Research Data Service

Research data training and skills

A range of training programmes on research data and research data management (RDM) in the form of online courses, and classroom-based workshops and seminars to help you with managing your research data effectively and efficiently.

Online training

Research Data Management and Sharing - MOOC

This free five-week Coursera MOOC - created by the Universities of Edinburgh and North Carolina - is designed to reach learners across disciplines and continents.

Subjects covered in the 5-week course follow the stages of any research project. They are:

  • Understanding Research Data
  • Data Management Planning
  • Working with Data
  • Sharing Data
  • Archiving Data

The MOOC (The Massive Open Online Course) uses the Coursera on-demand format to provide short, video-based lessons and assessments across a five-week period, but learners can proceed at their own pace. Although no formal credit is assigned for the MOOC, Statements of Accomplishment will be available to any learner who completes a course for a small fee.

Research Data MANTRA

MANTRA is a free, non-credit, self-paced course designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers which provides guidelines for good practice in research data management.

Find out how well you manage your data. Learn how to create a data management plan, securely store and share your data. MANTRA also includes practical exercises on using SPSS, NVivo, R, or ArcGIS for data handling.


Data Mindfulness: Making the Most of your Dissertation (RDS009)

This is an 8-part introductory online course created especially for undergraduate & PGT students.

The course is structured following the journey you will go through, from thinking of a research question, to conducting a literature search, to managing data (whichever form this takes), to writing up, and dealing with your dissertation data after submission.

Data Mindfulness: Making the most of your dissertation (YouTube playlist)

The above videos are designed to work well alongside the 'Data Mindfulness: Making the most of your dissertation' handbook, although they can be used as training resources independently of each other.

Data Mindfulness on Learn

The Data Mindfulness course is also available on the University on-line learning environment, Learn.

University online learning environment, Learn [University login required]

Within Learn, find the [Self Enrol] tab, near the top of the page. 

Under [Course Catalogue (self-enrol courses)], click 'Browse Course Catalogue' and search for "Data Mindfulness". The course should appear in the results field.

To enrol on the course, select the small grey down arrow next to 'zu_Data_Mindfulness' and select 'Enrol'.

Click 'Submit' to proceed. Once enrolled, this course will appear on your Learn Homepage next time you log in.

Workshops and courses

In semester 1 of the 2021/22 academic year all courses will be delivered virtually using Teams or Collaborate.  Once you have booked onto a course you will be registered on the appropriate session and should receive an email with details of how to join the session at least 2 days before it starts. If you don't receive this information please let us know using the Contact Us options above.

We will make a decision about the delivery of semester 2 courses later in the year.

Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001)

Interactive Workshop - Attendees need to bring a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, preferably a laptop. No prior knowledge is required for this course.

This course has been split into two 90 minute sessions which will take part at the same time on consecutive days, if booking please ensure you can attend both days.

This in-depth course will provide researchers at all stages of their career with an accessible and practical guide to Research Data Management (RDM) and how it can benefit their research. It covers the entire research data life cycle from Data Management Planning through to Improving the Visibility and Impact of research data in order to increase a researcher’s profile. With practical hints and tips throughout this course is ideal for those just setting out on a career in research as well as anyone looking to update or refresh their skills.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  1. recognize the importance of RDM and Data Management Planning
  2. understand the difference between sensitive and non-sensitive data and how that will impact on their research and RDM
  3. apply basic RDM skills to their daily research practices
  4. determine the extent to which their research data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)
Audience Date Time Booking link
Research Staff 13th & 14th October 2021 13:00-1430

All Staff and PGR's 28th & 29th October 2021 10:00-11:30

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

PGR's 1st & 2nd November 2021 13:30-15:00

Writing a Data Management Plan for your Research (RDS002)

Interactive workshop - Attendees should bring a laptop or tablet to write their DMP on either using DMPonline, or the basic template the tutor will provide. It would also be helpful if you could bring your project outline to base the draft DMP on.

At the end of this practical workshop you will have produced a 1st draft Data Management Plan (DMP) for your research project. You will understand the basic components of good DMP.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. understand the necessity/benefits of producing a DMP;
  2. know how to register for and use DMPonline;
  3. have drafted a basic DMP that they can complete after the course.
Audience Date Time Booking Link
Research Staff 26th October 2021 10:00-12:00
All Staff and PGR's 10th November 2021 10:00-12:00
PGR's 17th November 2021 10:00-12:00

Working with Personal and Sensitive Data (RDS003)

Presentation - Before attending you should complete the mandatory online Data Protection Training

Researchers today are pressured to share their research data and make it accessible to other researchers. But what if you have collected sensitive or confidential data?

For many researchers, the sensitivity of research data is one of the main barriers to data sharing. Fear of violating ethical or legal obligations, lack of knowledge about disclosure control and the time required to anonymise data to a suitable standard often prevent valuable datasets from seeing the light of day.

In this two-hour awareness raising course, we introduce how to collect, share, store, and protect the sensitive data you may encounter as part of your work.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. understand the principles of good research data management;
  2. have knowledge of GDPR and data protection regulations, and what these mean for research and research data;
  3. be aware of relevant services and resources available to researchers at the university.
Audience Date Time Booking Link
Research Staff 12/10/2021 10:00
All Staff and PGR's 26/11/2021 10:00

Archiving your Research Data (RDS010)

Interactive workshop

Learn how to approach the key decisions around archiving your research data, such as whether to release your data under an open licence.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

1. Know how to select the most appropriate data to archive

2. Know what to consider in deciding whether to make data open or restrict access

3. Know what systems and support are available to facilitate data sharing and archiving


Audience Date Time Booking Link
All Staff and PGR's 9th December 2021 10:00

Other Recommended Training

The following online training courses are recommended to all members of the University to help them understand and comply with essential policies such as the Data Protection Policy and the Information Security Policy.

Information Security Essentials

This online self-enrol Learn course is divided into five modules, each covering a different area of information security at The University of Edinburgh.

The five modules are:

  1. Protecting information
  2. Physical and procedural security
  3. Working remotely and the cloud
  4. Common threats and how to counter them
  5. Why research is different

Data Protection Training

Under the University's Data Protection Policy, all staff have responsibility for data protection compliance in their day-to-day work. To keep up to date with these responsibilities, staff must complete the University's mandatory data protection training module.

Academics conducting research and the research support staff members must also complete the additional module “Data Protection for Research”.


If you would like to have a tailored training session on any aspect of RDM within your discipline, school, institute or research group, please contact us using the Contact box above.