The European Group of FAIR Champions (EGFC) are scientific experts and “doers” in the field of FAIR data, carefully selected based on their individual merits and knowledge. The Champions work as FAIR ambassadors, sharing FAIR implementation stories, enhancing synergies, contributing to training activities and webinars, and encouraging cross-domain engagement with FAIR.

Each EGFC member represents a distinct group of FAIRsFAIR stakeholders and provides advice on operational challenges, as well as promoting new policies to improve the adoption of FAIR data and support the EOSC. 

Input from the Champions is incorporated into the FAIR Landscape Analysis and also into white papers authored by FAIRsFAIR.


Who are the FAIRsFAIR Champions?


Mark Allen

Affiliation: Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre
Country: France

Mark Allen is the Director of the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre (Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg, CDS), which provides services for astronomy reference data, in particular data connected to journal publications and also large astronomical sky surveys. He recently served as the Chair of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA, 2017-19), and currently leads a work package in the European funded ESCAPE project for the connection of ESFRI projects to EOSC.


I can help by spreading the word on Open Science and FAIR principles, highlighting the example of the astronomical “Virtual Observatory” framework that builds on domain-specific international standards, and provides access to a sky full of rich data. 

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Isabel Bernal, CSIC

Isabel Bernal

Affiliation: DIGITAL.CSIC, Spanish National Research Council
Country: Spain

Isabel has been manager of DIGITAL.CSIC, the Open Access repository of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 2010. She has a background in Library Science, International Relations, Economics and History. Before joining DIGITAL.CSIC, she worked in EIFL Knowledge Sharing, Negotiations with Publishers and Library Consortium Building Programmes and in the European Commission on ICT applications in libraries, museums, and archives and in academic affairs. Her fields of expertise include Open Science (with a particular focus on repositories, research data management, copyright and other legal issues) as well as access to knowledge in developing and transition countries. She currently participates in EOSC SYNERGY Project.


My work focuses on advancing FAIR data in a multidisciplinary and growingly interdisciplinary environment and issues of interest include greater interoperability between existing standards, training researchers on how to implement good practices, and how to consolidate data related services in research libraries agenda. My work also includes support services as to legal matters such as copyright and management of sensitive data. Available for participation in processes to put forward and enable research libraries agendas and improve engagement with research data communities.

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Antica Culina

Antica Culina

Affiliation: Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Country: Netherlands

She is one of the pioneers in studying and promoting Open Science practices in ecological and evolutionary research. She is in the executive committee of the SPI-Birds network and database, that she has initiated in 2018.


  1. Ecologist in: creating a roadmap to FAIR standards for their particular subfield / data management / locating open data / increasing their visibility to FAIRsFAIR.
  2. E-infrastructure developers, and data mangers in understanding the landscape of complex and diverse ecological data, and the needs and fears of the ecological research community
  3. Funders and publishers, in creating incentives to increase the FAIRness of the data ecologists create and publish.
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Alastair Dunning

Affiliation: Delft University of Technology
Country: Netherlands

Alastair Dunning is the Head of 4TU.ResearchData (, a data repository for all researchers in science, engineering and design). He is also Head of Research Data Services at Delft University of Technology where he initiated the groundbreaking Data Stewardship project aimed at placing data experts in each faculty of the TU Delft Campus university.


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Sandro Fiore

Affiliation: University of Trento
Country: Italy

Sandro Fiore, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Trento. His activity focuses on data science, big data, scientific data management and data mining in distributed, cloud and parallel computing environments. He is author of about 100 scientific papers, editor of the book Grid and Cloud Database Management and co-author of The International Exascale Software Project roadmap. He is ACM and IEEE Member.


Over the last 15 years I’ve done a lot of data-centered research in various data infrastructure projects at national, European and international level, with special regard to the climate change domain. I’m very interested in Open Science & FAIR data principles and how they can contribute to deliver better science. I can support and advice on the adoption of FAIR data principles in the context of scientific data repositories with respect to data policies, data architecture, data publication and sharing, persistent identifiers, data interoperability and provenance.

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Odile Hologne

Affiliation: French Institute for Agricultural Research
Country: France

Odile Hologne is delegate for scientific and technical information at the French Institute for Agricultural Research where she has responsibility for implementing open access and open data policy and services. She is thus involved in many international working groups dealing with open science in the agri-food sector and these include GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition), RDA (Research Data Alliance) and GO FAIR.

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Maria Johnsson

Affiliation: Lund University
Country: Sweden

Maria Johnsson is a Librarian at University Library,  Lund University, Sweden, specializing in services for research data management (RDM). Maria has also a part-time assignment for the European research infrastructure ICOS Carbon Portal. She has been working with research data management since 2014, in different projects and studies focusing on how research libraries can establish services for RDM. Maria has 20 years of experience as librarian/information specialist working with support to researchers in academic institutions as well as researchers in industry.


  • Advice and consultation on publishing and sharing of research data
  • Advice and consultation on training in research data management and FAIR Principles
  • Advice and consultation on the implementation of the FAIR Principles
  • Data citation and Persistent Identifiers – trends and development
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Eetu Mäkelä

Affiliation: University of Helsinki
Country: Finland

Eetu Mäkelä is a professor in Human Sciences – Computing Interaction at the University of Helsinki. At the Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities, he leads a group seeking to develop computational tools to support humanities and social science research.


