The bedrock of any scientific enterprise is the ability to reproduce experiments: following the same set of instructions with the same instruments and obtaining the same results. Unfortunately, there are numerous obstacles in contemporary scientific research that preclude universal reproducibility. These range from key omissions or vague instructions in the experimental description to journals that require subscriptions and thus restrict access to the entire scientific product. Open Science is an approach to conducting reproducible research, but its practices are difficult and time-consuming to adopt. The National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) award to University of Georgia will pilot an educational program that teams up students and faculty conducting research, with the ultimate goal of lowering barriers to conducting Open Science and catalyzing an institutional shift toward an open and transparent approach to science. The project will incentivize Open Science practices in research and education and will provide additional training opportunities to students and faculty alike to obtain skills in Open Science that are otherwise not offered in a contemporary research setting. This project will establish new curricula, creating new opportunities for future students and faculty as well as endowing them with skills that are highly sought in a variety of fields.
Recent surveys reveal a pervasive belief that there is a broad reproducibility crisis in science. Examples abound across disciplines: seminal studies have been, upon later scrutiny and attempts to replicate, revealed as irreproducible. Open Science offers a principled, albeit abstract, approach to scientific research that emphasizes openness and reproducibility. Most scientists agree reproducibility must be addressed. Yet, the adoption of open practices has remained anemic, as the culture surrounding research has not been sufficiently incentivized to change, nor has the practice of Open Science been defined as a concrete process. This 3-year project aims to study how to catalyze a cultural shift in the research and educational practices at the University of Georgia. Critically, the approach is process-oriented and bidirectional: students will be recruited at varying stages of their graduate careers as the experimental cohort, and a peer support structure will be established among them. Faculty will also be recruited: supervisors of participating graduate students and experts in Open Science and institutional change. These students and faculty, representing a variety of STEM disciplines, will participate in a series of workshops to obtain a formal understanding of Open Science. Participating faculty will sustain this curriculum through their own Open Science training with external experts, course modifications, and an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program formalizing the coursework and standards for training in Open Science principles and practices. This will establish a network of influencers to effect broad institutional change, further facilitating a cultural shift toward adoption of Open Science.
The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is focused on research in graduate education. The goals of IGE are to pilot, test and validate innovative approaches to graduate education and to generate the knowledge required to move these approaches into the broader community.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/17 → 6/30/23|
- National Science Foundation: $499,449.00