CLIR/DLF Post-doctoral Fellow in Data Curation

Posted to IASSIST on: 2012-12-19

Employer: University of Alberta Libraries

Employer URL:


University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) seeks a postdoctoral fellow to engage with and contribute to its innovative services in research data curation and digital preservation. Working with professional staff within UAL, the University of Alberta Research Ethics Office, and the University of Alberta Health Law Institute, this fellowship position will be responsible for investigating data management practices, norms, policies, and infrastructure in health research that would improve methods for sharing sensitive, private, or proprietary data.

In the 2012 UAL Survey on Data Sharing & Management, health researchers on campus identified confidentiality as the most significant barrier to sharing data. What can be done to provide legitimate research projects with access to confidential health data, while protecting people against possible harm? This will require a better understanding of the issues regarding confidential health data, identifying privacy-enhanced data sharing protocols, exploring the best ways of communicating what is possible with officials responsible for safeguarding health data, identifying collaborative data infrastructure that can provide secure access to confidential data, and developing data use agreements and rules that generalize application across datasets. All of these activities will be conducted in the context of improving practices in the curation of health data and its long-term preservation.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Mapping the current legal, ethical, and normative practices across the research lifecycle that affect access to and the sharing of confidential health data.
  • Examining the possible application of privacy-enhanced data sharing protocols and research data management infrastructure to health research, given the results of the mapping exercise in the first duty.
  • Collaborating with UAL data and digital curation staff in the development of data use agreements and rules applicable to health data.
  • Working with a health researcher to design and implement a use case of best practice for providing access to and sharing confidential data, including the preservation of such data.
  • Evaluating the efficacy of the data sharing practices in the use case.
  • Working with UAL data and digital curation staff to communicate

Role within the Digital Initiatives Group

This fellow will report to the Digital Initiatives Coordinator and work collaboratively with members of the Digital Initiatives Unit. Other collaborators and contacts will include officers in the Research Ethics Office and researchers in the Alberta Health Law Institute and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing, and Health Administration.

Professional Development Support

The fellow will receive local support for professional development activities in addition to CLIR/DLF support.

Required Qualification

  • PhD in law, health administration, nursing, medicine, health ethics, or a related field.


Desired Qualifications

  • Interest in and experience with confidential data in health research and data sharing cultures.
  • fundamental skills in designing and conducting research.
  • ability to work closely with researchers.
  • excellent project management and interpersonal communication skills.
  • ability to work both independently and with groups.

Archived on: 2012-12-19