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Building data skills: CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science–South Africa is now underway online

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The CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science–South Africa is now underway!  The School runs from 3 May to 9 July 2021 online, and is delivered by members of the CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science team working closely with a team of local organisers in South Africa.

Serving early career African researchers, this online training event is structured around ten themes covering the skills for contemporary open research practices in the natural and social sciences.  Participants from Master’s to postdoctoral stages of study are equipped with skills and knowledge relating to research data use and stewardship, including important concepts such as open science, ethics, and reproducibility; and the use of tools and methods such as R, Unix/Git and OpenRefine.

Contemporary research – particularly when addressing significant, interdisciplinary research challenges – cannot be done effectively without a range of skills relating to data. The CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science initiative has developed a short foundational course curriculum that addresses these training requirements. 

The School provides a dynamic environment, whether in-person or online, for participants to learn from their lecturers and helpers – and also from each other.  This instance of the school is the first time that it is being delivered online. The course is delivered online through video lectures and presentation slides.  Practical exercises and live question and answer sessions are also provided.

The CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science encourages active participation by learners and sees the development of learning communities of researchers as a key goal of the school.  Participants are encouraged to build their peer networks and share their experiences and skills to support each other throughout the event – and to consider training in their turn.  Check out this video from the 2020 edition of the South Africa school to hear from students, lecturers and helpers as they reflect on this unique learning experience.

For more information on the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science–South Africa, visit, and check out the curriculum here.

The production of audiovisual materials for the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science–South Africa is supported by the FAIRsFAIR project.

CODATA and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) are delighted to collaborate in support of the School of Research Data Science programme of activity, including this school.  For more information on CODATA’s support of the Schools, please visit; and for information on the RDA interest group that supports this work, please check out