Bérénice Batut (CC BY-SA 4.0)

This program can only run with the active involvements of our volunteer community who share a passion for Open Research and inclusiveness in Open Science:


Our mentees are life science researchers and bioinformaticians who are interested in contributing to Open Science projects and communities. In this program they will be supported by the organisers, mentors, experts, and other mentees in getting started with their journey as Open Life Scientists.

Our mentees will:

  • gain a better understanding of Open Science and best practices
  • fill gaps related to Open Science in their research
  • learn to navigate their path in bioinformatics communities
  • design equitable opportunities in their projects for the diverse community members
  • increase their visibility as Open Life Scientist
  • become Open Science ambassadors for their community

Becoming a mentee

A mentee dedicates about 2 hours per week to the program to attend cohort/mentor meetings and doing self-guided assignments.

Recruitment of the mentees will start in November. Stay tuned!


Mentors work closely with participants to help further their Open Science skills and become ambassadors for Open Science practice, training and education in their communities. The mentors will be assigned to one or more projects (based on their availability) proposed in the program.

Our mentors are:

  • contributors of one or several Open Science projects or communities
  • interested in sharing the benefit they receive from the Open Science communities
  • look for opportunities to gain mentoring experience
  • love to share their enthusiasm about Open Science
  • want to build their profile as Open Leaders

What do mentors do?

Mentors advise and inspire:

  • Connect to people, programs
  • Recommend resources, readings, experiences
  • Feedback to consider

A mentor spend around 1 hour per week dedicated to the program, but also some time before the program to review applications.

They will meet their mentees every two weeks during the program and will attend group calls with other mentors to exchange notes and develop their mentoring skills further.

What are the benefits to be a mentor?

Our mentors will

  • gain mentoring skills (active listening, effective questioning, giving feedback) via mentoring training
  • learn to celebrate successes and approach challenges in mentoring
  • connect with a community of mentors
  • expand their knowledge on Open Science

Becoming a mentor

Mentoring is usually an invitation-based role. Mentors join by graduating from a previous cohort, by becoming an expert for at least one round, or by invitation when a specific skills gap is needed. Please reach out to one of the organizers if you are interested.

Our mentors

Our program is only possible thanks to our awesome mentors:


Experts will be invited to join cohort calls or individual mentorship calls to share their experience and expertise during the program.

Our experts are:

  • motivated Open Life Scientists
  • understand and advocate the value of working openly
  • look for opportunities to support or give back to the research community
  • enjoy sharing their resources to facilitate others work
  • develop and teach skills collaboratively in the community
  • want to gain/improve leadership skills through their engagements in this program

Becoming an expert

Experts may be invited to:

  • give a ~20 minute talk at one of our cohort calls, which happen every two weeks.
  • be interviewed by the organisers (~15 minutes)
  • invited by mentor-mentee pair to share their expert consultation on certain projects. (~30 minutes)

We are currently recruiting the experts - this route is a good way to join the program if you are already an open research practitioner and don’t wish to participate as a cohort member.

Our experts

Our experts are essential for the program:


Facilitators work closely with the OLS organisers to manage and run cohort calls. They lead efforts in preparing cohort call notes, co-hosting cohort calls and ensuring the sharing of call recordings and resources through OLS channels.

Our facilitators are:

  • Project leads, mentors or experts in a previous cohort
  • Keen to learn more about the operations of OLS and take a vital role in leading/facilitating the cohort calls
  • Committed to contribute time and leadership skills towards building a collaborative experience for the attendees of OLS cohort call.

Becoming a facilitator

Facilitators are invited to:

  • attend an onboarding call (30 mins)
  • sign up for responsibilities pre-, during or after one or more cohort calls, ranging from 15 mins to 2hours
  • participate in a feedback call at the end of a cohort (30 mins)

This is an invitation-based role. Facilitators are offered an honourarium in recognition of their valuable contributions to the programme.


The GitHub avatar of

Bérénice Batut

Pronouns: she/her

University of Freiburg , Germany

Galaxy, Galaxy training, Citizen science, Bioinformatics, High-throughput sequencing, Metagenomics, Wordpress, Jekyll, GitHub/GitLab Pages, Designing and developing training material, Collaborating with Git & GitHub/GitLab, Git, GitHub, GitLab, Publishing web content

More about Bérénice

The GitHub avatar of

Malvika Sharan

Pronouns: she/her

United Kingdom

Community building, Mentoring, Data Science best practices, Inclusive and collaborative practices, Python, Git, Unix, Bioinformatics, Algorithm design

More about Malvika

The GitHub avatar of

Yo Yehudi

Pronouns: they/them

United Kingdom

Software development, Community building, Mentoring

More about Yo

We also participate in a wide range of activities in different international communities of practice in the life sciences:

Our values

We have high ethical standards, including:

  • Education: Educate scientists about open science
  • Transparency: Emphasize transparency and the sharing of resources, material, knowledge and experiences
  • Open science: Promote citizen science and decentralized access to science
  • Modesty: Know you don’t know everything
  • Community: Carefully listen to any concerns and questions and respond honestly
  • Respect: Respect humans and all living systems
  • Responsibility: Recognize the complexity and dynamics of life science and research and our responsibility towards them

Get involved

If you think you can help then please check out our contributors’ guidelines and our project board.

Please note that it’s very important to us that we maintain a positive and supportive environment for everyone who wants to participate. When you join us we ask that you follow our code of conduct in all interactions both on and offline.