Sarah Schäfer is a Research Data Specialist and Digital Curator, and began working at UWC in 2020. She is based with eResearch and works very closely with the Research Support and Scholarly Communications team at the Library.
Her background is in digital cultural heritage, and her career in photography is what initially drew her to discover a research interest in digital cultural heritage. Her MPhil in Digital Curation focused on cultural heritage in the context of South African museums, and the digital transformation of museums and cultural heritage. She has an interest in digital archives, collections management and the intersection of the arts and computing.
Sarah loves that the realm of digital curation draws and benefits from knowledge in diverse areas, and involves more than cursory understandings of archiving and research data – it requires theoretical understanding and practical applications of various aspects, including Open Access, data repositories, data handling, media and formats, metadata and research data management.
Sarah is a founding member of the Network for Digital Humanities in Africa, and is a certified Carpentries Instructor.
The UWC eResearch Office, in collaboration with ICS and the Library is pleased to announce that UWC is now a partner in the REDCap Consortium, and UWC researchers can benefit from the broad range of data collection functionality that REDCap offers. At its most simple, REDCap is a web-based interface that empowers researchers to take control of their data collection work. Find out more about REDCap here.
REDCap is an application that was originally created in 2004 to support a small group of clinical researchers who needed a secure data collection tool (that met HIPAA compliance standards). The REDCap Consortium was launched in 2006, and today it is used as a secure method of flexible yet robust data collection by thousands of researchers at institutions around the world. REDCap is a neutral data collection platform, able to capture any type of data, for any purpose.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues to work with the public and private sectors in the global response to COVID-19.
The International COVID-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges initiative, supported by the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, are announcing an open funding call for research studies to accelerate knowledge of COVID-19 through data science: Grand Challenges ICODA COVID-19 Data Science. Register for an informational workshop to be held on January 7, 2021 (14:00 UTC), and the grant application deadline is January 19, 2021
Researchers can register for an informational workshop to be held on January 7, 2021 (14:00 UTC), and the grant application deadline is January 19, 2021.
“We invite you to read summaries of the grants awarded to date through Grand Challenges initiatives with the Gates Foundation as funder or co-funder and to explore an interactive world map of projects across the broader Grand Challenges funding partner network.If you have a great idea for one of the open opportunities, please apply. If you know someone else who has a great idea, please forward this message so they can apply and sign up on our Grand Challenges website for email updates with the latest opportunities. We look forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world.”
To learn more about the foundation’s broader work and how COVID-19 is being addressed across the foundation, visit the foundation’s website and sign-up for The Optimist newsletter. See videos of the plenary sessions at the 2020 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, for the first time in virtual format and with a focus on addressing the current pandemic and using partnerships and lessons learned to speed progress across a broad range of global health and development goals.
The eResearch Office in collaboration with UWC Library Services hosted two webinars on RDM (research data management) on the 24th and 26 November 2020. The webinars, relevant to researchers, staff and postgraduate students, focused on developing data management plans (DMPs), and storing and sharing research data securely on UWC’s research data repository, Kikapu.
With the increasing global focus on the secure storage and sharing of research data, this topic is especially timely and relevant. Institutions and funders have made clear strides toward identifying where and how research data is stored and how access to it is managed. Moreover, good data management planning and the submission of a DMP has become a mandatory part of research and funding proposals. These webinars aimed to guide researchers in this context.
Participants were introduced to online tools that assist in planning these documents, as well as how to use and access their research data and make it available to other researchers. These include comprehensive templates of the elements that make up a DMP, and a guide on how to upload research data to UWC’s institutional repository, Kikapu, where data can be securely stored, shared and managed. Participants were also introduced to the FAIR Data Principles (that all research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable). Kikapu also makes it possible to share data either privately with selected collaborators or publicly, and gives all data a DOI (a persistent digital object identifier), which is a convenient way to enable citation of one’s research data.
Watch recordings of the webinars:
For further assistance regarding RDM, please contact:
My name is Frederic Isingizwe, I am a research scientist and science communicator, most specifically within the area of modern computational methods to enable carrying out data-driven research efficiently. I have a special interest in the application of data science methods and artificial intelligence in any way that helps improve the quality and sustainability of life in the world.
