Introducing the New Research Data Canada Intern

blog arrowPosted on: Jun 3, 2020

My name is Robyn Nicholson, and as of this past April, I am the new RDC Intern.

What led me organically to this new position was my most recent experience working with Dr. Mike Smit at Dalhousie University on research data management (RDM) projects, mostly related to oceans data and the emerging Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS). I am elated at the opportunity to work with RDC stakeholders and contribute to this rich, thriving Canadian RDM ecosystem.

My path into the RDM community had an unlikely start. Having previously earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and Music History at the University of Guelph, I entered the Master of Information program at Dalhousie (previously the Master of Librarianship and Information Studies program) with aspirations of becoming a music librarian. Throughout my coursework, however, I took great interest in the more technical and research-focused aspects of information management, and eventually my position with Dr. Smit solidified my newfound enthusiasm for RDM. Previous work experiences in research, records management, teaching, and even hospitality have coalesced into a deep professional appreciation of how information, organization, and teamwork can make great things happen.

One of the topics within RDM that fascinates me is the nature of collaboration, especially in multidisciplinary, geographically dispersed contexts. Collaboration is not only foundational to the nature of scientific innovation and discovery, but in our current pandemic existence, our ability to communicate and collaborate with colleagues across domains and locations is more integral than ever. This is also what was so compelling about RDC: its mission to connect a broad and vibrant stakeholder community both nationally and internationally in order to support and promote Canadian innovation.

During my time with RDC, I will be focused on collaborating with Executive Director Mark Leggott on communications efforts, including newsletters, blog and social media posts, webinars, website edits, and new publications, including outputs from the 2020 National Data Services Framework (NDSF) Summit. I will also be participating in meetings of various RDC committees and working groups, and interacting with external stakeholders.

It is certainly an interesting time to be entering the workforce as a new professional, and as progress toward the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) continues, it is also a particularly dynamic and exciting time for the Canadian RDM landscape. I am so happy to be part of such an incredible team with RDC and CANARIE, and looking forward to learning more firsthand about how RDM stakeholders come together to manage, preserve, and promote research data as a public good here in Canada and beyond.

Robyn Nicholson