rOpenSci | Champions Program

Champions Program — A mentoring & training program for Scientific Open Source Champions

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Research software should serve everyone in our communities, which means it needs to be sustainable, open, and built by and for all groups. Currently, however, there is a dismaying lack of diversity in open source communities in general and the R / research software community in particular. Developers in the R community are overwhelmingly white, male, and from a handful of countries. That disappointing lack of diversity is potentially detrimental to the sustainability, utility and productivity of projects.

The rOpenSci Champions Program is for people from historically and systematically excluded groups who are interested in contributing to rOpenSci and the broader open source and open science communities.

The rOpenSci Champion Program is part of a series of activities and projects we are carrying out to ensure our research software serves everyone in our communities and is supported through a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The 2022 calls for Champions and mentors have closed.
Consider getting involved in 2023!
The 2023 calls will be announced in September or October 2023, on this page, in our newsletter and our social networks.

🔗 Program goals

In its inaugural year, the rOpenSci Champions Program aims to support R developers, from around the world, and who identify themselves as members of a group that is systematically excluded from the open software community to:

  • Gain the skills to develop their own R package or;
  • Gain confidence in submitting an R package for peer review or become a reviewer.
  • Learn how to lead a workshop or other event about package development or software peer review - or another rOpenSci activity - in their local community.
  • Connect with a supportive network of peers and mentors within the R ecosystem.
  • Provide feedback to help rOpenSci to continue to host relevant, welcoming activities for R developers.
  • Gain transferable skills and experiences that are sought after for careers in open source software.

We are looking six to nine Champions for this first pilot. We expect to co-create the rOpenSci Champion program with the selected applicants and influence future editions with their experience and feedback.

We look forward to receiving many applications and are committed to directing non-selected applicants towards other ways in which they can contribute to rOpenSci.

🔗 Eligibility

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We are looking for people that work on STEAM fields, from anywhere in the world, who identify with the above and who:

  • Already have development knowledge with the R language and a solid idea for an R package they’d like to develop, or;

  • Have already developed an R package, and want to have it peer reviewed through rOpenSci.

  • Want to become a reviewer for rOpenSci.

  • Have basic English communication skills (written and verbal).

🔗 About the program

The rOpenSci Champions Program is a 12-month-long program including cohort-based training, project development, and personal mentorship.

Champions will participate in:

  • A 6-week long cohort-based training on:

    • how to plan and facilitate engaging and inclusive workshops to support participants’ success,
    • knowledge of various channels through which new members can engage in and contribute to rOpenSci and R projects, and
    • technical skills in software development and review.
  • Personal and group mentorship:

    • A series of meetings with mentors;
    • Quarterly cohort calls.

See the program time line for more detail.

🔗 What are the benefits of taking part?

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By participating in this program, you can help rOpenSci and your community grow. In addition to training and personal mentoring, some other benefits you will receive are:

  • Learn and practice organizing and teaching workshops;

  • Learn and practice reviewer, and developer skills;

  • Gain insights from other experts and expand your professional network;

  • Gain visibility through training, mentorship, and content creation;

  • Get recognition and acknowledgment for your work;

  • Co-develop this program and other rOpenSci projects by sharing feedback;

  • Become an active contributing member of the rOpenSci community;

  • Create content in the language of your community;

  • Empower members of your community by sharing what you learn;

  • Become a mentor to other members of your community.

We will provide a $1000 (USD) stipend to the selected community Champions.

🔗 Program expectations

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Champions are expected to complete training and attend meetings with their mentors and cohorts. After training, Champions will develop their own project. Projects may involve building a new package or going through the peer review process as an author or a reviewer.

Champions will also choose and perform several activities, such as running recruitment activities, giving presentations, writing blog posts, and organizing peer groups in their communities.

It is expected that Champions will promote participation in peer review and contribution to rOpenSci open source software, infrastructure, and documentation. They will also gather feedback on where rOpenSci’s current programming might be improved to meet the needs of all who wish to participate.

The estimated time commitment for each Champion is, on average, 10 hours per month (including trainings, cohort events, mentoring meetings, package development or review process, and preparing for and hosting events). The total time commitment for each Champion will vary based on the path and activities they choose to do during the program.

🔗 Tentative Program timeline

The table below outlines a draft timeline for year one of the Champions Program. As this is a pilot year, there may be minor changes to this.

Date Event Detail Duration
December 2022 Kick-off event Learn about the program, review the program expectations, and address questions. Meet mentors. 1.5 h
February 2023 Training How to plan and facilitate engaging and inclusive workshops to support participants’ success (by CSCCE) 1.5 h
February 2023 Training Knowledge of various channels through which new members can engage in and contribute to rOpenSci and R projects (by rOpenSci) 1.5 h
February 2023 Training One of two:Technical skills in software development, or, Technical skills in software review. (by rOpenSci) 1.5 h
March 2023 Cohort meeting: Presentation of projects Champions' 5 minutes presentations of their project (package review or development) and get feedback. 1.5 h
March-July 2023 Develop project. Meeting with mentors Go through the review process as an author, or as a reviewer, or build the package of their choice
Jun 2023 Cohort meeting: Reflections on projects Champions will be invited to share takeaways from their projects with the cohort. 1.5 h
August - November 2023 Champions outreach: host events, deliver talk, write about their experiences. Champion’s host: a workshop on good practices to build packages or good practices in software peer review or deliver a talk on a conference/event and one community event to gather feedback to improve rOpenSci’s projects 1 to 3 h
September 2023 Cohort meeting: Reflections on events Champions will be invited to share takeaways from their events with the cohort. 1.5 h
December 2023 Cohort meeting: Reflections on program Champions will be invited to share takeaways from the program with the cohort and start to define future roles for Champions. 1.5 h
February 2024 End of term Close cohort and define new roles for Champions. 1 h

🔗 How to apply

The call for this year has already closed.

We will make another call, next year. We will announce it in our newsletter and our social networks.

🔗 Application Timeline

Date Event Status
Sep 23, 2022 Call for Application opens Done
Oct 24, 2022 [OPTIONAL] Community Call - Tips for submitting your Champions Program application Done
Nov 1, 2022 [OPTIONAL] Co-working hours: receive help with your application to the Champions Program. Done
Nov 7, 2022 Call for applications closed Close
Nov 30, 2022 Communication with selected Champions.

🔗 Do you have any questions?

Please, contact our Community Manager by email.

You can also check our resources about the program in English and Spanish.



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