
Making data FAIR
Data Quality Review Framework
Challenges in Digital Preservation
13:00 – 14:00 | Lunch Break
14:00 – 17:00 (including coffee break) | Research Data Management Plans
Topics of Research Data Management Plans
Exercise: Planning Your Research Data Workflows

Day 2: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

09:00 – 13:00 (including coffee break) | Data Cleaning and Analytics
Tidy Data Principles
Exercise: Tidy Data in Spreadsheets
Overview of Statistical Software Packages
13:00 – 14:00 | Lunch Break
14:00 – 17:00 (including coffee break) | Data Management in the Social Sciences
Principles of Data Management in the Social Sciences
Data Management Exercise

Day 3: Thursday, April 11, 2019

09:00 – 13:00 (including coffee break) | Data Documentation
Metadata Introduction
Data Documentation in the Social Sciences
Exercise: DDI
13:00 – 14:00 | Lunch Break
14:00 – 17:00 (including coffee break) | Bringing It All Together
Data Access, Reuse and Sharing
Utilizing the Global Research Data Infrastructure
Exercise: Planning Your Own Institutional Services and Infrastructure
 
Eligibility Guidelines
Applicants must:
  • Be citizens of an Arab League member state or nationals of an Arab country (defined as long-term residents, even if they do not hold citizenship as in the case of refugees or stateless residents).
  • Reside in the Arab region. The ACSS will not fund participants who study or reside outside the region.
  • Have at least intermediate level proficiency in English, as the workshop will be conducted in English.
  • Have a minimum of a Master’s degree in social science or related field (Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Statistics, Computer Sciences, Library and Information Sciences, etc.) or Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of relevant work experience.
  • Be currently working/involved in social science data management as researchers, administrators, librarians, and/or archivists in an academic or non-academic environment (such as public institutions, NGOs, etc.).
Application Process and Selection
Applicants are required to apply by sending the following material (in English) to assm@theacss.org noting "ACSS/Odum Training Workshop" in the subject line.
  • CV/Resume: The following should be inclued in the CV/Resume: Citizenship, Level of highest degree (Doctoral, Masters, Bachelor), Field of study, Job title, Name and Country of current employing institution, Current field of work.
  • Motivation letter: The motivation letter should describe how their current work relates to the training and how the knowledge/skills learned during the training workshop may be applied at work (200 words maximum)
Application deadline is February 28, 2019, 5:00 pm (Beirut time).
 
The selection committee is comprised of staff members from the ACSS and faculty of the Odum Institute who will review applications based on the following criteria:
  • Relevance of current position
  • Academic qualifications
  • Language proficiency
By submitting the electronic application, applicants affirm that they agree, without any objections, to the evaluation and selection results as decided and announced by the selection committee and the ACSS. All decisions made by the selection committee are final.
 
Accepted Applicants 
Except for residents of Lebanon, accepted applicants will be provided:
  • Round-trip transportation from their home country
  • Accommodation in Beirut for the duration of the workshop and a per diem (daily allowance)
Accepted applicants are expected to:
  • Provide their own laptop with access to spreadsheet software (Excel, Google Sheets, Libreoffice, Calc, etc.)
  • Participate fully and attend all sessions of the workshop.
Please direct all queries to assm@theacss.org noting “ACSS/Odum training workshop” in the subject line.
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About the Arab Council for the Social Sciences
The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) is a regional, independent, non-profit organization headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon. The ACSS works across the Arab region as well as globally. It aims to promote and support the social sciences throughout the 22 countries in the Arab region by providing funding, training, mentorship, publications and networking opportunities. It seeks to achieve this objective by promoting quality research in the region; establishing networks of knowledge production; enhancing research collaborations regionally, cross-regionally and globally; disseminating, validating and utilizing the produced knowledge; and providing a model for academic excellence and professional standards in the region.
 
About the Odum Institute
Founded in 1924, the Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in the Social Sciences supports the social science teaching and research mission at UNC. The Institute provides a range of consulting services on quantitative and qualitative methods, GIS and spatial analysis, survey research, and data management. Odum offers workshops, summer courses, and a graduate certificate program.
 
About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC-Chapel Hill, the first public university founded in 1789 in the United States, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, the University offers 78 Bachelor’s, 112 Master’s, 68 Doctorate and seven professional degree programs.
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* Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash


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