Nov 19, 2020 · 5 min read

CZI Awards $4.7 Million for Open Source Software and Organizations Advancing Open Science

Funding Supports Software Tools Essential to Biomedicine and Organizations that Promote Reproducible Research

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Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced $3 million in funding for open source software projects representing some of the strongest computational foundations of modern biomedicine, as well as $1.7 million in funding to three distinct organizations advancing reproducibility practices and support for open research infrastructure.

As part of the third cycle of the Essential Open Source Software for Science (EOSS) program, CZI awarded $3 million for 17 new grants. These awards bring the total number of funded proposals to 67 projects and the EOSS program’s total commitment to funding scientific open source to $11.8 million. View the full list of grantees.

Open source software is crucial to modern scientific research, advancing biology and medicine while providing reproducibility and transparency. Yet even the most widely-used research software often lacks dedicated funding. These grants will enable software maintenance, growth, development, and community engagement for important tools used in imaging, single-cell biology, genomics, and data management. Learn more about the projects we’re funding.

“Hundreds of software packages, libraries, and applications have become essential tools for research — so much so that many researchers could not continue their work if such software were to disappear,” said CZI Head of Science Cori Bargmann. “We’re proud to support these critical open source projects to ensure the work of software maintainers is visible, recognized, and fundable.”

CZI supports several areas of basic science and technology with the goal of making it possible to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of this century. In service of this mission, the Open Science program at CZI aims to accelerate the pace, robustness, and reproducibility of science — investing in projects and organizations focused on open science while also serving the broader scientific community.

As part of this work, CZI is dedicating $1.7 million in funding for three organizations advancing open science:

International Interactive Computing Collaboration (2i2c): $1,408,774

  • The Jupyter Notebook is a platform that allows users to combine live code, equations, narrative text, and rich media into a single web page. It builds upon an ecosystem of open tools, protocols, and standards developed by the Jupyter project. In recent years, several projects have built atop the Jupyter architecture to support reproducible research, cloud-based interactive computing for large-scale scientific data analysis, national-scale infrastructure for researchers, and broad impact educational programs all based on freely available computational materials. In order to fully unlock the transformative potential of the open Jupyter architecture in a sustainable way, several leaders in the Jupyter community founded the non-profit International Interactive Computing Collaboration (2i2c). 2i2c will host interactive computing infrastructure for research and education built on the Jupyter stack, and will also leverage its roots in community-driven development to advance Jupyter and other open source projects. This grant will support deploying JupyterHub and related tools in support of large knowledge communities (in research and learning), as well as help establish strategic partnerships with academic and scientific users to further develop the tools’ usefulness and adoption.

Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E): $230,564

  • While reproducibility is a principle that more and more scientists aim to adhere to, there is often a significant gap in how to integrate reproducibility tools and practices into research. To address this gap, Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E) runs one- to two-hour-long workshops to train life sciences researchers in reproducibility tools and best practices, and since its inception in 2017, has successfully trained thousands of life scientists. This grant will enable development of resources for creating an annual circuit of core conferences, plus recruitment of sponsors to cover workshop costs; and scaling of the organization via governance and equity planning, documentation creation for easier onboarding and automated reporting, and outreach to new volunteers, new conferences, and new communities.

Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI): $80,000 

  • Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is a non-profit initiative dedicated to helping others invest in the open technology on which research relies. The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted academic institutions and their ability to support key open infrastructure that is essential to the work of scientists, students, librarians and other academic staff. IOI works to advance the sustainability of the open infrastructure landscape by shedding light on challenges, conducting research, and working with funders and institutional decision makers to enact change. With this grant, CZI joins a growing number of funding organizations supporting IOI and their mission to sustain open, community-owned infrastructure that is critical for scholarly research.

Learn more about CZI’s Open Science program.

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

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