Project deliverable Open Access

Function and competencies matrices for three types of data stewards 'policy', 'research' and 'infrastructure'

Salome Scholtens; Petronella Anbeek; Jasmin Böhmer; Mirjam Brullemans-Spansier; Marije van der Geest; Mijke Jetten; Christine Staiger; Inge Slouwerhof; Celia W G van Gelder

This deliverable is part of the final report of the “Towards FAIR Data Steward as profession for the Lifesciences” project. The full report can be found at It provides the detailed description of the function (responsibilities and tasks), competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) and learning objectives for the three data steward roles (‘policy’, ‘research’ and ‘infrastructure’), structured by eight competence areas.


In the “Towards FAIR Data Steward as profession for the Lifesciences” project (, based on the literature and consultations, three different data steward stakeholder-fields were defined in the data stewardship landscape, depending on their interaction with specific stakeholders. All three stakeholder-fields together ensure that research carried out at institutes and in projects produces FAIR data along the data life cycle. Data stewards find themselves positioned at different positions in this landscape as they interface and communicate between these different stakeholder groups. The three stakeholder-fields are characterised by their own expertise and terminology. Data stewards can communicate between these stakeholder groups and hence provide the interface between fields of expertise.


To indicate the particular or main focus of a data steward, three different data steward roles can be defined (‘policy’, ‘research’ and ‘infrastructure’). For all three data steward roles, eight competence areas were defined. The responsibilities and tasks in these eight competence areas can be seen as different aspects of the function that the data steward has. In practice, one data steward in a department may have all roles or, in case of multiple data stewards, roles may be divided between different persons. The responsibilities and tasks per competence area are formulated according to the focus of the data steward. In case a data steward combines the focus on for instance policymakers (data steward – policy) and researchers (data steward – research), this data steward will also have a combination of the responsibilities and tasks defined for these two data stewardship roles.

The three spreadsheets are provided in the following file formats: Microsoft Excel XLSX (original), OpenDocument Spreadsheet ODS (export), and Comma Delimited CSV utf-8 (export). This project is funded by the ZonMw Personalised Medicine Programme under Dossier number: 80-84600-98-3007. The project period is Aug 2018 - July 2019. Additional funding will be provided by UMCG, UMCU, Radboud University Nijmegen, Radboudumc and DTL/ELIXIR-Netherlands.
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Version 2.1_Data stewardship function_KSA_LO_matrix_A.csv
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Version 2.1_Data stewardship function_KSA_LO_matrix_A.xlsx
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