Assistant Director, Data Curation Network (UL427)

University of Minnesota Libraries
Minnesota, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Sep 16, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Library & Information Sciences
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

Since launching in 2016, with seed funding from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, the Data Curation Network has grown to include more than 40 data curators from 14 academic and non-profit institutions. In the summer of 2021, the DCN transitioned to a sustainable membership-driven organization. In direct support of this growth and maturity, the DCN seeks a highly collaborative and self-motivated Assistant Director who will provide operational support and community coordination across our vibrant network. Reporting to the Director/PI, and in consultation with the DCN Governance and Advisory Boards, the Assistant Director will be responsible for coordinating shared curation services, fostering connections and community across member institutions, and helping to shape and grow the DCN in this new phase.


Overview of the DCN

The Data Curation Network ( is a community driven organization of information professionals who support researchers in ethically sharing their research data in ways that make it more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).


The Data Curation Network (DCN) began in 2016 as a pilot project with seed funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop systems and workflows to enable its members to share knowledge and expertise in curating data across institutional boundaries. Over the past five years the DCN has built a solid infrastructure for readily sharing data curation expertise and labor across institutions, developed new curation tools including the CURATE(D) model of data curation based on community best practices and direct engagement with data producers, and crafted an educational initiative that provides hands-on training for information professionals in specialized data curation skills. The DCN further engages the broader community by engaging workshop participants to develop Data Curation Primers, practical and concise guides on curating a specific data type or format, or addressing a particular challenge in data curation work. To date, DCN has published more than 25 primers which are heavily used by data curators in their work.


The DCN is actively engaged in efforts to understand and support the needs of researchers in managing, sharing and preserving their data. In partnership with ITHAKA S&R and with funding from the National Science Foundation, members of the DCN are studying “data communities”, formal or informal groups of scholars across disciplines who voluntarily share data to foster progress on a topic of mutual interest, to understand how they form and what infrastructures are needed to support them. A second NSF-funded grant supports the DCN in mapping, tracking and financially analyzing the functional modeling of public access to research data at the institutional level. The DCN is strongly committed to social justice and is laying the groundwork for incorporating DEIA and anti-racist principles into its work. 


Current membership includes data curators from Cornell University, Dryad Digital Repository, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Michael J. Fox Foundation, New York University, Penn State University, University of California - Santa Barbara, University of Colorado - Boulder, University of Illinois Urbana­-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and Virginia Tech.


Job Overview

The Assistant Director will bring combined skills in project management and community-building to coordinate all aspects of the Data Curation Network. With the DCN’s Director, the Assistant Director will directly engage and work with the DCN’s distributed network of data curators. Specifically, the Assistant Director will oversee daily curation operations of the Network, including managing our distributed data curation services and maintaining high levels of quality, as well as engaging in the business and planning aspects of the DCN with a team of dedicated representatives and project Co-PIs who are committed to the success of the DCN. Dependent on disciplinary background and expertise, the Assistant Director may also take on data curation duties as desired.


The DCN is headquartered at the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Libraries is the hiring institution for the position and offers a range of flexible work options, including fully remote (see 



  • Community management and support (40%)
    • Liaise with DCN interest groups and committees (membership and education), providing support as needed.
    • Advocate for DCN curators and their interests.
    • Assist with member management by leading onboarding and off-boarding of new members and member teams; provide additional periodic training as needed.
    • Promote and communicate about the DCN’s accomplishments and initiatives, hosting webinars, contributing to website content, and keeping the website updated with DCN member information.
  • Administration and project management (30%)
    • With the governance board, advance the DCN as a sustainable member-driven organization by providing budget/finance management, travel reimbursement, purchasing, etc.
    • Coordinate the development and execution of a strategic plan for the DCN with milestones for completion.
    • Plan and organize annual project team meetings and training workshops.
    • Co-create and manage a knowledgebase of curation best practices and maintain internal procedure guidelines, common curation issues, and recommend solutions.
    • Track metrics to support evaluation of the project.
    • Provide up-to-date information on progress to DCN Representatives on a regular basis.
    • Maintain project documentation, including statistical/tracking information to include in reports to granting agencies, and coordinate all reporting activities.
  • Curation Coordination (15%)
    • Coordinate distributed data curation services across a network of institutions and chair the newly formed Curator Committee.
    • Provide quality assurance on curation assignments to ensure consistent curation standards are met.
    • Monitor new data submissions and assign submissions to appropriate and/or best fit curators using appropriate triage techniques.
    • Be the point of contact for DCN Curators. Lead regular DCN Curator check-in meetings (virtual conference calls). Resolve questions or connect DCN Curators to additional support or resources.
    • Participate in the development and delivery of training and instructional materials.
  • Outreach and Communication (10%)
    • Contribute to keeping the DCN web presence and outreach materials fresh and up-to-date.
    • Contribute to creation and sharing of promotional materials to highlight project progress and milestones.
    • Present on DCN topics at national conferences and professional meetings.
  • Curation (5%)
    • Perform high-level curation actions on all data sets (e.g. file integrity checks, file inventory/manifests, etc.).
    • Perform specific curation actions on data sets as assigned, depending on qualifications and expertise.





  • An advanced degree (Masters or PhD).
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity, initiative and self-direction.
  • Knowledge of data repositories, preservation, and curation concepts and their application.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the benefits of diversity and inclusion throughout an organization.
  • Demonstrated experience working to support remote and/or virtual users.



  • Experience working with data in a research setting.
  • Familiarity with research methods and data collection processes.
  • Familiarity with metadata standards, creation, schemas, or management.
  • Understanding of trends in academic research support and expertise in providing research lifecycle support, including data sharing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cross-institutionally in a service-oriented, virtual, and collaboration-intensive environment.


SALARY AND BENEFITS: This is a full-time, 12-month, annual renewable, academic professional position. The base salary is $58,500.  The Libraries offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.


TO APPLY: Position available immediately. Applications will be accepted until filled.  Submit a letter of application; a resume; and the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of three current professional references at .  Click on External Applicants.  Enter 342460 in the “Search Jobs” box.  Please identify the cover letter with UL427.


The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer


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