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RDMLA develops new data services professional development program — Apply now!

July 11, 2022 | 3 min read

By Ashley Thomas, Library Connect

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Data services education program aims to prepare librarians for data service roles.

Practicing librarians look to professional development to upskill, stay up to date on the latest trends and insights, seek promotions, and more. But there’s a gap between what skills are needed and what development is available — particularly with data services. Research-intensive institutions are focusing on data reproducibility, data reuse, and data integrity. There are many partners and collaborators across institutions participating in this endeavor and librarians play an increasingly important role. To support their research community, existing workforces need to be retooled with training and hands-on experience in the area of research data services.

To fill this gap, the Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA)(opens in new tab/window) has partnered with the Countway Library of Medicine and Simmons University School of Library and Information Science to offer early- and mid-career librarians a new professional development opportunity: Data Services Continuing Professional Education (DSCPE).

Ashley Thomas, DSCPE team member, RDMLA Coordinator, and Digital Initiatives and Accessibility Library for the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is eager to start training: “The DSCPE Team is excited to offer this new opportunity in our continued work to grow the community of data services librarians! We look forward to welcoming and collaborating with new colleagues and partners this fall.”

What is DSCPE?

DSCPE is a new eight-week online intensive learning experience geared toward preparing working professionals to provide needed data services.

What can I expect from the course?

  • The Fall session will run from October 1 to November 30, 2022

  • Program Orientation + Collaboration and Leadership (online live session, 1.5 days)

  • Research Data Sharing and Management (remote self-paced learning, 20-25 hours)

  • Capstone (70 hours, takes place virtually, hybrid option may be accommodated)

    • Matched with data services librarians and/or data services team

    • Learn the day-to-day responsibilities and projects of a data service librarian

Apply to be a host site or librarian for Capstone

DSCPE is looking for a range of host sites or librarians who work in the data services field to support program attendees for their capstone.


  • Be in a data services role or part of a data services team.

  • Provide 70 hours of hands-on guidance to program attendees in a virtual environment

  • Attend Capstone orientation and final presentation of the Capstone projects

  • Participate in the pre-and post-Capstone performance evaluations


  • Help the next generation of data services librarians

  • Market your data services skills and mentor other interested colleagues

  • Establish a network of data services librarians and learn from other data services best practices and models

To become a capstone host site, please email either Ashley Thomas(opens in new tab/window) or Zhan Hu(opens in new tab/window).

What are the requirements?

  • MLIS/MS (or equivalent)

  • Currently working in a library or information-centric institution.

  • Live/work in the United States

How can I apply?

  • Fill out the Application(opens in new tab/window)

    • Deadline to apply is Friday, July 29, 2022

  • Provide a letter of support from institution or supervisor

  • Provide an application letter with purpose statement

  • Provide an up-to-date Resume/C.V.


  • Training and lectures on data services fundamentals that support increased collaboration with the research community.

  • Receive hands-on experience with a data services librarian or team as part of the capstone.

  • Cohort members will earn continuing education units from Simmons University SLIS.

  • Free to participate — tuition for the Fall 2022 cohort is sponsored by Elsevier.

You can find more information on the program on DSCPE’s website(opens in new tab/window). You can also email them at [email protected](opens in new tab/window).


Portret photo of Ashley Thomas


Ashley Thomas

Digital Initiatives and Accessibility Librarian/RDMLA Coordinator