Open Knowledge Foundation launch Panton Fellowships

Guest blog post from Laura Newman, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation

The Open Knowledge Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the Panton Fellowships. Funded by Open Society Foundations, Panton Fellowships will be awarded to scientists who actively promote open data in science.

•    Visit the Panton Fellowships home page for more information, including details of how to apply.

We firmly believe that “open data means better science”. In 2009, the Panton Principles were formulated in order to encourage and assist scientists in placing scientific data in the public domain. Now in 2012, the Panton Fellowships represent a major step forward towards this goal.

Thanks to the support of Open Society Foundations, the Open Knowledge Foundation are able to offer two Panton Fellowships in 2012. The nature of the Fellowships make them ideally suited towards graduate students and early-stage career scientists, although anyone with an active interest in open science is encouraged to apply.

Fellowships will be held for one year, and will have a value of £8k p.a. Fellows will have the freedom to undertake a range of activities, which could include e.g. exploring practical solutions for making data open, facilitating discussions about openness, and catalysing the scientific community. Fellows will continue to be employed and/or study at their current institution throughout the Fellowship, and activities undertaken for the Panton Fellowship should ideally complement and enhance their existing endeavours. Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose their own work plan.

Dr Cameron Neylon, of the Panton Fellowships Advisory Board, commented on the ‘real potential’ of the Fellowships to influence practice surrounding open data in the scientific community. ‘Panton Fellowships will allow those who are still deeply involved in research to think closely about the policy and technical issues surrounding open data’, observed Dr Neylon. By allowing scientists the scope both to explore the ‘big picture’ – gathering evidence to promote discussion throughout the community – and also to work on specific technical solutions to individual problems, the Panton Fellowship scheme has the potential to make a real impact upon the practice of open data in science.

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