BIOS² + Living Data Project : Invitation to propose a working group topic

Do you have an exciting question in ecology, evolution or environmental science that would benefit from a sustained collaborative effort? This is an invitation to propose a topic for a synthesis working group.

Working groups synthesize existing data and research and/or develop new models or conceptual frameworks. A working group team will deliver novel knowledge products that amplify the impact of existing data.

We invite teams of 2-4 graduate students who have participated in either the Computational Biodiversity Science and Services (BIOS²) or Living Data Project (LDP) NSERC-CREATE training programs to submit proposals for a working group that they will lead. Specifically, applicants can be students at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. level AND should be either BIOS² Fellows or have taken the LDP modules in scientific collaboration and synthesis statistics at a LDP university (excluding transfer credits).

The working group meeting should involve five 6 to 8-hours days of intense collaboration, either online or in-person in the period March to May 2022.

What we will provide

Student-submitted proposals will be evaluated by a  selection committee. Both organizations are committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in science, and so the composition of the working group (including organizers) and inclusivity and equity in collaboration methods will be considered at all stages of project and participant selection.

The winning team will then work with instructional members of BIOS² and LDP to refine the proposal and determine the skillset and conceptual training required by other participants in the working group. Additional graduate student participants will be selected in an open national competition from the eligible pool of LDP and BIOS², and students registered at one of the Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution (CIEE) member universities.

The two postdoctoral researchers will help the team develop the schedule for the working group, assist with facilitation and meeting logistics, and organize the digital platforms. The postdoctoral researchers will also be full participants in the working group. They are highly trained in data management and analysis, reproducible research, and inclusive collaboration practice.

Contingent upon the public health recommendation related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to hold an in-person meeting in spring 2022 (March to May,  2022). Travel, accommodation and meal costs would be covered for all participants, and up to $1500 to cover publication costs. If an in person meeting is not possible and the working group needs to be held online,  we would provide coupons for meal delivery during the working group for all participants and up to $1500 to cover publication costs. 

Responsibilities of research leaders

The team will be responsible for setting the scientific agenda (with guidance from BIOS²/LDP postdoctoral researchers and faculty), defining the initial research question(s), and providing in advance any relevant reading materials and datasets to be analyzed. It will  also be responsible – with our mentorship –  for facilitating the working group meeting, and creating an open, respectful and inclusive working environment that optimizes the creativity and productivity of the group. Finally, the leading team will be responsible for ensuring any outcomes (e.g. publications, open data sets) of the working group are realized in a timely fashion.

For detailed information on the call and the application process, please consult this document.

Deadline: November 30, 2021.

Photo credit: Tj Holowaychuk / Unsplash