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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Academics & Research

Digital Research Institute for graduate students starts virtually


M.D. Anderson Library and the UH Graduate School will be creating the Digital Research Institute for graduate students. | File Photo

M.D. Anderson Library and the UH Graduate School will be creating the Digital Research Institute for graduate students. | File Photo

The UH Libraries Digital Research Commons and the UH Graduate School have teamed up to create the Digital Research Institute for graduate students. 

At this time, there are two institutes scheduled within the year. The first for March 15-17 and the other has yet to be decided, but is planned to happen before the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

“The Digital Research Institute is a three-day intensive experience aimed at helping graduate students build foundational skills and knowledge needed to develop a piece of digital research,” said Taylor Davis-Van Atta from the Digital Research Commons.

Students, to start, are asked to already have an early stage of an idea for digital research that could possibly turn into their future article, thesis or dissertation. 

From there and throughout the institute, students are to work with faculty and librarians in order to work to find out what core competencies are needed to successfully complete their project. 

The participants will experience expert instruction, project management, metadata development, research data management and analysis, sharing and publication. This will include individualized mentorship specific to the context their individual project is based on. 

“We hope to nurture these pieces of research into fruition, which has its obvious benefits for the student; but beyond this, we’re concerned with building students’ ability and adaptability or fluency in collecting and working with data in ways that will benefit their academic and professional goals,” Atta said.

Due to the institute providing detailed focus on each student and their project, only four to six participants will be accepted. 

According to Atta, there have been over 30 applicants thus far. The students chosen will receive a $250 scholarship after completion of the institute by the UH Graduate School. 

“This is partly why the institute’s customized experience is so important – building competence and skills in research design and integrity can be great for its own sake, but we also want to take into consideration their future applications,” Atta said. 

The institute is to occur virtually with hopes to be offered in-person when it is safe to do so, Atta said. 

The institute is just one in a list of programs the Digital Research Commons is introducing in attempts to connect communities of interdisciplinary research practitioners, as well as overall digital research at the University.

“The institute is aimed at giving graduate students the skills and confidence needed to pursue digitally based, interdisciplinary research as they progress through their time at UH and beyond,” Atta said.

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