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Eastern Kentucky University

Noel Studio for Academic Creativity

Noel Studio 9 Data Initiatives

Data Initiatives

Do you have a research project that you do not know how to tackle? Do you have research questions but are unsure how to answer them? We are here to help!The Data Initiatives Team is an educational and service unit hosted by the Noel Studio. The goal is to train undergraduate and graduate students in data science while providing services to the university. EKU researchers receive support from a team of graduate and undergraduate students under the supervision of faculty members. Researchers can participate in two different Data Initiatives Programs:

  • Consultations: 30-minutes meetings (unlimited requests per semester).
  • Projects: Semester long projects (limited to 5 researchers per semester).

To receive support with your data from the Data Initiatives consultants please complete the Data Initiatives Consultation Request form. Once we receive your request, the Data Initiatives Coordinator will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Chance Taylor

Data Initiatives Junior Coordinator

Anna Basinger

Data Initiatives Coordinator

Data Initiatives Team

Through Data Initiatives students gain valuable experience, develop their technical skills, and improve their chances of accessing high quality jobs in an increasingly data-driven world.

Consultant Expectations

Data Initiatives consultants work on research and analyses projects under the mentorship of the Data Initiatives Coordinator and a diverse group of faculty members. Students work in a tier system in which junior consultants (first semester students) are mentored by senior consultants (third semester students). Furthermore, consultants are assigned to projects in teams so they always have a person to brainstorm with. The expectations for the consultants include:

  • Meet once per week with the Data Initiatives team
  • Participate in the monthly meetings of the R User Group
  • Participate in training and professional development
  • Meet with researchers requesting Data Initiatives consultations
  • Work side-by-side with mentors to complete projects with real data
  • Clean, review, visualize, analyze, and report data using R/RStudio
  • Create surveys and collect data using Qualtrics
  • Complete tasks assigned by the data initiatives coordinator/faculty mentor
  • Work with the team to produce a “deliverable” for each project

Program Details

Consultants will be trained on best practices regarding data collection, data visualization, and statistical analyses. The goals of Data Initiatives are:

  • To expose students to real datasets to improve their research/analytical skills.
  • To facilitate the collection, maintenance, and access to data.
  • To provide broad institutional support for conducting research.
  • To create an infrastructure for research support in a sustained manner.

Become a Data Initiatives Consultant

Please email Dr. Russell Carpenter, Assistant Provost, if you are interested in applying for Data Initiatives positions in the future:

Data Initiatives Programs

If you are a researcher at EKU looking for support on a research project, you have found the right place! Depending on your needs and the state of your project you can consider different alternatives.

About Data Initiatives

Data Initiatives provides a valuable service to the EKU community, as data consultants are students specifically trained to support students, faculty, and staff on research and analysis projects. The team is interdisciplinary and follows best practices in data science.

Services Offered


  • Who: Everyone on campus can request a 30-minutes consultation: undergraduate students, Honor’s students, McNair students, Senior Thesis students, Master Thesis students, Doctoral students, faculty members, staff, and administrators
  • When: Consultations can be requested at any point during the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Process: Researchers seeking help with their data will meet for 30-minutes with the consultants. During the meeting, the consultants will help brainstorm the best way to approach the data. The researcher is fully responsible for implementing all suggestions and completing all tasks to finish their project.
  • Time: Each consultation will take 30 minutes. You can request as many consultations as necessary until you complete your research project.
  • Availability: Data Initiatives is committed to ensure all researchers working with data receive the necessary support during the Fall/Spring semesters. Data Initiatives is not available during Winter/Summer sessions.

Process for consultations


  • Who: Only faculty, staff, and administrators can request a project. Students cannot request a project because students are expected to learn how to complete their own projects and perform their own analyses (see Consultations above).
  • When: Requests for projects need to be submitted in August for the Fall semester and in January for the Spring semester.
  • Process: Upon submitting the request, the Data Initiatives Coordinator will contact the researcher.
    • Data – The researcher needs to make the data available in advance (before the introduction meeting can be scheduled). The coordinator will create a folder in google drive for the researcher to upload their data.
    • Intro Meeting – Data Initiatives will meet with the researcher to determine the three research questions (predictions) that the data can answer. The Data Initiatives team meets on Thursdays from 9:30 to 10 am (other times are available upon request).
    • Report Meeting – In the second half of the semester the “Report” meeting will take place. In this meeting the researcher will be provided with the clean data, visualizations, and analyses for their project.
  • Time: Each project will take approximately one month. The introduction meeting will take place in the first half of the semester, while the report meeting will take place in the second half of the semester.
  • Availability: Data Initiatives can accommodate up to five projects every semester (Fall, Spring) for a total of 10 projects annually. To be considered for a specific term, faculty should submit their request (see form) at the beginning of each semester (August for Fall, January for Spring). Data Initiatives is not available during Winter/Summer sessions.
  • Priority: Faculty members who have completed the PLCs “From Idea to Data” and/or “From Data to Publication” will receive priority treatment. Administrators working on projects likely to have the biggest positive impact on the EKU community will receive priority treatment.

Process for projects

The Noel Studio for Academic Creativity

521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-7330

Connect with Noel Studio @ EKU