I can act as a liaison to scholars in the social science and humanities. I’ve done a lot of data-centric research there, so know the particular quirks, needs and problems of data for those fields. I also have a background in Linked Data, so if you ever need the opinion of a disgruntled former snake-oil salesman regarding those technologies, contact me.

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Andreas Rauber

Affiliation: Institute of Information Systems Engineering
Country: Austria

Andreas Rauber is Head of the Information and Software Engineering Group (IFS) at the Department of Information Systems Engineering (ISE) at the Vienna University of Technology (TU-Wien). He furthermore is president of AARIT, the Austrian Association for Research in IT and a Key Researcher at Secure Business Austria (SBA-Research. He received his MSc and PhD in Computer Science from the Vienna University of Technology in 1997 and 2000, respectively.


Susanna-Assunta Sansone

Affiliation: University of Oxford
Country: United Kingdom

Prof. Sansone has worked since 2001 in the areas of data interoperability and reproducibility, research integrity, and the evolution of scholarly publishing, and she collaborates with researchers, service providers, journal publishers, library science experts, funders and learned societies in academic, commercial and government settings alike. One of the authors of the FAIR Principles and an active contributor to several FAIR-enabling maturity indicators and tools. Prof Sansone has been a member of the Dryad and RDA Technical Advisory Boards and currently serves as co-chair of numerous working groups.


Whether you are a researcher, standard/database developer, curator, funder, journal editor, librarian or data manager, Susanna can help you make the most of FAIRsharing, a widely used informative and educational resource on data and metadata standards, repositories and data policies. An author of the FAIR Principles, and principal investigator of over 50 research and infrastructure projects, she can also assist with data FAIRification experiences and expertise.


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Barbara Sierman

Affiliation: Digital Preservation
Country: Netherlands

Digital Preservation Manager of the KB Library in the Netherlands, and 2018 recipient of a Digital Preservation Coalition Fellow Award for her contributions to digital preservation, Barbara is active in the audit and certification areas and co-authored the ISO 16363 standard on Trustworthy repositories. A well-known expert on the OAIS standard, she has participated in European projects such as Planets, SCAPE and APARSEN, acting as project lead in several work packages. She also plays a key role in the Dutch Digital Heritage Network where she develops strategies to promote digital preservation and provides ongoing training. 


To make data FAIR is difficult enough, but to keep them FAIR over the years will require digital preservation professionals who will collaboratively work on solutions. We will need repositories that not only know about the FAIR principles, but also will have implemented the TRUST principles.

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Eefke Smit, STM Association

Eefke Smit

Affiliation: International Association of STM Publishers
Country: Netherlands

Eefke Smit is the Director of Standards and Technology of the International STM Association, an international trade body for publishing organisations. She has more than 20 years of experience in the academic and professional publishing sector, having become involved in digital publishing as an early pioneer. In the first decade of this century, she held personal responsibility for several large internet platforms and search solutions for researchers that continue to define scholarly communications today. Since 2010, then on behalf of STM, she became actively involved in a whole range of research data initiatives. During her career, especially as a science publisher, Eefke has worked closely with several different research communities: Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Life Sciences.

► Listen to the podcast "The role of Publishers in the implementation of FAIR policies and practice for RDM" or read the interview

Listen on Apple podcastsListen on Spotify

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Hannes Thiemann

Affiliation: German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ)
Country: Germany

Hannes Thiemann is Head of the Data Management Department at the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) and Director of the World Data Centre for Climate (WDCC).


Through my experience in many small and large projects I can support you in the implementation of the FAIR principles, particularly in the area of large-volume simulations. Especially the data and metadata quality in this field poses special challenges, which can be met by an intensive cooperation of data producers and data repositories and a holistic view of scientific and technical workflows.

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Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra

Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra

Affiliation: DARIAH ERIC
Country: Germany

Erzsébet works as the Open Science Officer of DARIAH ERIC where she is responsible for fostering and implementing policies and practices related to the open dissemination of research results in the arts and humanities. Her advocacy activities include charing DARIAH's research data management working group, providing workshops, webinars, and other training activities to arts and humanities scholars on a regular basis. She is also involved in European science policy making as well as European infrastructure-building projects such as SSHOC, OPERAS-P and TRIPLE. She received her PhD in Cultural Linguistics and also has a background in scholarly communication.


Erzsébet can give you insights about the special flavours of the open and FAIR research culture as it is taking shape in the diverse disciplines belonging to the arts and humanities domain. She is actively working on translating the global open and FAIR data mandates into the needs of arts and humanities research communities and exploring domain-and discipline-specific paths towards responsible and sustainable research data sharing. She is passionate about improving access to cultural heritage, mitigating the digital divide across scholarly communities, Open Access books, metaphors and metonymies. Read more at:

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Tobias Weigel

Affiliation: German Climate Computing Center
Country: Germany

Dr. Weigel has a background in geoinformatics and computer science and works at the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) in the area of e-infrastructures at European and international level. An advocate of persistent identifiers, machine-interpretable metadata and reusable software components for data management, Dr. Weigel has a strong interest in building innovative solutions across domains, and harnessing computer science concepts to make work with research data more productive and open.


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