Open Life Science

Sharing - Connecting - Empowering

Bérénice Batut (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A mentoring & training program for Open Science ambassadors

The Open Life Science (OLS) program is for people interested in applying open principles in their work and becoming Open Science ambassadors in their communities.


This is a 16-week long personal mentorship and cohort-based training, where participants (organisers, hosts, mentors and project leads/mentees) of this program will:


Apply via Open Review

Please register on Open Review before July 1, 2022 to allow activation of your Open Review profile as described in the OLS-6 application guidelines and templates.

OLS-6 will run from September 2022 to January 2023. Applications for OLS-7 will open in end 2022. Sign up to our low-traffic news list to hear when next cohort applications open.

Preliminary timeline

Have a question or need any support to join this cohort? We are here to help - feel free to email team[at], chat in real-time on Gitter or connect on Twitter @openlifesci.


Participants join this program with a project that they either are already working on or want to develop during this program individually or in teams. Project ideas can range from solving technical questions to creating an open data project or report, developing an open source software project, writing an open publication, facilitating community/team culture movements, advancing open educational resources or contributing to other existing projects/communities.

Check out the projects developed in the previous cohorts:

All applications are welcome, whether the project is just an idea at this stage or something that is running for years, but, the projects must:

You don’t have a project but want to join the next OLS cohort? Please check our dedicated issue and contact us at

Does OLS only accept life science projects?

Modern science and scientific communities stand in the interface of computation and other research fields. Life science is one of them. This interdisciplinary position provides an exciting opportunity for new scientists to understand and welcome open leadership practices – skills that aren’t necessarily taught in the traditional education system.

OLS fills this gap by offering structured training and mentoring to help participants implement “open by design” principles in their projects systematically.

The founders of this program come from the life science backgrounds and have an extensive network of Open Science practitioners from this field who are experts and mentors in this program. Therefore, OLS was initially designed with life science researchers and projects in mind.

However, with the growing interest from the community members and the transferable nature of lessons learned in this program, we have expanded the scope to other fields where these skills will be directly applicable.

What’s in it for you?

We want to make this program mutually beneficial for all the participants. Here are a few values we think you will receive from participating in this project.

The program itself

To illustrate the OLS journey, we use a persona/story of Joy, a mentee participating in the program, and Sam, their mentor, as they progress through their open science training.

Joy will provide an outline of a project in their application that they will develop in the program. Additionally, they will indicate their interests in learning particular aspects of Open Science and research.

Sam will register as a mentor and list their expertise that they would like to share with their mentee.

After the selection process, they will be involved in the following steps of this program:

  1. Based on their common interests, they will be introduced to each other as suitable mentee and mentor

    They will meet every 2nd week on mentee-mentor calls (around 30 minutes). Sam will help Joy evaluate their understanding of the new topics introduced in the program, and guide their progress by providing constructive feedback. Joy will be given assignments before these calls to help them apply new skills to their project. When needed, Joy and Sam will connect with other experts to invite consultation on their project.

  2. Joy will participate in online training calls and share insights with other participants in the program.

    In these cohorts calls, they will be introduced to new topics and resources, participate in break-out discussions, and listen to expert talks.

  3. Joy will get to know their peers from the cohort during social and co-working calls.

    They will share their project ideas, learn about others’ projects and discuss assignments.

  4. A final graduation call will allow Joy to present their project to other participants and exchange values.

Sam will also participate in mentor training calls and attend topic-based discussions with other mentors aimed at enhancing their mentoring skills.

A self-evaluation survey, mid-cohort survey and post-cohort survey will help Joy and Sam in positioning their knowledge in open science leadership before, during and after the program.

For the next round, Joy may share what they learned by mentoring a new project in the future cohort and Sam will continue their mentoring effort or take an expert role.