13 research teams receive a grant from the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund

Artificial intelligence, data science, textmining. These are themes reflected in the research proposals submitted to the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund. Of the twenty-two submissions we received for the first call, thirteen proposals were selected for a grant. The research teams presented their ideas to each other in the Utrecht University Hall on Friday 10 March.

How do researchers and research supporters realise their ideas in thinking and working FAIR in research IT? Supporting them through the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund will help make that possible. The Utrecht colleagues, gathered in the the Canons’ Hall of the Utrecht University Hall on Friday, had submitted proposals for the 2022 call and got the great news of funding for their project at the end of February.

FAIR Research IT programme

Utrecht University's FAIR Research IT programme aims to ensure that every research team is well supported in the field of research IT. Structural and large-scale, with an emphasis on repeatability, so that knowledge and solutions can be easily and quickly reused by others than the original developer. Guided by the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and open science principles.

The FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund is one of the tools to realise that ambition. This is how we work with research teams on building blocks that are FAIR.

A few ideas

As the snow swirls down outside, the teams take turns to present their idea in a few minutes time. Jelte van Boheemen tells about 'TextMiNER'. This project will enable a wide audience to search and visualise a text corpus with the help of Named Entity Recognition. This will be integrated into I-Analyzer, a tool for searching and visualising text corpora. At this stage, I-Analyzer has more than 400 academic users and offers six major text corpora.

Another example of a research project that will contribute to making research IT FAIR is FAIR Cognitive Mapping. Femke van Esch explains this idea. Cognitive mapping is a research method to study the religious beliefs of citizens and elites. This method requires technical or coding skills. With this project, the research team aims to create user-friendly cognitive mapping software, specifically for social scientists who are less technically inclined or have few programming skills. Thus, this research team wants to lower the threshold for other researchers to use FAIR cognitive mapping in their research. They want to achieve this in a transparent and reproducible way.

Because there are several breaks in between the short presentations, there is room for interaction amongst the research teams. Different researchers and research supporters share their perspectives on their ideas as they see parallels in them.

Martine de Vos of Research Data Management Support, photographer Laura Hompus

At the end, Martine de Vos of RDM Support explains the types of support this virtual department gives to research teams. She concludes by saying, "We are there to help you." And Timme Donders, who pitched the proposal ´Micromap: an online repository and analysis tool for microscopic images´, takes that opportunity by approaching her with a question.

Here you will find the full overview with a brief explanation of the research proposals receiving a contribution from the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund.

Participate in the next call

Does your research team also have an innovative idea that matches the ambition of the FAIR Research IT programme? Then participate in the next call of the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund. We expect it to open just before the summer break. Keep an eye on the webpage about the fund or subscribe to the RDM Support newsletter, which is published twice a month. This is where we keep you up-to-date on FAIR research IT and the Innovation Fund. We will also keep you updated on the developments of the current project proposals.


Do you have any questions? Please contact programme manager Jurgen Moers or email to fairresearchit@uu.nl.

Need help with your research data management or data software? Then check the RDM Support website or email your question to info.rdm@uu.nl