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Press release

Certificate Course in Research Data Management receives the State Teaching Award 2023

Dr. Jens Mittelbach, Prof. Dr. Heike Neuroth, Dr. Daniela Mertzen

The certificate course "Research Data Management for Students", organised by the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, the University of Potsdam and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, has been awarded the 10,000 euro State Teaching Prize for excellent university teaching in Brandenburg.

This is the eleventh year that the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, Research and Culture has awarded the State Teaching Prize, which this year was organised under the motto "Open Educational Resources in Higher Education". The certificate course for students, designed as a one-week online spring school, focussed on topics such as the theoretical introduction to research data management (RDM), metadata standards, data management plans, technical research data infrastructures and tools, research data publications, legal aspects of RDM, good scientific practice and project management in the context of research data.

What was special about this course was that all course materials were published as Open Educational Resources (OER) in a freely accessible format on the Zenodo research data repository. This means that the course materials can be viewed at any time by anyone interested or used for teaching purposes. Over 1000 views and downloads in the first six months after publication confirm a high level of interest in OER training materials on the professional handling of research data.

"This free certificate course is based on the great culture of cooperation that has been tried and tested in Brandenburg for years. 11 lecturers are offering this special virtual one-week spring school for 30 students from eight universities in Brandenburg," explains Prof. Dr. Heike Neuroth, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Dr. Jens Mittelbach, BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, adds: "We see research data management as an integral part of good scientific practice and are pleased to be able to offer an essential building block early on in the academic life cycle with the certificate course."

Dr. Daniela Mertzen, University of Potsdam, emphasises: " Of course, it is a challenge for students not to lose interest in the topic of research data management during a one-week online course. Our varied and interactive concept, which includes gamification elements, practical exercises and fundamental ethical discussions, supports us lecturers right up to the last minute on a late Friday afternoon."

The state teaching award recognises not only the quality of the course, but also the importance of research data management as a key competence for the traceability, reusability, scientific transparency and integrity of research results.

The digital certificate course is offered once a year as a block week and is aimed at students (Bachelor, Master) at the eight state research universities in Brandenburg. The certificate course provides basic knowledge in research data management in order to qualify students for the sustainable handling of research data. It promotes the application of international standards for good scientific practice in the handling of research data. The focus is on problem-based learning in order to sharpen individual problem awareness and promote students' interactivity and problem-solving skills.
The certificate course will also be offered next year as FDM Spring School 2024. Interested parties can already pre-register, and binding admission to the course will then be reviewed. Click here for the expression of interest

The organisers and lecturers involved have decided to split the prize money: A portion of approx. 1/3 must be set aside for taxes, a small portion will go to the lecturers as an early Christmas present and 4,000 euros will be donated to the Potsdamer Tafel food bank.

Brandenburg State Teaching Prize
The Brandenburg State Teaching Prize is an award presented by the state of Brandenburg to recognise outstanding achievements in university teaching. The prize is awarded annually by the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg. It honours teachers at the state's universities who stand out for their excellent teaching methods, innovative teaching concepts and special commitment to teaching.

Information about the course
Daniela Mertzen, Heike Neuroth, Carsten Schneemann, Kathrin Woywod, Claudia Haase, Boris Jacob, Max Kroehling, Jens Mittelbach, Janine Straka, Anita Szczukowski & Katrin Weise:
Certificate course "Research data management for students". Spring School 2023 of the State Initiative for Research Data Management in Brandenburg, Zenodo 2023.

Version 2023.v2, DOI:

Scientific contact University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
Prof. Dr rer. nat. Heike Neuroth
Professor of Library Science

Scientific contact at the University of Potsdam
Dr. Daniela Mertzen
Research associate in the joint project IN-FDM-BB (Research Data Management in Brandenburg)

Scientific contact Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus - Senftenberg
Dr. Jens Mittelbach
Head of the University Library