The SURF Research Support Champions 2022 are Sarah Coombs (Saxion University of Applied Sciences), Serkan Girgin (University of Twente) and Michèle Huijberts (Leiden University Medical Centre). The winners were announced during SURF Research Week, the annual event where research and IT meet.
“In fact, all the research supporters nominated by their colleagues this year are winners,” stresses jury president Ron Augustus. “When reading the nomination forms submitted, it is clear that they all have an enormous added value. It is great to see that the people who nominated these research supporters value them so highly.”
The diversity of the candidates also struck the jury. This also illustrates how diverse the field is. What it takes to provide research support is reflected in the varied list of candidates. The jury members who work in research found it nice to see that so many people are so involved in the research they support.
Winner in the category Universities of Applied Sciences is Sarah Coombs, adviser Research Support at Saxion. The jury elaborated:
“She has put research support on the map, both within Saxion and nationally.”
Sarah’s strength is that she understands the work of the researcher. She not only supports researchers at her own institution, but is also very active nationally and internationally. She is a true expert and has played an important role in the professionalisation of data stewardship. Among other things, Sarah has ensured that 20 universities of applied sciences have joined forces in a Digital Competence Center (DCC) to work together on research support at a national level.”
Sarah herself responded: “It is always nice to be recognised by your peers (…) But I want to recongnise that I do it with at team. Institutional, national and international teams are working hard to ensure researchers receive the support they require. I am happy to be a part of it.”
Saxion’s Executive Board member Timo Kos calls the recognition of Sarah’s work “well deserved”