Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Data Stewardship Scholarship overview

img fig dss globe

The annual PAGES stipend/ scholarship is available to assist PAGES working groups to meet the data stewardship guidelines, and to help collate and safely store valuable research data


Data stewardship is a central objective of PAGES. These activities are part of the entire lifecycle of research, from the conception to the archiving of (meta)data, with the goal of providing future data users with high quality and easily accessible data.

Since the beginning of PAGES, data have been valued as a resource that must be managed in order to make them FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable; Wilkinson et al. 2016). Over time, huge amounts of data have been collected from a variety of sources to reconstruct past changes. As a consequence of this, PAGES prioritizes data governance and stewardship  mechanisms that reflect historical contexts and inequities, and encourages that generation of new paleodata is made following the CARE principles for Indigenous Data Governance. Moreover, teams of scientists have built community-sourced databases amassing large numbers of records from different archive types to reconstruct past global changes, including genetic resources. PAGES acknowledges the benefits arising from the utilization of these types of resources, and supports the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol to ensure utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, in agreement with the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity.

PAGES recognizes that such activities are essential, in particular with regards to addressing big questions that cannot be answered by a single research team, but rather only through broader collaboration of scientists, for example, in the form of working groups (WGs). PAGES has always (and continues to) strongly encourage WGs to deposit all data produced within the framework of, or used in, PAGES activities, in a long-term repository in an archive of the World Data System (WDS), such as NOAA-NCEI (World Data Service for Paleoclimatology)Neotoma Paleoecology Database, or PANGAEA.

PAGES has also issued data guidelines and procedures for making data available. Moreover, all PAGES WGs are required to identify a data liaison officer responsible for data stewardship and archiving, to ensure that data and metadata conform to the community standards, and/or the standards of the WGs chosen data repository. Some examples of community standards are paleoclimate (Khider et al. 2019), biodiversity (Global Biodiversity Information Facility); chronological (Dutton et al. 2017), geochemical (Klöcking et al. 2023).

Since 2021, PAGES has allocated financial support to the planning, creation, curation, and updating of databases, and to their transfer to a long-term public repository.

Purpose of funding

The stipend is for a data steward to work on data compilation and curation, with the goal of generating a data product available in a trusted data repository. Publication in a data-oriented journal, or similar, is not the final objective, but it is highly encouraged. Updating existing databases and database maintenance are also eligible for support.

The Data Stewardship Scholarship can be awarded to anyone who is deemed appropriate for the required task. Examples include, but are not limited to:

- Early-career researcher (ECR);
- Technician;
- IT specialist;
- Scientists from less-favored countries.

Support can be requested on an annual basis. Only current PAGES WGs, and those that have recently sunsetted (i.e. within the last two years), can apply for this stipend.

Projects should aim to make the collected data FAIR. Thus, a clear plan for long-term archiving in a trusted repository must be outlined. WDS, as well as some journals (for example Earth System Science Data and Scientific Data) list recommended and trusted repositories.

> Access the application form here

Call for proposals

Proposals must be submitted online and can only be submitted by current PAGES WGs and those that have recently sunsetted (within the last two years).

> Access the application form here

The call for proposals will be announced once per year, and only one proposal per WG will be considered.

WGs must contact their PAGES Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) liaison to discuss plans at least two weeks before submitting the proposal.

The call will have the same deadline as the call for workshop financial support and new working groups in the first part of the year, and will be advertised on the PAGES website, in the PAGES Newsletter, and on social media.

> Access the application form here

Proposal preparation


The proposal should describe the current state of the WG and the data product. Please consider the following questions when preparing the proposal:

- How is the creation/maintenance/curation of a database in line with the objectives of the WG?
- What is the current status of the data? Explain how the status will be improved over the course of the project.
- What are the short-term (during the lifetime of the WG) objectives for the data?
- What is the long-term sustainability plan (after the WG sunsets) for the data?
- What does the WG need to make these data meet FAIR and CARE principles, and how could the PAGES financial support help?
- What will the deliverable be at each of the intermediate stages, and at the end of the project?
- Have you already identified someone to do this work? If so, would this person be interested in learning about training opportunities?     


A maximum annual support amount of US$15,000 can be allocated to each WG. Funding must be proportional to the work described in the proposal.

Expected products

WGs receiving this funding are required to publish the final data product in a trusted data repository and (encouraged) data descriptor in an appropriate journal. If the data product needs to be accessed via some code, it is required that that is also made available in an appropriate repository for that purpose (e.g. GitHub), and PAGES encourages the use of open source software. In addition, the DSS recipients must submit a financial and scientific report one year after the funds has been transferred, which describe the data stewardship activities.

Other support

If needed, PAGES will set up a private file-storage platform for the WGs that may be used as a temporary repository for datasets.

PAGES works with its partners (LiPD, PANGAEA, WDS-Paleo, Neotoma) to offer data stewardship training, such as workshops and tutorials, upon request. This training enables data stewards to not only develop and curate data, but also use other available data, together with emerging new software tools, to address their WG's scientific questions.

Frequently asked questions

1.    Who is responsible for reporting? Who should fill in the dossier?
The awardee who submitted the proposal signs the Terms of Agreement and is responsible for completing the dossier and reporting. The responsibility can be forwarded to a third party (e.g. the data steward). In that case, the third party signs the Terms of Agreement and becomes responsible for completing the dossier and reporting.

2.    When should the various sections of the dossier be completed by?
There are several steps when completing the dossier. These are listed in the DSS dossier. There is no specific time frame for completing step 1 (Terms of Agreement), step 2 (Data Steward/Expenses), or step 3 (Mode of Payment).

The awardee can decide when the procedure starts. Support is available for one year, starting with the date of the decision letter.

An annual financial report is due one month after the project’s first year (the start of the project is defined by the date of the decision letter).

An annual technical report for PAGES Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) is due at the same time as the working group annual reports, usually during the first quarter of the calendar year. The DSS awardees will be required to send an annual technical report regardless of the stage of the project. PAGES international project office (IPO) will send a reminder before the due date.

Example for one year award:
Project start date (decision letter sent): 23 May 2021
Project end date: 23 May 2022
Money claim: 23 May 2021 – 23 May 2022
Annual financial report: 23 June 2022
Annual technical report: approx. 31 March 2022

A project can run over multiple years. However, financial support must be reapplied for every year. For a multi-year project, the Final Financial Report (see step 4 of the dossier) is due one month after the project ends (one year after the last decision letter was sent).

3.    What if there is an award balance by the end of the project?
For a multi-year project, the award balance can be forwarded to the following year. The balance must be returned by the end of the project (one-year or multi-year).