RDA Council Subgroups

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26 June 2016 49513 reads

The Council has established several subgroups to assist in Council business and to advise Council in important areas. Subgroup members are appointed by Council and may include members outside of the official Council.

Financial Sub Committee

Charter: The Financial Sub-committee recommends to Council and monitors policies and rules for sound financial practice of the RDA Foundation. The subgroup recommends periodic financial reports to the Council for approval. Policies and processes include, but are not limited to:

  • Internal controls and signing authority
  • Expenditure authority and approvals
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Financial reporting requirements
  • Conflict of interest rules
  • Taxation and audit obligations
  • Contracting and purchasing policies
  • Policies around employees and contractors

Members: Edit Herczog (chair), Kevin Ashley,Juan Bicarregui, Jason Haga, Hilary Hanahoe (Secretary General), Bridget Walker (Secretariat)

Financial Sustainability Task Force (2020-)

The Research Data Alliance (RDA Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation registered as a legal entity in the UK and is the official and legal representative of the RDA community as a whole. The RDA Foundation provides the core business operations of RDA and represents RDA globally. RDA Foundation income is primarily from two sources, Funding Agencies (Grants and Donations) and Organisational Memberships, with a further smaller ad-hoc Other Funding revenue stream. The current state of RDA Foundation financial issues is alarming. The Financial Subcommittee (FSC) and RDA Foundation management spends most of their time establishing the balance sheet and the shortcoming occurred by delays from secured funds. It means that RDA has limited or no capacity to absorb new tasks. At the same time, the RDA Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023 is now being rolled out for implementation. It is essential to align the strategic plan with a concrete growth and sustainability plan. Close cooperation with the Strategy team and the Secretariat is required to prioritize the strategic priorities and the necessary resources.

In November 2020, Council established a short term RDA task force focusing on:

  • Identification of appropriate and achievable revenue models for RDA
  • Align financial strategies / plans with the strategic focus for 2021-2023
  • Engage with regional offices / representatives to align revenue and business models

Members: Ingrid Dillo (RDA Council co-Chair), Hilary Hanahoe (RDA Secretary General), Bob Hanisch (RDA Council), Natalie Harrower (RDA EU Regional Office representative), Rebecca Koskela (RDA US Executive Director), Mark Leggott (RDA Council)

Legal Subgroup

The Legal Subgroup is responsible for the oversight and due vigilance of the legal affairs of the RDA. This subgroup is a standing subgroup. 

Members: TBD

Nomination Committee

As defined in the RDA Governance Document, Council chooses a Nomination Committee each year. The Nomination Committee will determine a slate of 3 distinguished individuals to replace the Council members stepping down at the odd-numbered Plenary of that year.

Members (2018): Fran Berman (Chair, representing Council), Andrew Treloar (representing TAB), Kevin Ashley (representing OAB), Josh Greenberg (representing the Funders’ Forum), Imma Subirats (representing WGs/community) 

Members (2019):  Ross Wilkinson (Chair, representing Council), Francoise Genova (representing TAB), Kevin Ashley (representing OAB), Matthew Lucas (representing the Funders’ Forum), Devika Madalli  (representing WGs/community) 

Members (2020): Dina Paltoo (representing RDA Funders Forum), Frankie Stevens (representing TAB), Helen Kay Raseroka (representing Council), Rebecca Koskela (representing OAB) Mark Leggott (Chair representing Council)

Members (2021): David Carr (representing RDA Funders Forum), Mark Leggott (Chair representing Council), Isabelle Perseil (representing TAB), Gaby Pinto (representing RDA Community), Shelley Stall (representing OAB)

In addition to the RDA Council Subgroups described above, during 2017-2018, four drafting groups worked on the development of the RDA Strategy for 2018 - 2021. These groups considered: RDA Value Proposition, Financial Sustainability, Growth Management and Regional Engagement. In 2018 and 2019, a further set of subcommittees and task forces were set up by Council to assess RDA membership models, RDA Plenary Meeting Structures, Regional Engagement.

2018 - 2019 Subcommittees | Task Forces

Membership Task Force

Charter: At its beginning, the RDA envisaged a membership strategy to enable a grassroots activist organisation to grow. It created two types of membership: individual (non-paying) and organisational (OAB) paying. As a result of the development of regional bodies with their own membership strategies, the re-examination of RDA finances, and the importance of organisations to the adoption of RDA recommendations, it is the right time to examine the forms of RDA membership. The RDA Council set up the membership task force in early 2019, drawing from Council, those engaged in regional activity, and those engaged in organisational activity.

