PhD student Rehma Chandaria has won a prestigious writing competition while working with FRAME.  The competition was run by leading scientific research publishing group Nature. Students and early career academics were asked to write a 600 word article on one of six questions about data sharing. The five winners will have their articles published by Nature and be given the opportunity to work with the group’s editors to cover their upcoming conference ‘Publishing Better Science Though Better Data 2015’.

Rehma, who is currently on a three month work placement at FRAME, is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham studying tissue engineering. On winning the award, Rehma said: “I’m really pleased to have won and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work with Nature. I hope it will give me an idea of what it is like to work in that kind of environment.”

Her article on the topic How is the rise of data-intensive research changing what it means to be a scientist? was inspired while writing an article for FRAME’s online discussion forum PiLAS about the Human Genome Project and the genomic revolution.  Published by Nature in 2001 after 13 years of research, the Human Genome Project involved labs all over the world working toward the same goal: to map, sequence, and identify all the genes that code for human life. Unusual for scientists at the time, the researchers involved published their DNA data before waiting for the entire project to be completed. This allowed scientists not involved with the project to access a monumental data source, and to make important discoveries about human disease sooner.

Rehma’s winning article discusses how modern technology is producing more data than a single scientist can analyse. She reasons that ‘big data’ has led to researchers from different disciplines having to work together, so biological researchers work with mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists to get the most out of their work. Today, most research is carried out in multi-disciplinary institutions with research showing that sharing knowledge is critical for progress.