After a highly competitive selection process, the OCSDNet Advisors and Coordinating Team convened with 14 short-listed applicants for the OCSDNet Proposal Development Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from October 13th-15th. This diverse group of applicants represent a range of disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives on Open and Collaborative Science (OCS) from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia.
Workshop activities were designed based on the principles and practices of openness. As such, applicants engaged in a series of interactive exercises that encouraged reflection on the common goals, approaches and principles of OCS. The highlights of the program included applicant presentations on their respective proposed projects; peer-to-peer commentary and critique of concept notes; group discussions that critically unpacked the concepts of “open”, “collaborative”, “science” and “development”; and considerations regarding final proposal submissions.
The workshop concluded with the official OCSDNet Launch, hosted at the iHub. The Launch was a well-attended event, and remarks were shared by Leslie Chan, representatives from the IDRC, as well as by two project applicants: Najat Saliba and Josique Lorenzo. Najat and Josique’s remarks are available here.
Over the next several weeks, the workshop participants will be reconvening with their research collaborators/teams to develop full project proposal submissions. Unlike traditional research application procedures, the OCSDNet Coordinating Team will be translating OCS principles into practice by encouraging applicants to engage with one another’s proposals by providing feedback and critique. The advisors will also play a supportive role in this process by providing commentary. Complete project proposals are due on November 30th, for a final review process, following which we will announce the grantees and the projects proposed.
Short video interviews with each of the participants briefly explaining their OCS concept proposals will soon be shared. In the meantime, check out our Storify post on the workshop and launch.
Some highlights from the participants during the final evaluation session:
“There was an amazing diversity of groups and people represented – linguistically, geographically, subject-wise, philosophically.”
“The location [Westhouse] was so beautiful and conducive for creating an environment that was calm and open for dialogue, discussion, criticism and creativity.”
“We had so many group activities that made [the] learning experience at this workshop so unique and so wonderful! The overall organization of the workshop was simply amazing.”