Welcome to the first cohort of Open Life Science program!

Niklas Morberg (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The OLS-1 program

Purpose: Training for early stage researchers and young leaders interested in furthering their Open Science skills

Outcome: Ambassadors for Open Science practice, training and education across multiple European and international bioinformatics communities.

Process: A 15-week mentoring & training program, based on the Mozilla Open Leader program, helping participants in becoming Open Science ambassadors by using three principles:

  1. Sharing essential knowledge required to create, lead, and sustain an Open Science project.
  2. Connecting members across different communities, backgrounds, and identities by creating space in this program for them to share their experiences and expertise.
  3. Empowering them to become effective Open Science ambassadors in their communities.

Table of content

  1. Goals and Learning Objectives
  2. Role Descriptions
  3. Timeline
  4. Schedule
  5. Joining calls
  6. Mentoring training
  7. FAQ
    1. What meetings are taking place during the entire cohort?
  8. Community Participation Guidelines
    1. Diversity Statement
    2. Reporting Issues
    3. Attribution & Acknowledgements

Goals and Learning Objectives

The vision of Open Life Science program is to strengthen Open Science skills for early stage researchers and young leaders in life science.

At the end of the program, our participants will be able to:

  • Describe and define the terms openness, open science, open leadership, community interactions, value exchanges, inclusivity, accessibility, open Science practices in developing resources and training
  • Learn how to apply those principles to open leadership and working open in their projects and communities . Learn how to collect, invite, and tell stories that demonstrate how and why openness benefits the communities they serve
  • Give original examples for the types of openness in science
  • Design
    • Illustrate the need for a project, its vision, and its goals
    • Embrace and communicate the benefits of Open Science and how to strategically apply different open practices to their work
    • Identify the public resources to share their data
    • Identify the different type of Open Access and associated journals
  • Build
    • Start any project with openness in mind from day one
    • Setup a project repository on GitHub using best practices for enabling collaboration
    • Choose and apply open licenses appropriately
  • Empower
    • Create and enforce a safe working environment
    • Promote the values of Open Science to empower others to lead and collaborate
    • Include a broad range of contributors in their work
    • Communicate their work and vision in a 2min demo of elevator pitch
  • Lead an open project in science

Role Descriptions


  • October 25, 2019: Opening of the applications
  • November 27, 2019 (8am PST / 11am EST / 4pm GMT): Pre-application webinar
  • December 8, 2019: Closing of the applications
  • December 20, 2019: Successful applicants announced
  • January 20, 2020: Start of the 15-week program
  • April 2020: Conclusion of the 15-week program


Week Call type Duration Date Topic Rough Agenda
1 Mentor 30 min Week of January 20, 2020 Meet your mentor! Meet each other and discuss your personal motivation, expectations, working practices and project goals
2 Cohort 90 min January 29, 2020 (2pm CET) Welcome to Open Life Science! Meet other members of your cohort, Share project vision, Intro to working openly (open canvas)
3 Mentor 30 min Week of February 3, 2020 Meet your mentor! Discuss assignments from the cohort call & concrete implementations
4 Cohort 90 min February 12, 2020 (7pm CET) Tooling and roadmapping for Open projects Working with GitHub as a community hub: Markdown as a tool to make websites, Licence, Goals and Roadmap, Contributors, Code of Conduct
5 Mentor 30 min Week of February 17, 2020 Meet your mentor!  
  (Optional) Cohort 60 min February 19, 2020 (2pm CET) GitHub Tutorial  
6 Cohort 90 min February 26, 2020 (2pm CET) Open Science I: Project Development Developing Open Projects: Open-Source, Software, Hardware, Data
7 Mentor 30 min Week of March 2, 2020 Meet your mentor!  
8 Cohort 90 min March 11, 2020 (7pm CET) Open Science II: Knowledge Dissemination Sharing Open Project: Preprint publications, DOI and citation, Open protocols, Open Education & Training
9 Mentor 30 min Week of March 16, 2020 Meet your mentor!  
10 Cohort 90 min March 25, 2020 (2pm CET) Designing & Empowering for inclusivity Personas and pathways for contributors, Implicit bias & mental health care, Community interactions & Ally-skill
11 (Optional) Cohort 90 min April 1, 2020 (7pm CET) Career Guidance Call  
12 Mentor 30 min Week of April 6, 2020 Meet your mentor! Invite an expert with mentor
13 Cohort 90 min April 15, 2020 (2pm CET) Giving feedback & Project Review (preparation and practice) Giving feedback, Preparation of final presentation
14 Mentor 30 min Week of April 20, 2020 Meet your mentor! Preparation for the final demos
15 Cohort 90 min April 29, 2020 (7pm CET) Final presentations & congratulations! 2-minute demos of each project (Audience: entire community & public, Open and recorded call)

Joining calls

Cohort and mentor-only calls: The calls will be hosted online using the Zoom web-conferencing option.

