The Rebecca J. Holz series in Research Data Management is a monthly lecture series hosted during the spring and fall academic semesters. Research Data Services invites speakers from a variety of disciplines to talk about their research or involvement with data.

On October 12th Sarah Stevens, a graduate student in Microbiology and founder of the Computational Biology, Ecology, and Evolution (ComBEE) group at UW-Madison, gave a talk entitled “Starting Your Own Study Group”. You can find the slides embedded in our post below as well as on the Research Data Services Speakerdeck page.

Stevens talk was a discussion about the benefits of, challenges to, and strategies for this type of community building and peer teaching. The talk started by acknowledging the benefits of informal gruops such as being able to fill in gaps in training of particular skillsets, promoting discovery and exploration, as well as providing a path for sharing struggles and expertise. From there Stevens discussed potential formats for study groups, roles, management tips, resources for starting your own groups, and potential challenges to keep in mind.