Open Life Science

Sharing - Connecting - Empowering

Bérénice Batut (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A mentoring & training program for Open Science ambassadors in Life Science

The Open Life Science program helps early stage researchers and potential academic leaders in becoming Open Science ambassadors.


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


After the success of our first cohort from January to April 2020, we announce that we will run a 2nd run in 2020:

Applications for the 2nd cohort are now open! Please visit EasyChair to view our application instructions and upload your application before the end of day on June 30, 2020.

Any questions? We are here to help - feel free to email team[at], talk to us on Gitter or connect with us on Twitter @openlifesci.


Participants join this program with a project that they either are already working on or want to develop during this program. For the first round, we were happy to have 29 participants with 20 projects.

Project ideas can range from solving technical questions, to creating an open data project or report, developing open source software project, writing open publication, facilitating community/team culture movements, advancing open educational resource or contributing to other existing projects/community.

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:

Why focus on life science?

Modern life science and related communities stand in the interface of computational and biological research. This position provides an exciting opportunity for new scientists to understand and welcome “open by design” practices.

We understand that our curriculum is applicable to various fields, but we want to focus on life science community/projects with this program due to an urgent need to promote open practices in this field.

If you have a project idea that is not directly related to life science, we will ask you to describe how you aim to advance openness in life science through your work.

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 program, we will share the persona/story of Joy, a mentee participating in the program, and Sam, their personal mentor, as they progress through their open science journey.

In their applications, they will indicate their interests in the topics related to Open Science in bioinformatics. Joy will provide a short outline of their project, and Sam will list their expertise that they want 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 2 weeks. In these mentee-mentor calls (around 30 minutes), Sam will help Joy evaluate their understanding of the new topics, and review their progress by providing constructive feedback. Joy will be given relevant exercises before these calls to help them apply new skills in their project. When needed, Joy and Sam will be able to connect with other experts and get consulted on their project.

  2. Joy will participate to online calls where relevant contents related to Open Life Science is shared and discussed with all participants of the program.

    In these cohort calls, the program leaders will introduce new topics and resources, facilitate break-out discussions, and invite expert from the field to give talks. In the first call Joy will get to know all the participants of the program, present their project, learn about others’ projects. A final cohort call will allow Joy to present their project to other participants and exchange values.

  3. Sam will participate to mentoring training with topic-based discussions with other mentors aimed at enhancing their mentoring skills.

After the 15 weeks of the program, a self-evaluation survey will help Joy and Sam in positioning their knowledge in open science leadership before and after the program.

For the next round, Joy may share what they learnt by mentoring a project and Sam continue their mentor effort and/or become an expert.