Pioneering the future: First elections of EOSC CZ working group leaders mark a milestone in Czech scientific advancement

Members of the working groups within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative in the Czech Republic are gearing up for a historic moment – they will, for the first time, elect their representatives. In March 2024, they will have the opportunity to choose a person who will represent the group and, together with the secretary, lead regular meetings. The leaders will be elected through a secret vote from voluntary candidates. Let’s read more about the voting process and its impact on the Czech scientific community.

22 Jan 2024 Marie Hošťálková

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The heads of the working groups play a crucial role in managing and coordinating the activities of the groups within the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic. Nowadays, twelve working groups are focused on various areas such as health, material sciences, artificial intelligence for data management, and more. These groups closely collaborate to reach a consensus and establish rules for implementing the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic. These rules will also apply to the National Repository Platform (NRP) project, aiming to create a unified platform supporting the sharing, management, and access to research data.

As key players in the initiative, the heads of the working groups influence the success of EOSC goals and tasks in the Czech Republic. Within their roles, they ensure that the work of working groups aligns with the goals and principles of EOSC and that standards for sharing research data are created and followed. During their two-year term, covering their functional roles, they are tasked with several activities, including convening and chairing group meetings, proposing agenda, and moderating discussions on data issues based on the specific focus of the working group.

As emphasized Jaroslav Juráček, working as the secretary of the Bio/Health/Food group: “Leading working groups presents a unique challenge involving collaboration with a diverse group of individuals with different focuses and needs but a common goal to advance Czech science. This task is not easy, and that’s why we, the secretaries of the working groups, actively strive to assist.

The first electronic elections for the heads of working groups will take place in March 2024. Electronic voting will enable widespread participation without restricting geographical locations of EOSC-CZ members. Each member can vote and submit their candidacy for the leadership position. The fairness of the elections is guaranteed by an election commission consisting of the group secretary and two members of the same group. This commission will prepare the election schedule and publish the rules. After announcing the election, the collection of nominations will follow, and after its closure, the actual voting will happen. The election of the head of the working group is secret and requires the active participation of at least 30% of registered members of the groups. The election winner must receive at least 25% of valid votes.

According to Michal Podhoranyi, the secretary of the Data Management for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning working group, this is a historic moment: “Online elections present a significant challenge. Security concerns are a frequently discussed topic, as the digital environment is prone to cyber-attacks that could compromise the integrity of the electoral process. That's why we selected election software carefully that uses encryption and secure identity authentication to protect voters' personal information and ensure a seamless process. The trust of all election participants in our voting system is crucial to us.

The election of the EOSC-CZ working group leaders is significant for the scientific community. The election system ensures that the groups within the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic will continue to be led by competent and motivated scientists with a vision and capabilities to achieve set goals. The heads of the working groups also play a crucial role in the international context, representing the Czech scientific community and actively contributing to shaping European standards and procedures in research data management. The election results will thus influence not only the future direction of individual working groups but also the overall reputation and position of the Czech Republic within the international scientific community.

We will provide ongoing updates on the election preparation process and individual steps on our website.

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