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  • RDA Europe Call for new Nodes - I wave

RDA Europe Call for new Nodes - I wave

23 May 2018 - 17:00 to 16 August 2018 - 17:00

Frequently Asked Questions


Purpose of the open call

Under the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Europe 4.0 project financial support is provided for the set up of new RDA Europe nodes. RDA Europe, the European plug-in to the Research Data Alliance, has recently established a network of national nodes to foster adoption of RDA outputs in the region, and thereby enable interoperability and data sharing on a global scale. Nodes engage with research communities, support national agendas, contribute to the EU Open Science Strategy, and aim to increase the uptake of standards and participation in RDA globally. In collaboration with a diverse range of national and regional stakeholders, they support the RDA mission of building the technical and social bridges that enable open sharing of data.

Important dates

Application period opens - 23 May 2018

Application period closes - 27 July 2018 -> NEW DEADLINE 16 August 17:00 CEST!

Notification of results - 10 October 2018

RDA Europe nodes are entities that operate on a national or regional level to promote the activities and outputs of RDA to their communities, and engage these communities in becoming involved in RDA. Each node has a programme of activities that respond to national and European interests. The financial support given by RDA Europe 4.0 serves as “seed money” to establish the node and to complement the already existing resources in the country/region.

Nodes are administered by a single organisation, but a broader group of stakeholders is encouraged  to coordinate activities in order to support wide and diverse community engagement in RDA. Nodes should uphold the RDA principles of openness, transparency, community-driven, non-profit, consensus and balance in the activities they run.

Sustainability plans beyond the duration of the RDA Europe 4.0 project (June 2020 onwards) are paramount to obtaining these funds, and nodes must develop robust plans to be self-supporting in the future. At a global level, RDA is developing a framework for regional members which will require in-kind and financial contributions. Transition from the funding mechanism to self-financing, and indeed financially contributing regions should be duly considered in node management plans.


Nodes are expected to play a dual role in representing their communities in RDA, and promoting engagement with RDA across the communities they serve. This involves but is not limited to:

  • Acting as a central contact point between national/ regional data practitioners and RDA;

  • Fostering a diverse data community by engaging a wide range of stakeholders across domains;

  • Growing existing RDA membership by demonstrating the value to individuals and organisations in the region and contributing to the RDA global growth;

  • Contributing to the definition of research data policies at a national and/or regional level;

  • Running events to engage, train and build consensus on nationally important data issues;

  • Raising awareness of RDA activities, events and funding calls, and encouraging involvement;

  • Consolidating and increasing the adoption of RDA outputs, recommendations and ICT Technical Specifications by targeted activities, profiling potential use cases across all scientific domains and organisations;

  • Promoting and supporting data management best practices, standards and solutions;

  • Interacting with national/regional research funding bodies, ministries and other government officials to influence data policy and digital agendas;

  • Developing robust sustainability plans and business models to ensure node continuation after initial (seed) funding;

  • Representing national interests in RDA Interest/Working groups and governing structures.

Nodes are expected to plan, implement and disseminate their activities in coordination with RDA Europe 4.0 project partners, RDA global and other nodes. Nodes will nominate a representative to sit on the RDA Europe 4.0 Governing Board, and will participate in governance decisions. Node are required to undertake/deliver the following tasks and outputs:

  • Node management plans

  • Schedule of collaborative events

  • KPIs appropriate to the country/region

  • Participation in monthly RDA Europe node network meetings

  • Regular reporting on node activities, outreach and impact

  • Dissemination of activities via multiple communication channels

  • Node activity feedback collection and impact assessment

Any organisation, or ideally, group of organisations, based within the EU Member States and Associated countries, where there is not an existing node, can apply to the call. Nodes have been established in  Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. If you are based in one of these areas, please contact the existing node to engage with them.
Applicants should be active in the sphere of research data management, and hold influence within the country or region. Applicants must be able to engage a wide range of stakeholders, with demonstrable experience of building communities, operating effective communications channels, running events, and promoting standards. Applications that include multiple stakeholders in the governance structure are preferred. Applications should demonstrate that some or all of the members are actively involved in RDA.


The Research Data Alliance is a powerful community-driven organisation with a global membership of over 6,889 individuals from 137 counties. Its mission is to build the social and technical bridges to enable open sharing of data. The RDA community includes data scientists and domain researchers, industry, infrastructure and data providers, funding agencies, policy makers, and citizens.

