NERC students encouraged to turn over a new leaf in research data management with Data Tree

16 October 2018

The Data Tree online course in research data management is now live.

Data Tree logo

This free course has been developed by the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) and funded by NERC to help its students build excellent data management skills to give the results of their research greater long-term value and usability. More than 400 students who want to improve their data management skills have signed up already and are well on the way to completing the course.

Data Tree is designed for environmental science PhD students and early career researchers, and offers essential advice on research data management, data visualisation techniques and tips for communicating research data to end users such as businesses and policymakers. It includes modules on working with data centres such as NERC and how to create research data management plans.

Data Tree is self-paced and can be completed as structured learning or students can dip into it for immediate problem-solving. There are quizzes, video interviews with subject experts and lots of real-world examples of research data in use in many different scenarios.

Ben Williams, programme manager at NERC, commented:

NERC is excited to have funded the development of an online training resource. It is a more flexible, user-friendly way of learning and we hope that it will prove a valuable tool for students who want to get into good data management habits to support their research. We encourage all our students to take the course as part of their doctoral training programme and think it will be valuable for many early career researchers.

Data Tree was developed by IEA in association with the Institute for Physics and Statistics for Sustainable Development.

Further information

Mary Goodchild
External Communications Manager
01793 411939
07710 147485


1. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

2. The IEA is a world-leading applied research and development organisation focused on supporting customers who understand the opportunity afforded by environmental data analytics to manage risk, improve business operations and open up new markets. The IEA works with organisations large and small to help them turn data into competitive advantage through visualising existing data sources, analysing past historical trends and developing predictive analytics tools. The IEA also offers tailored training programmes to develop in-house capacity for data analysis. Its projects cover a range of areas where environmental data is a strong driver such as agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, international development and risk management. All are focused on quickly but effectively trialling new ideas and de-risking clients' investment in new products, services or business processes.