New mentorship opportunity available to grow open science, digital & computational skills

Are you a researcher or postgraduate student in Humanities or Social Sciences or related field (e.g. Education, Law, Commerce, Architecture, Libraries, etc.) and affiliated with a South African university or public research institute? Do you have an idea for a new project that has elements of open science and digital or computational methodologies, but need a bit of mentorship and support to get it going?

ESCALATOR is excited to announce a new trial with the international Open Seeds Mentorship and Training Programme for their next intake!

Application deadline: 7 July 2023

In this post you can:

About Open Seeds

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Open Seeds is a 16-week long mentorship and cohort-based training, where participants (organisers, hosts, mentors and project leads/mentees) share their expertise and gain knowledge essential for running open science projects, connect with members across communities, backgrounds, and identities, and empower each other to become effective open science ambassadors in their communities.

Participants join this program individually or in teams, with projects they either are already working on or want to start developing during the program.

The goals, learning objectives, timelines, and schedules can be found on OLS’s website:

The training programme consists of bi-weekly training sessions where presenters share best practices in contemporary and open research. Topics include for example, tooling and roadmapping for open projects, project management, agile methodologies, design for inclusivity, and more. Various skill-up sessions are also included in different time slots. These include for example, Github for beginners, open source software, and open leadership.

Each project is matched to a suitable international mentor with whom members meet bi-weekly to discuss their projects and progress. Mentors are recruited from a broad range of research disciplines and have expertise in open science and the use of various tools and methodologies for collaboration and contemporary research.

What is unique in Cohort 8?

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For the next cohort intake (OLS-8) ESCALATOR will provide additional contextualised support to a maximum of three project teams from South Africa who qualify according to the Open Seeds eligibility criteria and aligns broadly with the ESCALATOR focus area. Additional support will be customised based on the needs of successful projects. It may include up to four in-person meetings with local mentors, participation in the DH-IGNITE conferences, additional support through the dedicated Slack workspace for the ESCALATOR community and other opportunities to network within the local and global research community.

What kind of projects can be submitted?

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open science

Examples of projects that could be relevant include publishing of datasets, creating of open educational resources specific to your project or research field, publishing an online book or how-to manual under open licences, developing workflows to enhance openness in a project or department, creating data visualisations using open source tools, mapping stakeholders to grow community visibility, developing software, websites or apps, and much-much more! For examples of past projects, please visit the Open Seeds projects site.

How can I get more information?

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1. Attend a webinar & Q&A with the Open Seeds team

For more information, please join us in the incoming Open Seeds 8 application webinar on Friday, 9 June at 12:00 - 13:00 SAST. This call will be recorded and later uploaded to YouTube.

2. Attend a Q&A session with the ESCALATOR team

Those who cannot participate in the first webinar and Q&A call with the Open Seeds team can join us virtually on Thursday, 15 June at 11:00 - 12:00 SAST. The ESCALATOR team will answer any questions about eligibility, application process, and the additional support provided through the programme.

3. Attend an application clinic call with the Open Seeds & ESCALATOR teams

Prospective applicants can join an Application Clinic Call on Wednesday, 28 June at 19:00 SAST. At this call, the OLS and representatives from the ESCALATOR team will be available to provide help if you have any questions related to your application.

4. Get in touch via email

You are also welcome to reach out to both the ESCALATOR (escalator[at] and Open Seeds teams (team[at] via email, prior to these calls to ask questions related to eligibility, project proposals, and anything else you might want to know.

5. Read the OLS-8 application guidelines and templates

Find a template in your choice of Markdown, Word, plain text, or open XML to start drafting your proposal!

What are the important dates?

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  • 1 June, 2023 : Call for Application opens See the guidelines and templates
  • 9 June, 2023 (12:00 SAST): Application webinar (Talk + Q&A) Watch recordings from previous webinars on YouTube
  • 15 June, 2023 (11:00 SAST): Application Q&A with ESCALATOR team
  • 28 June, 2023 (19:00 SAST): Application Clinic Call (Q&A) At this call, OLS team will be available to provide help if you have any question related to your application
  • 7 July, 2023: Call for applications closes.
  • 1 August, 2023: Successful applicants announced
  • 18 September, 2023: Start of the program
  • 15 January, 2024: End of the program

Please share this news with your networks

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The flyer can be downloaded and shared with others who may be interested!