RDA Europe nodes will be supported to represent national or regional interests in the RDA governance structures, and to provide nationally-relevant activities to enable the adoption of outputs and improvement of data management and sharing practices.

Being a part of RDA offers the opportunity to profile national and regional  activities on a global scale, to validate work within a community of experts and build international collaborations that amplify the value of national and regional initiatives.

Nodes play an influential role in the RDA, and similarly, can harness the global reach of RDA to influence data policies nationally and regionally. Liaison with national / regional funders gives an opportunity to influence digital agendas and make the case for ongoing investment and sustainability of data services.

This is the first in a series of three calls for proposals to become a new RDA Europe node. Further calls will be published in early and late 2019. Funding will be assigned via a cascading grants mechanism. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to the first call so that evaluator feedback can be incorporated into subsequent applications.

This first call plans to award grants to three new European nodes. The total funding available in this call is €168,000.

Applications are expected to be in the region of 10 pages and will be evaluated according to the following four criteria:

  • Existing RDA involvement (20%)

  • Potential impact (30%)

  • Community connections (20%)

  • Sustainability (30%)

Important dates

Applications opens - 23 May 2018

Application period closes - 27 July 2018 -> NEW DEADLINE 16 August 17:00 CEST!

Notification of results - 1 October 2018

For any queries related to your application, please contact nodes@europe.rd-alliance.org

Please visit the "What is an RDA Europe Node and how to get involved" webinar page for further information about existing node activities, the forthcoming grant calls and how to apply.

Your proposal should take account of the RDA Guiding Principles and demonstrate commitment to this ethos. Specifically, proposals should promote the principles of openness, consensus, balance, harmonization, community-driven and non-profit approaches.

There are four main criteria against which your proposal will be evaluated. These are weighted as follows:

Existing RDA involvement (20%)

You should be actively involved in RDA activities and able to point to contributions in the past 12 to 18 months. This includes attending plenaries, speaking at events, taking part in IG/WG activities and adopting RDA recommendations and outputs Potential nodes should have a good understanding of the RDA mission and principles and be able to communicate this to national and regional audiences for reciprocal benefit. They should also demonstrate work members have already done to support RDA and promote the adoption of outputs.

Potential impact (30%)

Proposed nodes should be well-connected and influential within a diverse range of stakeholder communities. Strong relations with national ministries and funding bodies is preferred to advance data policy agendas, promote strategic investments in infrastructure and support node sustainability. Nodes should seek to integrate RDA with relevant EU initiatives to support and influence EU open science strategy. The workplan should be detailed, realistic and achievable, while demonstrating a high potential impact. The engagement of early career researchers, data professionals and recognised experts who could act as ambassadors and increase the rate of uptake is key. Nodes should also detail how impact will be monitored.

Suggested outputs and KPIs:

  • Increase of at least 15% of individual RDA members in the country/region by the end of the project

  • Set-up/maintenance of an RDA national webpage on RDA global https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/national-groups

  • At least one new documented adoption case of RDA outputs/recommendations/ICT specifications in the country/region that can be used in RDA material and publications (e.g. CODATA Journal)


Community connections (20%)

Nodes should have a wide range of existing multi-disciplinary community connections and the ability to recruit a large, new cohort of RDA members from the region. Experience of community engagement and communication is a strength. Nodes should strive for diversity and inclusivity in all forms (gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, professional/domain background etc). Activities should promote openness and balance and respond to community needs rather than self-interest.

Suggested outputs and KPIs:

  • At least four meetings organised with funders/ministries/national and regional bodies

  • At least two events organised by the node engaging the community

  • List of organisations, disciplines and communities engaged

Sustainability (30%)

The nodes should have already secured or have the capacity to secure self-funding or additional funding for complementary activities in the country/region represented by the node. Detailed plans should be provided for continuing work beyond the funded period. This may include engagement with funders and exploratory work to trial different approaches.

Suggested outputs & KPIs:

  • Nodes should provide an overview of the country/region landscape and the strategies for the node beyond the RDA Europe 4 project (after May 2020).


Latest update 28th May 2018

Eligible countries - section "Who should become a node?"

Notification date - New date: 10 October 2018