Members: Sandra Collins (Chair), Kevin Ashley, Ingrid Dillo, Hilary Hanahoe, Natalie Harrower, Sarah Jones, Devika Madalli, Leslie McIntosh Borelli, Raphael Ritz, Bridget Walker (Secretariat)

Preliminary outcomes are expected in the second half of 2019. 

Plenary Meeting Assessment Task Force

Charter:  RDA has been running Plenary meetings on a bi-annual basis for six years. Over that time, the number of RDA members has increased to over 8,000, the number of WGs exceeds 100, and the number of attendees at a Plenary regularly tops 500. However, the essential nature of an RDA Plenary has barely changed since Plenary 3 (March 2014). In the same way that a number of other aspects of RDA are being re-examined, it is time to reconsider how we structure and run Plenaries. In November 2019, members of a task force to assess RDA plenary meetings will be identified and contacted.

Members: To be defined


Regional Engagement

Charter: As the RDA community rapidly grows (from 8 to over 8,000 in just over 6 years), RDA recognises that strong partnerships with its Regional members are crucial to its success as an international organisation.  With this goal in mind, a global Regional Engagement Task Force examined and outlined the complementary and mutually-beneficial relationship between RDA and its Regions. The RDA recognises that each Region will be unique with different values, goals, governance, funding sources, etc.  The purpose of the Regional Engagement document is to provide a general framework for the creation and management of RDA Regions that will benefit both parties while maintaining alignment and coordination. This document should be reviewed and adjusted periodically to ensure it is still relevant and meets the needs of both RDA and the Regions.

Members: Daniel Bangert, Juan Bicarregui, Ingrid Dillo, Jason Haga, Vivian Haga, Hilary Hanahoe, Sarah Jones, Mark Leggott, Leslie McIntosh Borelli, Tomaz Miksa, Cristina Ribiero, Raphael Ritz, Ross Wilkinson

Documents / Links: RDA Regions Web section - https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/rda-regions

2017 - 2018 Subcommittees 


Charter: The strategy subcommittee advises Council on the overall strategic direction of RDA and the Foundation.

  • Monitors and evaluates current strategic initiatives (such as the Future Directions initiative).
  • Develops suggestions for future strategic initiatives.
  • Has responsibility for maintaining the long-term vision and mission of RDA.

Members: Sandra Collins (Chair), Fran Berman, Juan Bicarregui, Francoise Genova, Bernard Minster, Kay Raseroka, Hilary Hanahoe.

Documents / Links:

Engagement and Communications

Charter: The subcommittee tracks progress, evaluates, and reports on the Engagement and Communications actions to Council, recommending modifications to the strategy as appropriate. 

  • Ensures consistency of Engagement and Communications strategies and actions across regional RDA activities
  • Advises on main messages and current highlights
  • A specific current task for the subcommittee is to oversee delivery of the action lines on Engagement and Communication from the current Future Directions document.

Members: Amy Nurnberger (chair), Tony Hey, Rebecca Koskela, Bernard Minster, Kay Raseroka,  Michael Stanton, Timea Biro (Secretariat), Yolanda Meleco (Secretariat).

Documents / Links:

Operations and Coordination 

Charter: The subcommittee monitors and advises on the overall operations and general organisational health of RDA:

  • Ensures RDA operations are efficient, effective, and well supported by RDA governance and policies
  • A specific current task for the RDA Operations subcommittee is to oversee the delivery of the action lines on Coordination from the current Future Directions document.

The subcommittee coordinates closely with the other subcommittees.

Members: Rainer Stotzka (chair), Leif Laaksonen, Larry Lannom, Yasuhiro Murayama, Andrew Treloar, Stefanie Kethers (Secretariat).

Documents / Links:


Charter: The sustainability subcommittee develops the overall business model for RDA and strategy for its implementation. The subcommittee works closely with stakeholders to develop and implement a strategy that ensures a sustainable stream of income to support the RDA (Secretary General, the international Secretariat, and general RDA operations.)

  • Plans and conducts dialogue with current and potential funders from public and private sectors
  • Works with the Funders’ Forum and other funders groups (e.g. G8, CRE, …)
  • Ensures bids for new regional RDA projects adhere to RDA principles and policies

Members: Ross Wilkinson (chair), Fran Berman, Patrick Coquet, Josh Greenberg, Jamie Shiers (OAB rep), John Wood, Fotis Karagiannis (Secretariat).