NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

How to manage data across continents: reflections and resources from our webinar sessions

Moni Choudhury, RESPIRE’s Data Science & Methodology Coordinator, reflects on the learning gained from data management webinars held in collaboration with NIHR Global Health Groups, ASTRA and RECHARGE

In January 2021, RESPIRE co-hosted a webinar series along with the NIHR Global Health Groups, ASTRA and RECHARGE entitled ‘Global health research: Challenges with data management and data sharing across continents'. Moni Choudhury, RESPIRE’s Data Science & Methodology Coordinator, reflects on the event and what learnings were gained.


Research data management (RDM) are integral activities in any research project. Ensuring the integrity and transparency of all data activities can be challenging for researchers in any subjects, especially when you work on research projects across multiple international partner countries. The need for robust systems and supported infrastructures for data management and sharing are important as the scientific world adopts open research data principles. These issues have become prominent in the times of COVID-19.

Research data management across continents

With the NIHR Global Health Groups, ASTRA (based at University of York), and RECHARGE (based at University of Leicester), we aspired to share our collaborative experiences of RDM and data sharing initially with respiratory health researchers working in international projects.

We wanted to explore the barriers and opportunities of RDM when you have multiple international partners. As well as speakers from the lead institutions in the UK, we featured the experiences of researchers in our LMIC partner countries, with presenters from India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Uganda. We had over 150 participants taking part in the webinar over three days, spread geographically from Latin America to South Asia.

Exploring the research data management journey

Spider diagram of research data management training needs
RDM Training Needs survey responses Credit: Mark Orme, RECHARGE/University of Leicester

Our webinar series covered some key steps in the RDM journey, from data management planning through data collection and quality & assurance, to data sharing and data depositing. We aimed to demonstrate that having robust RDM systems in place can enhance the integrity of the research and the transparency of reported results. This, in turn, adds to the data collected and ensures its longevity for future reuse and population health improvements. We acknowledged that funding is needed to support local RDM infrastructures.

We surveyed attendees about their training needs across the RDM journey. There is a demand for training across all areas, but in particular for data management planning, policy and data analysis. There is also a need for more specific funding for training in data management and for a dedicated database manager.

Help the team understand RDM training needs:

Complete the RDM training needs survey

Full results of the survey will be presented at the IPCRG 10th World Conference in May 2021.

We gathered feedback on the webinar series and it was great to see comments in tune with our aims for the audience.

I'm very pleased to have been able to join the sessions as I now feel better informed with regard to planning for data management in my own study.

Event attendee

Webinar resources

We’re pleased to bring together the sessions as a resource for researchers interested in deepening their understanding of research data management in an international context.

If you would like to give any feedback on the recordings, ASTRA, RECHARGE and RESPIRE would love to hear your thoughts.

Complete the evaluation form

RESPIRE Platform III: Methodology & Data Science