Data Science Lab

The Data Science Lab supports rigorous, transparent and reproducible research at VCU through the promotion and development of methods, tools and training programs consistent with best practices in generating robust research findings.


Training is a central focus of the DSL’s activities. Training opportunities in data science methodology at VCU include data science-specific degree and certificate programs, coursework, workshops and custom training plans. Additionally, DSL will partner with VCU’s Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award  program (PI: Joyce Lloyd) to provide Open Science Workshops at two historically Black colleges and universities (Virginia State University and Virginia Union University) to engage undergraduates in research. 


2 ladies looking at a laptopDSL regularly hosts workshops. Introductory level workshops familiarize participants with the rationale for and benefits of investing in reproducible research, as well as popular tools for increasing transparency, efficiency and reproducibility. Advanced workshops build on the techniques and tools taught in DSL courses and introductory workshops. The most popular workshop offered by DSL is the introductory workshop to the Open Science Framework.

Graduate courses

Current course offerings include our yearlong data science series, which is open to all graduate students regardless of concentration or degree program. Additionally, members of the VCU DSL contribute to the university’s Responsible Conduct of Research courses to ensure all trainees understand the importance of reproducibility, replicability and open science.

Group of DSL Graduates

VCU degree and certificate programs

Customized training plans for departments and research groups

2 men looking at the laptopDSL is committed to providing rigor and reproducibility training to all VCU researchers, and we understand that each individual, lab, research group, department and degree program may have unique concerns and needs. We are happy to work with you to provide custom training opportunities that speak to the particular challenges, requirements or concerns you have. For more information about custom training options, please contact us at with the subject line “Custom training inquiry.”

Graduate Ambassador Program

The Data Science Lab Ambassador program seeks to build a network of diverse interdisciplinary researchers committed to open and transparent data science practices. Ambassadors support DSL initiatives through serving as teaching assistants in DSL courses, presenting their work at open science conferences, participating in DSL training events as facilitators or trainers, and engaging the research community in discussion by organizing and presenting at university journal clubs. In turn, DSL provides ambassadors with training and travel support so they can share their research with research communities beyond VCU.

Reproducible research

Project management and grant support

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and VCU Libraries jointly sponsor universal access to the Open Science Framework for all VCU faculty, students and staff. OSF is an amazingly flexible platform that facilitates project management from conception through publication. Specifically, it provides tools to organize data and materials, to provide accurate and adequate documentation, and to communicate efficiently. VCU community members interested in learning more about OSF and how it could positively impact project management should attend a DSL workshop and check out the VCU Libraries OSF guide

For more information about DSL training resources or to discuss DSL support for research or training grants, contact us at

Mailing list

Want to learn more about data science and upcoming events? Subscribe to the Data Science Lab mailing list to receive our quarterly newsletter and announcements of upcoming events.