CLIR Receives Sloan Foundation Grant for Energy Social Science Data Curation Fellows

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) a grant of $547,321 for three new postdoctoral fellowships in data curation for energy social science.

The grant from Sloan’s Energy and Environment program builds on the first cohort of CLIR/Digital Library Federation (DLF) energy postdoctoral fellows by supporting an additional group of three scholar-practitioners working to improve data management practices and research capacity in energy social science. These new professionals, and the national and international connections among host institutions that the Postdoctoral Fellowship program seeks to strengthen, will help to develop and promulgate the practices and methods needed to address the increased diversity and accessibility of all types of data relevant to energy social science.

“This timely grant allows us to enlarge the purview of our postdoctoral fellows program by continuing to engage in a discipline that could not have more contemporary import,” said CLIR President Charles Henry. “The CLIR/DLF energy fellows will assuredly bring clarity and acumen to energy social science.”

The two-year fellowships, which will begin in summer 2020, are designed to help increase understanding of the importance of data curation for energy social science among academics and information professionals, with the aim of making the incorporation of data management support into major energy social science research initiatives standard practice. Fellows will hold joint appointments between national energy research centers and libraries at leading universities.

“The next generation of energy and environmental scholars will be called upon to address some of the world’s most intractable problems. The CLIR/DLF is a unique opportunity for social science researchers to hone the data science skills they will need to meet the daunting challenges we face as we transition to a 21st century low-carbon economy,” said Sloan Foundation Program Director Evan Michelson.

Since 2012, with support from the Sloan Foundation, CLIR’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program has sharpened and deepened its focus on research data curation and software curation by placing 49 scientists and social scientists at 38 host institutions across the United States and Canada. These fellows helped cultivate a more sophisticated understanding of data and software curation that contributes to a sustainable digital environment for research.

The CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Data Curation for Energy Social Science are integrated into CLIR’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which trains and establishes cohorts of professionals with subject expertise who possess a more expansive understanding of digital information and its integral role in research and teaching. CLIR launched its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in 2004. To date, it has educated and placed 206 fellows at 87 host institutions across the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong. The deadline for 2020 fellowship applications is January 10, 2020.

The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. CLIR promotes forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good. The Digital Library Federation, a program of CLIR, is a diverse community of practitioners who advance research, teaching and learning through the application of digital library research, technology, and services. DLF serves as a resource and catalyst for collaboration among digital library developers, project managers, and all who are invested in digital library issues.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grantmaking institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the Foundation supports high quality, impartial scientific research; fosters a robust, diverse scientific workforce; strengthens public understanding and engagement with science; and promotes the health of the institutions of scientific endeavor.