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 (http://DataCurationNetwork.org)
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
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
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.
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
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
- 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
- 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
- Participate in the development and delivery of training and
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Experience working with data in a research setting.
- Familiarity with research methods and data collection
- Familiarity with metadata standards, creation, schemas, or
- Understanding of trends in academic research support and
expertise in providing research lifecycle support, including data
- Demonstrated ability to work cross-institutionally in a
service-oriented, virtual, and collaboration-intensive
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 http://z.umn.edu/ulib427 .
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