Data analysis & stewardship

The role of data analysis and data stewardship in life science fields will only increase, so you need to be ready! These courses offer you the chance to become industry-reading by providing hands-on lessons in four major pillars of data analysis and data stewardship: FAIR data stewardship, statistics, omics data analysis, and machine learning.

The industry in Life Sciences is and will increasingly become a crucial piece of the economy for both Flanders and the Netherlands. Well trained individuals in the region are indispensable for the workforce, so the types of training available must be tailored to the needs of the surrounding companies. The volume of information and data will only increase as more developments are made in life sciences, a clear indication of the importance of data analysis and stewardship for companies. The Helis Academy has chosen data analysis and stewardship as one of their targets for training and broken it down to four specific topics: omics data analysis, statistics, FAIR data stewardship, and machine learning.

Data analysis and stewardship training topics

Omics data analysis facilitates understanding of processes in both healthy and diseased states in the human body. Through omics data analysis, targets for disease treatment can be found, making it a valuable tool for companies in life sciences. Companies also benefit from the knowledge of good statistical practices. Understanding of statistical methods and the proper presentation of data is critical for companies that will invest money in developing the outcomes from scientific studies. Further, FAIR data stewardship is necessary to ensure the (re)usability of data. Proper data curation, data preservation, and information on data provenance reduces costs of added experiments and allows the use of data for subsequent studies that may not have been considered at the time the data was collected. Machine learning is a valuable tool for spotting patterns in large data sets that would take humans years to sort through, making it a valuable tool when understanding the sheer volume of data available in life science fields.

Helis Academy Data Analytics & Stewardship courses fill the gap

The courses offered by the Helis Academy will be continuously adapted based on feedback from course participants and industry representatives. Each time a course is completed, it will be critically assessed to determine where improvement is possible. To ensure industry relevance, a questionnaire has been sent to companies to inquire about their specific training needs. In addition, we are actively reaching out to companies for interviews about their challenges and training needs and for an inventory of possible company trainers. Feedback will be continuously incorporated in subsequent versions of the data analysis and stewardship courses to be sure we continue to address the evolving needs of companies in the Flanders and south Netherlands area.

Upcoming Courses

On the 3rd of March 2020, Helis Academy will organize a course on Statistical Thinking in Ghent. The course mission is to improve researcher's statistical understanding by elaborately discussing misconceptions in common statistical tools, and replacing them by more intelligent and flexible use of statistics. At the end of the course the participant will see statistics as an intrinsic part of their research  that allows for objective decision making. More information and registration is available here.

Well-designed experiments are key to successful research. On 23rd and 24th of March 2020, Helis Academy will introduce you to the underlying principles and concepts of experimental design. Besides a theoretical approach on the basic concepts of experimental design, hands-on sessions using R will lead to ready-to-use knowledge for the start of a research project. More information and course registration is available here.

Multi-omics or integrative omics analysis tools combine multiple "-omes" data sets to analyze complex biological data and retrieve novel associations. On 15th of June 2020, a training will be provided on Multi-Omics Factor Analysis (MOFA), a tool that analyzes your omic data sets in an unsupervised fashion. It will identify and explore the major drivers of variations and use the inferred factors in various downstream analysis. More information and course registration can be found here.

Past courses

The first Helis FAIR data stewardship course was offered from 27-29 May, 2019, in the Darwin Incubator in Niel, Belgium. This course guided attendees through the data life cycle while providing in depth knowledge about the FAIR principles and FAIR data stewardship. More information is available here.

The Helis Academy also offered a course on Omics data analysis through data integration using biological pathways, networks, and linear models from 11-14 June, 2019 at the Darwin Incubator in Niel, Belgium. Attendees left the course with knowledge about transcriptomics data analysis and multi-omics data integration. More information can be found here.

From 4-6th November, 2019, we gave another round of the Helis Academy - FAIR Data Stewardship course in Utrecht. The course introduced the trainees to important concepts of data stewardship. We started with a general introduction covering the data life cycle, the FAIR principles and a definition of data stewardship and data stewards. We passed the stages of the data life cycle in more detail in the training modules of this 3 day course. You can find more information here.

Border information point

If you cross the border to live, work, study or do business in Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands, you will have to deal with rules and obligations in that country. But it is not always clear what this means for you personally. What should you arrange, what are the consequences of emigration or cross-border work? Border information point provides answers to these and other questions.


DTL, Maastricht University, TU Eindhoven & VIB


Ministerie van Economische zaken, Provincie Antwerpen, Provincie Limburg & Provincie Noord-Brabant