Champions Program

Openscapes Champions is a mentorship program that empowers science teams with open data science tools and grows the community of practice.

The inaugural cohort of Openscapes Champions completed in May 2019, empowered with skillsets and mindsets to do better science in less time, together. Learn their stories and advice through our blog, presentations, and our column in Nature: Supercharge your research: a ten-week plan for open data science.

We are leading future Champions Program cohorts — are you interested? Please download this 2-pager for more details and email us to discuss booking.


Openscapes Champions is a mentorship program for research groups. Centered around collaborative coding and open science, we meet scientists where they are and help develop habits and mindsets to make data workflows and team culture more efficient and resilient.

Openscapes empowers scientists by:

  • mentoring them to become champions for open practices
  • supporting them to improve open practices within their labs and campuses
  • amplifying their stories and successes online


Openscapes Champions work towards building an efficient, open culture within their labs, and modeling that behavior to the broader campus community.

Openscapes Champions will be better equipped to:

  • promote open data science practices in their labs and departments
  • enable an open culture in their lab, such as having
    • dedicated “data workflow” lab meetings
    • stated code of conduct or lab philosophy
    • beginnings of a lab roadmap of shared practices for data workflows
  • cultivate a local community of practice through study groups on campus (example: Eco-Data-Science)


Openscapes Champions is a five-month program for that is led remotely and designed to ignite incremental and sustainable change within research groups — and beyond. Each Champions Cohort includes 7-10 research groups, with 2-5 individuals per research group actively participating through video calls. Importantly, research group leads (faculty, lecturers, program managers, etc) and members (students, analysts, lab managers, etc.) participate together so that:

  • everyone sees and values what is possible with open data science
  • leads support and enable members to invest time in learning skills and developing shared workflows
  • members have agency and pathways to incorporate open data science concepts into their work
  • everyone champions open data science and contributes to growing the community of practice within the research group, institution, and beyond

The program is modeled after Mozilla Open Leaders, which provides training, mentorship, and best practices for working and leading in an open way.


The Openscapes Champions Cohorts page lists the inspiring research groups that have participated in the Champions Program.

This program has honestly completely re-made how I think about my science. Openscapes is a supportive training course for moving your lab toward open science, that meets you where you are.” — Prof. Chelsea Wood, University of Washington

Openscapes isn’t just about coding and GitHub, it’s about changing how we do science” — Prof. Malin Pinsky, Rutgers University


So what do we teach during five months of remote calls with the Champion Cohorts?

The Openscapes Champions Program is strongly motivated by open data science, and with that comes the mindset of openness, collaboration, trust, and creating the culture we want in science.

We discuss topics described in the Openscapes Lessons Series, which is improved iteratively and openly, with the most recent version is always available online. It is framed around Lowndes et al. 2017, Nature Ecology & Evolution: Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools. This article is a retrospective of how a team’s data workflow changed over four years; the Openscapes Series aims to help guide other labs to incrementally make similar progress themselves, no matter where they are starting from.