ELIXIR teams up with The Carpentries to boost its training programme

The Carpentries - logoELIXIR and The Carpentries initiative, a merged organization of Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, have agreed to extend their collaboration in organising and delivering training in ELIXIR Nodes. As part of the collaboration, The Carpentries will organise close to 20 Software and Data Carpentry training workshops across ELIXIR Nodes, and two Instructor Training workshops to train a number of specialised instructors. This collaboration is funded by EU Horizon 2020 project ELIXIR-EXCELERATE (contract no. 676559) as part of the training activities (WP11).

The agreement will allow researchers in ELIXIR Nodes to fully benefit from the popular and proven model of hands-on teaching of research computing and data manipulation.

Celia van Gelder, co-lead of the ELIXIR Training Platform said:  “Providing training to researchers in data manipulation and computing is a key priority for ELIXIR. Even though there is a lot of materials available to teach these topics, they are scattered, hard to discover and access, and often assume too much prior knowledge. The Carpentries workshops aim specifically at scientists with no background in computer science. The materials used for the workshops are openly available and developed and constantly improved by global community of experts and experienced instructors.”

During the two-day Carpentries workshops, participants learn essential practices to effectively work with software and data, tailored to improve their research productivity. The focus is on skills that help in replicating data manipulation and automating routine tasks, all in the context of reproducible research.

Allegra Via, leader of Train-the-Trainer ELIXIR projects and Training Coordinator in ELIXIR Italy said: “The Carpentries Instructor Training workshops will complement the ELIXIR Train-the-Trainer programme, and will help us establish a sustainable pool of professional Carpentry instructors within ELIXIR, who can then deliver high quality training across ELIXIR Nodes.”

The current ELIXIR partnership with The Carpentries builds on a Pilot Software and Data Carpentry programme in ELIXIR, which ran in 2015 and 2016. The Pilot organised a series of five Software and Data Carpentry workshops (in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Slovenia) and provided support for additional six training workshops organised by individual ELIXIR Nodes. In total, the programme trained more than 240 life science researchers and instructors from 13 ELIXIR Nodes. The experience and outcomes of the Pilot were presented in a paper published in ELIXIR F1000R Channel:

  • Pawlik A, van Gelder CWG, Nenadic A et al. Developing a strategy for computational lab skills training through Software and Data Carpentry: Experiences from the ELIXIR Pilot action. F1000Research 2017, 6:1040 doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11718.1

About ELIXIR Training

Bioinformatics training to help life-science researchers work effectively with ELIXIR resources is a key priority for ELIXIR. The ELIXIR Training Platform is building sustainable infrastructure to provide access to training courses, tools, resources, and expertise, including monitoring and evaluation. The Platform consists of three components: (1) ELIXIR courses for researchers, developers and trainers, (2) Training evaluation and (3) Training tools, including ELIXIR Training portal and e-learning platform.

About The Carpentries

The Carpentries project comprises Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, a community of Instructors, Trainers, Maintainers, helpers, and supporters teaching core computational and data skills for efficient, shareable and reproducible research. They accomplish this by running accessible, inclusive training workshops; teaching openly available, high-quality, domain-tailored lessons; and fostering an active, inclusive, diverse instructor community that promotes and models reproducible research as a community norm. In January 2018, Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry merged their projects to form The Carpentries.

Fri 17 August 2018