Nicola Osborne


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I joined Design Informatics in December 2018 as Programme Manager for Creative Informatics, a major new R&D programme funded by the AHRC with support from the SFC and the City Region Deal Data Driven Innovation Initiative. Creative Informatics is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme managed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council as part of the Industrial Strategy. 

Creative Informatics aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together, providing funding and development opportunities that enable creative individuals and organisations to explore how data can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences. Creative Informatics is nurturing local talent through five key funding programmes and regular events that support Edinburgh’s creative industries to do inspiring things with data. See:

I am Co-investigator (PI: Louise Connelly) on the Managing Your Digital Footprint research strand and co-tutor of the Digital Footprint MOOC. This work on digital tracks and traces has been featured in several successful Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I am a member of the Turing Institute Humanities & Data Science Interest Group, the Journal of Open Research Software Editorial Advisory Board and the Association of Internet Researchers. 

I was also a member of Royal Society of Edinburgh's Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation in Scotland Inquiry which published reports in 2014 and 2015. 

Previous Roles

I was previously Digital Education Manager and Service Manager at EDINA (Feb 2015 – Dec 2018) where I  undertook business development and managed innovative digital projects. I led EDINA's work in Digital Education, including mobile projects and collaborative research with University of Edinburgh colleagues on university students' use of social media.

I have shared my expertise in social media through training and consulting for audiences within and beyond higher education. In October 2015 I was named as one of Jisc's 50 most influential higher education (HE) professionals using social media. I was Convener of the elearning@ed forum (June 2015- Feb 2018), a community of practice that spanning staff at all levels working in elearning, blended learning and TEL. I also led the Social Media project within the University's Information Services Change Programme's Communications and Branding change theme until December 2018.

I was part of the research team (led by Sian Bayne, Moray House School of Education) for the PTAS funded A "Live Pulse": Yik Yak for understanding teaching, learning and assessment at Edinburgh. This project came out of the PTAS-funded Managing Your Digital Footprint project, led by Louise Connelly (IAD), with Sian Bayne (Moray House School of Education), Adam Bunni (EUSA) and myself as Co-I's, in which investigated students' digital footprints and use of social media, and their implications for teaching and learning. 

I wrote and and lead the Role of Social Media in Science Communication and Public Engagement module, part of the MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement, based at the School of Biomedical Sciences (College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine) from that programme's first year (2012/13) until a change in my EDINA role (end of 2014/15). I have also been a guest contributor and tutor for MSc in Digital Education's Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning module, based at the School of Education (College of Humanities and Social Sciences). And have contributed guest lectures on pitching and promotion for undergraduate Informatics and Computer Science programmes. 

I was formerly Social Media Officer at EDINA (2009 - 2015) advising colleagues, projects and services across EDINA and beyond on social media and related areas including crowd sourcing. Also active in associated event amplification, public engagement, etc.

I have previously worked on the teams for the AHRC funded Engaging Edinburgh projects, specifically the the University of Edinburgh Internet of Things Research and Innovation service; the award-winning Curious Edinburgh project and mobile app; the Site2Cite (web archiving and persistent referencing) project; the EO4 Cultivar project (funded by the UK Space Agency); the AHRC funded Palimpsest/LitLong project; the EU FP7 funded COBWEB: Citizen Observatory Web project, including oversight of an innovative comic to disseminate the project work; the Digging Into Data project Trading Consequences project; and the Jisc funded AddressingHistory project, alongside many other of EDINA's own services and projects. From Feb 2015-August 2016 I managed Jisc MediaHub, an online multimedia service for the UK Higher and Further education sector. 


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