Expert Liaison Groups - Terms of Reference


Liaison Groups

 Terms of Reference (overview)



The Horizon 2020 EDISON project (1 September 2015 – 31 August 2017) aims to establish the data scientist as a profession. This will be achieved by aligning industry needs with available career paths, and supporting academies in reviewing their curricula with respect to expected profiles, required expertise and professional certification. This will result in a significant increase in the number and quality of data scientists graduating from universities and being trained by other professional education and training institutions in Europe.

All of this will be accomplished through the development of a number of inter-connected activities including a dialogue between professional sectors and academia for the definition of required skills and competences, a widely recognized definition of a Data Science Competence Framework (CF-DS) and related profiles together with a corresponding Data Science Body of Knowledge (DS-BoK) and related Model Curriculum (MC-DS).

To these ends the project will work in close co-operation with industry experts and research practitioners involved and interested in the development of data scientist profession, now a mainstream feature of the European scientific landscape.

This co-operation is shaped in the EDISON Liaison Groups (ELG). The ELGs serve as a networking platform for high-level interaction between the involved stakeholders and the EDISON project.


Purpose of the ELGs

Three ELGs are established, bringing together three interest groups with relevant members:

  • ELG Universities (academic scholars and officers)
  • ELG Employer Sectors (from public and private research organisations and infrastructures, public administrations, and industry)
  • ELG Data Experts (data scientists from a range of scientific and technical domains)

The Liaison Groups serve as a key channel for facilitating structured dialogue between professional sectors, academia and the EDISON project.

These groups will discuss in prospective terms, alignment of education to (scientific, public and private) market needs, and the exploitation potential and business models to implement EDISON results.

The Liaison Groups will comment on and contribute to documents during all stages of their creation. Group members will also act as champions of the formal outputs of the project within their respective organisations and communities.


ELG Members

Position and role of ELG members

Members of the ELGs are recognized experts and practitioners from relevant organisations and communities and they contribute to the discussions in their own right. 

The members should be in a position to promote awareness and acceptance of the project results and to increase its impact through their own networks and connections. As such, they are expected to publicly share the objectives of the EDISON project, to actively contribute to the discussions and to promote the project results for their organization, country and communities.

Prospective members should not underestimate the active contribution that will be required in this role. In return, ELG members will benefit from a unique opportunity to contribute to the establishment of data science as a profession in Europe.

For the ELG Universities, members are professors and leading practitioners from worldwide universities with experience in teaching data science, able to exchange views and discuss the requirements for educational training with respect to background and foreground knowledge and skills, educational methods, tools and practices, examination instruments and objectives, and European cooperation. Members are drawn from different countries across Europe and beyond, and will act as promoters of the adoption of data science training initiatives in the universities of their countries in addition to their own institution.

For the ELG Employer Sectors, members are decision-makers with visionary views on the required competences for the data scientist, its role in the organization, the expected competences and skills required to perform that role, and the evolution of this role in the upcoming decades. Apart from the research sectors (including different research/scientific domains and infrastructure), there is also insight from the public administrations (including government, healthcare and libraries) and the private sector (including accountancy and finance, transport and logistics, telecommunications, and the entertainment industry).

For the ELG Data Experts, members bring in their personal experience as a data scientist from different scientific and industry domains, and may serve as a sampling of data scientist practices.


Nomination and appointment process

The nomination and appointment process has been designed to maximize the potential for the project to reach out to and attract a representative cross section of individuals who will effectively capture the key issues and opportunities that will support the growth of competent Data Scientist workforce across Europe.

The EDISON project will invite appropriate potential members to join an ELG. Group members may nominate others to join the groups and additional experts may be invited to specific meetings to act as a specialist contributor. Members typically join for one year.

In selecting members we will do our best to meet the gender balance threshold of 40% for all groups within the project. We will also seek to identify a gender equality expert to participate in each ELG.


ELG Chairs and Secretariat

The chairperson of each ELG is appointed by the EDISON project for one year and has the role to:

  • moderate and preside over meeting discussions;
  • establish the ELG meeting agenda, after preparation by the project;  
  • oversee the production of  meeting minutes and other documents by the project.

The EDISON project provides the secretarial services for each ELG.



The ELGs meet at least once a year. Meetings are announced and scheduled well in advance by the chairperson, to which extent the project will take care of practical and other preparations. It is in principle planned to have ELG meetings at the same dates and places to allow for joint plenary events.



If needed, ELG members can request the reimbursement of travel and subsistence costs, when attending the ELG meetings.


20 July 2015