Open Life Science is awarded Wellcome Trust Open Research Fund 2021

- Bérénice, Emmy, Malvika, Yo

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

We are delighted to share that Wellcome Trust has awarded the Open Research Fund to Open Life Science (OLS). This will enable research and sustainability of the program for the next two years. Under the title Systematic evaluation of community development through open science training and incentivising contextual mentorship in health research, OLS has received GBP 99,999 to create a funded position for a programme coordinator and researcher, as well as pay for the overhead cost for the next four cohorts.

The full proposal (personal information redacted) can be found on Zenodo: DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5267934. Below we share some highlights from the proposal and OLS plans for the next two years.

Goals and Outcomes

Our main goal with this proposal is to conduct a research-based assessment, decolonisation and dissemination of our resources for their adoption and reuse across different open science communities. A successfully completed Open Research Fund activity in OLS will enable:

  1. research-based evaluation and enhancement of the OLS curriculum, training materials, mentoring formats and value-based approach to local community development,
  2. incentivised integration of contextual (sociotechnical and cultural) knowledge of mentors and project leads in the open science project they develop in the program,
  3. targeted support and equitable participation of health researchers and community builders from underrepresented communities in a shared vision for the global open science through collaboration,
  4. assessment of the long-term impact of OLS on the careers of the OLS participants and adoption of contextualised open science practices in research work in their regional contexts across low- and middle-income, as well as high-income countries, and
  5. publication of a series of reports capturing different outputs, building an open source evidence base and inviting support for the sustainability of OLS over the next 5 years.

Funded Position: Programme Coordinator and Researcher

To maximise the impact of our project, we will recruit a staff member to join the OLS team as a Programme Coordinator and Researcher. They will also provide administrative support such as by helping ensure transparent communication with all the stakeholders, participating in outreach efforts, processing feedback from the cohorts and developing reports to share openly. Working with the OLS leadership team, they will also co-lead the impact studies and evaluation of OLS training and resources. A job vacancy will be advertised in February 2022.

Steering Committee

Drawing from previous graduates, existing collaborators and volunteers in the OLS community, we will establish a steering committee. The committee will be engaged in co-creating a sustainability model for OLS beyond the lifetime of this funding as well as beyond the mentoring period of OLS projects (potentially in their local communities). The OLS team will continue to seek feedback from the OLS community to improve pathways for engagement that are meaningful for all OLS participants.

Collaborating with Mission-Aligned Organisations

We are looking to establish partnerships with mission-aligned organisations and projects interested in collaborating with OLS and adopting our training models in their institutions. This includes funder and research institutes seeking to support open science training for their funded projects or interested in supporting OLS cohort activities. Fruitful partnerships will enable the growth of OLS by helping explore new impact pathways to reach communities, particularly those currently underrepresented in open science. To express early interest in a partnership, please email

Thank you! Connect with us.

Thanks to all the OLS members - mentors, participants, experts, and speakers - who have supported the last four cohorts. We are very grateful for your support and engagement in the programme. We are proud of what we have done together and look forward to sharing this space for learning and growth in the coming years.

For any inquiries regarding the OLS program, upcoming job vacancy and/or partnerships, please email