The NMDC Champions Program

Enabling researchers to regularly engage with and contribute to the NMDC project.

Do you understand and appreciate the value of well-curated data? Are you willing to advocate for the importance of FAIR microbiome data? Are you passionate about encouraging data sharing and reuse? Do you want to help champion the NMDC mission?

Apply to NMDC Champions program!

With a core priority of developing shared resources together with the microbiome research community, the NMDC team launched the Champions program to enable motivated researchers to regularly engage with and contribute to the NMDC.

→Meet our current Champions

Applications accepted on a rolling basis

What do Champions do?

NMDC Champions are important contributors to the development of the NMDC, and are among the first to provide feedback on core activities, which include:

NMDC Activity Details
Usability testing Usability testing to improve the UI and feature development of the NMDC Data Portal, NMDC EDGE, and NMDC Data Submission Portal (coming soon!)
Engagement activities Consult on, demo, and preview new engagement programs and activities
Workflows Beta-test new NMDC bioinformatic workflows before public release
Training & documentation Provide critical feedback on NMDC training and documentation
Data management Contribute to improving data management plan best practices

Champions are expected to:

  • Spend +10-12 hours per year on NMDC activities
  • Promote and share NMDC content and opportunities via email and social media
  • Share your experiences on data curation, data management, or working with the NMDC – in person, at events, or via the NMDC web platforms
  • Advocate for the importance of FAIR microbiome data and spread the NMDC mission

Benefits of being a NMDC Champion


Build relationships with others who are passionate about FAIR microbiome data

Meet scientific experts from the NMDC Scientific Advisory Board and partner organizations

Join the NMDC in promoting FAIR microbiome data (e.g. congressional briefings, conference panel sessions and talks)


Discuss in-depth updates with NMDC team members in dedicated Champions program meetings

Receive an on-boarding handbook with NMDC resources upon acceptance into the program


Be acknowledged as an NMDC Champion on the NMDC website

Receive recognition for contributions to core NMDC activities

Have your research promoted through the NMDC communication channels

How are the Champions and Ambassadors programs different?

The NMDC launched the 2021 Ambassadors program to provide training and support for early career researchers who are motivated to engage with their respective research communities to lower barriers to adoption of metadata standards. Ambassadors are required to meet additional expectations in order to carry out targeted activities in collaboration with the NMDC. The programs differ in the following ways:

Champions Program Ambassadors Program
A rolling application review process

Remain a Champion while expectations are met

Minimum of 10-12 hours per year dedicated to NMDC activities

No required training sessions

Open to individuals at any career stage or location

Opportunities to contribute are offered on an ad-hoc basis depending on interests of the Champion and needs of the NMDC team

Concrete application deadlines

Cohort based with a 1-year program duration

Minimum of 24-36 hours per year dedicated to NMDC

6 required training sessions

Limited to early career researchers based in the US

Ambassadors spearhead a year-long project with specific NMDC objectives targeting their communities

Learn more about the NMDC Ambassadors program. Still have questions? Contact us.

Thank you for your interest
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