I was born and grew up in Rwanda, where I got my first degree in Physics. Being an avid learner and intrigued by computer technologies, I opted for a postgraduate program at AIMS south Africa which led to a degree in Mathematical Sciences and later on, an MScEng and PhD in Electronic Engineering from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. While a graduate candidate, I was involved in research on superconductor devices, applied spectroscopy and biosystems modelling, managing a postgraduate research laboratory for biological sensors and nanodevices development. Upon completion, I assumed a role for technical advisory and research support for postgraduate students in sensor-based research projects.
Since then, I was a postdoctoral research fellow under the South African research chair in postharvest technology at Stellenbosch University. While there, I applied machine learning methods on spatial and multi-wavelength spectral data to advance non-destructive techniques for quality testing and control in postharvest production environments.
I have now joined the eResearch Office at UWC as an eResearch Scientist, and my comprehensive role is to help bring its mission to a success.
It’s International Open Access Week (19-25 October), and UWC Library is celebrating with libraries around the world under the theme Open with a purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion.
During this week the library will host a number of webinars and presentations, and UWC has entered the international Figshare upload competition, where the individual researchers can win prizes for uploading their research data. For more information about the competition email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday 20th October 2020 10:00 – 11:00
Welcome by Dr Shirlene Neerputh, UWC Library Director Data Intensive Research at UWC by Prof M Vaccari, Director eResearch at UWC The Carpentries in Africa by Dr Angelique van Rensburg, The Carpentries Facilitators: Sarah Schafer & Mattia Vaccari
Wednesday 21st October 2020 10:00 – 11:00
Introduction to Figshare by Megan Hardeman, Head of Engagement at Figshare
UWC RDM Services by Mark Snyders, Manager Scholarly Communications, UWC Library Services
Thursday 22nd October 2020 10:00 – 11:30
The value of open access publishing in the times of Covid-19 pandemic infected research environment by Alfred Nqotole, Deputy Director Research Support & Scholarly Communications, UWC Library Services Open Access Publishing: UWC Editor’s Perspectives by Prof M Dinbabo and Prof R Shambare
Facilitator: Alfred Nqotole
Register in advance for this webinar: https://uwc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jIWs08KGS4CiDJRKzMGgUA
About the speakers:
Angelique van Rensburg, PhD (Educational Psychology), is the Regional Consultant for Southern Africa at The Carpentries and an Extraordinary Researcher at Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus. Angelique aims at developing strategies and workflows to adapt The Carpentries’ membership and workshop programs to function optimally in Southern Africa. In addition, her role aims to assist and advise in developing a plan to create and support a strong team of volunteer instructors across Africa.
Megan Hardeman is head of engagement at Figshare. For the last four years, she has helped researchers make the most of storing, sharing, and collaborating using Figshare and has written case studies, delivered talks and training, leads the ambassador programme, and more. Previously, she was a Product Manager at Emerald Publishing.
Mattia Vaccari is Director of eResearch and AstroInformatics Research Professor at UWC, and he coordinates UWC’s Data Intensive Research emerging niche, which brings together researchers from different fields to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration in big data science. He has worked as a Research Scientist at Imperial College London, the University of Padova and UWC, working at the junction between astronomical instrumentation, big data processing technologies and extragalactic astrophysics.
Mulugeta Dinbabo is the Chief Editor of the African Human Mobility Review (AHMR), an accredited Journal by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). AHMR is an interdisciplinary journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects (i.e. socio-economic, political, legislative and developmental) of human mobility in sub-Saharan Africa.
Richardson Shambare is an Associate Professor in the School of Business and Finance (SBF) at the University of the Western Cape. Prof Shambare has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and marketing in SMMEs. He has published several peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters and presented research at numerous international conferences. Prof. Shambare is the co-founding editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurial Innovations. The JEI specialises in publishing research and analyses pertaining to entrepreneurship trends and particularly innovations in the small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs). The JEI is an Open Access, free to publish online journal.
In addition to the webinars and sessions available, UWC has entered the international Figshare upload competition, where the individual researchers can win prizes for uploading their research data. For more information about the competition email us on email@example.com.
