The NMDC Champions Program

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

Do you appreciate the value of well-curated data? Would you like to tell others about the NMDC? Are you excited about data sharing and reuse? Are you interested in advocating for the importance of FAIR microbiome data?

Apply to the NMDC Champions program!

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

Applications are accepted year-round! Apply now. 


I am honored to be an NMDC Champion and to advocate for open science as I strongly believe in the NMDC mission and hope to contribute to it through the development and dissemination of research practices and tools that help standardize data, increase data reusability, and make data more accessible to all.
As an NMDC Champion, I will seek to connect and engage with microbiome researchers to tackle local and regional infrastructure challenges. I believe it is time for the microbiome community to push for an adaptable system that supports metadata curation, shared ownership of data, and seamless cross-study partnerships. I also hope to further give the FAIR Microbiome IN an international presence, allowing us to meet the NMDC objective of becoming a community-driven, integrative data science ecosystem.
I became a NMDC Champion to promote applied, practical applications of environmental microbial ecology. We need to develop a reliable framework for data standards, which is an an important and timely task.
I hope as an NMDC Champion I can apply my knowledge of data rescue, scientific gateways, and data integration efforts to support the ongoing work of NMDC and advocate for FAIR microbiome data.
I believe microbiome data helps us better understand our world and our health. Making this data more accessible and adherent to FAIR data practices would provide opportunities for meaningful analyses that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
I am looking forward to learning how to improve my communication about data and metadata with my colleagues.
I joined the NMDC Champions to promote good data stewardship practices that allow microbiome data and metadata to be readily discovered and reused.
I am very excited to contribute to NMDC’s mission of promoting FAIR microbiome data access and sharing. I look forward to sharing my expertise with fellow NMDC Champions and learning from their insights through this platform.
As a Ph.D. student in Systems Medicine (Computational Biology), I have joined NMDC with a dedicated commitment to advancing open science through the advocacy for standardized metadata practices. Bringing expertise in bioinformatics, specifically in multi-omic gut microbiome analysis, my focus aligns seamlessly with NMDC's mission. I am devoted to contributing to the establishment of robust metadata standards, specifically tailored for applications in machine learning to advance our understanding of the gut microbiome
I became an NMDC champion because of the great need to develop systems that bring together data from multiple microbiome data repositories. The development of these systems is a truly exciting opportunity to advance an emerging branch of science.
Beautifully harmonized metadata is like a love letter to the future. NMDC is the global community and service making sure these letters get delivered!
I am most looking forward to sharing my excitement about the potential of metadata standards and engaging the larger research community to amass the same excitement.
What drives me ultimately to advocate for FAIR microbiome data is accessibility. This means not only finding data files but importantly, the context in which the data derives from. Knowledge sharing and communication is the best way forward. I believe that a greater understanding of Earth’s microbiomes will inspire new tools and approaches for future challenges.
I would like to contribute towards improved data transparency and accessibility within the scientific community. With the growing amount of microbiome sequencing data, it has become ever so important to make datasets easily accessible to drive reproducible research, enhance collaboration, and support innovation of new bioinformatic tools or analyses pipelines.
I would like to be an advocate to the community for reproducible workflows, open code and do more than just lead by example, but work to educate others on these topics.
As an NMDC Champion, I aim to connect, collaborate, and contribute to the microbiome research community, promoting shared resource development and advocating for data sharing and reuse.
I am looking forward to collaborating with a group of people who share my passion for making data accessible.
I'm happy to join NMDC because it will enable faster and accurate development of new predictive methods for advanced microbiome analysis.
I'm excited to be an NMDC Champion because it gives me a platform to promote sound data management and analysis practices in the microbiome sciences. When researchers are able to easily reuse publicly-available microbiome data, it opens the door for new analyses and insights that the original authors never dreamed of!
I'm excited to be a Champion to both learn and teach about making data in microbiome sciences as useful and reusable as possible.
Making microbiome metadata FAIR is essential for future pooled or meta-analyses to understand the impact of the microbiome on human health and disease. I’m excited to contribute to this effort as an NMDC Champion
As an NMDC Champion focusing on the marine microbiome, my objective is to harness the principles of open science to facilitate research, indeed this approach not only promotes scientific innovation but also advances our understanding of marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. By fostering an environment of collaborative and transparent research, we can accelerate discoveries that are critical for marine conservation and management.
I’ve realized that besides using your datasets to answer your own scientific questions, they can also be useful for other researchers. Reuse of data would not only save time and funding resource, but may also represent a timepoint that they may no longer be recovered. With microbiomes evolving at such a high complexity, sharing data and metadata are critical for research.
I became an NMDC champion because I believe that good science should be not only reproducible, but reusable, and promoting data standards allows important insights to emerge from old data sets.
I am excited to be an NMDC Champion to keep engaging with the microbiome research community!
I am excited to contribute to the promotion of standards and practices that ensure high quality data are freely accessible to all.
Data reuse enables science to move forward by seeing what we weren’t looking for the first time. Making our data accessible through metadata repositories like the NMDC allows us to expedite our data reuse applications as well as make sure we are providing enough metadata for others to build knowledge.
I’m looking forward to networking with other people who are working at the interface of microbiology and data analytics, and helping elevate the visibility of metaproteomics in the omics informatics space.
I strongly advocate for FAIR microbiome data in my field and have strove to incorporate detailed metadata in all of my studies. As a researcher who uses multi-omics to study diverse environments, I appreciate when others’ data is FAIR, so that I may draw parallels between our work. Simply put, advocating for, and implementing FAIR data is just the right thing to do.
“I am excited about the potential for microbiome research to improve human health, and I believe we need to improve rigor and reproducibility to achieve that potential.”
Standardizing data and metadata is increasingly critical to microbiome research. Such an undertaking requires a collaborative team effort, and I am eager to contribute to this important work.
I became an NMDC champion because I want to work together toward a culture of open and multi-disciplinary science--enabling global search and integration of microbiomes with associated environmental data now and in the future.
As an NMDC Champion, I am excited to promote resources and design standards that ensure easy access to data and associated metadata for the microbiome research community. These resources and standards serve to decrease the barrier of entry for researchers across the world, allowing for efficient reuse of data for new scientific endeavors.
I became an NMDC Champion because I am interested in collaborating to develop new technologies for managing data. I am particularly interested in solving long-standing challenges in making data truly interoperable and reusable.
I really enjoyed working with the NMDC as an Ambassador, and I’m very excited to continue that journey as a Champion! Here’s towards a future of microbiology where nobody gets left behind.
I became an NMDC Champion because I am excited to be part of this collaborative community developing efforts to increase awareness, access and engagement in the microbiome research community.
I became an NMDC champion to promote consistent metadata, data acquisition standards, and data analysis workflows from the metagenome community to other meta*omics studies, researchers, and communities.
Science relies on our ability to replicate data. Transparency in data science requires access to the same datasets. Meta analysis requires access to consistent datasets. I'd like to help shape the future of microbiome metadata and find a way to make data more accessible.
Research using microbiome data continually transforms our understanding of life on Earth. Building an accessible, transparent, and robust data science ecosystem will enable more collaborative, reproducible, and impactful science.
I’m excited to be part of NMDC and promote metadata standards because making data FAIR will ensure equal access for everyone to make new discoveries.
I became an NMDC Champion because I believe in Open Science and FAIR Guiding Principles. These standards will improve the use of public data and metadata to generate new studies and knowledge.
By making our data and analyses accessible, understandable, and shareable, we can work together to unravel the complexities within microbial communities across the globe. The fact that this is not the most important aspect in microbial ecology, in science in general, is a disservice to all of us. I am passionate about making data analysis understandable for all researchers, and being an NMDC Champion would allow me to turn this passion into action.
I’m looking forward to learning how to empower others to increase the usability and accessibility of microbiome data.
I am excited to be an NMDC Champion because our community has a special opportunity to make our data more reusable -- empowering scientists, citizens, and governments to use this data for research, medicine, conservation, and restoration.
I became a NMDC Champion to promote the FAIR microbiome data initiative which allows for more collaboration and increased reusability of data to answer outstanding scientific questions.
I'm excited about engaging with the research community to improve metadata standards!
I am excited to contribute to and learn about the advancement of data transparency and accessibility in microbiome research
I want to learn from and collaborate with the NMDC community to make microbiome data FAIR. Making currently generated microbiome data FAIR will allow us in the future to ask and answer research questions without wasting more resources to generate similar data.
My experience with non-model organisms showed me the need for solid data stewardship and sticking to FAIR principles. As an NMDC Champion, I want to help shape standardized data practices to boost the quality and reach of microbiome data

FAIR microbiome data is necessary to support collaborations and future research analyses. It is important to assess the data quality and connect the metadata, including sample processing and data creation/analyses steps. I became a NMDC champion to help test workflows and make microbiome data FAIR.

I'm excited to help make data open, accessible, and reusable to leverage our knowledge of marine ecosystems for research and conservation! 
I joined the NMDC Champions program to help streamline and ease the process of accessing microbial data and utilizing software tools. This will help push the field forward, and as scientists, we share the responsibility to make information available. I am excited to join this group and contribute to the cause
I am excited to be an NMDC Champion to continue to learn and promote best practices in microbiome data analysis and stewardship. I am also very excited to be a part of the NMDC mission to make microbiome data more accessible and usable for all researchers.
I’m very excited to be an Ambassador for the NMDC since I’m a big proponent of integrating data from around the world to bring science and scientists together.
I became an NMDC Champion in order to help build a community of scientists and institutions dedicated to enabling open access to molecular data that can be used to generate insights into human health and disease.
I am grateful to be an NMDC Champion because I get to continue learning (and teaching others) about how to make microbiome data reusable and standardized across systems. I believe FAIR microbiome data is pivotal for advancing collaborations, reproducibility, and our understanding of the microbial world. I am excited to work with a community of researchers that share similar values.
I want to be a part of the process for defining FAIR standards and integrations, as this data is important and expensive to acquire and therefore should be responsibly managed. The need for standards and methods for integration is essential.
I became an NMDC Champion because I believe that access to usable public data and metadata is a right and not a privilege.
Open science and FAIR data is the future. As an early career scientist, I want to be part of a collaborative, diverse and empowered microbiome research community. I became an NMDC champion to help foster and promote this culture in microbiome science.
I am proud to be a National Microbiome Data Collaborative Champion who believes in the importance of cooperation and quality control metadata. Passionate about plants and microbiota; pleased to be able to contribute to and share FAIR data management methodologies through my research and science communication.
After having had the chance to be a member of the NMDC Ambassador cohort in 2023, I joined the Champions because I share NMDC's commitment to making science more OPEN and FAIR, leveraging our knowledge of microbiomes to generate new studies and knowledge.
I became an NMDC Champion because as microbiome science shifts from data generation to interpretation, FAIR data is critical to enable integration of global datasets.
I want to become an NMDC champion to contribute towards the generation of a centralized and an easily accessible repository for metagenomic and multi-omics datasets that would open new avenues of exploratory biological research.
I want to improve the scientific findings, reproducibility, and collaborative efforts among peers. I also want to help create community and to learn.
I see from my own work the importance of benchmarking diverse approaches and making sure data obtained from different studies are standardized for comparison. I want to work with scientists of the same interests to help promote the production and documentation of high quality data.

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 the NMDC Submission Portal 
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
Please be sure to check your inbox for the latest news, updates, and information.