Link for the calls will be shared for each meeting separately.

Mentee-mentor calls: You can use the online communication options that both mentor and mentee agree to use. A few options to explore are the following:

  • Zoom: 40 mins limit for each call
  • Google hangout: Free for members with google account
  • Skype: Free, download the app
  • Whereby.com: Free option, valid upto 4 participants

If you can’t make it to a call:

  • If you have to miss a call, please write your name in the cohort note under “apologies”.

    The cohorts calls will be recorded each week and sent out with the review emails.

  • If you miss two or more calls during the program, we’ll evaluate if you would be able to finish the program.
  • If a mentor has to miss a mentee-mentor meeting, please discuss it with your mentee and reschedule your call.

    If you are unable to make it to any slot together, please find other ways (asynchronous documentation) to interact with your mentee.

Mentoring training

Mentors advice and inspire

  • Connect: to people, programs, companies
  • Recommend: resources, readings, classes, experiences
  • Feedback: for the mentee to consider

Becoming a mentor can be frightening. Mentors will be then guided specially via a mentoring training with 4 calls. Our mentors will gain mentoring skills (active listening, effective questioning, giving feedback) via mentoring training to learn to celebrate successes and approach challenges in mentoring.


What meetings are taking place during the entire cohort?

Full cohort meetings

  • Takes place every 2 weeks (unless mentioned otherwise)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Organisers/hosts will introduce new topic of the week
  • Speakers will present their work related to the topic of the week
  • Mentees will be given group discussion exercises during the calls
  • An open Q&A will be run and notes will be co-developed
  • Exercises will be given for the week to be completed before the mentee-mentor meeting
  • Look for cohort notes shared with you by organisers

Mentee-Mentor Meetings

  • Takes place every 2 weeks (unless mentioned otherwise)
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Mentors help their mentees evaluate their understanding of the new topics
  • Mentees will complete their task assigned at the cohort calls using new skills learned that week
  • Review progress together where mentees provide constructive feedback.
  • Connect with other experts and get consulted on their project when needed.
  • Look for 1:1 notes shared with you by your mentor

Mentor-only Meetings

  • A maximum of 4 calls will take place during the mentorship round
  • 2 training calls in the beginning of the cohort to get participants trained and prepared for their role as mentors
  • 1 catch-up call in the middle of the cohort to discuss new topics and challenges that might have occurred and address them
  • 1 call at the end to capture experiences of mentors and assess their interest in future cohorts
  • A public gitter channel will facilitate open discussions among mentors to help them discuss their experiences, challenges and tips and tricks

Community Participation Guidelines

As a community we welcome everyone, and encourage a friendly and positive environment.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants within the community, as well as steps to reporting unacceptable behavior. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all and expect our code of conduct to be honored. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be banned from the community.

Our open source community strives to:

  • Be friendly and patient.

  • Be welcoming: We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

  • Be considerate: Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.

  • Be respectful: Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.

  • Be careful in the words that we choose: We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to: Violent threats or language directed against another person, Discriminatory jokes and language, Posting sexually explicit or violent material, Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”), Personal insults, especially those using racist or sexist terms, Unwelcome sexual attention, Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior, Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.

  • Try to understand why we disagree: Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re different. Diversity contributes to the strength of our community, which is composed of people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.

Diversity Statement

We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. Although we will fail at times, we seek to treat everyone both as fairly and equally as possible. Whenever a participant has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.

Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics above, including participants with disabilities.

Reporting Issues

If you experience or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please report it by contacting the organisers - Bérénice, Malvika and Yo. (team@openlifesci.org).

To report an issue involving one of the members, please email one of the members individually (berenice@openlifesci.org, malvika@openlifesci.org, yo@openlifesci.org).

All reports will be handled with discretion. In your report please include:

  • Your contact information.

  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well. Your account of what occurred, and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a mailing list archive or a public IRC logger), please include a link.

  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

After filing a report, a representative will contact you personally, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond. If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the complaint originates from a member of the response team, it will be handled by a different member of the response team. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

Attribution & Acknowledgements

This code of conduct is based on the Open Code of Conduct from the TODOGroup.