On 23 September, the DVC Research and Innovation hosted a webinar titled ‘An impetus for Social Innovation and Development and Data Intensive Research: Higher Education, Food Security, Big Data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. The session demonstrated various niche areas at UWC, including Social Innovation and Development and Data Intensive Research. Presentations on research projects included the following:
University as a Vehicle to Achieve Social Innovation and Development: Repositioning the Role of the University in Society.
Dr Lwando Mdleleni works at UWC as a researcher in the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and innovation. His particular research focus is on social innovation and development. The underlying notion around his position is to foster the role that the university plays in collaborating with communities. He is the founding director of Zenzeleni Networks, where he focused on research and community development in rural South Africa.
Can social innovation provide solutions to relieve economic vulnerability and address food (in)security in the context of natural disaster? Critical analysis of the influence of social innovation during uncertain times of crisis.
Shehaam Moosa is a Master’s student at the Institute for Social Development. She is affiliated to the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town holding a Bachelor of Social Science, as well as a Bachelor of Development Studies Honours from the University of the Western Cape. Her research focuses on the influence of social innovation during uncertain times of natural disaster, particularly whether crisis culminates collaboration, in terms of addressing economic vulnerability and food (in)security. She is passionate about sustainable development, social transformation and enabling the most vulnerable.
A deeper look at the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and what it means for the marginalized, a Social Innovation perspective.
Sihle Maphukatha is a Master’s student in Computer Science, his research focus on Fourth Industrial Revolution and Social Innovation. He has a BSc degree in Environmental and Water Science with honours in Integrated Water Resource Management and he has recently obtained his postgraduate diploma in Software Development, all at UWC.
Data Intensive Research for Drug Development, Therapeutics and Precision Medicine.
Dr Samuel Ayodele Egieyeh is a seasoned and highly experienced pharmacist (qualified in 1997) with B.Pharm (UNILAG), M.Pharm (UWC) and PhD in Bioinformatics (UWC). He also has a post-graduate diploma in clinical research and drug development from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He started his research career as a research fellow in 2001 at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) in Abuja, Nigeria, where he was involved in the formulation, production and quality control of herbal medicinal products and raw material development. He is currently a senior lecturer at the School of Pharmacy at UWC. He leads the Computational Pharmacology and Cheminformatics Group (CPCG). His research focuses on computational drug discovery and design; data science (including cheminformatics, bioinformatics, machine learning and biostatistics techniques) for predictive drug development and precision medicine. His presentation will show the use of data science in drug discovery and development, therapeutics, and precision medicine. The presentation will also introduce the “University of the Western Cape’s Computational Pharmacology and Chemoinformatic Platform”, which analyses hit compounds from high-throughput assays (HTS) available in public bioactivity databases. The platform provides data analytics and data mining tools for researchers in drug discovery and design to analyse and mine useful data from their in-vitro experiments in order to make rational and viable drug discovery and design decisions.
Machine Learning for Data Intensive Applications in Communication Networks
Dr Clement N. Nyirenda joined UWC as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science in October 2018. He received a PhD in Computational Intelligence and Systems Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2011 and spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher at Keio University, Japan. His research efforts revolve around Artificial Intelligence techniques and their applications in Communication Networks and Smart Environments. In this presentation, he will give an overview of three machine learning projects that he has been working on over the past few years. The first project focuses on human position determination in indoor environments using Hierarchical Reservoir Computing (HRC) based on Array Antenna signals. The second one involves radio signal strength prediction using Echo State Networks (ESN), and the third application involves the detection of data anomalies in smart water metering networks using unsupervised learning techniques.
Please feel free to signup for any of these events or forward this email to your colleagues, students or fellow researchers. Mobile data assistance is possible for learners residing in South Africa. Further information about The Carpentries is available here.
Welcome to UWC’s eResearch Office Website! In what is very much a sign of the times we live in, we are glad to be able to inaugurate our web site very much ‘remotely’. UWC’s eResearch Office was set up on 1st April 2019 to promote and support the use of advanced information technologies to foster better, faster and higher-impact research. If anything, the current world-wide crisis has renewed the importance of such an effort, and we are looking forward to working more closely with our partners on campus, nationally and internationally to fulfill this vision. Our website will grow in time to provide resources for researchers and news about data intensive research and research data management activities at UWC. In the meantime, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.