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Belmont Forum e-Infrastructures and Data Management Collaborative Research Action

The Belmont Forum is comprised of 25 of the world’s major funding agencies and international science councils. Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum serves as a round table for these agencies to collectively address the challenges and opportunities associated with global change. Goals are guided by the Belmont Challenge, which aims “To deliver knowledge needed for action to avoid and adapt to detrimental environmental change including extreme hazardous events.”

To meet the goals of the Belmont Challenge, the Belmont Forum coordinates funding for Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs), transdisciplinary research activities to improve the way funding agencies collaborate with each other and develop opportunities for research. For detailed information about the Belmont Forum, the Belmont Challenge and CRAs, visit

e-Infrastructures and Data Management CRA

In 2013, the Belmont Forum initiated the  e-Infrastructures and Data Management CRA, which brought together domain scientists, computer and information scientists, legal scholars, social scientists, and other experts from more than fourteen countries to establish recommendations on how the Belmont Forum can implement a more coordinated, holistic and sustainable approach to the funding and support of global change research.

The e-Infrastructures and Data Management Scoping Phase (October 2013 – April 2015) produced a Community Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) that outlines actions necessary to achieve convergence on paths toward open access to research data.

The Belmont Forum Secretariat fulfilled the CSIP's first recommendation by adopting a Data Policy and Principles in October, 2015.


Actions during the Implementation Phase (2016-2018) will align and leverage existing breakthroughs in data sharing in order to facilitate Belmont Forum researchers and stakeholders access to and reuse of data generated by Belmont Forum projects. Recommendations from this project will influence how the Belmont Forum operates by promoting more coordinated and sustainable policies, procedures and funding mechanisms to support global e-infrastructure for global change research.

Areas of development are defined by four Action Themes: 

1. Coordination: A virtual Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination Office (known as the C3O, or Coordination Office) fosters ongoing communication and collaboration among the e-I&DM Action Themes and the public, and identifies opportunities for coordination among existing e-infrastructure initiatives. 

2. Data Planning: The Data Planning Theme helps promote active and effective data management and stewardship in all Belmont Forum funded research throughout the research life cycle, and works to enable harmonization of e-infrastructures through enhanced project data planning, monitoring, review and sharing. The Data and Digital Outputs Management Plan Annex asks questions to help researchers think about how to prepare and manage their project outputs to conform to the Belmont Forum Open Data Policy and Principles.  

3. e-Infrastructures: e-Infrastructures development is tasked with identifying the most critical barriers to data sharing and developing best practices using case-based evidence in order to facilitate adherence to the Belmont Forum open Data Policy and Principles. The Science-Driven e-Infrastructure Development (SEI) CRA was released by Belmont Forum on 16 April, 2018. 

4. Capacity Building:  The Capacity Building Theme aims to develop a workforce that can combine a well-developed understanding of environmental, social and health science with skills in data science, data-handling and computational methods and technologies through coordinated training. The Data Skills Curricula Framework Full Report describes a capacity building plan that would equip Belmont Forum researchers with skills to successfully undertake data-enabled science projects. These course subjects are also listed in the Data Skills Curricula Framework Outline.   

These actions work concurrently to strive towards coordinated data management and sharing practices among Belmont Forum researchers, agencies, and users of Belmont Forum outputs.