Digital Research Skills Australasia (DReSA)

The need for a national training calendar was recognised at both the 2019 and 2020 (virtual) ARDC Skills Summits as one of the top priorities to support digital research workforce development in Australia. This led to the formation of the National Training Registry and Calendar working group, with Dr Anastasios Papaioannou, Intersect’s eResearch Training Manager & Lead Research Data Scientist, representing Intersect Australia. 

The working group completed a scan of existing training portals, with Dr Melissa Burke from the Australian BioCommons pointing the working group to ELIXIR’s (Europe’s distributed infrastructure for life-science data) TeSS portal, and connecting the group with the TeSS developer, Chris Childs. Talks with TeSS were proved very helpful, however software engineering skills would be essential to develop a portal built on the existing TeSS architecture and code base, yet appropriately modified and configured to meet the specific needs of the Australian research training community identified by the working groups.

A significant investment, initially from Pawsey, and then from ARDC, allowed the group to source the services of a highly qualified software engineer, Nick May. Nick May led the development of the portal and in conjunction with the great effort, in-kind contribution, and insights of the working group (very ably led by Ann Backhaus from Pawsey), the original expectations for creating a simple registry were exceeded. Intersect Australia, as one of DReSA’s product owners – along with ARDC, Pawsey, Australian BioCommons, and QCIF – has been actively participating in and contributing to the development of this portal by providing in-kind contribution to various aspects including the metadata for events, materials, trainers, and more. 

DReSA, Digital Research Skills Australasia, is now live and serves as a portal for discovering training events, materials, providers, and trainers in the Australiasian region. It provides a central place for providers and trainers to share their training events and materials, contribute to a growing training catalogue, and help to make training materials FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Intersect Australia, as one of the leading providers of digital research skills training in the Australasian region, is one of the first providers supporting and utilising this portal to share and promote hundreds of training events to the wider research community.  

For more information about DReSA, please visit: