The German Data Forum (RatSWD) began its 7th appointment period (2020–2023) with its constituent meeting on 16/17.07.2020. The now 20 members were appointed by the responsible department head in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Ulrich Schüller. During the constituent meeting, Dr. Maike Koops from the BMBF highlighted the broad list of achievements by the German Data Forum (RatSWD): the spectrum of the disciplines and research methods represented in it could be expanded considerably for the 7th appointment period, thereby further integrating domain expertise. In this way, it strengthens its role as a central and competent stakeholder in politics and science, as well as in the further development of research data infrastructure.
The German Data Forum (RatSWD) elected Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans (Scientific Director of the German Centre for University and Science Research (DZHW) and Professor for Empirical Higher Education Research and Science Studies at the Leibniz University Hannover) as its chairperson, and Prof. Dr. Kerstin Schneider (Chair of Public Finance and Taxation at the Bergische University Wuppertal, and chairperson of the WIB – Wuppertal Research Institute for the Economics of Education) as its deputy chairperson. Monika Jungbauer-Gans represents the DZHW as the data production facility in the new appointment period.
In order to facilitate a smooth transition, the members of the 6th appointment period also took part in the virtual meeting. The members thanked Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D. (Professor of Empirical Economics at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) for her tireless commitment. As chair of the 5th and 6th appointment periods, she successfully advanced the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and its goals, as well as created new, far reaching perspectives for the board. Because she was an elected member of the German Data Forum (RatSWD), she could not stand for a third appointment period, according to the election regulations. During those years, she was able to rely on the continued support of her deputies, Prof. Stefan Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank) and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp (SOEP at DIW Berlin and FU Berlin). The members of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) thank them as well.
With Prof. Dr. York Sure-Vetter, director of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the German Data Forum (RatSWD) discussed future steps to further develop the NFDI and the funded consortia. A large number of the overarching issues were found to be highly relevant to both the consortia and the directorate. However, in order to address these issues together and find synergetic solutions, suitable solutions still must be found. One of the consortia, KonsortSWD, has been initiated by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) together with numerous partners and is tied directly into the work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD), as well as its accredited research data centres (FDZ).
As of November 2020, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) will itself be part of the Consortium for Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD). The German Data Forum (RatSWD) will still continue to pursue its permanent, independent tasks and goals, with sovereign content, within KonsortSWD. Additionally, it is involved in the quality assurance and strategic development of KonsortSWD, and also forms an advisory board for the consortium.
As part of its constituent meeting, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) begins its work planning for the 7th appointment period. In addition to its permanent tasks, such as advising politics and science, it will again focus on the current key needs of empirical social, behavioural, and economic research. While the permanent tasks are continuously pursued, the committee works on the focus topics for its next strategic agenda. This will be published by the end of 2020.