Frequently Asked Questions


What is a team/How do I choose my team?

There is a lot of flexibility in choosing your team for the Openscapes Champions program. We designed it with academic research groups in mind, to provide resilience where there is high turnover and folks might be struggling with similar challenges around data analysis while working on different projects. But we’re increasingly working with research groups of different kinds and needs! We expect a range of technical ability and training experience; most importantly is selecting folks that have interest in improving their data analysis practices and developing collaboration and leadership skills.

Teams do not need to have a specific shared research project to participate. The idea is that by developing shared open data science habits within the research group, it will be easier to onboard new folks and offboard knowledge/data/code/etc when folks leave. And, as more and more research groups work this way, it can ease transitions between research groups (i.e. when students graduate and take a position with a different research group).

The Champions Program is structured for teams with the intent that research group leads (faculty, lecturers, program managers, etc) and members (students, post-docs, analysts, lab managers, etc.) participate as a team together. This is a strategy so that the lead does not necessarily have to be an expert/comfortable with open data science to enable their team to design open data science workflows. Group leads and members participate together so that:

  1. everyone sees and values what is possible with open data science
  2. leads enable members to invest time in learning skills and developing shared workflows as part of their jobs
  3. members have guidance, agency, and support to incorporate open data science concepts into their work
  4. everyone champions open data science and contributes to growing the community of practice within the research group, institution, and beyond, in whatever capacity their roles and circumstances (time limitations & responsibilities) allow.

Choosing your team can be based on interests around data analysis and around leadership. There are no prerequisite skills to participate, just an interest to learn and contribute. The “homework” between Champions sessions and beyond is to meet with your full research group (beyond workshop participants, and optional for the lead) to establish shared workflows and habits within the research group.

Does a team need a shared research project?

No, the idea is to help individuals within a research group see themselves as part of a team. With this team mindset, your most important collaborator is Future You. Working with Future You in mind helps you spend more time on answering awesome research questions rather than trying to make sense of data_analysis_finalv2b.xls. And a team mindset also includes Future Us in the research group, so that onboarding and offboarding is more efficient and so that participation in science can be more inclusive and equitable.

No, the cohort does not need a shared project; each team will work on what they need to for their own research. Teams within a cohort do not need to be closely related, but having teams somewhat related is good for community building (i.e. environmental science or psychology).