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Building a(n) (almost) sustainable institutional training culture.pdf.pdf (1.79 MB)

Building a(n) (almost) sustainable institutional training culture

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posted on 2021-02-25, 23:51 authored by Mik BlackMik Black
The delivery of digital skills training to the New Zealand research community has become a major shared undertaking for two of our nation’s major science infrastructure providers, the NZ eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) and Genomics Aotearoa (GA). Although neither organisation has “training” as a primary objective, both NeSI and GA have embraced the idea that increased digital literacy within a research community invariably leads to better utilisation of science capability, and ultimately to the acceleration and expansion of the research being undertaken.

How these lofty goals are accomplished, however, is not necessarily straightforward. Over the past six years, NeSI, and more recently Genomics Aotearoa, have adopted the Open Source, volunteer-driven teaching framework popularised by the international Carpentries training movement. While both of these national organisations have invested considerable resources into both the delivery of training, and the support of NZ’s research communities, there is also a need for strong commitment of resources by researchers’ own institutions, in order to ensure that the benefits of digital literacy training are fully realised.

In this talk I will describe the work that the University of Otago (in partnership with GA and NeSI) has undertaken in this space over the past six years, as we have (slowly) moved towards our goal of developing a sustainable local training infrastructure that supports our researchers. This will include lessons that we have learned along the way, advice to others who would tread the same path, and also some speculation on where things may be heading in the future

Associate Professor Mik Black Mik received a BSc(Hons) in statistics from the University of Canterbury, and a MSc (mathematical statistics) and PhD (statistics) from Purdue University. After completing his PhD in 2002, Mik returned to New Zealand to work as a lecturer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland. An ongoing involvement in a number of Dunedin-based collaborative genomics projects resulted in a move to the University of Otago in 2006, where he now leads a research group focused on the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of data from genomics experiments, with a particular emphasis on human disease. Mik has also been heavily involved in major initiatives designed to put in place sustainable national research infrastructure for NZ: Genomics Aotearoa and NZ Genomics Limited for genomics, digital literacy training via The Carpentries, and NeSI (New Zealand eScience Infrastructure) for high performance computing and eResearch.


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